Federer Lands Favorable Wimbledon Draw, Nadal Has Tough Title Defense
by Sean Randall | June 17th, 2011, 9:12 am
  • 90 Comments

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.


Also Check Out:
Nadal Expected To Be Seeded Fifth At Wimbledon; Federer, Murray Don’t Seem To Mind
Djokovic Lands in Federer Half; Nadal Could Get Roddick at Wimbledon
ATP Finals Draw: Djokovic Lands With Federer, Del Potro; Nadal With Berdych, Ferrer
Federer Lands in Nadal’s Half at Cincinnati; Roddick Returns
Andy Murray Is Excited For His First Grand Slam Defense

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90 Comments for Federer Lands Favorable Wimbledon Draw, Nadal Has Tough Title Defense

HOPELAAA Says:

Sean… where did you learn to speak / write English? …


Dory Says:

Nole and his pigeon Troicki have some hidden magnetic force. They will in the future have the record of most head to head matches ever played.


truthsquad Says:

I don’t understand the logic behind your assertions. You say Nadal has a “horrific draw”, while Murray has been “gifted” by the Tennis Gods..and then you pick Nadal as a certainty to make it to the semis, but predict Murray won’t..do you contradict yourself here, or am I missing something? ;-)


Kimberly Says:

I am running the Tennis X Fans Racquet Bracket :: Wimbledon ATP contest. This is your invitation to join this contest.

Submit your bracket here:
http://www.tourneytopia.com/RacquetBracketWimbledonATP/tennisxfans1/default.aspx.

The deadline to enter is 6/20/2011 6:00 AM Eastern Standard Time


dari Says:

So formal, Kimberly ;)


madmax Says:

I would never describe Tsonga as an ‘easy pick’. Tsonga is one of those players who could do anything to any one of the fab four. He really could.


Kimberly Says:

Dari-i cut and pasted the suggested invitation language from the tourneytopia!

Did you see the mascot?


Kimberly Says:

truthsquad—-Sean picked Lleyton Hewitt to win the title last year. I wouldn’t put much stock in what he says after that. Then Soderling was supposed to win the tournament after Hewitt lost.


dari Says:

Haha, I know Kimberly, I was just joking.
OMG am on cell phone, can’t wait to see it on the computer, but that is perfect mascot! Soo cute
I bet we have the BEST group picture in all of tourneytopia.
C’Mon guys, let’s do our mascot pic justice and get one of the tennisx peeps on the big leaderboard!


trufan Says:

Nadal has a tough draw and Federer has it easy?

that’s a joke.

Nadal got Murray in the semi instead of Federer – that’s easier, right?

And Berdych? Come on, he can’t beat Nadal, even he knows that. Roddick is playing sub par, and way beyond his prime. Del Potro is still too inexperienced on clay.

What would have been tough is if Nadal had to face Isner on grass – but wait, Federer gets to do that!

All in all, a pretty simple draw for Nadal. Federer’s get real tough from the 4th round onwards.

Anyway, Nadal is not winning wimbledon again.


Vaaamos Says:

^^ deluded


Ben Pronin Says:

Caught this little bit over on tennistalk, provides quite the chuckle:

“Cheryl: a little deviation is not bad, but You should read other blogsites, where basketball and ice hockey, husbands clothes and children crying are the main topic of discussion instead of the article’s topic. It’s good to see that the TT bloggers keep to the topic. I give up in frustration trying to follow the tennis-related discussions elsewhere. It’s why I love Tennis.com also, as they stay on topic and discourages long drawn-out discussions.”

G-d forbid a tennis forum carries discussions about other sports…


Thangs Says:

I hardly remember Federer having tough draws..In almost all slams, he gets very easy first 4 round opponents to tune up his game. Thats also one of the little factor(I am not saying this is the main factor) for federer’s 23 SF streak.

Yes, Rafa draw is horrible. Then again, he needs that to get his confidence high and play his full potential when it comes to QF/SF/Championship matches.

Vamos Rafa!


Kimberly Says:

Ben hahahah

Guilty as charged.


Queen Mirka Says:

Yes, I agree. Nadal will go home early. Federer all the way!


