By Ros Satar, in Wimbledon + Special Guests

  • It’s Britwatch versus… the world?
  • Special Guests: George Bellshaw, Giulio Gasparin, Anne-Marie Batson, Adam Addicott, Chris Oddo
  • Who will win the ultimate Britwatch bragging rights?
WIMBLEDON, UK – The Britwatch Prediction Challenge Cup is back – who will be the King (or indeed Queen) of the Turf?

 

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ATP WTA
Champion Dark Horse Shocker Champions Dark Horse Shocker Brits
Ros (18) Djokovic Kyrgios Dimitrov (4) Kvitova Serena Svitolina (4) Edmund R3 (1)

Norrie R1 (1)

L Broady R1 (1)

Clarke R1 (1)

Konta R4

Watson R1 (1)

Boulter R2 (1)

N Broady R1 (1)

Dart R1 (1)

Dunne R1 (1)

Swan R2 (1)

Taylor R2

George (19) Federer Djokovic Thiem (4) Muguruza Sharapova Stephens (5) Edmund R3 (1)

Norrie R3

L Broady R1 (1)

Clarke R1 (1)

Konta R4

Watson R1 (1)

Boulter R2 (1)

N Broady R1 (1)

Dart R1 (1)

Dunne R1 (1)

Swan R2 (1)

Taylor R1 (1)

Anne-Marie (8) Federer Djokovic Shapovalov Kvitova Serena Goerges Edmund R3 (1)

Norrie R2

L Broady R1 (1)

Clarke R1 (1)

Konta R4

Watson R2

Boulter R2 (1)

N Broady R1

Dart R1 (1)

Dunne R1 (1)

Swan R2 (1)

Taylor R2

Chris (18) Cilic Djokovic Dimitrov (4) Serena Azarenka Svitolina (4) Edmund R3 (1)

Norrie R2

L Broady R1 (1)

Clarke R1 (1)

Konta R2 (1)

Watson R1 (1)

Boulter R2 (1)

N Broady R1 (1)

Dart R1 (1)

Dunne R1 (1)

Swan R1

Taylor R1 (1)

Adam (15) Federer Djokovic Sock (2) Halep Serena Stephens (5) Edmund R3 (1)

Norrie R2

L Broady R1 (1)

Clarke R1 (1)

Konta R4

Watson R2

Boulter R2 (1)

N Broady R1 (1)

Dart R1 (1)

Dunne R1 (1)

Swan R1

Taylor R1 (1)

Giulio (14) Cilic Vesely (1) Schwartzman (2) Kvitova Flipkens Venus (1) Edmund R3 (1)

Norrie R1 (1)

L Broady R1 (1)

Clarke R1 (1)

Konta R4

Watson R1 (1)

Boulter R2 (1)

N Broady R1 (1)

Dart R1 (1)

Dunne R1 (1)

Swan R1

Taylor R1 (1)

 

Ros Satar – Chief Tennis Scribe, Britwatch Sports

Petra Kvitova in the second round of the Nature Valley Classic, WTA Birmingham 2018

Petra Kvitova in the second round of the Nature Valley Classic, WTA Birmingham 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

I don’t believe that Roger Federer can win this time around, but he will have a deep run, but I will pick Novak Djokovic for the win. He has come back around into form with his run to the final at Queen’s and while Marin Cilic is also a decent pick for the title – I just think Djokovic is hungry for the title.

On the women’s side I am unashamedly voting with my heart for a Petra Kvitova hat-trick of titles on the turf. But with the return of Serena Williams as a seed no less – well anything can happen. What will not happen is for Elina Svitolina to magically break her duck of not making it past the fourth round.

The Brits minus Andy Murray have their hopes pinned on Kyle Edmund, who will probably run into Djokovic in the third round, and while I can see Johanna Konta scrapping her way to the fourth round, I suspect she won’t be able to repeat that thriller we saw last year against World No. 1 Simona Halep. I think Gabriella Taylor could be the one to dent Genie Bouchard’s comeback, but for the rest of the British wild-cards including Naomi Broady drawing defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza, it is early exits all.

 

George Bellshaw – Metro.co.uk

Roger Fededer in the quarter-final of the BNP Paribas Open, ATP Indian Wells 2018

INDIAN WELLS, CA – MARCH 15: Roger Federer of Switzerland in action against Hyeon Chung of Korea during their quarterfinal match at the BNP Paribas Open – Day 11 on March 15, 2018 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

I’m less convinced that Federer will win the title than I was last year, but he’s still the man to beat. Djokovic played very well at Queen’s and has a good shot of making the final, although Nick Kyrgios could easily ruin that prediction. Thiem isn’t great on grass and I think Karen Khachanov has a pretty decent shout of sending him home early or who knows even former finalist Marcos Baghdatis.

