Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wimbledon 2010 - The Gents

We did the ladies yesterday, time for the gents. Wimbledon T-minus one day!

Roger's quarter: I don't think my pick in this quarter is going to be exactly revolutionary. Unlike Roland Garros, Roger has what I would call a better draw than his buddy Rafa. He opens up against Alejandro 'don't say my name' Falla, which you'd think would be not too bad. And the other big seed in this quarter, Davydenko, is fresh off injury and hasn't really been right since the whole beatdown at the Australian Open incident.

So yeah, surprises.

There are some interesting lurkers in this section, however. Andrey Golubev is going to be the one I keep my eye on, but I'm going to track the progress of Marsel Ilhan, Dustin Brown and Carsten Ball carefully. They're not exactly top ten material yet, but they're interesting guys with upset potential.

Winner: Roger. I am SUCH a revolutionary.
If not him, then: Heaven forbid such a thing occur. But I'm going to keep it Swiss and say Stan Wawrinka. I like his grass court game.
Dark horse: See note re heaven forbid. But I'm going to go with Berdych or, if the apocalypse happens to occur, Schuettler.
First round matches to watch: Tursunov/Schuettler, Luczak/Robredo, Brown/Melzer and Berdych/Golubev.

Novak's quarter: I'm going to be equally revolutionary and not pick Djokovic in this quarter, because please, what has he done these days? Wimbledon seems to bring out something special in Roddick, and much as I am not keen on the idea of a Roger/Andy semi, what with Soderling's retribution in Roland Garros, I can definitely see it happening.

I suppose Hewitt might be another contender in this quarter, but I am really not on that bandwagon and frankly don't see it happening - not over best of five. The biggest threats otherwise, in my opinion, are Marin Cilic and Philipp Kohlschreiber. They haven't done much of much lately, but they're both solid guys who could just solid their ways into the semis, should everyone crumble around them.

Also keep an eye on Yen-hsun Lu. I like him on grass.

Winner: Roddick. What a daring gamble, Jodi!
If not him, then: I'm going to say Cilic. I like him on grass.
Dark horses: Kohlschreiber and (sigh) Hewitt. Emphatically NOT Bernard Tomic. I don't think his style is especially well suited to grass.
First round matches to watch: Schwank/Korolev, Fish/Tomic and Monfils/Mayer.

Muzz's quarter:I can't figure out if it's more revolutionary to pick for or against Muzz in this quarter. I don't like the way he's playing, nor do I think he will react especially well to the British pressure (particularly if the English team goes out in the World Cup) but his quarter of the draw is really not that tough. If this were Roland Garros, he'd have cause to be scared, but there's not huge stacks of grass court prowess going on in this section.

That said, I wouldn't want to face Sam Querrey's serve on grass if I were a pro tennis player. No sirree.

I suppose you never know what Jo Tsonga can pull either, but he's injured (yesno?) Anyway, I picked him to make the semis in Paris and the boy let me down. Same with Ferrero - have never really seen him play on grass, but can't see it suiting him especially well.

Winner: Muzz. For lack of a better option.
If not him, then: Sam Querrey. See notes re serve.
Dark horses: Watch that tumbleweed going by. Oh, all right, I'll pick Verdasco and Tsonga. And Marco Chiudinelli, just for funsies.
First round matches to watch: Benneteau/Vliegen, Tsonga/Kendrick and Querrey/Stakhovsky.

Rafa's quarter: Now this is not a nice quarter for Rafa. The current question mark over Gulbis (is he in? is he out?) might lessen his angst a little, but the fact remains that he has a rocky road to the final... and I'm a little worried about how his body's holding up. Boy's played a LOT of tennis lately (even if he was winning all his matches in straights).

So I really am going to be revolutionary. I'm not picking Rafa. Faint now. Off you go.

I'm giving my vote to Soderling. I think he has the drive to prove himself outside Roland Garros, and you can bet that if he met Rafa in the quarters, he would want to give him what-for in recompense for the finals in Paris. I haven't seen a great deal of him on grass, but I think he could definitely keep the ball low on Rafa, and that would help his cause a lot.

Also, watch out for John Isner. That's all I'm saying.

Winner: Robin Soderling. He wants it.
If not him, then: Rafa. I'm not THAT revolutionary.
Dark horses: John 'I could kill you with my serve' Isner. Youzhny could also be a spoiler and Baghdatis has been to the semis here before.
First round matches to watch: Ferrer/Kiefer, Youzhny/Sela and Nadal/Nishikori.

That leaves us with the following semi finalists:

FedEx vs Andy R
Andy M vs The Yoker

I think either of these matches could go either way. But if someone had a gun to my head and forced me to choose, I would pick the following final:

FedEx vs Andy M

I'm as surprised as you are. I certainly didn't expect myself to be tipping Muzz for the final. And here I find myself doing it. That said, Soderling is totally going to take him to five. And if it does end up that Nadal makes the semis, he will make Muzz his bitch. But the winner of this hypothetical final is...


Told you I was a revolutionary.

What are your thoughts?

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