Once again the big mystery at this morning’s unveiling of the Wimbledon draw was in which half would former champion Roger Federer fall. And once again he landed in Novak Djokovic’s. Surprise! For the third straight year and sixth time in the last seven Slams Djokovic and Federer are the same side of the draw, leaving Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray on the other.
So moral is, there is no mystery because we know that’s how the draw will turn out, right?
As for the draw, it’s looks very good for our big three returning to another Slam semifinal, so more of the same.
Defending champion Djokovic has a great draw out to the quarters where he could run into former finalist Tomas Berdych. Djokovic opens against former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero, who did well on the grass a decade ago, and then maybe the pesky Ryan Harrison but otherwise there’s little in the way of resistance. And Berydch might not get there with the unpredicatble Ernests Gulbis in the first round, then Florian Mayer and perhaps Richard Gasquet later.
With Djokovic in his semifinal path, the scenario for Federer’s return to No. 1 is simple: Win the title. Like Novak, Federer should have it easy early on. Albert Ramos to start, then a tougher test against lefty vet Michael Lldora with possibly Gilles Muller and Gilles Simon thereafter. In the quarterfinals he’s seeded to meet Janko Tipsarevic but more likely it would be among John Isner, David Nalbandian or Mikhail Youzhny. Bottom line, it’s a great draw for Roger.
Local favorite Murray might need all the help he can get. Murray opens with former Top 5 Nikolay Davydenko, then perhaps the dangerous Ivo Karlovic followed by either Kevin Anderson or Grigor Dimitrov, who meet a tasty first rounder. In the 16s Murray could clash with Marin Cilic or Milos Raonic and then in the quarters he could get a breather with Andy Roddick or Juan Martin Del Potro. So it’s a difficult quarter for Murray and one I really don’t think he gets out of.
Nadal, who’s also in the No. 1 hunt, has a good, not great draw. Tomaz Bellucci has given Rafa problems before. So has his potential second round opponent Ivan Dodig. Tommy Haas or Phil Kohlscreiber, who meet in a good first rounder, could await before another date with Feliciano Lopez in the 16s. In the quarters I think it’s JW Tsonga if his finger is okay. Otherwise despite his illness and lack of play, Mardy Fish has a great draw out to that quarterfinals.
So good draws for Roger, Novak and Rafa. Tough, but manageable draw for Murray.
I’ll have my picks later this weekend. Right now I think Nadal beats Djokovic in the final, but that could change.
The quarterfinals by seeds look like: Djokovic-Berdych, Federer-Tipsarevic, Ferrer-Murray, Tsonga-Nadal.
Some of the better first round matches I see: Tomic-Goffin, Haas-Kohlscreiber, Nadal-Bellucci, Anderson-Dimitrov, Stakhovsky-Stepanek, Berdych-Gulbis, Simon-Mathieu and Tipsarevic-Nalbandian.
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