FOUR-TIME DOUBLES WINNER
There is no real outsider in the men's draw. There are two tiers: the first which includes Sampras, Krajicek and Henman; the second made up of Agassi, Rafter, Rusedski, Ivanisevic and Kafelnikov. Then the quality drops-off quite a bit. The winner will come from one of those top eight men. There is no up-and-coming player who is good enough. In the women's draw, Amelie Mauresmo and Serena Williams should be watched carefully. They are athletic, very quick around the court and have a fluid style; all the ingredients to do well.
Ivanisevic. He's not playing well and the odds are long on him winning it this year. But if he can get his mind together, he has the serve and game to do it. Otherwise, Tommy Haas is another good outside bet. He has a powerful serve and forehand and reached the Australian Open semi-final this year. In the women's, Venus Williams is my choice. She has a big serve and she can outpower a lot of the girls. If it's a hot and dry Wimbledon, she should benefit from the high bounce and should be able to use her strength to beat opponents.
There's nobody out there who can do a Boris. I fancy Todd Martin for the title. He's not an obvious favourite, but he's got grass court pedigree, a good attacking game and results at Wimbledon in the past. He is having a solid season. As for the women, it's a lot tougher. I don't actually think that the winner will come from outside that top four or five group of players. I guess the only "outsider" is Mauresmo. People forget that she isn't highly ranked and hasn't been around that long. But she's got to be the only other player with a chance.
My record [of being the youngest winner at 17 years 7 months] is safe for a while yet I believe. Grass is not practised at the juniors level, and it is the kind of surface on which you definitely need a bit of experience. Only then can you play well and know how you are supposed to move, when there is an important point, etc.. I just don't see a young and up-and-coming player winning Wimbledon. For the moment anyway. As for the women, Steffi's win in Paris shows she can still do it. She has suffered so much with injuries. The lady is amazing.
TIM HENMAN'S COACH
Todd Martin. He's the quiet man of tennis and doesn't always spring to people's mind, but his record over the last nine months alone makes him one of the four or five best players in the world. He's a great returner, good server and the type of guy who just moves through tournaments with not a lot said about him and then is suddenly in the semis. On the women's side, I'll go for a real outside bet, Jennifer Capriati. I saw her play in Strasbourg and Paris and I simply admire her for coming back. So it's kind of a vote from the heart.
Maybe now that she has developed all these strong muscles, we will see a less flaky Mary Pierce. She's got the game to be able to play well on the grass. I'd have a little punt at her, but I'd want odds of about 50-1. In the men's draw, I just can't see anybody from outside the top eight winning it. I think our boys can do well, and some players like Sargis Sargsian, Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi (who's as fit as a butcher's dog at the moment) are looking good, but I still think Sampras will win it.Reuse content