5 men to beat at Wimbledon 2016

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will once again do battle for tennis's most coveted trophy. Who will come out on top?

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The Home Favourite. World ranking: 2

Murray has had an amazing clay-court season — the best of his career by a long way — and will fancy his chances even more on grass. It’s a better surface for him; he’s beaten Djokovic on the two occasions they have played on grass. Also, the home crowd lifts him and puts more pressure on his opponent. Not that Andy, 29, shies away from confrontation: if he’s the crowd’s “bad guy” on court, he can play it that way, too, whether it’s against French players in Paris or Americans in New York.

From a playing point of view, when you’re at home, you really have to do a good job controlling the things you can. All the talk in newspapers and television is outside your control. If you’re a good player winning matches, everything else just takes care of itself. 

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The Bad Boy. World ranking: 19

The 21-year-old Australian has a fine record on grass, reaching the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2014 aged just 19. He has probably said and done a few things that he regrets, but he’s maturing as a person and is a great talent.

His game is suited to grass, being very aggressive. He sets up the point with a big serve, but he’s deceptive from the back of the court, too, and reads the game well. The ability is there; it’s about keeping the consistency mentally for five-set matches over a two-week period. 

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The Champion. World ranking: 1

Yet again, Djokovic has taken the game to a new level. Any tournament he plays in, on any surface, he is going to be the favourite.

He is only the third player in history to hold all four grand slam titles at the same time, but you have to remember that when Rod Laver last did it in 1969, three of the four grand slams were played on grass. Djokovic has had to do it on grass, clay and hard courts.

Roger Federer is still for me the best-ever male player, because he has won 17 grand slam titles. But Djokovic, at 29, is closing that gap fast (the French Open took him to 12), and it will be interesting to see if he can stay injury-free and overtake that number. 

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The Next Big Brit. World ranking: 85

Another British player, 21-year-old Kyle is certainly moving in the right direction. He’s still pretty raw at the highest level, but he has a great work ethic. If he keeps doing the right things he will be a top 50 player before long, and it will be interesting to see how far he can go from there.

Playing alongside Murray in the Davis Cup really helps. The training they have done together and the practising at tournaments have been highly beneficial. They show him the areas of his game where he needs to improve. Andy has been a big influence on him.

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The Dark Horse. World ranking: 9

The Canadian has John McEnroe in his corner this year, working as coach and consultant during the tournament. It will be interesting to see what impact he can have. He’s not going to teach 25-year-old Raonic how to hit new shots, but his experience and knowledge of the game are incredible.

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Raonic needs to play to his strengths, so having somebody like McEnroe in your corner has got to be a positive. It’s a very short period of time to have an impact, but Raonic has played well on grass, and a lot more people are going to be looking out for his results now.