LONDON, June 30: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are set to tighten their private stranglehold on Wimbledon as rivals struggle to keep afloat as they bid to dethrone the sport's A-list stars.
World number one Djokovic is the defending champion and chasing a fifth title at the All England Club.
Federer, promoted to second seed, can win a ninth crown while two-time champion Nadal is seeking to complete a rare back-to-back Roland Garros-Wimbledon double.
Twelve months ago, Djokovic arrived at Wimbledon with his career threatening to spiral into decline.
Unable to shake off the effects of right elbow surgery, the Serb was ranked at 21, his lowest position for over a decade.
But two weeks later, Djokovic had captured the 2018 title to add to his 2011, 2014 and 2015 wins, becoming the lowest-seeded player to take the Wimbledon trophy since Andre Agassi in 1992.
Since then, he has been rejuvenated, going on to claim a third US Open and seventh Australian Open title.
The only blip was a rain-hit semi-final exit to Dominic Thiem at Roland Garros, a loss which ended his attempt to become just the second man to hold all four Slams at the same time twice.
"Coming off from the surgery, being unable to have consistency with results, this was a huge springboard for me, the win at Wimbledon last year," said Djokovic, who will take a 10-2 career record over Philipp Kohlschreiber into their first-round clash on Monday.
Federer, chasing a 21st major, first played Wimbledon in 1999.
Pushing 38, he would be the oldest ever Grand Slam champion if he were to lift a ninth title.
The Swiss star is also just five wins from becoming the first man to register 100 victories at the same Slam.