Victoria Azarenka and Feliciano Lopez Among The 10 Most Dangerous Floaters For Wimbledon

On this list of “floaters” we have included unseeded players or ones with a low seed (lower than 16) who we believe can make it to second week. We have selected five men and five women.

Men

Feliciano Lopez
Feliciano was moved up to 19th seed with the Wimbledon seeding formula. The Spaniard won Queen’s Club, possibly the biggest title of his career. Lopez went through the tournament very impressively, beating Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Grigor Dimitrov, and Marin Cilic. Before that, Lopez made the final of Stuttgart losing to Lucas Pouille. His grass record coming into Wimbledon is 9-1. At 35, Lopez is playing incredible tennis and hoping for his first appearance in the second week since 2014. However, his journey does not have to stop there! With the biggest favorites like Murray and Djokovic struggling, and Nadal not being a force on grass for a couple of years, Lopez could get his 4th quarterfinal appearance or even make his first Slam semifinals.
Best opponents for Lopez:
(9) Nishikori 3-3 (Lopez won last meeting)
(11) Berdych 8-6 (Lopez won last 2, 2-0 on grass)
(15) Monfils 2-0 (Lopez dropped only 1 set)
(4) Nadal 4-9 (Lopez won last 2 and only meeting on grass)
(5) Wawrinka 3-4 (Lopez won last meeting)
(6) Raonic 4-3 (Lopez won last 2)
Mischa Zverev
The German serve-and-volley player is enjoying his best season in his career at #29, recently breaking Top 30. Zverev will be seeded 27th, but reaching second week isn’t impossible for him. Mischa had an average grass season, going 5-3, taking losses to Lopez, Federer, and Tomic. However, Zverev has bested Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, and twice John Isner this season. Zverev has reached the 3rd Round back in 2008, and had only 2 other main draw appearances since then. He reached quarterfinals at the Australian Open, and I believe that he could go to second week at Wimbledon too.
Best Opponents for Mischa Zverev:
(5) Wawrinka 1-2 (One of Zverev’s losses was a retirement)
(8) Thiem 1-1
(9) Nishikori 1-0
(10) A. Zverev 2-0
(11) Berdych 2-3 (Zverev 1-0 on grass)
(15) Monfils 1-0
Daniil Medvedev
Medvedev is the forgotten #NextGen Russian behind the better-known Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev, but had quite the grass season. The Russian reached quarterfinals in s-Hertogenbosch and Queen’s Club. Now he is through to the semis in Eastbourne, where he will test himself against Novak Djokovic. Medvedev lost to Ivo Karlovic and Dimitrov while getting wins over Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson, Nicolas Mahut, twice over Robin Haase, and Thanasi Kokkinakis. The Djokovic match will be very telling, but the can get through some of the weaker and more clay oriented seeds. This will be Medvedev’s first main draw appearance at Wimbledon, and he will be hoping to impress the British crowd at the AELTC.
Best Opponents for Medvedev:
(31) Verdasco 1-0
(27) M. Zverev 1-0 (Played on grass)
(26) Johnson 1-0 (Played on grass)
(24) Querrey 1-0 (Played on grass)
Kevin Anderson
It was just two years ago that Anderson made Round of 16 and was two sets up on the then-unbeatable Novak Djokovic. The South African broke the Top 10 just a couple of months later. Since then it’s been tough for Anderson, struggling with injury. Anderson is back inside the Top 50 now, and despite just going 1-1 on grass (win over Bellucci, lost to Richard Gasquet), I think he could have a good run. Anderson made the second week twice in his last 3 appearances, his big serve tailored for grass.
Best Opponents for Anderson:
(32) Lorenzi 3-0
(28) Fognini 4-1 (Anderson 2-0 on grass)
(21) Karlovic 3-1 (Anderson won only match on grass)
(20) Kyrgios 2-0
(19) Lopez 4-0 (Lopez hasn’t won a set)
(8) Thiem 5-0 (Thiem won only 1 set)
Richard Gasquet
Gasquet has been having a pretty good grass season, reaching semis of Halle, and now in the semis of Eastbourne. Gasquet will play Monfils, whom he beat in Halle. The Frenchman is a former Top 10 member, and has reached semifinals twice before at Wimbledon. Gasquet is seeded 22nd, but I expect him to go at least to 4th Round, maybe further.
Best Opponents for Gasquet:
(9) Nishikori 7-2
(13) Dimitrov 5-2
(16) Muller 7-2