Literally no idea who is winning this tournament on the women’s side of things, and, in honesty, my shock exit is probably just as likely to win it as my predicted champion. For no particularly exceptional reason I’ve gone for Muguruza to win and Maria Sharapova as a dark horse. Donna Vekic might beat Sloane Stephens in the first round to bring me home some tasty points, but if she comes through that then I imagine she’ll do very well.

Edmund is Britain’s best bet in the men’s singles but will likely fall short against Djokovic in round three, Broady can pray that Milos Raonic isn’t fully fit but if not, he should be easily swept aside, while Jay Clarke may struggle against Ernests Gulbis. Cameron Norrie isn’t a great grass-court player yet, but he has got a decent draw before the third round so I’ve been generous and guessed he’ll go that far.

There are an awfully large number of British females in the draw, and most of them have absolutely awful first-round match-ups. Broady is facing defending champion Muguruza and would need the result of her life to come through that, while Heather Watson (Kirsten Flipkens), Katy Dunne (Jelena Ostapenko) and Harriet Dart (Karolina Pliskova) may all struggle. Katie Boulter did well in Southsea and has a winnable first-round tie, although it would be a big surprise to see her go beyond Naomi Osaka in round two, while Katie Swan may also get past Irina-Camelia Begu. Taylor has a shot against Bouchard but I suspect the Canadian will still come through.

 

Adam Addicott – UbiTennis

Novak Djokovic in the first round at Roland Garros, 2-018

Novak Djokovic in the first round at Roland Garros, 2-018 | (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Despite a rocky performance in Halle, I am backing Federer to win his ninth Wimbledon title. He seems to elevate his game when he plays at the grand slam and his recent break from the tour is a big advantage for him. I don’t expect to see the top seed get truly tested until at least the fourth round where he could play the talented Borna Coric. Elsewhere, I believe Djokovic will perform better than his current seeding of 12th. He has illustrated good form at Queen’s and has what it takes to go deep into the draw. As for a shock exit, I would be amazed to see Jack Sock win a match given his record on the tour this year.

In the women’s draw, Halep might not have played a grass court match yet, but I think she has what it takes to win Wimbledon. The aggression and intensity in her play at the French Open is something that will prove successful on the grass, as well as her surge in confidence. Now she has a grand slam title to her name, I believe this has only made the Romanian hungry for more. Serena is a player to never write-off as long as she is injury free. I would back the American to reach the second week of the tournament, but I question if she is fit enough to go all the way to the title. In contrast, I feel that Stephens might go out in the first round to Vekic. Vekic can be a dangerous player on the grass and Stephens can sometimes lack consistency on the tour.

Despite Murray’s withdrawal, the tournament is not short of British talent. I expect Edmund to breeze through his first two matches, but I feel that he may be stopped in the third round by Djokovic if the two meet. Djokovic has the greater experience and that could prove pivotal. Norrie may still be a bit rough around the edges with his style of tennis, but he is very talented. He should have no problem against Aljaz Bedene.  For the British women, the home crowd should inspire Konta to battle through the opening week. Although I am unsure that she is at a level where she can defeat Halep, who is a potential fourth round opponent. I am also backing Watson and Boulter to win at least one match in the tournament.

 

Giulio Gasparin – SportFace.it

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – JUNE 15: during Day Seven of the Nature Valley Open at Nottingham Tennis Centre on June 15, 2018 in Nottingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images for LTA)

 

Everybody is wondering whether Federer will be able to repeat the magic of last year and by skipping the clay season take the major on grass. He did not look exceptional in the two tournaments he played beforehand, despite taking a title and final. Will Rafael Nadal take advantage and lift another Wimbledon trophy? I suspect not, while there seems to be quite a positive vibe on Croatian sport these days, so I picked Cilic to go one step further than last year. As for the darkhorse? Hard to pick one, as many of my early choices were all drawn in tough sections, so I went for Jiri Vesely, who knows how to win matches on grass and was drawn next to a seed that is yet to win his first ever: Diego Schwartzman, also my shock exit.

This Wimbledon seems to be Kvitova’s to lose: a story that may seem incredible given the happenings we all know about from the recent past. However, the Czech feels home like nowhere else in Wimbledon and her form is as hot as it gets. Halep’s here with nothing to prove, but also no grass practice and her draw is far from kind, while Caroline Wozniacki, despite two titles in Eastbourne, is yet to get past R4 in South West London. Venus Williams, on the other hand, has always found inspiring tennis on these courts, but this year she seems far from the form that got her to the final 12 months ago. But don’t get me wrong, age brings experience and that’s why I picked Kirsten Flipkens as a darkhorse: she is hitting form and her old-fashioned slice and net game are a winning recipe on grass

Honestly speaking, none of the Brits has got a favourable draw and for once that the young women who got the Wild Cards are coming strong of some good wins in the past weeks, their early matches seem very unkind. Even the most experienced of the team, Konta, has not been given the most favourable of draws and I gave her a R4 because of her sturdy attitude and ability to play well on home soil, because elsewhere I wouldn’t see her going this far.

 

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