With the second round of Wimbledon in the books, it's time to highlight which players are on the rise and which ones look most vulnerable heading into the next round. Players who have been eliminated are of little interest to fantasy owners as the tournament unfolds, so this column is meant to take a look ahead based on what's happened so far rather than reflect on the past.
All of the early upsets have opened up the draw considerably on both the men's and women's sides, but even more upsets are likely to come moving forward. Among players primed to knock off higher-ranked opponents are a man who has spent a good chunk of his career in the top 10 and a woman who has been ranked as high as No. 1 in the world.
Kei Nishikori - Nishikori should be fresh moving forward, having won each of his first two matches in straight sets. The No. 8 seed from Japan also has a favorable draw – he's won all four previous meetings against third-round opponent Steve Johnson and would face the winner of No. 33 Jan-Lennard Struff or Mikhail Kukushkin in the fourth round.
Rafael Nadal - Nadal was pushed hard by a surprisingly focused Nick Kyrgios in the second round, but the Spaniard ultimately came out on top 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3). His reward for that win is a third-round clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. While Tsonga's a tough customer, his ranking has slipped to 72nd at age 34. Nadal won't have to face a seed until a potential quarterfinal meeting with Fabio Fognini, who's the last other seeded player remaining in Nadal's entire quarter of the draw.
Milos Raonic -This isn't as much about Raonic as it is about his opponent, who's one of the few men on the tour capable of matching the Canadian's serving prowess. While Raonic is one of the ATP's biggest servers, he'll have to rely on other weapons to differentiate himself from 21-year-old American Reilly Opelka. Opelka has a junior Wimbledon championship under his belt, and the tallest player in tennis history at 6-foot-11 can routinely smash his serve over 140 mph. Their third-round match should feature plenty of tiebreaks and will likely come down to a handful of big points late in sets. With Raonic just recently returning from an injury, he hasn't had as much practice in pressure situations as he would like.
David Goffin - Goffin is a former top-10 player who saw his ranking drop due to an elbow injury late in 2018, but he's looked terrific in this tournament, winning all six of his sets so far. The No. 21 seed lost to Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open, but Medvedev was in much better form then, having gone just 3-5 in his last five tournaments prior to Wimbledon. Goffin's all-court game gives him a good chance to upset the 11th-seeded Russian here, and the winner of their match will be primed for an even deeper run with an unseeded opponent due up in the Round of 16.
Caroline Wozniacki - Grass isn't Wozniacki's favorite surface, but the draw has opened up beautifully for the No. 14 seed. She avenged her French Open loss to Veronika Kudermetova with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 win in the second round and won't have to face a seed until the quarterfinals at the earliest. The Dane is 0-6 at the fourth round at Wimbledon but has a golden opportunity to finally clear that hurdle here.
Ashleigh Barty - The world No. 1 came into this tournament nursing an arm injury, but she's shown no sign of trouble in dropping 10 total games over the first two rounds. Even with the crowd against her in the third round, expect more of the same dominance from Barty against 182nd-ranked Brit Harriet Dart. Barty remains on a collision course for a quarterfinal showdown with Serena Williams, and she has looked much less vulnerable than Williams thus far.
Sloane Stephens - Stephens has looked as dominant as anybody in the draw thus far, but she's going to see a steep increase in competition against Johanna Konta in the third round. The 19th-seeded Konta will have the support of the crowd as a Brit, and she's had success here before with a semifinal appearance back in 2017. Even worse for the 19th-seeded Stephens is their head-to-head – Konta is 3-0, with all three meetings coming in 2019.
Victoria Azarenka - Azarenka has cruised into the third round, dropping only 10 total games over the first two rounds. Her powerful ground strokes will allow the Belarusian to control most of the points against No. 7 seed Simona Halep, who needed three sets to get through the second round and is nursing a lower-leg injury. As a former world No. 1, Azarenka won't be overwhelmed by the opportunity in front of her.