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Wimbledon Men's Singles preview: Alex de Minaur a major player

The challenge of the world-famous grass courts at Wimbledon is just around the corner, with Australia having last crowned a men's singles champion in 2002 when Lleyton Hewitt defeated David Nalbandian.

Mark Philippoussis lost out to Roger Federer 12 months later and it was not until last year that Australia was able to celebrate another Wimbledon men's singles finalist.

Nick Kyrgios finally looked like delivering on his enormous potential, only to run into the juggernaut called Novak Djokovic, who won 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 to secure his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title.

Twelve months on, what are the prospects for Australian success at SW19?

WhatWimbledon men's singles 2023
WhereAll England Club, London, England
WhenMonday 3rd July - Sunday 16th July 2023
How to watchChannel 9, Foxtel, Kayo
OddsNovak Djokovic 1.61, Carlos Alcaraz 4.33, Daniil Medvedev 17.00, Jannik Sinner 19.00

Kyrgios hopes ended by wrist issue

Kyrgios would have been the absolute standout Aussie candidate for glory had he not seen most of his year to date ruined by knee problems.

The 28-year-old was unable to play at his home Australian Open back in January, where he would have been aiming to defend the doubles title he won alongside compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis in 2022.

And things have not improved much since then, with Kyrgios having played just one singles match in 2023, losing 7-5 6-3 to Yibing Wu of China in the first round in Stuttgart earlier this month.

He subsequently pulled out of Halle to try and focus on being ready for Wimbledon, where he hoped to challenge for the title despite having been off the court for almost the whole of the first six months of 2023.

His injury problems could not have come at a worse time as he had backed up his run to the final at SW19 by reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open, where he was beaten in five sets by Karen Khachanov.

Now a fresh problem has put paid to his chance to mount another bid for a first Grand Slam title, with Kyrgios confirming that he has pulled out of the tournament due to a wrist ligament injury.

De Minaur shows his grass prowess

Should Kyrgios be ruled out, the main Australian hopes in the men's singles draw will pass to Alex de Minaur, who is 51.00 to go all the way at SW19.

De Minaur has worked himself all the way up to inside the top-16 in the world rankings and recently showed what he is capable of by reaching the final at Queen's Club.

The 24-year-old took out Andy Murray, Diego Schwartzman, Adrian Mannarino and Holger Rune, before losing 6-4 6-4 to world number one Carlos Alcaraz in the final.

Earlier in the year De Minaur won a title in Acapulco, while also reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open, where he was soundly beaten in straight sets by Djokovic.

Twelve months ago at Wimbledon he made it through to round four, before suffering a surprise five-set loss to Cristian Garin, losing the match despite taking a two-set lead against the Chilean.

De Minaur now appears to be in the best form of his career and an Eastbourne title on grass back in 2021 shows that he has the potential to be a champion on the green stuff.

Main contenders

With Federer now retired and Rafael Nadal absent due to injury, in truth the men's singles field is a little short on candidates to be crowned champion this time around.

Djokovic is the four-time defending champion, so it is no surprise to see him at 1.61 to make it five in a row and draw level with Federer on a record eight titles in total.

US Open champion Alcaraz returned to the top of the pile thanks to his recent success at Queen's and he is 4.33 to end the domination of Djokovic, although his experience on grass remains limited.

However, having made round four at Wimbledon last year he has shown he can adapt quickly and he is the clear main rival to the Serb machine.

The man who beat Alcaraz at SW19 12 months ago, Jannik Sinner, went on to almost depose Djokovic in the quarter-finals, but was unable to finish the job after roaring into a two-set lead.

The Italian is 19.00 to win Wimbledon this time around, but like Kyrgios has fitness issues going into the tournament, having sustained a thigh problem while playing in Halle.

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