Kimberly Says:

sascity.sbnation.com/2011/6/17/2228864/wimbledon-2011-rafael-nadal-gets-easy-wimbledon-draw

i guess its all a matter of opinion, right? Like Sean, I thought he had the hardest one of all, although Kevin Anderson for Novak is an annoying second round.


Thangs Says:

Yes Kimberly, everyone differs in opinion…Overall opinion across the web forums is that Nadal/Soderling are having tough draw and Nole/Feddy got easy QF ride.

Anyhow, our champ Rafa will come on top with another title. Vamos!


mat4 Says:

@Ben:

The more I am on this forum, the more I like it. It feels like family circle here.

So, who has won the Stanley cup?


Eric Says:

This is pretty hilarious — this is the exact opposite of what I was saying on the other thread, before I saw this.

“Compare this against Rafa’s snore draw of Michael Russell (geriatric American), Sweeting (toddler American), Raonic (okay, this could be big trouble, but I doubt it… Petzschner didn’t have that much trouble with him at Halle), and then maybe Delpo (sucks on grass), Rochus (geriatric Belgian), Sela or Simon (not exactly Rafa threats on grass, are they?) or one of a million qualies in his eighth… And then his QF section is packed with good grass players – Berdych, Fish, Kohls, Haase even, Steps,… – which nicely ensures that whoever he plays will be too tired to do anything. ”

Raonic is the only “dangerous” opponent in Rafa’s draw until the QF. And Raonic is not ready to be considered that dangerous yet. JMDP would be a rough draw if this were another slam, but it’s Wimbledon, where he’s never made it past the second round, so calling him a rough draw for the two-time champion is pure comedy.


mat4 Says:

About the draw:

Fed fans believe that his draw is awful, Rafa fans see danger in all his opponents, Djoko fans believe that Anderson is a terrific player, not to mention …, Andy’s fans believe Simon is dangerous…

Btw, Anderson is a terrific player…


Eric Says:

And Roger’s section is certainly tougher than Djokovic’s for the first four rounds. Soderling of course is a much tougher draw than Ferrer (who won’t make it anyway), Tsonga (play a really good 5 setter? hmm…maybe, but I think not), or Dodig.


mat4 Says:

Hello Eric! Nice to read you!


Eric Says:

Rafa dodged plenty of bullets. His QF opponent by seeding is Berdych, which means it wasn’t two other more dangerous possibilities (Soda or Roddick). His SF opponent is Murray, which means it wasn’t Roger (more dangerous). Just to give two examples…


Kimberly Says:

So, who has won the Stanley cup?

Boston. Sore topic on this forum as most were rooting for Canucks.


Thangs Says:

Only way to make Nole’s draw tough is to put Roddick in his quarter:-)


Kimberly Says:

I just did a run of my bracket and I have Fish as the QF opponent right now of Nadal. Maybe I will change it back to Berdych. Berdych has to play a bunch of qualifiers which he is more than capable of losing to.

Raonic is someone no one wants to play Eric. I’m guessing Nadal can handle him but its not a good 3rd round.

I’ve got some wild picks right now after my first run, i need to revise later. And even wilder on the WTA.


mat4 Says:

@Kimberly:

The only hockey players I remember were Larionov, Fetisov, Krutov, Kasatonov, Makarov, Tretyak…


Eric Says:

Raonic is exactly a third-round opponent. Okay, he is under-ranked; he should probably be in the top 20, but certainly not in the top 16. Which means he is correctly seeded to meet a top-16 player in the round of 32.

Sure, Rafa would probably prefer someone a little less interesting (Cilic, Garcia-Lopez, whatever), but the fact is Raonic is still a top player of the FUTURE, not the present. Petzschner beat him pretty easily at Halle, and I can’t see him doing anything more than holding serve for a set or two to force tiebreaks; a repeat of Rafa-Isner at the French where he played those tiebreaks poorly seems unlikely. I mean, Raonic could snag a set but he can’t be considered that much worse than Baghdatis or Nalbandian (Nole and Roger’s 3rd round opponents).


mat4 Says:

I’m getting old…


Eric Says:

Anyway… Murray fans will be pleased that I have predicted a Roger-Murray final. :)

Probably Rafa will make it to the final again, though… :/


Fritz Says:

Finals will be Murray vs. Djokovic!


andrea Says:

draws can be easy or hard…we all know that someone can play lights out on any given day, so ya never know.

i just love waking up early on the west coast and putting on the TV and seeing tennis all day! yay wimbledon.


dari Says:

RT @JohnIsner anyone seen the wimby draw? Who do I play?


trufan Says:

When did Rafa EVER have a “tough” draw at a slam? Someone who believes that should be able to post the exact players he beat. On top of that, he got lucky at the USO with an easy semi, while Djokovic got wiped out beating Federer in 5.

