Am I Nuts For Picking Roger Federer To Win Wimbledon?
by Sean Randall | June 22nd, 2014, 8:00 pm

This will be a quick post. As I wrote in my preview I thought Roger Federer had the best draw of the Big Four. But Federer hasn’t won a Slam since the 2012 Wimbledon and he hasn’t even reached a Grand Slam final since that event.

That said, who’s his competition?

Regardless of what he says I just don’t think Novak Djokovic’s wrist is fully healed anymore. And I don’t know how much he has in his emotional reserves after losing to Rafael Nadal at the French and with a wedding to Jelena Ristic in less than three weeks. Not on his least favorite surface.

Meanwhile Nadal may still be the King of Clay however on grass he’s an entirely different animal losing his last three on the surface. And he’s worried about his back, knees and now the draw. I still think the first week is where he’s most vulnerable, but he’s not as good as he was a year ago and we all know what happened at the 2013 Wimbledon.

Like Federer, I love Andy Murray’s draw. I think he could get back to the final. But defending his title and returning to the Wimbledon title match for a third straight is just asking too much from the numbers especially with a new coach.

As for Federer, well his draw is almost as good as the one he got at the French just without Gulbis and Berdych. There’s Julien Benneteau who took him to five a couple of years ago.

There’s another Frenchman, Nicolas Mahut, he won’t beat Federer.

In the fourth round it’ll be the struggling Jerzy Janowicz, Tommy Robredo or Lleyton Hewitt. If hot, Janowicz can be dangerous but Roger will beat Robredo or Hewitt.

In the quarters Roger’s looking at John Isner, Feliciano Lopez or maybe Stan Wawrinka. On hardcourts those matchups would spell trouble, but on grass I like Federer.

So in the semis is where Federer will face his first real test. And he won’t beat Nadal. No way. But if it’s not Rafa and instead say Richard Gasquet, Milos Raonic, Phil Kohlschreiber or Kei Nishikori – Federer will be heavily favored and should win.

Then in the final without Rafa I think anything’s possible. Djokovic has lost five of his last six Slam finals. Murray hasn’t won a title since that Wimbledon. So maybe it can be Federer…

In my earlier story I had wrote that Federer needed a great draw. He got that. Then he needed to get some upsets. I think he’s going to get that. If he doesn’t and Nadal, Djokovic and Murray are still around the last weekend, Federer’s not winning.

But in this case, with no one making a strong case, Federer stands out as the healthiest, the most motivated and I think Edberg and the bigger racquet will make the difference.

Let the fun begin…

1. Andy Murray (GBR) [3] v David Goffin (BEL)
2. Paula Kania (POL) v Na Li (CHN) [2]
3. Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] v Andrey Golubev (KAZ)

NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM
1. Victoria Azarenka (BLR) [8] v Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
2. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) [11] v Ryan Harrison (USA)
3. Jurgen Melzer (AUT) v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) [14]

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Li Shows Sharapova Grass Exit in AEGON Classic Final at Birmingham
Nadal Collides With Melzer; Bombers Berdych, Soderling Battle at French Open Semifinals
Sharapova Exits Second Round at Wimbledon
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58 Comments for Am I Nuts For Picking Roger Federer To Win Wimbledon?

Patson Says:

‘Am I Nuts For Picking Roger Federer To Win Wimbledon?’

No you aren’t. I’m willing to give you a certificate of sanity in case someone questions it Sean.

contador Says:

You make a good case, Sean Randall. Federer’s draw, some luck, the new racquet, Edberg, healthy back, ect.

I like it. Was tempted to make a Federer bracket. But I changed my mind. And changed my mind again…

Nadal wins this Wimbledon is who I am feeling and I don’t have a good case to make for Rafa other than – Ambition, Motivation, Determination….the GOAT record is in sight. I may not be a fan of Rafa Nadal tennis but I do not underestimate him when it comes to fighting for what he wants.

Polo Says:

Sean has spoken. Very reasonable argument for Federer to win Wimbledon. Unfortunately, sports often defies logic.

skeezer Says:

Jinx Sean! No no no.
Hope you’re right about the Maestro, but remember Rafa has won Wimby twice. He’s very capable, if he gets through the first week.

