Wimbledon has not seen anybody other than Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, or Andy Murray win the title for men's singles since Lleyton Hewitt won the Grand Slam for grass-court tennis back in 2002. Since that time, now a decade and a half ago, Federer has claimed seven titles, Nadal has claimed two, Murray has claimed two, and Djokovic has a trio. So dominant have the Big Four been that there has only been four other players that have even made the Wimbledon final since 2002, namely Milos Raonic, Tomas Berdych, Andy Roddick, and Mark Philippoussis. However, heading into Wimbledon 2017 it looks like there is an increasing window of opportunity for a first-time title winner.

Skepticism is justified against each player in the Big Four for different reasons.

Andy Murray not looking threatening

Andy Murray, with the injury buzz, certainly does not appear poised to defend his title. He has not had a great season in 2017 and Judy Murray, his mother, admitted "he may not be fit to defend title" (The Sun/Duncan Wright/June 29th 2017). That Murray's mother is speaking poorly of his chances is significant: she's likely doing it to take some pressure off of her son and to prepare the world for an upcoming upset in the Wimbledon draw.

Novak Djokovic does not appear poised to win another title at Wimbledon either. The Serb has done poorly in the Grand Slam draws so far this season, winning just five matches in both Melbourne Park and Roland Garros combined.

In fact, Djokovic is currently without an active title in a Grand Slam. He did make the US Open final last season, but remember how lucky his draw was at Flushing Meadows 2016. He won no less than three matches either via retirement or walkover, basically gifting Djokovic a spot in the late rounds. Djokovic, at time of writing, is in the late draw at Eastbourne, meaning that he might enter Wimbledon tired.

That consideration and his slump, both suggest that Wimbledon 2017 won't be a great tournament for him.

Federer and especially Nadal the ones to watch

The two main contenders of the Big Four for Wimbledon are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. With Federer, there's the age question. He may have won Halle, but that was a small-draw tournament with best-of-three matches.

Furthermore, the very best players in the world weren't in the draw. Winning Wimbledon will be incredibly tough for the nearly 36-year old master.

Nadal is the player to watch, but there is good reason to be skeptical of him still. After all, losses at Wimbledon since last making the final have been to low-ranked players. The Spaniard's grass-court aptitude isn't what it used to be despite the fact that his form on cement and clay have been excellent this season.

Who could win Wimbledon for the first time?

Justified skepticism against all four of the Big Four does suggest that a maiden champion at Wimbledon has a chance to emerge in the next two weeks ahead. Milos Raonic has to be named as a candidate to win following his run to the final last year.

Marin Cilic certainly has the potential to win Wimbledon, given his proven Grand Slam winning ability. Alexander Zverev has to be considered the leader of the talented youngsters at this point. Nick Kyrgios, if he keeps his head on straight, has weapons that should be effective on grass. Meanwhile Stan Wawrinka is in the hunt for a career Grand Slam and he has won a lot of matches in majors so far this season. Grigor Dimitrov seems like an after thought at this point, but if he's on song then he's as good as any of the players outside of the Big Four.

Peripheral players that have a chance to go well would have to be Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori, Feliciano Lopez, and Lucas Pouille. With Thiem, there is a question of surface although he did win a grass-court title in 2016.

Nishikori has been quiet for most of this season, but his talent can't be denied. Lopez has made the Wimbledon quarterfinals before and he was sharp during the warm-up events, winning Queen's and making the final in Stuttgart. Meanwhile Pouille beat Lopez to win Stuttgart and the French player really came on strong at this time last season.

There are loads of questions heading into Wimbledon 2017. We'll get some answers shortly regarding whether Murray is fit and if Djokovic has the determination to win at this point. At any rate, it's hard not to imagine at least one of the Big Four in the final. It's still a really tough-ask for others outside of the Big Four to win at Wimbledon, but don't be incredibly surprised if there's a first-time champion at the event this season.

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