Fed beat a prime roddick twice at the Wimbledon final, and then again a third time in 2009 (where federer can’t claim ANY age advantage over Roddick – in fact, Roddick is younger!)

Nadal beat a 27 year old, still not fully recovered from mono Federer in 2008 in fading dark light 9-7 in the fifth, and then a loser like Berdych in the final last year (its like Sampras beating Pioline in 97).

Other than the French, and the 2009 AO victory over Federer, luck has been very important in Nadal’s non clay slam wins.

On clay, of course, he is the best.

But not elsewhere.


jamie Says:

Fritz Says:

Finals will be Murray vs. Djokovic!

____________________________

Agreed. 100%


stu Says:

Kimberly, OMG. Not sure what I think about it.


trufan Says:

Murray doesn’t have it in him to win big matches. He might win a slam sometime, but that’s it.

Djokovic was always feisty. and supremely talented.

Nadal is the king of feisty – and supremely fit.

Federer is just unbelievably talented.

Murray has neither of these qualities in sufficient amount.

Del Po will end up with more slams than Murray. Is already ahead.


Ben Pronin Says:

“Boston. Sore topic on this forum as most were rooting for Canucks.”

So that’s why I was rooting for them. I can’t say I care a great deal about hockey but I was pulling for the Canucks since they never won one before. At least that’s what I thought, but it was probably just the bias I developed from reading everything on here…


dari Says:

gotta disagree with you on murray, trufan.
he is extremely fit, some little injuries here and there, but he is an incredible sprinter and has a lot of endurance. the reason why he outlasted troicki and chela is because even down a set or two he still has gas in the tank to up his game- and with a subpar ankle.
as far as the talent goes, he has more variety than novak and nadal, comes closer to matching fed on touch than the other guys.
maybe he is missing that undeniable weapon- like fed’s fh/spot serve, rafa’s fh/everything, djokovic backhand/general ability to keep balls deep…
but he has a bit of all of those things including a killer serve when its on, a great backhand, great net play, etc. its mostly about getting one of those consistently as a weapon when he gets in trouble (best candidate may be serve) and fixing the MENTAL/EMOTIONAL side, the hardest part.


Nina Says:

I think Nadal and Djokovic have the toughest draws. Raonic, Delpo and Berdych can be tricky for Rafa, though they’re not in their best form. Anderson always gives trouble to Novak and Soderling is a very dangerous opponent. Federer has the easiest draw followed by Murray. Their only tests will be Tsonga and Gasquet.

But I think in all probability we will have the Fab Four in the semis again. I’m just disappointed that it’s always Nole/Fed and Andy/Rafa.


Thangs Says:

/*On top of that, he got lucky at the USO with an easy semi, while Djokovic got wiped out beating Federer in 5*/

Thanks for the rain..Nole was well rested a day and break in between sets..Otherwise everyone would have jumped on Nadal’s well deserved victory..

How about Fed FO2009?? Wasn’t he lucky??? Fed took adv of weak field during 2003 to 2007.


dari Says:

wow, started my draw. so many tough calls early
ljub-marin
verdasco-steps
some others can’t remember right now, can gonzo do anything these days?


dari Says:

monaco and youzh?!


dari Says:

when did florian mayer get to #18?!


Kimberly Says:

colino6 just finished his. So many qualifiers again and lots of faith in americans. The qualifiers aren’t nec. a bad thing. They played prob more grass matches than anyone else so they might be grooving.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Feds never lucky, he’s just 16 slams good


puckbandit Says:

Where’s Jane? Has she recovered from the loss on Wednesday?

I haven’t been around much, but from my handle you can surmise I am a big hockey fan. Since my Devils pooped the bed this year and didn’t even make the playoffs, I was hoping for a Boston win, based on the team I hated the least.

Jane . . . are you there? Remember my comment from 2 weeks ago when I said it would all depend on Bobby Lou and you agreed? Guess we were both right.

bandit


puckbandit Says:

Okay , now to tennis.

