It’s already been quite an eventful fortnight at Wimbledon. Rafael Nadal showed his vulnerability on Monday. Then Wednesday 7-time champion Roger Federer showed his age.
A spate of other champions and No. 1s fell as well, including Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Lleyton Hewitt. But after the week one dust settled the tournament favorites are still alive and well as we begin again on Monday.
After a devastating loss to Nadal in a French Open semifinal thriller, Novak Djokovic has picked himself up nicely coasting to three easy first week wins. And he didn’t have the easiest of draws beating two players in the Top 35.
Djokovic’s likely opponent a week from today, Andy Murray, has been just as good. Playing on his home turf, Murray also hasn’t lost a set nor has he really been pushed.
And with his side of the draw obliterated it’s hard to imagine his recent run on grass – 14 straight – ending in the next few rounds with no player remaining in the Top 20 in his half.
Tomorrow, Murray meets Mikhail Youzhny in what should be another comfortable win. After all, he’s beaten the 31-year-old Russian in both their previous clashes.
For Djokovic, Monday marks the first real marquee test for a top seed in Tommy Haas. The German has been one of the stories of the season remarkably playing some of his best, most inspired tennis at age 35. And he even punked Djokovic earlier this year in Miami. But after gaining revenge in Paris I think on the grass Djokovic is just too strong for the former Wimbledon semifinalist.
Also on a very busy Monday, in what I think is the best match of the day Tomas Berdych faces the embattled Bernard Tomic.
Berdych is a former finalist in 2010 when he turned away both Djokovic and Federer before flaming out to Nadal in the final. They haven’t played before so it will be interesting to watch Berdych blast away at Bernie’s off pace, powerless offerings.
With his dad now barred from entry, maybe Bernard will make good on his talent. If his dizzying array of shots can confound the Czech he’ll have more than a chance, but if his balls drop short it could be a quick match. And that’s what I think will happen.
In other matches, I’ll lean to David Ferrer thumping Ivan Dodig. The Croat has taken advantage of two retirements thus far to reach the 16s but against Ferrer he won’t get a third.
I also like Juan Martin Del Potro to show his knee is healthy in a win over Andreas Seppi. I’ll also take Jerzy Janowicz, Lukas Kubot and Fernando Verdasco who’s suddenly a factor once again.
As for the women’s draw, with Sharapova and Azarenka back home and Venus not entered, the question isn’t whether Serena will win it’s a question of will she lose a set. If she does I think her opponent tomorrow, Sabine Lisicki, could be the one to do it. Armed with one of the best serves in the business, Lisicki can keep it close with anyone.
But it’s still Serena’s event.
ESPN and ESPN2 has complete coverage on Monday. It should be fun!
MONDAY WIMBLEDON SCHEDULE
Centre Court 1.00pm Start Time
Serena Williams (USA) v. Sabine Lisicki (GER)
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) v. Andy Murray (GBR)
Novak Djokovic (SRB) v. Tommy Haas (GER)
No.1 Court 1.00pm Start Time
Laura Robson (GBR) v. Kaia Kanepi (EST)
Andreas Seppi (ITA) v. Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)
Bernard Tomic (AUS) v. Tomas Berdych (CZE)
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