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Defending champion Novak Djokovic and home favourite Andy Murray go into this year's Championships as the frontrunners

Six men to watch at Wimbledon

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Originally published on 24/06/16 00:00

Milos Raonic (CAN) [6]
Wimbledon Record: 10-5
Best Wimbledon Result: Semi-Final (2014) 
2015 Wimbledon Result: Third Round

2016 Win/Loss: 31-8
Best 2016 Results: Winner Brisbane
First Round opponent: Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP)

Were it not for an adductor injury at this year’s Australian Open, we could have already been describing the Canadian as a Grand Slam finalist. As it is, the world No.7's  best performance at a major was at SW19 two years ago. Having added John McEnroe to this team before last week Raonic made the final at the Aegon Championships and didn’t drop serve for 55 straight games during the week. Joked about wanting a final re-match with Murray, which whilst not being the most likely scenario, is far from out of the question.

Dominic Thiem (AUT) [8]
Wimbledon Record: 1-2
Best Wimbledon Result: Second Round (2015) 
2015 Wimbledon Result: Second Round

2016 Win/Loss: 47-12
Best 2016 Results: Winner Buenos Aires, Acapulco, Nice, Stuttgart
First Round opponent: Florian Mayer (GER)

Far from a Tour veteran, Thiem has matured beyond his years in 2016. Three titles preceding a spectacular run to the last four of Roland Garros have been followed up by a title (Stuttgart) and semi-final appearance (Halle) at his two grass court warm-up events. Victory over Roger Federer in Stuttgart after saving match points grabbed the attention of the tennis world and the 22-year-old will be ready to go again after a week’s rest. The youngest player in the top eight, but far from the least dangerous.

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) [15]
Wimbledon Record: 7-2
Best Wimbledon Result: Quarter-Final 2014
2015 Wimbledon Result: Fourth Round

2016 Win/Loss: 23-9
Best 2016 Results: Winner Marseille
First Round opponent: Radek Stepanek (CZE)

Returning to the site of his most famous career win will excite the Australian, as if he ever needed pumping up for any match on Tour. A big serve and groundstroke combination should see him into the second week, and only then will he have the possibility of meeting a top four seed thanks to an elevated ranking. His last three losses have come against Rafael Nadal, Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic. Not a player any of the big four would relish facing.

Kevin Anderson (RSA) [20]
Wimbledon Record: 9-7
Best Wimbledon Result: Fourth Round 2014 & 2015
2015 Wimbledon Result: Fourth Round

2016 Win/Loss: 3-8 Best
2016 Results: Second Round Nice, Rome & Auckland
First Round opponent: Denis Istomin (UZB)

Still finding his feet again after a long injury lay-off, Anderson almost became every other players’ favourite twelve months ago when he led Djokovic by two sets to love before being unable to halt the Serb’s fightback. A first round Queens defeat wasn’t ideal, but the giant South African did at least come through qualifying to get used to the grass beneath his feet again. Never a push over for those ranked above him and he has major experience after reaching last year’s US Open quarter-finals.

Alexander Zverev (GER) [24]
Wimbledon Record: 1-1
Best Wimbledon Result: Second Round 2015
2015 Wimbledon Result: Second Round

2016 Win/Loss: 27-15
Best 2016 Results: Finalist Halle, Nice
First Round opponent: Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)

The young German made everyone sit up and take notice with victory over Federer in Halle last week, and despite coming up the short in the final the talent potential is unquestionable. Still a relative newcomer to the Grand Slam scene, and yet to win a Tour title, but ‘Sascha’ is only one big scalp away during the fortnight from announcing himself. A kind seeding will hopefully help him ease into the draw, and from there on in, anything could be possible.

Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) [unseeded]
Wimbledon Record: 14-6
Best Wimbledon Result: Semi-Final 2013 2015
Wimbledon Result: Did not play

2016 Win/Loss: 11-7
Best 2016 Results: Semi-Final Delray Beach
First Round opponent: Stephane Robert (FRA)

Quite probably the man every seed wants to avoid in round one. Del Potro extended his injury-forced break from the game in order to be ready to Wimbledon. Despite only playing 18 matches all year, the Argentine, now ranked at 164 in the world, could easily spring a surprise in the first week. It will be his first appearance at SW19 since his 2013 semi-final defeat to Djokovic (the longest semi-final in tournament history) and first match at any Grand Slam since the 2014 Australian Open.

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Defending champion Novak Djokovic and home favourite Andy Murray go into this year's Championships as the frontrunners
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