Top seed Novak Djokovic will open his Wimbledon campaign against German Philipp Kohlschreiber on Monday.
Djokovic is arguably the favorite to claim his fifth Wimbledon title. He is the defending champion after he beat Kevin Anderson in last year’s final to claim his fourth title. After that win, he went on to win the next two grand slams as well. Djokovic beat Juan Martin del Potro to win the US Open and defeated Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final in January. He could not extend that streak to four in the French Open. Dominic Thiem got the better of the Serb in the semi-final at Roland Garros.
He will hope that Wimbledon kicks off another string of titles which it did last year for him. The Madrid Open is the only major title Djokovic has won this year aside from the Australian Open. Last year he was ranked outside the top 20 heading into the tournament. But he produced some excellent tennis on his way to the title. The semi-final win over Rafael Nadal was undoubtedly the most challenging task on his way to the trophy. Now he is ranked first in the world as he prepares to defend his crown.
Roger Federer will also stake a claim to be the favorite, but Djokovic is up there with him. Djokovic has not taken part in any warmup tournament after the French Open. He will feel more confident on grass compared to clay, which has been the case throughout his career.
Djokovic will come up against Philipp Kohlschreiber, who has already beaten the Serb this year. Incidentally, the two have played three times this year. The first meeting was at the Indian Wells, where Kohlschreiber won 6-4, 6-4. Then the next two meetings were on clay. Djokovic won 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 at the Monte-Carlo Masters. They also met at the Italian Open, and Djokovic won that match 6-3, 6-0.
As for Kohlschreiber, he will be taking part in the Wimbledon draw for the 15th time. His best finish at the tournament came in 2012 when he reached the quarter-finals. Last year he reached as far as the third round. His highest ranking of 51 came back in 2008. The German is ranked 141st in the world going into the Championships.
Djokovic dominates the head to head record between the two. He holds a 10-2 lead over Kohlschreiber in the 12 games they have played so far. The two have met on grass only once, and that game came at Wimbledon in 2015. Djokovic won that game comfortably 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
Novak Djokovic vs Philipp Kohlschreiber Prediction
A similar result should be the outcome on Monday. Djokovic is the overwhelming favorite to claim the victory. The Serb should get the job done in straight sets as well. Kohlschreiber is past his prime, and Djokovic is still going strong. The defending champion should get a comfortable victory to progress to the second round at Wimbledon.