Colin Says:

It is nuts to make forecasts. Too many “ifs”,

Still, I’ll make this one: there are going to be surprises.

Daniel Says:

If Fed could get a Sampras like draw as some of us kept saying, this could be it. If Nadal loses before semis (not out of the helms) Fed is basically in the final. Only time he lost a Wimbledon final it was 9-7 fifth set to Nadal.

If Djoko or Murray loses early and the scenario is set for his “Sampras like” final Slam, or not….:-)

Bit is hard to not have Murray or Djoko ij the final, Djoko is te most consistant guy there is and Murray really knows how to play on grass.

I think tis post could be better a week from now and how the draw unfolds. Will see…

Polo Says:

Everybody seems to be focusing on Nadal’s recent failures on grass and has neglected that he has won it twice and been runner-up three times. It is very reminiscent to the previous French when people talked mostly about his preceding losses on clay without regard to all his previous wins there. It looks like history has not taught us anything.

Kimberly Says:

@sean, you can’t control yourself. I suspected you would pick him. You always pick him and make a good argument for doing so. But it’s a pick with the heart that you are then searching for reasons to back up. It’s cool. We all do it.

jane Says:

i feel like rafa will win it. but you never know. a few of the espn people picked federer to win it too: patrick mcenroe, shriver and cahill.

metan Says:

Sean, you are not nuts, you are just a jinxer, why oh why you have picked him up before the ball even touching the ground officially. We want Roger to have 8 so he can have a statue of him made from pure grass with gold initial for him. Argh to bad.

Andrea Says:

Call me crazy, but on grass I would not mind one of the last grand slam installments of roger and rafa. Aside from the mental issues roger has, the surface is his best bet against rafa in 5.

Let’s see if both make it that far.

Voicemale1 Says:

No you’re not nuts. You had to pick somebody, and you built a case for Federer. Not a crazy case either. Seven titles there, 5 Finals this year. There are down sides to all the Top 4 seeds, and Federer’s down sides are legitimate too. Not only has he not won a Major in two years, he hasn’t been to a Major Final in that time either. Federer is six weeks away from his 33rd birthday. And the list of guys who have won Majors at or near that age is very short. Ironically, he has to prove he can string 7 Best of Five match wins together, even at his most successful Major. He’s gonna need help from the Draw – you’re right. I think his larger racquet is finally starting to work for him this year, and that’s why he’s has the good run to Finals in 2014.

I built the same shaky case – for Nadal. True, he has the inner demons from two years of early exits there. In retrospect, I don’t think it had to do with winning RG; I think the last two years Nadal’s continued scorched earth run of winning most or all of the clay run up events is what took its toll physically on him. Like Federer, Nadal’s is getting older so he has to manage more wisely. The fact he ran his normal clay blitzkrieg through clay in 2102 & 2013, and did not this year, resulted in the same hoisting of The French Open Trophy all three years. I remember reading all of the alarms on this blog about Nadal’s inevitable demise at 2014 RG because – he had 3 losses on clay in 2014. Not only did he win RG, but did so losing only 2 sets, and handed out 3 Bagels and 4 Breadsticks in the process. He didn’t expend the physical or emotional energy early on clay, instead basically getting his clay legs under him early on, and getting to the other two Finals in Madrid and Rome. I found myself agreeing with my good friend: if Nadal survives the first week, his chances to win the whole thing skyrocket to a favorite’s role. And that’s the big danger to Federer. If we do get “Fedal Chapter 34” in the SF here, it will mean Nadal is playing some of his very best stuff on grass again, and it makes it tough to work out how Federer gets 3 Sets from a Nadal who is playing that well. But if either Federer or Nadal makes the Final, I take them over anybody who gets through the top half.

