Sebastian Korda ATP WImbledon

Wimbledon 2023: Eight men who could be a surprise winner

Through a combination of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, it’s fair to say that Wimbledon has not been a happy hunting ground for surprise male winners in recent history.

Those three players, along with Rafael Nadal of course, have dominated The Championships for the last 20 years and Djokovic is a strong favourite to do it again this year.

However, historically Wimbledon has thrown up surprise winners, perhaps more than any other Grand Slam. Who could forget the fresh faced Boris Becker in 1985, or Goran Ivanisevic winning as a wild card in 2001?

We nearly got a new surprise winner in Nick Kyrgios last year as well don’t forget. So, who are the players most likely to spring a surprise at Wimbledon 2023?

Sebastian Korda

Age: 22
Best Wimbledon: R4 (2021)

American men’s tennis is threatening something of a renaissance right now, and it may well prove to be Sebastian Korda who leads the charge.

Korda’s game is very conducive to grass and his Wimbledon record so far proves it. He has only played one edition (2021), but he beat Alex De Minaur and Dan Evans before narrowly losing to Karen Khachanov in the fourth-round five-set thriller.

He should be seeded this year too, and you can guarantee he is a player that everyone will be hoping to avoid in the draw.

Tommy Paul

Age: 26
Best Wimbledon: R4 (2022)

Paul is another of the impressive new wave of American talent sweeping the men’s game. It has taken him a little longer that others to really arrive, but this year has seen him break into the top 20 for the first time and few would begrudge him it.

He should be even higher too given his points don’t include his performance at Wimbledon last year, which saw him play nine perfect sets of tennis before running into semi-final-bound Cameron Norrie.

Paul has beaten the likes of Denis Shapovalov and Jannik Sinner on grass as well, so no one will be taking him lightly.

Maxime Cressy

Maxime Cressy backhand


Age: 26
Best Wimbledon: R2 (2022)

These days it often feels hard to find players who can even cope with grass courts, never mind an actual specialist. That is what Maxime Cressy appears to be, though.

Many would describe Cressy as a ‘tennis throwback’ but they used to have a different name and it’s one synonymous with Wimbledon: A serve-volleyer. The Paris-born American has a big serve and aggressive return, which are big weapons in SW19.

He beat Felix Auger-Aliassime at Wimbledon last year before losing to Jack Sock, but he also reached a grass final (Eastbourne) and won a title too (Newport).

Ben Shelton

Age: 20
Best Wimbledon: None

Ben Shelton is a young man making big waves in the ATP this year. He finished May last year ranked number 547 in the world, yet he headed into the 2023 French Open as the world number 35.

The 2023 grass season will be his first on ATP Tour, so he has no track record to speak of. However, his grass court credentials are certainly impressive.

Shelton is a huge server and because he is also left-handed he can create angles and action on the ball that adds even more punch to it. Shelton also has a thirst for coming to the net, so while he will be a new name to many Wimbledon fans this year, he is certainly one to watch.

Brandon Nakashima

Brendon Nakashima

Age: 21
Best Wimbledon: R4 (2022)

Brandon Nakashima is yet another young American who is making his presence felt, and he will be hopeful of impressing again at Wimbledon.

His career statistics, limited as they may be at such an early stage of his career, suggests grass is his best surface and much of that is down to a fine SW19 showing last year.

He reached the last 16 and at one stage looked very likely to go even further. Nick Kyrgios eventually overpowered him in the fifth set of the fourth round, but it was the toughest test the Australian faced on his way to the final by far.

Jason Kubler

Age: 30
Best Wimbledon: R4 (2022)

Injuries have largely decimated the career of Jason Kubler, but the Australian showed last year that he is a force to be reckoned with on grass.

Kubler was a qualifier in 2022 but was able to go all the way to the fourth round before running out of steam against Taylor Fritz, who was enjoying his own best ever Grand Slam performance.

Before that, though, Kubler knocked out Dan Evans and Jack Sock, two players who are incredibly comfortable on grass, and he showed his credentials again in beating Auger-Aliassime in Newport the following month en-route to the semi-finals.

Botic Van de Zandschulp

Age: 27
Best Wimbledon: R4 (2022)

Botic van de Zandschlup has been recognised as a very solid all-rounder for some time now and the top players are never pleased to see him in their section of the draw.

The Dutchman is a former US Open quarter-finalist but he showed his quality on grass last year. He was a semi-finalist at Queen’s and it took a dominant performance from eventual champion Matteo Berrettini to prevent him going further.

He then had a fine Wimbledon, beating Feliciano Lopez, Emil Ruusuvouri and Richard Gasquet before falling to Rafael Nadal in the last 16.

Emil Ruusuvuori

Age: 24
Best Wimbledon: R2 (2022)

Speaking of Ruusuvuori, the Finn is definitely a player with some momentum who looks primed for some kind of significant breakthrough.

He is found a little bit of consistency in 2023 and has some notable wins against the likes of Frances Tiafoe, Alexander Bubli and Roberto Bautista Agut this year.

He is yet to prove his grass court credentials, but the signs are that it is just a matter of time before they emerge.

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.