Breaking down the men's draw
Federer Quarter (top quarter)
Notable players: Roger Federer, Nicolas Kiefer, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Joachim Johansson, Greg Rusedski, Fernando Gonzalez, Mikhail Youzhny, Jonas Bjorkman, Nikolay Davydenko.
Analysis: After suffering tough losses in the semifinals at the Australian Open and the French Open, Roger Federer is out to prove to the tennis world that this is still his tour. The world No. 1 has to be feeling pretty good about his chances after being granted quite a favorable draw. Federer's road to a third-straight Wimbledon crown looks agreeable from the get-go as the 23-year-old will be hard-pressed to even drop a set on famed English lawns prior to the semifinals. Federer's lone speed bump may come in the form of big serving Joachim Johansson or Greg Rusedski in the quarterfinals. The two serving machines could meet in an interesting fireworks-filled second-round encounter. Another big server, Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, might also make some noise, and veterans Jonas Bjorkman and Scott Draper could challenge Mikhail Youzhny for a spot in the 16s.
Hewitt-Ancic-Safin Quarter (second quarter)
Notable players: Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake, Taylor Dent, Mariano Puerta, Mario Ancic, Feliciano Lopez, Mark Philippoussis, Paradorn Srichaphan, Marat Safin.
Analysis: Arguably the toughest quadrant of the draw features three players in Lleyton Hewitt, Mario Ancic and Mark Philippoussis who have tasted Final Four success here at Wimbledon. Joining the lead trio are the ever-dangerous Taylor Dent, Feliciano Lopez, Paradorn Srichaphan and Australian Open champ Marat Safin. Hewitt could meet popular James Blake in an intriguing second-round battle, while Safin and Srichaphan will square off in the most colorful first round encounter with the winner to face perhaps former finalist Philippoussis. The always unpredictable Safin has stated his dislike of grass in the past but just last week the Russian reached the finals in Halle where he fell to Federer in three sets. However, Ancic, still the last man to beat Federer in grass, may have the last laugh in this section as he tries to improve upon his 2004 semifinal performance.
Nadal-Gasquet Quarter (third quarter)
Notable players: Olivier Rochus, Max Mirnyi, Tommy Haas, Thomas Johansson, Radek Stepanek, Andrew Murray, David Nalbandian, Richard Gasquet, Rafael Nadal
Analysis: With no clear favorite, this quarter is full of opportunity for a player to have the Wimbledon of a lifetime and reach the semifinals. Rafael Nadal is the oddsmakers pick, but the 19-year-old French Open champ is far from a true threat to win on this surface this year. 2002 Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian is in the hunt despite his lackluster results of late. Max Mirnyi has always been and should be feared on grass, but the Belarussian's performance in Grand Slams has been nothing short of terrible. That's why the surging Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who may meet fellow teen Nadal in the third round, or the underrated Radek Stepanek could steal the show and emerge from the weakest quarter. If healthy, Thomas Johansson could also find grass glory.
Roddick Quarter (bottom quarter)
Notable players: Tim Henman, Alexander Popp, Wayne Arthurs, Kenneth Carlsen, Sebastien Grosjean, Xavier Malisse, Ivan Ljubicic, Robin Soderling, Ivo Karlovic, Andy Roddick.
Analysis: Unfortunately for Andy Roddick the one floater he didn't want to see in his section of the draw, Ivo Karlovic, could be his second-round opponent. The 6-foot-10 Karlovic is arguably the most feared unseeded player in the event, and his stature as such is well warranted. As a virtual unknown two years, Karlovic sent home then-defending champ Lleyton Hewitt in a first-round shocker. Last year, Roger Federer needed a couple tiebreaks to dispatch the giant, and just two weeks ago, Karlovic proved his grass form reaching the final in Queen's where Roddick broke him in two tight tiebreaks in the championship. Roddick's road doesn't get much easier from there as Swedish comer Robin Soderling will prove a worthy third-round foe, and in a potential quarterfinal, Tim Henman could await in a colossal clash. Henman's path may also wind through a towering server. The Brit would find danger with either Wayne Arthurs or Alexander Popp in the third round and then Sebastien Grosjean afterward.
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