Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer.
Once again, it seems inevitable that one of these three great all-time champions will be the 2019 men’s singles champion at Wimbledon. The top three seeds, respectively, are head-and-shoulders above the rest of the field as far as their Wimbledon odds to win the title. John McEnroe said this week that not only are these three the best three players in the game, but they are the best three players in the game EVER! With Federer holding down the top spot in major singles titles won with 20, and Nadal trailing by two with 18 titles and Djokovic with 15 titles in third place, it’s not something you can argue with, even if you throw in Rod Laver with 11 majors and Pete Sampras with 14 majors. These three players have a firm grip on the top of the men’s tennis world and don’t seem willing to surrender any ground to the younger generation.
Looking at the Wimbledon careers of these three all-time greats, Federer has the best record with eight titles, but he is fast-approaching his 38th birthday next month. He last won at SW19 in 2017 when he beat Marin Cilic in the final for his eighth title. To boot, he has won 19 career grass court tournaments, which is more than doubles Djokovic (five) and Nadal (four) combined! He will have to potentially tangle with Nadal in the semifinals and even though they will play on grass, Nadal’s brutal straight-set dismissal in the French Open semifinals may still be fresh in him mind.
Nadal has won Wimbledon twice, but not since 2010 and of the “Big Three” he has had the least amount of success of the Wimbledon grass. After winning his 12th career French Open title last month, he took the grass court season completely off (although he practiced on the grass of his native Mallorca). At age 33, the years are also piling up on him, but one thing is for sure, he will not give up until the last ball on the last point of his tournament is hit.
Djokovic, age 32, is not only the top seed and defending champion, but also has the easier draw to the final without Federer or Nadal to contend with. He has plenty of positive memories at the AELTC to draw from his four singles titles on Centre Court. Experts will point to the big-serving Canadian and former Wimbledon singles finalist Milos Raonic as his potential semifinal opponent. Djokovic has won Wimbledon four times.