I’m hoping for another great final, preferably with Murray facing Nole.

I was happy to see Rafa win French, but thought the final was a snoozer.


steve-o Says:

Murray doesn’t have the best footwork–he relies a bit too much on his (admittedly very talented) hands and his fantastic footspeed.

As I mentioned before during the AO final I saw him stick out his racket in front of him to try to catch the ball, instead of moving towards the ball properly.

And he wasn’t scrambling; he had plenty of time to get to the ball, he was just too lazy to do it.

On hard courts he can get away with this tendency, but not on grass, at least not against the top grass court players. He’ll make a few more mistakes than he would on other surfaces.

Federer has talented hands too, but his footwork is more disciplined. He’s always moving towards the ball and getting himself in proper position at the same time he’s preparing to unleash his shots.

Unless he’s on the extreme defensive and has no time, he’s not going to just stick his racket out.


Kimmi Says:

who is going to watch isner vs mahut? really really hope its not another 11 hr match. they better put them in outside court to make sure not too much delay for other matches.


Eric Says:

Kimmi, of course it won’t be. Isner will probably win easily; Mahut was playing above his level last year and I doubt he will again.

Plus, remember, even Wimbledon has tiebreaks in the first four sets, so it’s a million-to-one shot that they’ll play a ridiculous fifth set again.

Hard to believe Isner-Mahut was actually randomly drawn, though; I guess Wimbledon fixes things too.


Kimmi Says:

eric, i hope so. they are both poor returner thats why they were able to go on for so long.

The only thing that can help one of them is if the other is serving poorly.


Daniel Says:

US – Nadal x Djoko
AO – Murray x Djoko
RG – Nadal x Federer
W – Federer x Murray?!
The only combination missing with all of them making 2 finals in the last 4 Slans.


Skeezerweezer Says:

Has anyone noticed how Rafa has drew tougher draws since Fed has went to #3 and Nole #2? Is the “word” finally, about time, say it ain’t so, or “lucky”?


Kimmi Says:

C’mon muzza its time to show that you belong!!


Kimmi Says:

I wonder if djokovic is world number 1, will he still draw federer in the semis of slams?


Brando Says:

I don’t think that anything new is occuring regarding the draw no. 1 has alawys seemed to draw no.4 at us/ aus/ French open and 2 getting 3. For example FO 2007 and 2008 no2 nadal gets no3 djokovic FO 2009 no 2 fed was meant to get no3 djokovic, FO 2010 no2 djokovic gets no3 fed.


Kimberly Says:

Petkovic is playing mixed doubles with feliciano Lopez and is quite nervous she wont be able to serve with “deliciano” standing in front of her at the net, the view too distracting. She said she was playing dubs with beautiful Ana and mixed dubs with beautiful feliciano!


Michael Says:

I do not think the Nadal’s draw is as tough as made out to be. If it is Berdych in the Quarter finals, Nadal will just have a easy walk through as the recent record of Berdych against Nadal is as such with the former just wilting. Raonic might be tough to an extent but not enough may be extend to four sets. Del Potro is not a force to reckon with on Grass and he might even fall early before facing up with Nadal and even if it happens, Nadal will beat him in straight sets. But Mardy Fish in the quarters might be a tough proposition and if all goes well he might meet Murray in the Semis which will be the match of the tournament and I hope Murray gets through this one and goes on to win his first Wimbledon title. He owes this to his Nation and his fans who have been waiting for a while for this to happen. On the other side, Federer will have his hands full against Tsonga in the quarters and with Djokovic in the Semis which will be a very tough proposition. All in all, Wimbledon is in for an interesting period and I am sure it will deliver special treatment to the fans by way of scintillating Tennis all through the two weeks. May the Best Win.


Niwsha Says:

I think nadal has been getting easy draws for the last few slams.its almost like the authorities are handing him grand slams.we all know that the only player who has a good chance of beating nadal in the final is novak but he is always made to play roger in the semis instead of andy and we know the cycle roger always beats novak,novak always beats rafa,rafa always beats roger so poor fed will beat novak and then lose in the final to rafa..in tennis it has always been 1 vs 3 and 2 vs 4.why change that now.just to gift nadal grand slams.Unfair.Anyway i already know the result nadal and federer are going to play in the final and nadal is going to win.If the draw had been like it has been for the last 4 yrs nadal would have played and beaten federer in the semis and novak would have played and beaten andy in the semis and then beaten nadal in the final.finally we would have had a new wimbledon champion.it would have been great for tennis.Instead we are going to have the same champion.Very sad.


