Some real quick thoughts on the Wimbledon semifinals which begin in about ten minutes time from London. First, no real surprises with the four men – Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick and Tommy Haas – we are left with. Haas beating Novak Djokovic was a bit of a surprise, but seeing the other three reach the semifinals was for the most part expected and it’s a great semifinal lineup.
Federer going for a record breaking 15th career Slam (Will Pete Sampras be searching for flights to London in a few hours?). Murray trying to become the first British man to win Wimbledon in what seems to be forever. And then there’s Haas who has overcome so many injuries and obstacles while Roddick just wants to be part of the top again.
Opening things on Centre Court is Federer and Haas. We all remember the thriller the two friends played at the French Open last month, and the they have played similar marathons at the Australian Open a couple of times. Federer has posted eight straight wins over Haas and leads overall 9-2. And I think today Fed runs the streak to nine. Haas will keep it closer than most think, but I like Federer in four sets. Roger’s playing great tennis as is Haas, but Fed’s experience at this stage really helps the Swiss.
The second semifinal I think will be a closer contest with two Andys. Murray is better all around than Roddick, but the pressure will be squarely on the Brit, while Roddick and his atomic right arm should be loose and lively. And I think Roddick will sneak a set, maybe even two but I just can’t see him winning three sets against Murray in this situation. I like Murray in four.
As for the women, what an incredible match yesterday between Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva. Full credit to Elena who gave Serena had every chance to lose but Serena showed again why she’s unquestionably the best player in the world. Someone who cleary isn’t worthy of that label is current No. 1 Dinara Safina who absolutely got clobbered by Venus Williams.
I read the headline here that Safina choked, but it’s hard to say someone choked when she won just a single game and really wasn’t a threat to pull the upset. Fact is, Venus is just that good at Wimbledon and that much better than Dinara on grass. That said, Dinara’s quickly sliding down the wormhole and if she keeps losing like this to the top players late in Slams it’s going to be a long career for Marat’s baby sister.
For tomorrow, I’ll stay with my pre-tournament pick and take Venus over Serena in the all-American, July 4 women’s finale.
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