The Gentlemen

We rate the contenders from one tennis ball (forget about it) to five (good bet).

Andre Agassi, 33 Las Vegas

Can you think of a reason why the oldest man to become No. 1 can't become the oldest to win here? Best result: 1992, Champion. Runner-up in his three previous Slam finals, he finally broke through. Worst: 1996, first round. Bounced by unheralded Doug Flach.

James Blake, 23 Tampa, Florida

He plays an all-court game that's dangerous on grass, but as of this spring he'd never been past the round of 16 at a major. Best result: 2002, second round. In his first Wimbledon, went 11-9 in the fifth with Richard Krajicek.

Roger Federer, 21 Switzerland

It's a question of when, not if, this smooth shotmaker will win here. Best result: 2001, quarterfinals. Ended Sampras' 31-match All England Club streak. Worst: 2002, first round. Fell to huge expectations — and Grand Smal neophyte Mario Ancic.

Juan Carlos Ferrero, 23 Spain

His game is as wrong for grass as it is right for clay, but unlike other dirtballers, he says he'll try his best, which is worth an extra ball. Best result: 2001, third round. Lost to grass-court toughie Greg Rusedski. Worst: 2002, second round. It was the only other year he played.

Tim Henman, 28, England

His attacking style is effective, but the pressure of the semifinals has gotten to him all four times he's been there. Best result: 2001, semifinals. Came within two points of becoming first Briton to reach the Wimbledon final since Bunny Austin in 1938, losing to Ivanisevic. Worst: 2000, fourth round. Only time in last five years he didn't reach the semifinals.

Lleyton Hewitt, 22, Australia

He's the fastest player, the best lobber, and one of the best returners, but he beat only one seeded player en route to last year's title. Best result: 2002, Champion. Became the first baseliner to win since Agassi in 1992. Worst: 2000, first round. Blitzed by Jan-Michael Gambill.

Goran Ivanisevic, 31, Croatia

The ultimate "any given day" guy at Wimbledon, but this is just a victory lap. Best result: 2001, champion. It was an understandable miracle, if that makes sense. Worst: 2000, first round. A loss to Amaud Clement plunged him into despair.

Carlos Moya, 26, Spain

If he ever gets a decent draw, he may finally make it to the second week. Best result: 1998, second round. Won at Roland Garros a month earlier but couldn't sustain the momentum. Worst: 1998, second round. See above.

David Nalbandian, 21, Argentina

Last year, he reached the final in his first tournament on grass. He prefers fast surfaces but there are a lot of guys out there with more game. Best result: 2002, final. Shocked the world, then came down to earth against Hewitt.

Andy Roddick, 20 Boca Raton, Florida

His serve along can carry him far, but he's no ace machine like Ivanisevic. To reach the semis, he'll need to add variety to his game. Best result: 2001, third round. Served off the court by Ivanisevic, like just about everyone else at some point. Worst: 2002, third round. Chip-and-charger Greg Rusedski gave him a grass-court lesson.

Greg Rusedski, 29, England

If he gets match tough after missing almost six months with injuries, this clever grass-courter could surprise everyone. Best result: 1997, quarterfinals. Blew his chance with a loss to Cedric Pioline. Worst: 2000, first round. Helped Vince Spadea break his record losing streak.

Marat Safin, 23, Russia

A player this flaky is almost sure to crumble under the pressure of a semi or final here. Best result: 2001, quarterfinals. Another dream shattered by Ivanisevic. Worst: 2002, second round. Lost to a guy 11 inches shorter, Olivier Rochus.