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Novak Djokovic Wimbledon draw analysis: Serbian handed tough test at SW19

WIMBLEDON DRAW ANALYSIS: Novak Djokovic handed a tough test in SW19.
Novak Djokovic - tough Wimbledon draw

Wimbledon never properly feels like it’s here until the draw has been made, and Novak Djokovic has now found out his potential path to a seventh title.

Djokovic has won the last three editions of Wimbledon, beating Kevin Anderson, Roger Federer and Matteo Berrettini in the finals.

He has also not been defeated on Centre Court for nine years, so he is the clear and obvious favourite.

How kind, though, has the draw been to him?

Toughest quarter

The first thing to say here is that it is going to take an absolutely colossal effort from someone to beat Novak Djokovic in a best-of-five sets match at Wimbledon. Even Roger Federer only managed to do it once in four attempts.

However, you’d have to say that Djokovic has been handed the toughest section of the draw in the men’s singles.

It’s fair to say that Soonwoo Kwon shouldn’t pose him any problems at all in round one, and nor should either Thanasi Kokkinakis or Kamil Majchrzak in the second round. Kokkinakis can be dangerous if he starts landing his serves, but better servers than him have been swept away by Djokovic’s return.

An all-Serbian clash against Miomir Kecmanovic or a battle against Australian warrior John Millman looks likeliest in round three. Both look tricky, but neither daunting.

RELATED: Rafael Nadal Wimbledon draw analysis: Semi-final spectre of Matteo Berrettini looms large

The fourth round could get a lot more testing for Djokovic, though. There, he will probably face Nikoloz Basilashvili or Reilly Opelka. Both are huge hitters of the ball possessing genuine power. On a fast Wimbledon court, that will test even Djokovic’s movement.

Quarterfinal opponent is anyone’s guess

The section of the Wimbledon draw from which Novak Djokovic’s quarterfinal opponent will come looks stacked to say the least.

For starters, Carlos Alcaraz is in there. Alcaraz is having a genuine breakthrough season and beat both Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in Madrid. He is a bit of an unknown quantity on grass, but let’s not pretend he wasn’t someone no one wanted in their section.

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Andy Murray is in there too. If Djokovic runs into Murray in the last eight, then it means the Brit has most likely beaten Carlos Alcaraz to get there. Basically, if Murray is in the kind of form he showed in Stuttgart, then he is a huge danger in this draw – even to Djokovic.

Stan Wawrinka is in that section too, although he looks a long way from the player who won three majors right now. However, with Jannik Sinner, John Isner and Oscar Otte in there as well, you can just about guarantee Djokovic a tough quarterfinal.

Hurkacz the man to avoid in the semis

Should Djokovic get through what is sure to be a difficult quarterfinal, things could, ironically, get a little more comfortable for him in the semis.

Third seed Casper Ruud is the top-ranked player in that quarter of the draw, but serious questions exist over his ability to transfer his fine clay game to grass.

Hurkbert Hurkacz looks a much more dangerous potential semi-final opponent. He beat Roger Federer in the quarterfinals last year – admittedly when Federer was on one leg – and he won Halle earlier this month.

That was a strong field in Germany, so he has to be seen as a serious contender for Wimbledon.

Rafa or Berrettini in final

If Novak Djokovic did get a stroke of luck in the Wimbledon draw, it was avoiding Matteo Berrettini.

The Italian has been brilliant on grass over the last two seasons and he heads to Wimbledon on the back of winning both Stuttgart and Halle.

The good news, if you’re a Novak Djokovic fan, is that Berrettini is basically Rafael Nadal’s problem for the time-being.

Looking at that half of the draw, though, it’s definitely the weaker of the two and it’s hard to imagine anyone but Nadal or Berrettini being the player to come through it.

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