The 136th Wimbledon Championships begins tomorrow (3rd July) as 256 singles players compete to claim the oldest and most prestigious title in the sport. On the lush lawns of SW19, talk has began about whom are the favourites to win the Championships in 2023.
In this article will list some of the favourites for this year’s tournament in both the Men’s and Women’s Singles over the upcoming fortnight.
The Seven-time champion returns hoping to capture the third leg of a would-be Grand Slam at SW19 over the next two weeks. Whilst the Serb has struggled with injuries this year, he has been immaculate at the Slams this year claiming both the Australian and French Open titles already in 2023. Djokovic has had a remarkable record at the Championships as he looks to claim a record-equalling 8th Championship and a 5th consecutive title, equalling Roger Federer for both records. (Bjorn Borg also won five straight titles between 1976-80.)
The 36-year-old will open the Centre Court Programme on Monday against Argentine Pedro Cachin but could run into some trouble later into the event where he could play old rival Stan Wawrinka in the 3rd Round. He also hasn’t played any grass-court warm-up events coming into Wimbledon although that hasn’t been an issue in the past.
He goes in as the odds-on favourite despite being seeded No.2 for this year’s event but there are others in the tournament who will believe it is their turn to take the title. Starting with…
The top seed and current World Number 1 will hope to claim a second Grand Slam title following last September’s victory at the US Open. Injuries have affected Alcaraz’s season and prevented him from competing at the Australian Open and in the semi-finals of the French Open so he comes to Wimbledon with a point to prove.
The Spaniard lost in the 4th Round to Italian Jannik Sinner in 2022 but has shown that his game adapts exceptionally well for the grass courts following his success at the Queen’s Club Championships last week. At the age of 20, he is attempting to become the youngest player to win 2 majors since Rafael Nadal in 2006. He becomes the first player outside of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer or Andy Murray to be the top seed at Wimbledon since Lleyton Hewitt back in 2003.
Alcaraz opens up against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy but could run into the man he beat in the Queen’s Club Final, Alex de Minaur or former World Number 2 Alexander Zverev in Round 4. He has been dealt a tough draw but his confidence on grass will be much higher than it was 2 weeks ago.
The former World Number 1 comes to Wimbledon like Alcaraz looking for his 2nd Major Championship at the event where he first made a name for himself.
Medvedev back in 2017 scored his first-ever Grand Slam Match Win at Wimbledon over then-ranked Number 3 Wawrinka and since then has established himself as one of the leading players over the past 4 years. The highlight of his career was ending Djokovic’s hopes of a Grand Slam by beating him to win the 2021 US Open and this season, after slipping down to No.12 in the rankings after the Australian Open has gone on a tear winning in Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai, Miami and Rome getting himself back up to Number 2 on a temporary basis and comes to Wimbledon as the 3rd seed. He has won 20 titles already in his career, incredibly in 20 different cities.
The one thing is that his recent record in Grand Slams needs to improve. Since his collapse against Nadal in the final of the Australian Open in 2022. Medvedev has gone 4th Round, 4th Round, 3rd Round, 1st Round at the 4 majors that he has played since. He has also not gone beyond the 4th Round at Wimbledon in his career.
He opens up against British Wildcard Arthur Fery in the first round but after that, he could face Adrian Mannarino who beat him on the grass at ‘s-Hertogenbosch earlier in the grass-court swing. In form American Tommy Paul could also be waiting in the 4th Round as well as former finalist Milos Raonic.
The Monte-Carlo Champion will aim to take the next step in trying to capture his first major title at SW19.
Rublev has been a consistent player over the next few years and will now be hoping to break through the Quarter-Final barrier that he has struggled with over his career. He has reached the last 8 of a Grand Slam on 7 occasions but has been unable to go any further than that. But with his aggressive game style, he can beat anyone on his day, in particular with his flat groundstrokes which will have extra force on grass.
Whilst he has never gone beyond the 4th round at Wimbledon, this will be only his fourth Wimbledon Championship and his win in Monte-Carlo has proven that he can win on the bigger stages which was something that people were questioning in the past. He also reached the final in Halle earlier in the grass court swing so he is showing some good form on the grass.
