Federer Lands Favorable Wimbledon Draw, Nadal Has Tough Title Defense
What a Wimbledon draw. For the second straight Slam we could see Rafael Nadal face Andy Murray in his semifinal leaving Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to war in the other. But will it happen again?
Quickly examing the draw this morning, things look very promising for Federer returning to the semifinals. Then I like Murray’s chances followed by Djokovic and lastly our defending champion Nadal.
Starting from the top, Nadal has an absolutely horrific draw with two of the most dangerous seeded floaters directly in his path. Nadal could meet the big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic in the third round with a possible date against Juan Martin Del Potro in the fourth. If it’s not Raonic or Delpo, it could be Gilles Muller (who has a Wimbledon win over Rafa) or Gilles Simon. In the quarterfinals he could get a 2010 finals rematch against Tomas Berdych or potentially a clash with Mardy Fish.
While Nadal will have his hands full, the Murray camp has to be in good spirits. The Scot was granted an exceptionally easy path in Paris and once again the Tennis Gods have shined down upon Andy. In the third round, Murray’s seeded to meet Marin Cilic who’s really been struggling. In the fourth he could run into his toughest test of the section in Richard Gasquet (a rematch of their epic from a few years ago). In the quarters he should be able to overwhelm either Andy Roddick or Gael Monfils. Roddick, who’s having his troubles, has to happy with his road. Though, right know I think Monfils gets him in the fourth round.
In the bottom half, Federer has by far the easiest section among the fab foursome. The six-time Wimbledon champion could run into a subpar David Nalbandian in the third round, then Mikhail Youhzny in the fourth followed by JW Tsonga in the quarters. That’s about as tough as it could get for the Swiss. Incredibly, in that section we also find the match of the first round: John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. Unbelievably the two record-breaking stars from the 2010 tournament drew one another again. Tennis and fate have a funny way sometimes.
The Djokovic section looks good for the Serb on the surface. But his first round opponent, Jeremy Chardy, can provide resistance and a second rounder with Kevin Anderson is tricky. In the fourth he could again meet Viktor Troicki or possibly Michael Llodra, and then I see a big clash in the quarterfinals will Robin Soderling. The Swede, however, opens against Philipp Petzschner in the other big first round contest.
So by seeding the quarterfinals are: 1 Nadal v. 6 Berdych, 4 Murray v. 8 Roddick, 7 Ferrer v. 3 Federer, 5 Soderling v. 2 Djokovic.
Semifinals: Nadal v. Murray, Federer v. Djokovic
Overall, the draw is definitely weighted in the Nadal section while Federer’s is so thin and light.
As for a pick, can the top four get back to the semifinals again? The odds just seem to long for that to happen again, so someone among four will have to lose. Who could that be? I just can’t see Federer not reaching the semifinals. I also think Djokovic pulls through that Soderling match.
Nadal does have a brutal draw but the guy is mentally so tough that I still think he gets back to the final four. So that leaves Murray and in my mind right now he is the most likely to get picked off, and I think Gasquet could do it him.
Also, a few of the other good first round matches include Muller v. Haas, Fognini v. Raonic, Stepanek v. Verdasco, Ljubicic v. Cilic, Karlovic v. Tipsarevic, Isner v. Mahut, Soderling v. Petzschner, Hewitt v. Nishikori, Gulbis v. Tursunov and Bagdahtis v. Blake.
I’ll have a final pick for the title on Sunday. Matches begin on Monday with Nadal, Murray and Roddick all in action.
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