Speaking of droughts, it's been a long time since this guy won any major off the clay. Nadal won the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010, but only has his three French titles to show for the past three seasons so far. He has twice won Wimbledon, but does he have enough left in the tank to contend with the heavy-hitting Djokovic and Murray on the grass? A year ago, he was stunned by Lukas Rosol in the second round, then missed the next two majors with an injury. You know he wants to get back to form.
It's probably too early to call young Jerzy a contender at Wimbledon, but you should watch him anyway. The fiery Polish youngster is on many people's watch list. But at 22, even he is getting up there. He made the third round at Wimbledon in 2012 as a qualifier before losing to Florian Mayer.
Will the young Australian ever realize his talent? The tennis world has been waiting for the 20-year-old to put it all together. He finally won his first tournament this year, and Wimbledon was the site of his greatest Slam achievement -- a quarterfinal run in 2011 -- but Tomic has been beset by off-court issues. His father and coach, John, is banned from Wimbledon, as he was the French Open, after an incident earlier this year in which he attacked Tomic's hitting partner.
Juan Martin del Potro
The Argentine seemed poised to be one of tennis' next big things when he beat Roger Federer to win the 2009 US Open. But he has been beset by injuries, and the road since has been anything but smooth. Still a top-10 player, del Potro has made the fourth round each of the past two years at the All England Club and can't be counted out.
There may not be much to suggest Youzhny will be a threat in London. He's 30 years old, and his quarterfinal appearance at the All England Club in 2012 was his best result ever there. But he pushed Roger Federer to three sets in the final of the Gerry Weber Open last weekend and certainly has the competitive fire to be a factor. Anyone who can do this to himself during a match cannot be taken lightly.
One of the best players on tour without a major title, the ebullient Czech is returning to the place of his greatest major performance. He made the final at Wimbledon in 2010 before losing to Rafael Nadal. The years since have not been as kind. Berdych made only the fourth round in 2011 and was upset in the first round by Ernests Gulbis in 2012.
After a disappointing loss in the French Open semifinals, Tsonga is back on the grass -- a surface he's quite fond of. He has been a semifinalist in London each of the past two years, losing each in four sets. This past weekend, he lost in the semifinals of the Aegon Championships -- a grass-court Wimbledon tune-up -- to Andy Murray.
Did you know he's the defending champion? With all the talk of his age (he's 31 now; it's a wonder he can still walk) and the end of his era of dominance, it can be easy to forget he's still one of the most consistent players on tour. Federer has won Wimbledon seven times and has an incredible streak of 36 consecutive quarterfinal appearances at Grand Slams. Oh, and he just won the grass-court tune-up event in Halle, Germany. Don't forget about him.
Is this finally the year? Murray has been the talk of the locals in recent years as his game as evolved into one ready to win Slams. No Brit has won Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 -- you'll hear that stat a lot -- and Murray once again represents a nation's only realistic hope of ending the drought. One big monkey off his back: He has at least won some Slam ... he brought home the US Open title last September.
His five-set loss to Rafael Nadal in the French Open semifinals may just have proved how good he is right now. Even on Rafa's comfy clay, Djokovic nearly -- and probably should've -- won. Can he use the momentum to end what is suddenly a "dry spell" of major titles for the world No. 1? After winning three straight majors from 2011 Wimbledon to the 2012 Australian Open, he has only won this year's Aussie since.