London - The 'big four' of men's tennis remain the players
to beat at Wimbledon, said former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, as
this year's tournament at the All England Club gets under way.
Since 2003, Roger Federer has taken seven titles at the
grass-court grand slam followed by Novak Djokovic's three, while Andy Murray
and Rafael Nadal have claimed two each.
The quartet have also been named as the top four seeds for
the first time since 2014, though defending champion Murray and Djokovic have
had mixed seasons.
"They have returned to be the Fantastic Four, as they
have been throughout their careers," Argentine del Potro told the ATP World
Tour website (www.atpworldtour.com) in comments posted on Sunday.
"I think it's something that appeals to every tennis
"I've always played good tennis at Wimbledon.... It is
a tournament that always brings surprises in the first rounds and I think it's
also nice that we have the same top seeds that we had in 2009. They are at an
Bookies' favourite Federer warned on Saturday that he and
the rest of the big four were going to be as tough to beat as ever at this
Seeded 29th, Del Potro has struggled with persistent wrist
injuries in recent years. But the Argentine, who won the US Open in 2009 and
reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2013, is still hopeful of rising back up
"I'm still there with an acceptable position (in the
ATP Rankings). I'm still improving in my comeback. It's a little out of the
ordinary to what I'm used to in my career, but I'm calm and I know that my
level will return," del Potro added.
He faces Australia's Thanasi Kokkinakis in the first round