B-Lab Says:

Why Nadal’s got a tough section, but so does Federer. Plus, what first round matches to care about: http://bit.ly/kqol5z


Seth Says:

Someone knock out Nadal in the first week, please. It’s about time he come down to earth and back to reality at Wimby. He’s gotten out of some real jams the last few years in the early rounds (Petzschner, Haas) that he shouldn’t have. Having an iron will not to lose doesn’t always mean that it works out that way, in a logical and just universe, anyhow.


Seth Says:

Sorry, “Haase,” not “Haas.”


Heny Says:

Someone knock out federer in first week please. I don’t like his QF streak. It’s about time he come down to eath and back to reality.


Huh Says:

i just dont know wats up wid sayin dat jmdp is not a force on grass, he just hasnt found his groove yet on grass, bt if he finds it, bt if he finds it, then he can beat Nadal on grass. I’d hav surely called Nadal’s draw(considerin dat berdych’s his qf opponent n the ones before berdych’re even less challengin, absolutly no threat to rafa) the easiest, but cannot as there’s jmdp in it. Nadal’s draw thus is easiest so far as the rest(excludin jmdp) are concernd. But Fed’s draw is real tough as he’d face a tsonga who must be pumpd up due to reachin queens final, then there’s d realy dangerous n in-form isner(considerin dat he jst a few days back pushd nadal to 5 sets in RG!!!). however fedz lucky in d sens dat he avoided jmdp, othrwis he clearly has a toughr draw than nadal(simon nevr was, nevr’d b a threat 2 rafa at slams coz apart frm not havin d mentality 2 beat great players, simon’s a great match up 4 rafa). But after all’s said n done, nole has it easiest among top 4(on paper).


Nims Says:

I can’t even imagine Berdych reaching Quarter. Rafa should have the easiest of the quarters. Also it’s most likely Murray may not reach the semis. I do not see a reason why Rafa should fail before Finals.


scoreboard66 Says:

If Berdych made the final last year, then how could anyone think he won’t make it to the QFs this year? Berdych is a lot more difficult as a QF opponent than some of the other QF players in this draw.

Gotta agree that this time the pundits are very accurate in saying that Murray and Nole have the easiest draws; Rafa’s got the toughest, with a lot of land mines in between, Raonic and DelPo. Who’d want to face Raonic as a 3rd round opponent? Milos can play freely with a nothing to lose mentality going into the match, and he’s even more dangerous than Isner. He’s got a prettty good ground game, plus they’ll be facing off in the first week when the grass is a lot faster, and Raonic’s booming serve will be tough for Rafa to handle.

Rog has Tsonga who’s always difficult when he’s on. Jo Wil gave Murray a good run for the money at Queens, and IMO should have won that match, but he gave away the TB in the second set, then lost momentum. Roger will most likely beat Tsonga as he always finds a way to win, and it’s why some feel that his draws are easy.

I don’t see Anderson as a tough player for Nole. He’s only beaten Nole once, and lost to Nole the last time they played. Sod has never beaten Nole, which is like having that win in the bag already for Novak. Troicki will probably come up short again, gasping for air due to choking. The pundits’ assumption that Nole’s draw is the easiest, is very true.

Draws have a way of opening up and we never see things playing out as predicted. I think this time around the top 4 makes it to the SF, and maybe Fed will get some additional revenge on Nole for the other 3 times he’s beaten him this year.

