Federer, Murray Heading Toward Final Sunday Collision?
Two rounds done, five more to go at the Wimbledon Championships. I’ve been away on break for the last five days, but was still able to catch much of the grass court action via TV and the internet. So far, so good for the main attractions. Not much in the way of surprises, although today’s Lleyton Hewitt win over Juan Martin Del Potro was arguably the biggest stunner in the men’s draw thus far.
The top man, Roger Federer, has looked ultra-sharp the first two rounds. His competition hasn’t been very formidable but Roger has coasted and taken care of business, whereas Andy Murray struggled just a little in the first round – though clearly righted that ship today against Ernests Gulbis.
Andy Roddick has looked “okay” through two rounds in wins over Jeremy Chardy and Igor Kunitsyn while Novak Djokovic suddenly says he’s not among the guys to beat nor are his expectations very high (huh?).
That all said, I like my darkhorse pick Tomas Berdych who has destroyed both his opponents – okay, his first round was a virtual bye vs. a Brit! And I think Fernando Gonzalez looks good as well, and I see him coming out to the quarterfinals.
For tomorrow, the best match is Tommy Haas and Marin Cilic. The 20-year-old Cilic has a bigger and brighter game, but I like Haas in that one. He seems to be playing quality tennis I could easily see him run the table to the Final Four. I also like Seppi, Dudi Sela over Tommy Robredo (really?), Jo Tsonga over Ivo Karlovic and French finalist Robin Soderling over Nico Almagro.
As for Federer v. Kohlschreiber, I’ll take the Swiss. Phil will be Fed’s toughest test thus far and he’s accomplished on the grass, but I don’t like his chances against Roger. Fed’s flying high.
Lots of talk the first four days about the grunting in women’s tennis. Who cares? Honestly, anything that spices up the game, especially the women’s, is a good thing! I also heard a report of a shot clock coming to tennis, about time. It’s something I talked about last year.
And on Rafael Nadal, apparently his knees are not the only thing troubling him. The current-but-soon-to-be-dethroned No. 1’s parents are reportedly splitting up or have split up. That’s too bad. Hope for the best for Rafa.
So who’s looking good, who isn’t? Right now it’s still Fed’s tournament. I don’t think Djokovic has the belief, Murray can overcome the pressure and Roddick has the power to outgun Fed. Can Fed have a bad day, absolutely. But who’ll take advantage? The only guy is Murray but that would come in the final when all of Britain will be watching. Pressure cooker? Yes. Advantage Federer.
Turning to the women, still looks like we are headed to a fourth Venus-Serena Wimbledon final showdown. Venus hasn’t even lost a set in a few years while Serena is mowing down her section.
Watching a little of Maria Sharapova lose to Gisella Dulko, I have to think we may have seen the last of Russian play on final Sundays at Slams. Without a serve her game is basically muck and the competition will catch up. Ana Ivanovic may be on that same career path if she doesn’t sure up her serve and her game. In the meantime, look for Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki to pick up the slack and join the crusade in challenging Williams sisters.
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