Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Heading towards the QFs of the most random WImbledon ever? (part 1 - men)

Wimbledon, or as they call them-selves "The Championships", the whitest, the most prestigious and the most traditional of the Slams, probably the most famouse. For sure this year, the strangest. When we are still a few rounds away from the finals it seems like the only expected things are surprises: in a strangely dry edition of the British slam, it passed no day without a huge upset happening in the both women and men draws. Let's just think that out of the top 8 seeds in the women's draw only 3 are left, with the higher being Agnieska Radwanska, world number 4 and yet to win her first slam, while the other two girls who survived their seeding are former RG's champion Li Na and former Wimbledon's champion Petra Kvitova.
On the men's draw things look a little less surprising in terms of numbers, with 5 top 8 in the quarters, but the lack of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal surely does surprise more than any other number, since the two combined one 8 out of the last nine editions of this slam.
But let's see what happened in each quarter of the draw:

(1) N. Djokovic vs (7) T. Berdyck
In this quarter everything went as expected, as Djokovic reached this far without dropping a set, despite having faces a bunch of grass-courter like Tommy Haas in the previous round. The Serb looks like the favourite for the title now, mostly because his form seems to be there and he is the only Wimbledon champion left in the draw. The Czech will surely be a nice test of his chances though, because Tomas knows how to play on those courts -he's been a finalist here few years ago- and he reached this point handling perfectly a few dangerous players like the South African Anderson and the young promise Tomic, who had took down to seeds en route: Quarrey and Gasquet.
My guess is Djokovic in four sets, with the first two sets running on the edge.

(4) D. Ferrer vs (8) J.M. Del Potro
Here's another quarter where seeding was respected, likely to be with a giggle from the organizers,
who were strongly criticized when they decided to give the Spaniard the 4th seed which Rafael Nadal should have been given according to the ranking. Apparently they were right after all, because David, despite struggling with a few opponents, he could make his way up to this far, whilst Nadal didn't. It would be quite a surprise though, if he would run away from this match with a win, because his Argentinian opponent has a game that suits the surface best and despite rumors had him out of his 4th round against Italian Andreas Seppi because of a knee injury, he is still in and hasn't dropped a set yet. Ferrer on the other hand never closed in straights and it looks unlikely that his griding would bother Juan Martin on the fast grass.

L. Kubot vs (24) J. Janowicz
The Polish quarter, the clash that writes a new page for the country, since it never happened that a Polish player hit the semifinals of the Championships and so, whoever goes through this match, the record will change. The clash of the underdogs was made possible by the unexpected defeats and retirements of all the seeds: for sure the most surprising one came when Sergej Stckhovskij in the
second round put an end of Federer's record of consecutive QF in slams, but it wasn't the only one, since earlier in the first round Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka were stunned by Darcis and Hewitt. In the end it was Kubot to take advantage of the draw and the retirement of the "killer" of Nadal in the second round, so that he could capitalize his suitable game for grass by defeating lower names and after a huge effort reaching his first Slam Quarterfinal, by defeating Mannarino in 5 sets. Lucasz surely is the underdog in his clash with compatriot Janowicz, but Jerzy didn't have an easy way either, because yesterday it needed all his talent to win the 5th set against Austrian veteran Melzer and this marathon may take its toll tomorrow. My guess is still a win for Janowicz in three.

(2) A. Murray vs F. Verdasco
Half a surprise in this section of the draw, where as espected, world n°2 and Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray sailed in full control through all his opponents without dropping a set, though in all truth, he hasn't faced any particular treat a part from Youzhny in the 4th round, but the Russian fell apart after the 2nd set's tiebreak. On the other side of the net in this QF there will be the Spanish
veteran Fernando Verdasco, at his best result at Wimbledon. The Spaniard capitalized a draw the fell apart thanks to thewalkover of Marin Cilic (10th seed), and the retirement of French hope Tsonga during his 2nd round clash with Ernest Gulbis. Murray should face much problems in this Quarterfinal, nor in the Semis, sure the whole country is cheering for him to finally win the home slam.

Bold Prediction for the final:
Murray def. Djokovic 6-4 3-6 7-5 7-5 

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