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Five to watch in the Gentlemen's Singles

Canadian Milos Raonic is on the rise.
by Mark Hodgkinson
Friday 22 June 2012

Five players outside the top 10 to watch in the men's tournament:

Tommy Haas: This 34-year-old wild card, a former world No 2, showed his class on a grass court when he defeated Roger Federer in the final of last weekend's pre-Wimbledon tournament in Halle. Haas is a former semi-finalist at the All England Club - he reached the last four in 2009, his run ending on Federer's strings - and he probably would have done much more at Wimbledon if it had not been for his terrible luck. His misfortune in London has included food poisoning caused by eating cheese and broccoli; injuring himself by stepping on a ball during the warm-up; and missing one Championships to care for his parents after they were involved in a serious road accident.

Bernard Tomic: This time last year, the Australian teenager was a qualifier ranked outside the top 150. He reached the quarter-finals, becoming the youngest player to go that deep into the draw since Boris Becker in 1986. This summer, Tomic is a seed.

Milos Raonic: Anyone capable of serving at 155mph is going to be a threat. Much was expected from Raonic at last summer's Wimbledon, his first Championships, but he retired from his second-round match with a leg injury. Perhaps this will be the year that Raonic will first have an impact on the tournament. Pete Sampras, Raonic's idol, has spoken of the Canadian as a player who could unsettle the elite. "His serve, wow, it's a major weapon in the sport," Sampras has said. "He really is a dark horse for Wimbledon. He certainly has the guts to swing hard and go for that second serve and it's a monster weapon in the game. He's not a player that people want to see in their side of the draw. If he's serving well, he'll be dangerous."

Marin Cilic: The Croatian has never felt better about his grass-court tennis. While he won the Queen's Club title in weird circumstances - his opponent David Nalbandian was defaulted - he believes that he has never been in stronger shape before the start of a Wimbledon Championships.

David Nalbandian: The controversy over his behaviour in the final at Queen's Club - where he was defaulted after hoofing an advertising board which split and injured a line-judge - has inevitably obscured the fact that the Argentine played some fine tennis in west London. Indeed, he was a set up before the kick, the gashed leg and the blood and gore. It is 10 years now since Nalbandian reached the Wimbledon final, when he was the runner-up to Lleyton Hewitt, and while it is unlikely that he will reach another second Sunday, none of the elite will want to meet him.


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