Tennis Expert Picks - All England Lawn Tennis Championships


Editor's note: In selecting our picks, the "toughest road" must be by a player seeded in the top eight, and a "sleeper" is someone seeded 17th or lower.

There was a time when you could pencil in Roger Federer and the Williams sisters as Wimbledon champions -- and you'd be right more often than not.

Like life itself, prognosticating winners and losers for Grand Slam tennis events isn't as easy as it used to be. If you had Stan Wawrinka winning this year's Australian Open, congratulations. None of our one dozen analysts did. If you had Marion Bartoli taking the strawberries and cream a year ago at the All England Club, please accept a glass of Pimms on our behalf.

Even the French Open isn't immune. Eight of our experts, after seeing Novak Djokovic dominate Rafael Nadal in the finals at Miami and Rome, chose him to win at Roland Garros. Naturally, Nadal collected his ninth title in a decade and proved them wrong. The Spaniard -- whose fragile knees caused him to miss seven months of tennis awhile back -- has now won three of the past five majors.

Heading into Wimbledon, with two Slams in the books, the standings are tightly bunched at the top: Mary Joe Fernandez and Kamakshi Tandon (54), Matt Wilansky (50), Cliff Drysdale (45), Pam Shriver (29), Chris Evert and Howard Bryant (27), Brad Gilbert (24), Darren Cahill (23), Patrick McEnroe (22), Greg Garber (13) and Jim Caple (11).

What will happen at Wimbledon? Anything and everything, probably. Last year Nadal went out in the first round, and Federer, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka followed in the second.

Here are our fearless Experts' Picks. As always, please, no wagering.