Roger Federer won't count out Wimbledon rivals

"But for me it's not something I think about it", said World No. 3 Wawrinka.

Federer will be the No. 3 seed in the 2017 Wimbledon Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London.

While Federer is aware of his rival's various issues, he still expects to be confronted by one or two of them in the latter stages at Wimbledon. Since that first major, Federer won Wimbledon four more times in a row through 2007.

BACK IN THE FIELD: Rafael Nadal, fresh off his record 10th championship at the French Open, returns to Wimbledon after being out a year ago with an injured left wrist.

Some more time off would come during this season: Federer skipped the clay-court circuit, including the French Open, despite being healthy. But that time I went somewhere in a forest, sitting there and I'm like, "Okay, whatever".

And now, when play begins at the All England Club, so numerous key story lines will involve those same four players: Federer and Nadal due to their recent resurgence; Serena Williams because of her absence (she's expecting a baby in September); Venus Williams because she is one of only two past champions in the women's draw. "It's that simple. It's the same for Novak and the same for Rafa", reckoned Federer.

The usual rule of thumb when looking at who might win Wimbledon each year is to judge who's in the best form.

"I don't worry too much for him there". I think it's very even when we put it all out on the line.

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However, she is just as likely to be bundled out in the first round as win the whole thing. Rafa is coming in red hot from the clay.

Zverev finds himself in a tough part of the draw with Federer, Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov all in his quarter, while Kyrgios' quarter contains Murray and beaten French Open finalist Stan Wawrinka, who is also $34. That's going to be obviously a longshot.

"Away from those five players, I'm not sure how deep we're talking about".

As for the ladies' draw, anyone who says they can confidently predict who's going to be the champion is either a liar or an idiot.

It's nice to have an extra week but I don't regret for a second that I didn't have more grass courts or wasn't born in a year when there were three Grand Slams on grass, unlike the one [we have] now.

Federer, seeded third, starts his bid to reach an 11th Wimbledon final with a first-round clash against Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov. Nadal (+400 to win the French Open on the ATP tennis odds) isn't as dominant on grass as he is on clay, but his level of play at the moment has the potential to translate to any surface.

"I kind of never regretted it even though it hurt, because it was the first time I pulled out of a slam actually feeling 100 percent ready to go", he said. I want to take charge and play aggressive myself. Are you kidding me?' And he's like, 'No, you're playing Andy.' And I'm, like, 'Nah.' And he's like, 'Take the draw.' And I open up the draw and I see my name next to Andy Murray and my phone just fell out of my hand and I'm, like, 'Nah, it can't be real.

"For that I need to be fast on my feet and quick in my mind".

  • Lawrence Cooper