Now…is it possible, with question marks surrounding the Top 4…that we get a major Final without any of the Top 4 in it? After all, I doubt ANY Draw Sheets had a Lisicki-Bartoli Ladies Championship match last year :). Can guys like Dimitrov start to fulfill some of that promise he’s been flattering to deliver? Or Nishikori? Raonic (although most of the uber tall guys in grass have serious trouble with the low bounces)? With so many ???’s about the Top 4, it could be time for one of the new guys – or even the secondary old guard like Tsonga, Berdych to sneak a 1 Slam Wonder status out! Anyone in for a Dimtrov-Nishikori Final?? LOL!!!

Kimberly Says:

My list of favorites and percentage to win
Djokovic 25 percent
Murray 20
Nadal 20
Federer 15
Berdych 5
Wawrinka 5
Someone else 10

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Julien has proved to be a very tough opponent for Roger. It’s wise not to look beyond second match. It’s possible Julien may not reach second round, but if he does, it could be an intriguing match.

kjb Says:


Thats pretty close to how I would see the percentages. Although I would drop Djokovic to 20 and I would throw Grigor in at 5. And I would put Stans 5 back into to the Someone else category.

As much as I like Stan and the way he plays, he has been terrible on grass. He almost always loses in the first or second round at SW19.

My guess is Fed or Rafa. If either one gets to the final I just can’t see them losing. There is a lot at stake for both of them. Fed could put a nail in the coffin for the most Grand Slams and Nadal definetely could put himself so close to matching and at least matching the GS total.

I am am rooting for Fed, Like I have been since Wimbledon 2001. I love watching him play on grass. I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

Margot Says:

Sean, in two weeks time we’re either calling you a genius or a twit, who knows?

Michael Says:

“And he won’t beat Nadal. No way”

What can be more embarrasing for a Roger fan than this damning statement ?

Nevertheless, various formulations forwarded by Sean is appealing to reason and nodoubt Roger has got a cake walk draw atleast till the semis. For sure, if Nadal is eliminated early, Roger would fancy his chances. Like Sean I too think that Roger would in all likelihood lost against Rafa on any court. However, he would fancy his chances against Novak and Andy.

Margot Says:

Nice interview with Rog. on radio a.m. in which he says it’s much easier to defend a slam than win it first time. He should know!
So, come on Andy!

Klaas Says:

If the big 4 make it through to the second week, it is difficult to see anybody else threatening them. Nadal seems to have the worst draw in the opening stages.
Who of the 4 will win, is pretty open at this point.

Ash Says:

Hopefully this slam doesnt turn into a Nole Nadal freak show too.They had the Rg,now go away.

judee Says:

Ash u are funny I think it’s going to be federer against novak final and then it’s hard to see novak loos another final plus it’s best of five

Colin Says:

Hanescu takes the first set from Berdych in a tiebreak!

Oh, and Berdych has slipped several times – so much for “The grass isn’t slippery this year”.

metan Says:

This is the moment, bow your head and wish Andy millions luck and good health to start the battle.

metan Says:

Andy is looking good so far. His forehand works brilliant.

Josh Says:

Roger has a chance, but I feel it will be a long shot. Over 5 sets he’s not the same anymore. He’ll get farther than last year, but probably go out in the QF or Semis.

I still like Novak’s chances.

Polo Says:

First day at Wimbledon and I’m already happy, Kirilenko won. Or maybe it’s because Stephens is out on the first round.

Josh Says:

I think he could go all the way, it’s possible – it would be nice to see him lift that trophy again.

Let’s see what happense

Colin Says:

Looking at the stats for the Murray match, I was very glad to see a first serve percentage of 71%. For the past weeks we’ve been asking where that first serve had gone and, lo and behold, it’s back

The talk of a “peaking Murray”, which drew such scorn from Voicemal1, I’d guess was a prediction rather than a statement of achievement. Andy’s back at Wimbledon and NOW he’s peaking, Maybe the next week or so will disprove this, but so far so good.

Josh Says:

Andy looked so comfortable out there – he’s coping very well with the pressures of being a defending champion

metan Says:

Who is this girl name Kania, she does the killing for my girl Li Na.
Come on Li, that serve was placed rightly.

Is grass Kania favorite surface?

metan Says:

That’s Amelia are for. Andy’s confidence is steady and not shaky.

