2024 Wimbledon Men's Seed Report: Here Comes the Next Generation (2024)

Like most transitions in life, the shift in tennis power happens gradually, then suddenly. Roger Federer is retired. Rafael Nadal has taken a gentle pass. Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are hanging on by strings, alas, literally. And so it is that—for the first time in more than 20 years—none of the Big Four is favored to win Wimbledon.

But here comes the next generation. The defending champion and winner of the previous major, Carlos Alcaraz. The new No.1 and winner of the major before that, Jannik Sinner. And 126 other men of varying ages, nationalities, styles and grass court aptitude. And, of course, Djokovic cannot be dismissed even if he is physically compromised and 37 years old.

Which is to say, there are plenty of storylines focussing on the present; and on those present. We will miss the Big Four when the run-of-show officially ends. But there remain compelling narratives, personalities and potential rivals. And if Alcaraz wins his fourth major next month—as we brazenly predict—that wouldn’t be the worst thing for the sport either.

1. Jannik Sinner

Your new No.1—and winner of the year’s first major, as well as a grass court event last week. He took a small step back in Paris, losing a semifinal semi-classic to Alcaraz. And he was weirdly absent last year against Djokovic—but that was the old Sinner. This guy—provided he’s healthy—could easily win the title. Especially if he is pulling off points like this in the process:

YES, he did it AGAIN

😨🔥 pic.twitter.com/GqHhLtfCMi

— José Morgado (@josemorgado) June 20, 2024

2. Novak Djokovic

It’s a testament both to his perseverance and to medical science that he is even in the draw, mere weeks after knee surgery. An eighth title—which would tie him with Federer—seems unlikely. And he has not reached a final (much less won a title) in 2024. Bet against him at your peril. But objectively …

3. Carlos Alcaraz

Your Roland Garros champion. Your defending Wimbledon champion. Your gravitational center of men’s tennis at the moment. It’s hard to pick against him. Life is his beanbag right now. Three majors into an inevitable Hall of Fame career, he remains the antithesis of jaded. It’s a pleasure to behold.

4. Alexander Zverev

He came within a set of winning the title in Paris which is both a source of optimism and concern. A silly tennis heuristic: German (and Dutch) players play well on grass. But Zverev is only 13–7 for his career at SW19 and has never ventured beyond Round 4. And what is the residual scar tissue from the French?

5. Daniil Medvedev

Not dissimilar to Zverev—they have the exact same number of Wimbledon match wins—the hard court skills haven’t always translated to grass. He’s always good theater, but, three years since his lone major, is Medvedev turning into an also-ran?

6. Andrey Rublev

A cut-and-paste from the drafts folder: “This will sound harsher than intended. But there’s an element of counterfeit here. A top-flight player, week in, and week out. A fine member of the society, his penchant for self-flagellation notwithstanding. But has yet to show he has the metal and physical durability to get it done in the best-of-five events.”

7. Hubert Hurkacz

Let's start with trivia: Who was the last player to beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon? Here’s your guy. The elephant gun serve will militate in favor of his being a contender. The issues he has closing big matches will militate against his being a contender.

8. Casper Ruud

Let’s start by accentuating the positive: The idea that he is a plus-one, a benign interloper in the game’s exclusive parties? That’s no longer a legitimate point. His 100+ match wins and three major finals—and a stomach-addled semifinal run at Roland Garros—over the last 25 months are splendid. But his grass aptitude—and attitude—remains highly questionable. He has two career wins at Wimbledon. If he’s not golfing by the middle weekend, it will mark a triumph.

2024 Wimbledon Men's Seed Report: Here Comes the Next Generation (1)

9. Alex de Minaur

The glossy Aussie is coming off a fine run at Roland Garros, now de Minaur can transition to a surface that will reward his quickness, slick movement and professionalism. Some real grass bona fides here. Can he win? Probably not. Can he advance beyond his seeding (i.e. reach the semis)? Potentially. But is he likely to lose to anyone beneath him? No

10. Grigor Dimitrov

It’s been a fine year overall for the Bulgarian vet (now 33? Can that be right?). On the right day, his easy-on-the-eyes game can match anyone’s. And we all know the emotional tug. But there’s too much delta in his game (and mental fitness) to make him a reliable contender in a best-of-five event. Trivia: In 2008, the year Nadal beat Federer in the classic final, Dimitrov was the junior champ.