 Women

Anastasija Sevastova
Sevastova has been having a great season, slightly overshadowed by her fellow Latvian Jelena Ostapenko. She has been consistent with moments of brilliance, like reaching semifinals at Madrid and Dubai. The Latvian proved that she is a universal player on all surfaces by winning Mallorca, beating Ana Konjuh, Carolina Garcia, and Julia Goerges en route to the title. Sevastova has never gone past the first round at Wimbledon in her career, which is kind of worrying, but it is evident that she can play on grass. If she gets into solid form an catches one of the seeds on a weak day, she can make second week.
Best Opponents for Sevastova:
(11) Kvitova 2-1
(12) Mladenovic 1-0
(13) Ostaepnko 1-0
Magdalena Rybarikova
The Slovak is making a comeback from a nine-month injury-induced break. Grass is her best surface as her game includes a lot of volleys and slices as well as a prominent serve. Rybarikova tore it up on the grass as she won the $100K ITFs in Ilkley and Manchester and a semifinal in Nottingham. Her only loss in grass has been to Johanna Konta, one of the main contenders. Because of past horrible draws, Rybarikova has made only one 3rd Round. As Dominica Cibulkova and Anna Schmiedlova struggle, Slovakia lines up and stands behind Rybarikova to make second week.
Best Opponents for Rybarikova:
(31) Vinci 4-1
(24) Vandeweghe 2-0
(18) Sevastova 1-0
(12) Mladenovic 1-0
(2) Halep 2-1
(1) Kerber 1-0
Ashleigh Barty
21-yearold Ashleigh Barty has been absolutely great. In Nottingham she ran into Konta in the quarterfinals, and couldn’t get past. In Birmingham, the Aussie was unstoppable. With wins over Marketa Vondrousova, Barbora Strycova, and Garbine Muguruza, Barty made the finals before losing to Petra Kvitova. Barty has only made one main draw appearance at Wimbledon, but she could be impactful in her second appearance.
Best Opponents for Barty:
(14) Muguruza 1-0
(22) Strycova 1-1
(20) Gavrilova 1-1
(23) Bertens 1-0
(30 Zhang 1-0
(3) Pliskova 1-1
Victoria Azarenka
Former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka is back from maternity leave! The two time Slam champion returned in Mallorca and reached 2nd Round. Obviously considering Azarenka as a contender right away is not fair to her, but if she gets into a rhythm, she could reach the second week with a softer draw. Azarenka has reached the semifinals twice at Wimbledon, and her last second week appearance was in 2015.
Best Opponents for Azarenka:
(7) Kuznetsova 5-4
(31) Vinci 4-0
(22) Strycova 5-0
(3) Pliskova 2-1
(15) Vesnina 7-0
(1) Kerber 7-1
Heather Watson
After many years of receiving huge amounts of attention at Wimbledon, Heather Watson may catch a little bit of a break. Johanna Konta has a real shot at the title, thus overshadowing players like Watson or Naomi Broady. The Brit is into the semifinals of Eastbourne after now beating Cibulkova, Pavlyuchenkova, and Strycova in a row. Watson will be shooting for one better than her two previous 3rd Round appearances. She also won the Mixed Doubles title at Wimbledon last year with Henri Kontinen.
Best Opponents for Watson:
(16) Pavlyuchenkova 1-0
(8) Cibulkova 2-1
(21) Garcia 3-1
(31) Vinci 2-1

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