On the other hand, he has been given a tough draw with last year’s runner-up Nick Kyrgios lurking in the 3rd Round providing he is fit enough to play. He could also play the man whom he lost to in the final of Halle in Alexander Bublik in the 4th Round but with his new-found confidence from his Monte-Carlo win, he is one to watch.
Last year’s semi-finalist will again be carrying British hopes at SW19 last year.
Norrie achieved a lot of breakthroughs at last year’s event, winning his first 3rd Round, 4th Round and Quarter-Final matches at Grand Slam level. He has continued to hover around the fringes of the top 10 ever since then, reaching a career-high ranking of Number 8 in September last year. He has continued his success into 2023 by beating Alcaraz in the final of Rio back in February having lost to him, the week before in Argentina. He struggled during the clay-court swing for the most part but did pick up a couple of wins at Queen’s on the grass and is one of the toughest players to play on the tour with his flat backhand which can skid through the grass which could make him one to watch at Wimbledon.
Saying that he does have a tough draw with Seb Korda (whom he lost to at Queen’s) waiting for him in the 3rd Round possibly.
The Dane has continued his form following his breakout victory at the Paris Masters in November in 2023 and is confident of claiming his first major at SW19.
Rune reached the finals of both Monte-Carlo and Rome in the clay-court swing, losing to Rublev and Medvedev respectively. He also won his first grass-court matches at Queen’s Club in reaching the semi-finals before losing to de Minaur. However, he has only reached two quarter-finals at the Grand Slam level both at the French Open losing to Casper Ruud both times and lost in the first round at Wimbledon last year. But he has come on leaps and bounds in the last 12 months so he could be one to watch.
The current World Number 1 arrives at Wimbledon, fresh off claiming her 3rd French Open Title in 4 years and will be looking to claim a first Wimbledon title this fortnight.
A former junior Champion, Swiatek has struggled on grass in the past, her best result at Wimbledon was reaching the 4th Round back in 2021. However, she did show some signs of improvement on the grass when she reached the semi-finals at Bad Homberg before withdrawing due to sickness. Her recent record at the majors has been remarkable, as she has won 3 out of the last 5 majors including last year’s US Open where she defeated Ons Jabeur in the final.
It will just be her recent record on grass, which will need to improve in order for her to capture a 5th Major Title.
The defending champion returns to the stage of her greatest triumph as she aims to become the first woman to defend the title since Serena Williams back in 2016.
Rybakina stormed back to beat Jabeur 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in last year’s final and will hope to continue what has been a fine 2023 season so far. She reached the final of the Australian Open, losing to Aryna Sabalenka before winning both of the Indian Wells and Rome titles at the Masters 1000 level as well as reaching the final in Miami.
She has though been struggling with illness ever since the French Open in which she had to withdraw after 2 matches and she has been given a difficult draw with Shelby Rogers, Alize Cornet, Katie Boulter and Tatjana Maria all possibly in her way before the Quarter-Finals. But if she is playing well, she will be very tough to beat on grass.
The Australian Open Champion is not only seeking the Wimbledon Championship this fortnight but also the World Number 1 Ranking.
Sabalenka defeated Rybakina in the final of the Australian Open and has since, claimed the title in Madrid as well as reaching the final in Indian Wells. She has also reached the Semi-Finals at Wimbledon in 2021 and has a consistent hard-hitting game which on her day, means that she could beat anyone in the world.
However, it will be important to see how she recovers from her loss to Karolina Muchova at the French Open where she had a match point in the Semi-Finals and lost. If she can get over that, she is one to watch.
The 2-time champion is enjoying a return to form in 2023 and will be seeking to end a 9-year wait for a 3rd Wimbledon Title.
Kvitova claimed the title in Miami on extremely quick courts and is coming into Wimbledon, fresh of winning the tournament in Berlin where she didn’t lose a set in the entire event. With her history at the Championships and her recent form, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if she is able to claim the Championship this year.
Last year’s Runner-Up will hope to go one stage further in 2023.
Jabeur made a breakthrough by reaching last year’s final before losing to Rybakina and she then followed that up by making the US Open final in September and reaching the Number 2 ranking. Whilst she has struggled with injuries this year, she did reach the Quarter-Finals at the French Open this year and has a game that is well-suited to the grass courts of SW19. If she can stay fit and take the confidence from her run, last year, she could definitely go one better than she did 12 months ago.