It promises to be another fantastic day of tennis at the 2012 London Olympics today. Quarterfinal play at Wimbledon gets underway shortly with some excellent matches.
After a fairly in-form Wednesday of results, let’s get right to the matchups for this afternoon:
Roger Federer v. John Isner
Roger Federer puts his 10-match win streak on the line against American giant John Isner. Federer has beaten Isner in three of their four meetings. Isner won that crazy match on the clay at Switzerland before Federer got revenge in the Indian Wells semifinals.
Buyoed by his booming serve, Isner hasn’t lost a set in three matches but I think that changes today. I know grass is a dangerous proposition against such a player like Isner who packs so much firepower, yet I think somehow Federer’s eeks it out a tiebreaker or two. Grass experience wins.
The pick: Federer in two
JW Tsonga v. Novak Djokovic
For me, this could potentially turn out to be the best match of the day, or a dud. And that depends on Tsonga’s fitness. If he’s OK after that long, record-breaking win over Milos Raonic Tuesday then it should be a heck of a match, and I think that’s what’s going to happen. Djokovic has been his usual patchy self. Apart from the Roddick match when he zoned for two sets, he’s had his good moments and his bad. And I think that continues today.
Djokovic has dominated Tsonga recently – winning four straight – so I’ll ride that trend here. But if Tsonga’s fit and firing, look out! I still think grass is Djokovic’s worst surface and Tsonga has that finishing power you need on the Wimbledon lawns. But…
The pick: Djokovic in three
Andy Murray v. Nicolas Almagro
Of all the Spaniards who would have thought Nicolas Almagro would be left standing. OK, no Rafael Nadal but I would have pegged David Ferrer or Feliciano Lopez to have a better run than Almagro. Today, that run ends against Andy Murray. The Scot had his traditional rollercoaster match against Marcos Baghdatis yesterday. With that out of the way I think he settles back down to the task at hand and beats Almagro. Though Almagro brings win him a big serve and big groundstrokes, so even on grass he can present problems.
The pick: Murray in two
Juan Martin Del Potro v. Kei Nishikori
In a surprise quarterfinal pairing, grass-challenged players Juan Martin Del Potro and Kei Nishikori lock up with a semifinal berth Olympic on the line. Del Potro eased past Gilles Simon yesterday while Nishikori, the Cinderella if you will of this event, won a strange one last night over David Ferrer when the match moved from an outside court inside Center for one game due to darkness. Coming off Ferrer doesn’t prepare you for Del Potro, though. So I’ll go with the power player in this one.
The pick: Del Potro in three
In the women’s bracket it’s looking for all the world like Serena’s title. She’s won 14 straight matches, lost only 10 games. Caroline Wozniacki pushes her a bit today, but Serena won’t be denied.
Bravo Network again has a full day of coverage starting at the top of the hour if you have a few minutes this morning.
THURSDAY OLYMPICS TENNIS SCHEDULE
Centre Court starting at 12:00
WS QF (1) AZARENKA Victoria (BLR) vs (7) KERBER Angelique (GER)
MS QF (5) TSONGA Jo-Wilfried (FRA) vs (2) DJOKOVIC Novak (SRB)
MS QF (1) FEDERER Roger (SUI) vs (10) ISNER John (USA)
WS QF CLIJSTERS Kim (BEL) vs (3) SHARAPOVA Maria (RUS)
Court No. 1 starting at 12:00
MS QF (11) ALMAGRO Nicolas (ESP) vs (3) MURRAY Andy (GBR)
WS QF (4) WILLIAMS Serena (USA) vs (8) WOZNIACKI Caroline (DEN)
MS QF (15) NISHIKORI Kei (JPN) vs (8) DEL POTRO Juan Martin (ARG)
XD 1 (ITF) ROBSON / MURRAY (GBR) vs HRADECKA / STEPANEK (CZE)
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