2018 Wimbledon Gentlemen's Preview: Roger Federer looks to defend title while the field look to dethrone the King

The greatest yearly tennis spectacle at the famed All-England Club begins Monday. Which man will stand tall with the trophy on Centre Court come Sunday? Read our preview for our predictions.

2018 Wimbledon Gentlemen's Preview: Roger Federer looks to defend title while the field look to dethrone the King
Federer and Cilic look to make another Wimbledon final (Gareth Fuller/PA Images/Getty Images)

Wimbledon begins Monday and the gentlemen are tasked with trying to take down defending champion Roger Federer. Will someone new be lifting the trophy on Centre Court or will Federer reign supreme once again?

Federer's Quarter: Defending Champ Should Cruise

The defending champion should like his draw, bar his potential fourth-round opponent. Borna Coric awaits in the fourth round, and the Croatian should be licking his chops at a chance to upset Federer after capturing the title over him in Halle last week. 

As for the rest of Federer's draw, it looks quite straightforward for him, starting with Dusan Lajovic and not many dangerous early threats for him, including the seeds, bar Coric that is. 

In the second half of this quarter, you see plenty of big hitters and players who thrive on grass courts. Sam Querrey hopes to right what has been a disappointing 2018 season with another big run at Wimbledon but could run into a tricky Richard Gasquet in the third round. 

Kevin Anderson and Gilles Muller await at the bottom in what could be a tasty third-round matchup. The Luxembourger has fallen off the seedings and could meet Philipp Kohlschreiber to get to the third round. Anderson, the South African, has played some excellent this year and on his best surface, looks to make some noise at the SW19. 

Quarterfinals: Roger Federer vs Kevin Anderson

Semifinalist: Roger Federer

First Round Matches To Watch For: Daniil Medvedev vs Borna Coric, Sam Querrey vs Jordan Thompson, Gael Monfils vs Richard Gasquet

Will nine be divine for Roger Federer at Wimbledon? (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Will nine be divine for Roger Federer at Wimbledon? (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Cilic's Quarter: Big Hitters, Even Bigger Chances

This quarter starts on the top half with what arguably is the most intriguing first-round match in Grigor Dimitrov and Stan Wawrinka. Dimitrov, who came off a historic year last season, has disappointed this season massively and hopes to turn his fortunes around at Wimbledon.

For Wawrinka, the return from his knee surgery is not what it has planned out to be. He's struggling for form and looks a shadow of his former self. 

The winner of this match has to fancy their chances of making the fourth round with not many threats on their side, bar Stefanos Tsitsipas who is a former Junior Wimbledon doubles champion. 

John Isner's draw is a draw of chances for not only the American, but for everyone in this portion of the draw. Isner has never made it past the third round of Wimbledon so players like Cameron Norrie and Steve Johnson hope to sneak in potentially. 

Milos Raonic opens up against Liam Broady and to the luck of most, the Canadian is seeded 13th due to the grass court seeding formula for the men. While Lucas Pouille is a former quarterfinalist at the All-England Club, the Frenchman has duly disappointed in big tournaments and faces the massive proposition of going out in the first round to yearly grass threat, Denis Kudla

Last year's finalist Marin Cilic should enjoy his draw as he won't really run into many threats in his opening matches, though if Ricardas Berankis makes the third-round, he should be wary of their five-setter which took place back in 2014. Cilic is coming off a strong warm-up, winning in Queen's.

Quarterfinals: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Marin Cilic

Semifinalist: Marin Cilic

First Round Matches To Watch For: Grigor Dimitrov vs Stan Wawrinka, Cameron Norrie vs Aljaz Bedene, Denis Kudla vs Lucas Pouille, Mackenzie McDonald vs Ricardas Berankis 

Cilic is looking to add to his US Open title. Can he do it at Wimbledon? (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Cilic is looking to add to his US Open title. Can he do it at Wimbledon? (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Zverev's Quarter: Open For The Taking

French Open finalist Dominic Thiem kicks off the quarter and opens up with a tasty opening round matchup against Marcos Baghdatis. Their potential second-round opponents will provide an excellent matchup as well with David Ferrer and Karen KhachanovFrances Tiafoe and Fernando Verdasco open against each other as well, continuing the trend of exciting opening round matches.

Kyle Edmund and Novak Djokovic must enjoy their chances to clash in the third round. Both players' opening and second round matches don't look to be too testing on paper so Centre Court should see a three-time champion against their young star battle it out for a spot on Manic Monday.

A healthy Nick Kyrgios is back which is great for tennis because on the court, he just provides some absolute jaw-dropping stuff. He'll face Denis Istomin in his first Grand Slam back from injury. Kei Nishikori should like his chances to get to round three and face Kyrgios, but the player to watch for is Alexander Zverev.

The German went down to Borna Coric in convincing fashion in Halle and grass is his worst surface. Despite that, his draw still stands up for him to at least make the fourth round. 

Quarterfinals: Novak Djokovic vs Nick Kyrgios

Semifinalist: Novak Djokovic

First Round Matches To Watch For: Dominic Thiem vs Marcos Baghdatis, David Ferrer vs Karen Khachanov, Frances Tiafoe vs Fernando Verdasco, Nick Kyrgios vs Denis Istomin, Damir Dzumhur vs Maximillian Marterer

Djokovic has captured some form headed into Wimbledon after reaching the finals in Queen's (NurPhoto/Getty Images)
Djokovic has captured some form headed into Wimbledon after reaching the finals in Queen's (NurPhoto/Getty Images)

Nadal's Quarter: The French Open Quarter Of Death

This part of the draw looks like something you would see at a clay-tournament, especially at the bottom half. Juan Martin del Potro kicks off the quarter and is likely to face Felciano Lopez in the second round. Bar unforeseen circumstances, Lopez will break Federer's record for most consecutive Grand Slam appearances. 

Andy Murray opens up against the enigma that is Benoit Paire with the winner likely to face former Junior Wimbledon champion Denis Shapovalov in the second round, though the young Canadian meets Jeremy Chardy in the first round. 

Jack Sock has had a horrid year but should see off Matteo Berrettini in the opening round but will likely go out to the winner of Gilles Simon and Nikoloz Basilashvili. David Goffin is the favorite to get to Manic Monday. 

For Rafael Nadal, this draw is something you would take especially after all the circumstances of previous Wimbledons. The second-seeded Spaniard opens up against Dudi Sela but could run into some trouble if he meets Vasek Pospisil in the second round or serve-and-volleying Mischa Zverev in the third round. With how both have been playing in Grand Slams, there's a likelihood the world number one could face one or even none of those two.

His potential round of 16 matchup would be against either Fabio Fognini or Diego Schwartzman, two players who aren't comfortable on grass, so a player like Jiri Vesely who made the fourth round two years ago is very much a threat to get into the second week. 

Quarterfinals: Juan Martin del Potro vs Rafael Nadal

Semifinalist: Juan Martin del Potro

First Round Matches To Watch For: Benoit Paire vs Andy Murray, Jeremy Chardy vs Denis Shapovalov, Pierre-Hugues Herbert vs Mischa Zverev

Del Potro hasn't played since the French Open but the Argentine should have no problem using his big game on grass (NurPhoto/Getty Images)
Del Potro hasn't played since the French Open but the Argentine should have no problem using his big game on grass (NurPhoto/Getty Images)

Semifinals and Finals Predictions

Semifinals: Marin Cilic over Roger Federer

Juan Martin del Potro over Novak Djokovic

Finals: Marin Cilic over Juan Martin del Potro