Kyrgios was the most difficult foe Federer has faced all year, those two losses to cupcakes notwithstanding. If not for the question marks over his hip—he took a grotesque fall in his first match on turf and had to withdraw—or general mental stability, you could pencil him in for the quarterfinals at worst. Wimbledon offers the ideal grounds for him to loose firecracker aces and winners all over the court, or exploit his bone-deep feel for the ball with net play. The guy famously said he hates running, and the surface, with its staccato points, doesn’t demand too much of that from its best players. Should a focused and healthy Nick Kyrgios somehow materialize and not disintegrate for the next two weeks, you could count on Jason Pierre-Paul’s hand the players equipped to end his run.


Best Wimbledon result: Quarterfinal in 2014, 2015

Record versus Federer (on grass): 1-1 (0-0)

Could face Federer in: Final

Novak Djokovic

He still seems shook. Yesterday he followed a rabidly paranoid Instagram account dedicated to the “End Times” and exposing Illuminati. He’s sunk to the No. 4 seed after a dull season plagued by miscellaneous doubts, he was turned to ash at the French Open, and he doesn’t seem like he’s quite ready to do it. But, then again, maybe he will do it. Candidly, I’m tired of watching Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon. At least this time it would happen, if it needs to happen, before the finals.


Best Wimbledon result: Won in 2011, 2014, 2015

Record versus Federer (on grass): 23-22 (2-1)

Could face Federer in: Semifinal

Various Tall Men

Tomas Berdych has always been capable of ruining Roger’s day, and came precariously close to doing so at Miami. Marin Cilic made the final at Queen’s and seems to suck no longer. Milos Raonic, who dispatched Federer from the semifinals of Wimbledon last year, has returned from injury. All of these large fellows serve big and smite the ball on their groundstrokes. But: just make them run, Roger.


Best Wimbledon result: Final 2016 (Raonic)

Combined record versus Federer (on grass): 10-33 (2-5)

Could face Federer in: Quarterfinal (Berdych)

Alexander Zverev

This 20-year-old is tall too, and the grass, with all its low and unpredictable bounces, is not particularly kind to the long-legged baseline grinder. At six-foot-six his serve is not the beast it will one day be. Roger Federer handily broke it, and him, at Halle last week. Zverev is a future No. 1 player, with a handful of Wimbledon victories in his wide-open future; it’s just too hard to envision that 2017 is one of them.


Best Wimbledon result: Third round in 2016

Record versus Federer (on grass): 1-2 (1-1)

Could face Federer in: Semifinal

Grigor Dimitrov

Even if you’ve never heard of this man, within a few minutes of watching him, something should look uncannily familiar. This Bulgarian does the most technically sound Roger impersonation the world over, with much less to show for it. So-called Baby Fed tore through the beginning of the season, inspiring some viewers—including this one—to start frothing about his potential, but, in line with the overall pattern of his career, he’s fallen short of those expectations ever since. At his rare peak, he’s a silken trickster, floating around and shot-making like the man he brazenly based his game on. Still won’t beat him, and never has.


Best Wimbledon result: Semifinal 2014

Record versus Federer (on grass): 0-5 (0-0)

Could face Federer in: Fourth round