Friday, June 21, 2013

The Men of the All-England Club -- 2013 Wimbledon Preview

Feliciano Lopez
It's been a while. I haven't written about tennis since last August (hell, I haven't written about anything here since March). It's strange though, because being in grad school has given me the opportunity to watch way more tennis this year than I have in about the last three. Spread the textbooks all over the bed and pretend to read them while watching eight hours of the Tennis Channel. Sadly, I won't get to watch as much of Wimbledon because: A. Research Methodology (or whatever the class is called) is sucking the life out of me; and 2. I'll be in Philly the first week of the tournament for my nephew's wedding.

Since we all know how bored I get writing about players I don't care about, I'm not even going to bother listing the ones that don't matter this time. It's just a waste of a strike-through. Enough chit-chat. Here we go.

1. Novak Djokovic – He's not my favorite player ever, but he's more fun when he's winning so I'm never too mad when he does. While it's not as astounding as Federer's semi-final streak, Djoker's now made it to the semi-finals or better 12 straight majors. Players he may encounter on the way to number 13 – Feliciano Lopez, Tommy Haas, Richard Gasquet, Sam Querrey and Tomas Berdych. He's 36-7 against that group.

2. Andy Murray – I didn't see a single name in his quarter of the draw that I think can win a big match on grass (or any surface for that matter). In the semi-final however, he could face Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer. They've each won a couple big matches on grass. His chances of getting to the final increase if he plays Federer. He's 2-6 in majors against Nadal and lost in straight sets twice to him at Wimbledon.

3. Roger Federer / 5. Rafael Nadal – Let's not even pretend that this isn't going to happen. It's a little bit sad that there are only four men in the game that have a chance of winning Wimbledon, but that's situation. Winning the tournament is that much harder for either of these two because they face the possibility of having to beat all of the other three to do it. Meanwhile, Djokovic only has to beat one of them (after they've all beaten up on each other).

4. David Ferrer – It's painful to even waste words on him. Last year, in his tenth Wimbledon, he finally got to the quarter-finals for the first time. Last month, in his 42nd Grand Slam tournament, he finally got to his first final (where he won all of eight games – and the match wasn't even that close). The only good thing about him being seeded fourth is it opens up the possibility that Juan Martin Del Potro or Grigor Dimitrov could get to the semi-finals.

6. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga – Now, I'm sure someone (if anyone is actually reading this) is thinking, “You said there's no one in Murray's quarter that can win a big match on grass, but Tsonga's been to the semi-finals two years in a row.” Well, first of all, bitch please. Murray is 8-1 against Tsonga and 4-0 on grass. Furthermore, even if he were to somehow beat Murray (perhaps Andy sees his mother in the stands making out with Deliciano Lopez and is thrown off his game), there's no way he wins the follow-up match because – I say it every time I write about him – he's just too damn French.

7. Tomas Berdych – The good news: Berdych beat Djokovic at Wimbledon in 2010 (the only time they've played on grass). The less good news: he's 1-13 in the rest of his matches against Djokovic (that one win coming earlier this year however, so hope rises like a Phoenix). The even less good news: in those 13 losses he won a total of five sets. The downright bad news: other than that one year (2010) when Berdych got to the final, he's only even made it to the quarter-finals at the All-England Club one other time.

8. Juan Martin Del Potro – I swear I'm not just saying this because he's hot and one of my three favorite tennis players, but I think DelPo has real shot at the semi-finals, maybe even the final. He potentially could face Dimitrov in the third round, which could be tricky. But if he gets past him, there's no one else really dangerous (except maybe Milos Raonic, but he's only ever been dangerous in theory so far in his career) in his quarter. Then, if Novak has a bad day, BOOM, JMDP all the way to the Wimbledon final. You read it here first.

13. Tommy Haas – He won't get past the fourth round, but he's 35 years old and playing some of the best tennis he's played since 2002. Or maybe it just seems that way because he's finally become likeable.

29. Grigor Dimitrov – One of these young guys is due for a deep run at a major. I doubt it will be him (at least not here) but I like putting his picture in my blog posts. Plus, he is dating Maria Sharapova and, I only just found this out, allegedly dated Serena Williams last year. Lost in the other controversial comments Serena made to Rolling Stone was this awesome quote about (almost definitely) Sharapova: “And, hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it.” 

That about does it for the people I think will do anything interesting during the fortnight (you may not know this, but it is mandatory to include the word fortnight at least once whenever you write about Wimbledon). As for the actual predictions, here goes.

Djokovic def. Del Potro
Nadal def. Murray

Nadal def. Djokovic in five grueling sets

1 comment:

  1. Well Rafa's my guy...but Grigor gives good chest! I just might have to go with 29... ;o) ~theKANartist