From some of the comments here, I get the impression that Nole fans would prefer it if Fed landed in Nadal’s half. A couple of years make a huge difference in preferences. Prior to this year, and especially after the Madrid ’09 match, Nole fans disliked it when Nole landed on Rafa’s side, now it appears they want him away from Fed. I suppose the ideal situation would be for Fed and Rafa meeting in the SF, which would eliminate one of the threats for Nole and ensure a safe path to the fanal.


jamie Says:

Novak Djokovic to win Wimbledon 2011.

http://i51.tinypic.com/1zch3xy.jpg


Eric Says:

Quoting from B-Lab’s linked post,

“Rafa Nadal was done few favors in his bid to capture a third Wimbledon crown. He leads a thoroughly stacked first section of the draw. Even the underinspired Nadal who showed up in Paris should have enough to get past American veteran Michael Russell. Next comes Pablo Andujar who played tough, but ultimately capitulated, to his countryman at the same stage of Roland Garros. Nadal should survive that test, but then come some flamethrowers with big-bombing Canadian breakout Milos Raonic looming round three and a potential showdown versus re-emerging top dog Juan Martin Del Potro in round four. For his part, Del Potro has never gone past the 2nd round at Wimbedon before, but we suspect in a section where the highest seed is Gilles Simon and a host of qualifiers reside, Del Potro will make good, meeting Rafa in the Round of 16. At the quarterfinal stage all eyes are on last year’s losing finalist Tomas Berdych. If the big Czech can’t cash in, Mardy Fish, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Fernando Verdasco or veteran Radek Stepanek may await Nadal. Don’t bet on it, though. There are a lot of guys in his path who could upset the defending champion, especially that slightly punchdrunk version of Nadal we saw at Roland Garros, but it’s his section to win or lose.”

LOL. Russell and Andujar as somehow even worth mentioning? Russell might be enjoying a kind of renaissance, but the idea of him taking a set off Rafa is ludicrous.

Raonic is being over-hyped as a threat to Rafa because people are hungry for new blood. The fact is, his run at the AO was not THAT impressive except for his defeat of Youzhny. This is in retrospect — now he is pretty close to the ranking level he deserves. He lost 6-3 6-7 6-3 to Petzschner in Halle, so it’s hard to find much evidence that he is ready this year to be a big Wimby threat. Stranger things have happened, but I suspect he needs some more experience on tour and on grass before he will really be able to capitalize on his big serve and skill set.

Del Potro as a threat on grass is almost as laughable. For whatever reason, he’s never made it past the second round. Yes: the great JMDP has never managed to win more than one match at Wimbledon in his entire career. I’m sure he’ll do it this year — look for him in the fourth round against Rafa — but Del Potro was overblown as a threat to Nole at the French and he’s being even more overblown as a threat to Rafa here.

And as for the QF, well, how is drawing One Trick Berdy, whom Rafa humiliated in the final last year, that difficult? Soderling, who has actually taken sets off Rafa at Wimbledon, would have been much rougher, as IMO would have been Andy Roddick. Fish and Kohls are actually bigger threats, I think, if they can make it, just because they don’t have Berdych’s hangup about actually playing well at a slam, which he’s only overcome about twice now.

Rafa’s draw looks star-studded, but if you actually break it down, I think the solid-but-not-wildly-heralded sort of opponent Roger and Nole have to face who are more to be feared than the likes of Raonic and Delpo.

I would love to be proven wrong, though. How awesome would it be if Milos Raonic can actually live up to his reputation as the next Pete Sampras, starting now? He could pull a 2001 Roger by taking out the defending champion unexpectedly and early. That would really shake things up.


Eric Says:

BTW, B-Lab:

“Robin Soderling is ranked 5th with the big, flat strokes and bomb of a serve that should translate well to grass, on paper. ”

On paper? How about in reaching his QF (as seeded) last year, the only time he hasn’t had to meet Rafa or Roger really early on? And how about in having taken 2 sets off Rafa in 2007, and one last year in their QF?


Eric Says:

On a complete different note: screw this umpire.


Nims Says:

scoreboard66 ..looks like u did not watch tennis after Wimbledon 2010. If you had watched, probably you would have understood how dangerous Berdych can be. LOL.


Eric Says:

Tipsy just won only his second set ever in an ATP final! hooray! He should have won the first one, too; can he get the third?

The perils of supporting so unreliable…serving at 5-3, he hits an ace. 15-0. Then, of course, double fault for 15-15…


Eric Says:

WTF? Clearly no one else is watching or cares, but, again, screw this umpire… WTF?


