sport news Brad Gilbert gives the lowdown on the contenders at Wimbledon 

Brad Gilbert, the former coach of Andy Murray and Andre Agassi, gives his lowdown on the men and women to watch this fortnight at SW19. 

Roger Federer will be aiming to clinch his ninth Wimbledon crown, while in the women's draw Garbine Muguruza is defending her title.

Here's an assessment of the players to look out for.

Men's singles

1. Roger Federer (SWI) Age: 36 Last year: Winner

How does he do it? It’s partly because he is serving better than he has ever done in terms of accuracy, which gets him free points or sets him up for the second shot. His backhand is at least as good as it has ever been and there has been no noticeable drop off in his movement, even though he lost the Halle final. His mid-court forehand remains lethal. Truly a one-off.

Current Wimbledon champion Roger Federer is probably serving better than he has ever done

Current Wimbledon champion Roger Federer is probably serving better than he has ever done

2 Rafael Nadal (SP) Age: 32 Last year: 4th round

For Rafa it is, as ever, two tournaments — first and second week. If he gets through the first he will be dangerous despite missing Queen’s. He was playing well last year and could have gone much further but for a great display from Gilles Muller. His recent record at SW19 is not good and the grass has caused problems for his knees before. 

Rafael Nadal will relish the hot weather but for him it is effectively two tournaments

Rafael Nadal will relish the hot weather but for him it is effectively two tournaments

3 Alex Zverev (GER) Age: 21 Last year: 4th round

He has fallen short so far in the Grand Slams but his run to the quarter-finals at the French Open was progress from previous fourth-round exits. He has got a great return and some serious pop on his own serve. He covers the court well but tends to play a long way behind the baseline, which he may try to adjust. His time is coming but we don’t know when. 

The talented German's time in the Grand Slams is coming, but we don't know when

The talented German's time in the Grand Slams is coming, but we don't know when

4 Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) Age: 29 Last year: 2nd round

One of four very big men now in the top eight. He has had to reinvent his game after wrist surgery but his favoured backhand slice should work well on grass. He has a very good serve and a huge forehand that he can flatten out and penetrate the court with. If fully fit he will be dangerous as he moves tremendously well for a player of his height. 

Juan Martin Del Potro moves exceptionally well for a man of his height and has a good serve

Juan Martin Del Potro moves exceptionally well for a man of his height and has a good serve

5 Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) Age: 27 Last year: 4th round

Finished last year strongly by winning at the O2 Arena but it has been a curious season for him in which he has not consolidated that gain. An all-rounder with excellent movement on grass, his high level is phenomenal but he doesn’t handle the lows as well as he might. In theory he has everything needed to go well. 

Grigor Dimitrov has been unable to push on after winning at the O2 Arena last year

Grigor Dimitrov has been unable to push on after winning at the O2 Arena last year

6 Marin Cilic (Cro) Age: 29 Last year: Runner-up

Another tall man who is an outstanding mover. The Queen’s champion (below) leans nicely on his backhand and hits it flat off both sides. As he showed in making last year’s final, he likes the grass. When he is serving well and getting free points, that lifts his whole game and he is an underrated volleyer. A tough opponent in this environment. 

Marin Cilic got to the final last year and the Croatian is a tough opponent in this environment

Marin Cilic got to the final last year and the Croatian is a tough opponent in this environment

7 Dominic Thiem Age: 24 (AUT) Last year: 4th round

He is a bit of a modern version of Stan Wawrinka. Only 6ft 1in but can blast his serve at 140mph — huge for his size. A very fast arm and nobody out there hits it harder off both sides. He has a big wind-up on his strokes which is not ideal for grass and the return of serve may be a problem. Like Nadal, he is one of those players for whom warm weather will be very welcome. 

Austrian Dominic Thiem is a bit of a modern version of Stan Wawrinka - he has a very fast arm

Austrian Dominic Thiem is a bit of a modern version of Stan Wawrinka - he has a very fast arm

8 Kevin Anderson Age: 31 (SA) Last year: 4th round

Virtually everything about him and his game is big. At 6ft 8in he hits a big first and second serve and goes bigger and bigger on his groundstrokes. He is also very aggressive on the return. The low bounce is not great for him but if he does break your serve, you’re in trouble. 

Kevin Anderson is 6' 8'' - virtually everything about him and his game is big

Kevin Anderson is 6' 8'' - virtually everything about him and his game is big

Women's singles

1 Simona

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