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 players 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.
Things have dried up after a rainy start to the tournament, allowing play to get back on the schedule. The courts are also growing firmer thanks to all the tread they're receiving, which should lead to less slippery conditions as the tournament unfolds. Plenty of seeds are still slipping out of the draw on both the men's and women's sides, but a couple of men's favorites are showing no signs of joining that group, while two French Open women's champions are off to good starts in their bids to add a Wimbledon crown to the collection.
Daniil Medvedev - Medvedev's grass-court confidence is at an all-time high, as he won the Mallorca Open on grass heading into Wimbledon before nicely navigating a tricky early draw. He avenged a grass-court loss at Halle to Jan-Lennard Struff with a four-set first-round victory, then made quick work of promising teenager Carlos Alcaraz 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in the second round. The No. 2 seed shouldn't have much difficulty in the third round against No. 32 seed Marin Cilic, whom Medvedev defeated in their lone previous meeting.
Alexander Zverev - Deep runs in majors have become a customary occurrence for Zverev, and he seems poised for another one. Neither Tallon Griekspoor nor Tennys Sandgren managed to take a set off the fourth-seeded German, and Zverev's tracking toward a potential quarterfinal clash with Matteo Berrettini. Zverev will be heavily favored in the third round against 31st-seeded Taylor Fritz, who has already spent 6:22 on court while playing nine grueling sets through two rounds – hardly ideal for the American considering he had knee surgery less than a month ago.
Felix Auger-Aliassime - FAA ultimately pulled away from Mikael Ymer in the second round, but he was far from comfortable in the 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1 win. He won't get any more comfortable in the third round against big-serving and unpredictable unseeded floater Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios has already knocked off No. 21 seed Ugo Humbert in a first-round, five-set thriller, and their lone previous meeting was a nail-biting 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3), 7-5 Auger-Aliassime win on grass in 2019.
Andy Murray - Murray has gone through streaks of terrible play in each of his first two matches, but he's found a way to ride the crowd's energy and summon up some vintage Murray tennis when he's needed it to reach the third round in his return to the All England Club thanks to a 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili followed by a 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 escape against Oscar Otte. Third-round opponent and No. 10 seed Denis Shapovalov got a walkover in the second round but needed five sets to escape against Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round, showing some vulnerability heading into this one. Shapovalov's also a player who loves to feed off the crowd's energy, but he won't find much support against the local legend.
Marton Fucsovics - Fucsovics already has one major upset in this tournament, knocking out up-and-coming star Jannik Sinner 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in the opening round. He was able to refuel the tank in the second round against Jiri Vesely, as Vesely tapped out with Fucsovics leading 6-3, 5-4. The Hungarian has to fancy his chances of keeping this run going against No. 9 seed Diego Schwartzman on the diminutive Argentine's worst surface. This is just Schwartzman's second career third-round appearance at Wimbledon, as his returning prowess manifests itself less against skidding serves on the grass.
Jelena Ostapenko - Ostapenko's in excellent form, and she has the belief needed to succeed deep in majors, having won the French Open in 2017 and made the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2018. She won Eastbourne on grass last week, and Ostapenko impressed in different ways in the first two rounds here. After blowing out tricky youngster Leylah Fernandez 6-1, 6-2 in the first round, Ostapenko showed great mental fortitude in a 6-1, 3-6, 8-6 second-round victory over No. 31 seed Daria Kasatkina. There are no seeds left in Ostapenko's path until the quarterfinals, and the 34th-ranked Latvian will be a clear third-round favorite against 75th-ranked Australian Ajla Tomljanovic.
Barbora Krejcikova - Krejcikova just keeps rolling along, winning her first two matches here without dropping a set to stretch her Grand Slam match winning streak to nine. The French Open women's singles and women's doubles champion is the hottest player on tour, and third-round opponent Anastasija Sevastova, while tricky and versatile, is unlikely to cool Krejcikova off. Beyond the third round, a showdown with top-seeded Ashleigh Barty looms in the Round of 16. Barty has looked vulnerable thus far, dropping a set in the first round and serving an uncharacteristic nine double faults in the second round.
Coco Gauff - Gauff reached the first of what's expected to be many Grand Slam quarterfinals at the French Open before falling to eventual champion Krejcikova. The 20th-seeded American has carried the momentum from that result into Wimbledon, winning her first two matches without dropping a set. Gauff has also watched the draw clear out around her, as she can't face a higher-ranked opponent earlier than the quarterfinals and has no top-15 seeds left in her draw before the semis. She'll be heavily favored in the third round against 102nd-ranked Kaja Juvan before what could be an intriguing match of youthful athleticism against veteran guile in the fourth round against Angelique Kerber.
Elise Mertens - Mertens has righted the ship with a pair of easy wins in the first two rounds after losing in the first round of both grass-court tuneup events she played, but the No. 13 seed won't be happy to see 23rd-seeded Madison Keys in the third round. Keys has reached at least the quarterfinals in all four Grand Slams, and she has a 2-0 career head-to-head edge against Mertens, with both wins coming in straight sets and at Grand Slams.
Shelby Rogers - Rogers just pulled out a 7-5, 6-4 upset of No. 15 seed Maria Sakkari, and the unseeded American will set her sights on another upset in the third round against 18th-seeded Elena Rybakina. Rybakina overcame an early deficit to beat Rogers 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 on the grass courts of Berlin last month, but Rogers beat Rybakina at least year's US Open, so she's quite capable of coming out on top in this third meeting.