Federer a major threat
A year ago I didn't think Roger Federer had another major tournament win in him. But with the way he played at the French Open, making the finals, Federer stamped himself as the man most likely to win Wimbledon.
Federer will turn 30 next month, and his occasional crankiness lately after losses seems to show that the man who already owns the most Grand Slam titles in history — 16 — needs to win another.
It's always difficult to pick against a Williams sister at Wimbledon. But Serena has played two matches since she won here last year and Venus not much more. Maria Sharapova has won Wimbledon once and was a healthy and aggressive hitter at the French Open. This might be her time to take a stand against the Williams Wimbledon wall.
Sharapova looks sharp
The Williams sisters, winners of nine of the last 11 Wimbledons, will add drama and glamor. But Serena has played one event since winning here last year, while Venus is just as rusty.
Top-ranked Rafael Nadal, a finalist or winner in his last four Wimbledons, has a minefield to dodge just to reach the semis. Andy Murray can't overcome the British curse. Andy Roddick will be a bridesmaid for the fourth time, only this time he'll lose to Novak Djokovic, who will take out six-time Wimbledon king Roger Federer in the semis.
No stopping Nadal
While it would be fun to see Andy Murray excite the home crowd or Novak Djokovic distinguish himself on the hallowed lawn, we're not ready to look past the Big Two.
Roger Federer proved at the French Open that he's still a force. And Rafael Nadal proved he's still the best in the world. That's why we expect the longtime rivals to advance. And we won't pick against Nadal, not after he's won 14 consecutive matches at Wimbledon.
On the women's side, all eyes will be on defending champion Serena Williams. She's back as the No. 7 seed, and smart tennis analysts believe she can win the tournament.
If Serena shakes off the rust and is on her game, she can buzz through the field.
Stick with Serena
Yes, Serena Williams has just returned to the tour after nearly a year's absence. But so what? She still has the best serve and the fiercest will to win in women's tennis. She'll play her way into top shape — just as she did when she won the Australian Open in 2007 after a long absence.
The dark horse among the women is French Open champion Li Na, who is playing much better with a new coach.
On the men's side, Roger Federer has regained his mojo after he beat Novak Djokovic and nearly downed Rafael Nadal at the French Open. Federer wagged his finger and shouted for joy after he beat Djokovic because he sensed he had finally overcome his yearlong slump.