11. Stefanos Tstisipas

The 25-year-old suffers when time is taken from him. He’s shown he can play on a fast court, but not so much on grass. And then there’s the paternal propinquity issue.

12. Tommy Paul

As a wise man recently put it: “Looks like the early year @TommyPaul1 train is back on track after it was interrupted by the ankle. Looking good TP. Roll.” The highest-ranked American is coming off the title in Queens and has the athleticism to be a real noisemaker.

13. Taylor Fritz

Fritz seems to have settled into a bit of a professional cul de sac. He wins most of the matches he should win. He loses most of those he should. It's curious he was a quarterfinalist in 2022 (losing to an injured Nadal); and a Round 2 loser to Mikael Ymer (who is no longer an active player) in ’23. He has a potentially tricky first-rounder vs. Chris O’Connell.

14. Ben Shelton

It has been a bit of a disappointing grass court campaign for Shelton, a player whose athleticism and high-octane serve/game should, notionally, benefit from the surface.

15. Holger Rune

Something is—if not rotten—amiss in the state of Denmark. The talent is undeniable. And bear in mind he was born the same month as Alcaraz, so there is no crisis. But a lot of drama and personnel churn here. And, more concerning, he is a health question.

16. Ugo Humbert

The Frenchman sneaks in with the all-important 16th seeding. He’s lost three of his five grass matches this season (including a three-setter to Roberto Bautista Agut this week).

2024 Wimbledon Men's Seed Report: Here Comes the Next Generation (2)

Select seeds 17-32

17. Felix Auger-Aliassime

He has all the tools to be a threat. They just have not quite yet coalesced.

20. Sebastian Korda

The American continues to tantalize with game and results (including a tune-up win over Paul and a Hertogenbosch final appearance). Not unlike FAA, when does he put it together?

23. Alexander Bublik

Your guess is as good as anyone’s, his included.

27. Tallon Griekspoor

He showed so much versatility and flair for 4.9 sets against Zverev in Paris, and about 1.5 sets against Sinner last week. How is he coping with the disappointment of failing to close?

28. Jack Draper

Currently the No. 6 contender with the oddsmakers? Really? Then again, anyone who wins a tune-up—and beats Alcaraz—gets an automatic nod. There is so much to like, from the easy lefty power to steady Wayne Ferreira in the coaching box. Can he adjust to the Wimbledon expectations that befall all Brits? Can he adjust to the best-of-five format?

29. Francis Tiafoe

A player who is so easy to like personally, he seeks to end a vertiginous decline …

32. Zhizhen Zhang

The 27-year-old is a big striker and becoming more match-tough. His run to the Halle semifinals included a win over Medvedev.

2024 Wimbledon Men's Seed Report: Here Comes the Next Generation (3)

Tomas Machac: Czech him out. He has so much power—that ought to serve him well on grass.

Chris Eubanks: Last year’s breakthrough star is back on grass (and, less happily, back to defending a considerable haul of points).

Arthur Fils: No artifice here. The French phenom is in search of a major breakthrough.

Jordan Thompson/Max Purcell: One of the Aussies will make it to Week 2.

Matteo Berrettini: The former Wimbledon finalist would be seeded but for his injury-driven ranking.

Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard: Your 2024 Wimbledon champion. Just kidding. Or perhaps not. A 6’8”, 20-year-old whose grass campaign included a win over Shelton.

Billy Harris: Just to cover our bases.

Matches to watch

Machac vs. Murray: Assuming it happens.

Korda vs. Davidovich Fokina

Thanasi Kokkinakis vs. Auger-Aliassime

Adrian Mannarino vs. Gaël Monfils: The French 35-and-older championship.

Sinner vs. Berrettini: A potential Round 2 matchup.

2024 Wimbledon Men's Seed Report: Here Comes the Next Generation (4)

Denia Shapovalov d. Nicolás Jarry

Brandon Nakashima d. Sebastian Baez

Semis

Hurkacz d. Draper

Alcaraz d. Sinner

Alcaraz d. Hurkacz

2024 Wimbledon Men's Seed Report: Here Comes the Next Generation (2024)
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