Eric Says:

Full-on robbery of two points from Tipsy now…


Eric Says:

This match has just become a complete sham, some of the worst lines-calling I’ve ever seen, a blatantly biased umpire who has made several objectively wrong calls against the rules of tennis, and a TD who refuses to suspend the match in darkness even though Tipsarevic has been saying he can’t see for the past 20 minutes… ugh.


madmax Says:

Eric,

Tipsy slipped on wet grass. Not nice. Let out a muffled scream as he fell, his leg went back. After that, it was a no show from him. Retired at 3:5 down. Seppi won his first ATP title, in the weirdest of circumstances.

Just weird.


Huh Says:

Nadal’s draw’s surely not at all as tough as it’s made out to be, in fact considerin d past history of h2h as wel as othr past records, present circumstances of form n stuff like match up etc. it wont be an offence to say by any means dat wid guys like raonic, his fav perennial victims like verdasco, simon n berdych in his quartr n muzza in his half, nadal couldnt hav askd for an easier n mor favourabl draw.


Eric Says:

Seppi played maybe 2% better than Tipsy overall, but for me this match was one of those very unpleasant ones where it’s so close that poor umpiring can end up being the deciding factor; and it was completely ruined by some of the worst umpiring I’ve ever seen. He had them replay several important points, all won by Tipsarevic, when there was no conceivable case for hindrance, which was, as far as I could tell (& maybe of course I missed some of the circumstances), in flagrant violation of common sense and the rules of tennis and should be taken up as a matter for official review, in my opinion.


Eric Says:

(grumble, grumble)


Andrew Miller Says:

Maybe Murray does get the win?


Lulu Iberica Says:

I think Rafa makes it to the final. Sure he’s had some close calls in early rounds before, but squeaking out a win in tough circumstances is what he does best! Of course Fed could always beat him, possibly Djoko (haven’t seen “new” Djoko on grass). If Murray plays focused and in the zone he could beat Rafa, but that’s a long shot, and JMDP is always dangerous, but unproven on grass. If Raonic beats Rafa I’ll eat my hat and cry. Someone of Rafa’s experience level and returning ability should NOT lose to Raonic. Maybe in a couple of years, or a smaller tourney, but not here and now.


Eric Says:

JMDP is more “proven not very good” on grass than “unproven.” His abysmal results speak for themselves. But it is also true that he has faced unusually excellent opponents in his second-round exits, like Wawrinka in 2008 (when JMDP was still unseeded) and Hewitt in 2009 (when Hewitt was unseeded), so maybe he just needs a year where he actually has a chance to work his way into the tournament – and now that Delpo has a fair draw, he should do well. I can see him losing to Simon or even Rochus, but I wouldn’t put any money on it; there’s no way Rafa will lose to him, though. If he does, it will be the most shocking Wimbledon upset since Federer beat Sampras. Same for Raonic. Like I said above, he’s being hideously overhyped just because people are hungry for a new face at the top and he reminds us of Sampras. As soon as next year he could certainly be a Wimbledon threat, but for now he remains a totally fair third-round opponent for Rafa.


Lulu Iberica Says:

That’s what I meant by “unproven” Eric. Del Po’s only played Wimbly once since becoming a top player, and he lost to a former champion! To me, that’s not enough of a record to judge his ability on grass. Anyway, I agree that Rafa should get past him. Rafa’s my favorite, with Fed a close second.


Queen Says:

F…K Djokovic!!! I hope he breaks his legs.


Duro Says:

Ha ha ha!


sheila Says:

doesnt federer have isner in his section of the draw. if so, y when nadal had isner @ fo did everyone say tuff for nadal, but no mention how tuff this would b 4 federer on grass. secondly, imho there is absolutely no one who threatens nadal in any major except djokovic possibly. people criticized federers era of opponets as being wimps & thats y he won so many majors, well quite frankly i c the same 4 nadal except for djokovic. soderling, berdych, del potro are over hyped so that people get excited. as far as im concerned nadal is unbeatable & much more dominant than federer ever was and 4me its getting borrrrring!! i’d love 2c someone challenge nadal other than djokovic


Skeezerweezer Says:

^Looks like jamie has finally gotten under the craw of the Queen, lol

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Rankings
ATP - Nov 17 WTA - Nov 17
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Kei Nishikori5 Ana Ivanovic
6 Andy Murray6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Tomas Berdych7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Milos Raonic8 Caroline Wozniacki
9 Marin Cilic9 Angelique Kerber
10 David Ferrer10 Dominika Cibulkova
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