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Ricky Tennis Picks – Berrettini, Auger-Aliassime among Wimbledon title contenders outside the top four

Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada is a Wimbledon contender. (Photo by Thomas F. Starke/Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

It’s going to be an interesting Wimbledon, as eight-time champion Roger Federer is sidelined along with Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev, and Andrey Rublev. Rafael Nadal is a question mark because of his foot problem and Carlos Alcaraz is a grass-court novice.

At least a few quarterfinal and semifinal spots will be up for grabs to players currently ranked outside the top four–perhaps way outside the top four–and even the title could be there for the taking.

Let’s take a look at five contenders who will be seeded outside the top four at the All-England Club.

Matteo Berrettini

Even though Berrettini missed the entire clay-court swing with a right-hand injury, he is still arguably the second favorite at Wimbledon behind Novak Djokovic. The 10th-ranked Italian has wasted no time rounding into form on grass, as he won Stuttgart last week and now finds himself in the Queen’s Club quarterfinals. Berrettini is the defending Queen’s Club champion and he finished runner-up to Djokovic last year in SW19.

Matteo Berrettini was 2021 Wimbledon runner-up. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Felix Auger-Alassime

Auger-Aliassime made a run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals last summer before losing to Berrettini. The ninth-ranked Canadian also reached the third round in his tournament debut three years ago, so he has never known failure in London. Grass-court accomplishments also include Stuttgart final appearances in both 2019 and 2021. Auger-Aliassime made it to the ‘s-Hertogenbosch semis last week and he is currently in the Halle quarters, so he will head to Wimbledon with plenty of momentum.

Marin Cilic

Suddenly, watching Cilic make it back to the Wimbledon final really wouldn’t come as that big of a surprise. The 33-year-old Croat is coming off a semifinal showing at Roland Garros and clay is nowhere near as favorable for him as grass. Cilic can also count two Queen’s Club titles among his accomplishments on the green stuff and he is three wins away from a third after beating Alexander Bublik on Wednesday.

Hubert Hurkacz

Hurkacz is not as consistent as the first three players on this list, but when he gets hot he can really roll. The 12th-ranked Pole beat Federer and Medvedev en route to the Wimbledon semifinals in 2021 and he also won the Miami Masters last year. Hurkacz hasn’t been great this season, but wins over Maxime Cressy and defending champion Ugo Humbert in Halle have set up a quarterfinal showdown against Auger-Aliassime on Friday.

Nick Kyrgios

There is no doubt that Kyrgios has the talent to win any tournament he plays–outside of clay. Grass makes him especially dangerous, and he is showing it this week in Halle with a defeat of No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitipas on Wednesday. The 65th-ranked Aussie began his grass-court summer with a semifinal effort in Stuttgart (lost to Andy Murray). Majors are often an issue for Kyrgios and it very much remains to be seen if he can string together four, five, six, or seven good matches in a row, but nobody wants to see him in the draw.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.comand also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.