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Pundits' predictions for Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON
Date: 22 June - 5 July
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Roger Federer
Federer is determined to win back the title after defeat by Nadal last year

BBC Sport caught up with a host of tennis experts to get their take on who is going to win the 2009 Wimbledon singles titles.

With champion Rafael Nadal out injured, many pundits have gone for Roger Federer, or a certain Andy Murray.

In the women's draw, Venus and Serena Williams are tipped by many to continue their dominance at the All England Club, but the field is wide open.

A selection of commentators, writers and former players have given us their views on who they think will be victorious in SW19 and an outsider who could go a long way.

Sue Barker, BBC TV presenter

MEN'S
Winner: I'm going to go with Roger Federer and I'm sure most people will because he is fit and happy. I think it would be a wonderful story if he beat Sampras's record of Grand Slam victories on Centre Court, I think he is the greatest ever and would fully deserve it.

Outsider: I was pretty impressed with Lleyton Hewitt at Queen's Club. His ranking has dropped of late, but he was striking the ball so well and I'd love him to have a big run.

WOMEN'S
Winner: I'm never, ever going to write Venus Williams off again. I think she is the best on grass if she is fit, healthy and in form. I think if she gets through the first week she will be the person to beat.

Outsider: Sam Stosur. I think she has one of the best serves in women's tennis, she's an attacker, a great doubles player and getting to the semis of the French was was a major breakthrough for her. One everyone will want to avoid.

Andrew Castle, BBC TV commentator

MEN'S
Winner: I'm going to say Federer, with Murray a very close second. When Federer lost the final at Wimbledon last year, no one would have thought that he would be coming into this year's event having won two out of the last three Grand Slams. With that happiness and that contented feel, who knows what sort of tennis he might play?

Outsider: Look out for Juan Martin del Potro, he has unbelievable ground strokes and he really might fancy it.

WOMEN'S
Winner: I saw Svetlana Kuznetsova win Eastbourne when she was 18 and I thought this girl is going to dominate. She has always struggled with getting over the winning line, but after winning the French she has got to be feeling unbelievably good.

Outsider: Look out for a couple of junior champions from the past couple of years in Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Victoria Azarenka.

Pat Cash, former Wimbledon champion

MEN'S
Winner: I'm going to say Andy Murray. I'm not all that confident about it, but why not! He has such a good record against Federer and he is due for it at some stage. Maybe I'm just optimistic, but I think Federer might be tired and Nadal is injured so I've got a feeling he might do it.

Outsider: I'm going to say Stanislas Wawrinka as he is a good all-round player.

606: DEBATE
FedererWarrior

WOMEN'S
Winner: I'm going for Venus again. She is one of the best two or three athletes I have ever seen on a tennis court and she is so deadly at Wimbledon. The place seems to give her an extra bit of oomph.

Outsider: I certainly don't think Caroline Wozniacki could win the tournament, but I think she could go far as she is a talented young player.

Mark Petchey, BBC TV commentator

MEN'S
Winner: Federer for me is the favourite, especially after what happened at the French Open. In many ways he has got some freedom to play now. The rest speak for themselves - Murray has the capability to win but I don't put him as favourite.

Outsider: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is someone who could definitely come from outside the pack and have a good run at it.

WOMEN'S
Winner: It's very difficult, but if I had to pick I'd be hard pressed to pick between the Williams sisters as a favourite. It is wide open.

Outsider: Wozniacki would be my outsider. She is a player that perhaps the British public don't know a great deal about.

Annabel Croft, former tennis player and BBC analyst

MEN'S
Winner: Nobody knows how Federer is going to respond to winning the French Open. I think he will win, but Murray is right up there. He seems to play a brand of tennis that other players can't grasp, he makes you play worse, make errors and really gets into your head.

Outsider: Del Potro has a huge serve and the improvement that he has made has been immense. He is so exciting to watch and is so calm and collected.

WOMEN'S
Winner: I don't know why I'm tipping Serena as I should be going with Venus, but it's time that Serena pulled through again. She had a bit of a dip yet still won the Australian Open in January and I think she will come back strongly.

Outsider: Wozniacki is so feisty, gutsy and determined. She has made vast improvements in every department and she has got it all.

Jonathan Overend, BBC Radio 5 Live tennis correspondent

MEN'S
Winner: I've got a hunch that Federer is going to win Wimbledon. Murray is a close second favourite and is proving himself as a definite Wimbledon contender. It will be fascinating if Murray and Federer meet as the Scot has the most incredible hold over Federer.

Rafael Nadal
Nadal will not defend his title because of a knee injury

Outsider: Grigor Dimitrov won't win the title, but he is going to get a lot of attention. Last year's junior Wimbledon champion is very reminiscent of a young Federer, both in the way he plays the game and in the way he conducts himself off the court.

WOMEN'S
Winner: There is no real stand-out player. Venus Williams is the one player who always comes good and it is very hard to see her getting beat on grass. The thing about the Williams sisters is, you have no idea how their form is as they don't play any warm-up matches.

Outsider: I'd go for Wozniacki. She looks like a good grass-court player and came close to beating Jankovic last year.

Barry Flatman, Sunday Times tennis correspondent

MEN'S
Winner: Federer will be on a crest of a wave after winning the French Open. With Nadal out, Murray will be Federer's biggest threat. We have been through the dip of Federer and now we are on the climb again.

Outsider: If the draw falls right for him, Ivo Karlovic could be an outsider. With his serve he has got a chance of going a long way.

WOMEN'S
Winner: There's not too many contenders. I don't think you can look much further than either Williams sister and at the moment Venus seems to be better than Serena.

Outsider: There are some very good young kids coming through now like Azarenka, Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska, but out of those three I'd say Radwanska after what she did on grass at Eastbourne last year.

Neil Harman, Times tennis correspondent

MEN'S
Winner: I think Murray is ready to win. His game is there, he has been to a Grand Slam final before and I don't think he finds the pressure overbearing. Call it an instinct or feeling, I think this is the one where it is going to happen for him.

Outsider: My outsider is Mardy Fish. He is a very good grass-court player. It is about time he broke through in a Grand Slam and I think Wimbledon is the place he could do it.

WOMEN'S
Winner: I'm looking at Maria Sharapova if she gets some good games under her belt and is over her shoulder injury, but of course Venus Williams will always be a challenger.

Outsider: My outsider is Azarenka, she is someone who could surprise a few people.

Mike Dickson, Daily Mail tennis correspondent

MEN'S
Winner: I'm going for Federer, which I know isn't very original. I think he is far from unbeatable though and I don't think he has been playing quite as well as he can. His win at the French wasn't a cure-all, but he is rightly the favourite.

Outsider: I'm expecting Tsonga to do well. It's about time he had another good Grand Slam. He has actually won quite a few grass-court matches in his career, seems fit and motivated and he is a very dangerous player with a huge game.

WOMEN'S
Winner: Someday Venus's luck is going to run out so it's about time Serena did something at Wimbledon and I think she might be a bit sore after defeat at Roland Garros.

Outsider: Sharapova is the obvious outsider as she has been out for so long. I don't think anyone would want to be anywhere near her in the draw. If she is fit and fine there's no way she couldn't win as she is still a fighter.


Interviews by Paul Birch



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see also
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Champion Nadal out of Wimbledon
19 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Murray plays down Wimbledon hype
15 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Henman on Murray
18 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Classy Murray wins Queen's title
14 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Venus & Serena on home turf
18 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Ivanovic eyes route back to top
18 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Federer claims historic Paris win
07 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Murray to open against Kendrick
19 Jun 09 |  Tennis


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