Oh man. What happened to Li Na?

Kwaku Says:

No, you’re not nuts.
(Because… you’re not betting your money, right?)

Giles Says:

Hope joker will be wearing legal shoes in Wimby this year!!

Margot Says:

Phew! Andy’s serve seems OK! One down.
Verdasco out. What a difference a year makes.
Stosur out too.

Okiegal Says:

Novak cruising……1st set in 24 minutes……according to the commies. So far, no contest. Wrist looks OK too.

SG1 Says:

These last 4 to 5 years, tennis has been relatively predictable in terms of the final four. Some bobbles by Rafa and Roger at Wimbledon over the past few years but all in all, the big four have generally been present late in the 2nd week of slams. Have to think this trend will continue. Still picking Murray to defend though like Sean, my picks tend to be a jinx.

And no Sean, you’re not crazy to pick the 7 time champion to win number 8. Roger knows that this is an unbelievable opportunity to get No. 18 and break the record for most titles at Wimbledon. I think he also knows that Wimbledon is his best chance to get another major. He’ll be a year older next year and by then, I think that slams will no longer be in the cards.

jane Says:

great performance from nole in that match; his serving was great. golubev is #56 in the world so he’s no slouch. but nole was in the zone in sets 1 and 2. it’s too bad the crowd started cheering nole’s errors. i really dislike that.

Daniel Says:

Although this Slams is open and can have upsets, I think it is also the safest wgere the top 4 can reach finals. I mean, they are the winners of the last 11 years and with their draw if they all survive first week don’t thing they will lsose Round of 16 or Quarters. Won’t surprise me if we have the top 4 in semis

Patson Says:

@jane : Yup, Nole was superb in the first two sets. I really like his chances this year.

Humble Rafa Says:

Now, I am totally convinced it’s my time.

Colin Says:

Metan says “That’s Amelia are for”.


Maybe I’m just stupid, but will somebody PLEASE tell me what the hell that means.

Josh Says:

@Colin Lol, I think I’ve worked it out – “That’s what Amelie (Mauresmo) is for”…

jane Says:

hi patson, i am not so sure about his chances to be honest: the wrist seems good but he even said he “hopes” it stays that way; the marriage is around the corner; and he has some tough matches coming up against some good grass players. but having said that, it was sure awesome to see him playing very “within himself” for most of the match today. hopefully he can remain just as focused versus stepanek, a crafty player, perhaps especially on grass; not an easy second rounder by any stretch. at least in my opinion.

jamie Says:


Thanks for jinxing Federer.

TennisFan Says:

in spite of your abysmal record … I will still hope for Federer. Even a broken clock is right at least twice a day :)

metan Says:

@Josh, thanks for the correction. I hope our Colin is in peace now.

metan Says:

Dear Colin,
Please feel free to correct all my posts. I am honoured and am flattered by your efforts to correct my English in such a coolest way.

Patson Says:

@Jane: If you look at his past history, he’s getting to the finals of the grandslams. It’s just that one extra step he has to take and it’s all mental. I think he was desperate to win the French open, so there was some mental burden alongside some physical issues that transpired in the later stages of Roland Garros. But here, a) there is no pressure as he has already one Wimbledon before b) there’s this one tiny step that is needed to win the final. I’m certain being mentally relaxed will see him through to his 2nd Wimbledon.

First things first, Round 2 next !

Patson Says:

*won Wimbledon before.

Humble Rafa Says:

Giant Killer Dustbin is out. I am so relieved!

madmax Says:

metan Says:
Sean, you are not nuts, you are just a jinxer, why oh why you have picked him up before the ball even touching the ground officially. We want Roger to have 8 so he can have a statue of him made from pure grass with gold initial for him. Argh to bad.

June 22nd, 2014 at 9:42 pm

When I read what you wrote Sean, I thought, Nooooooooo be quiet! But you actually don’t pick Federer to win, you pick either Nadal or Djokovic. So that’s okay.

Federer has the best record on grass, but I think he is in with a chance as much as Murray, Novak and Nadal – I think it is pretty much evens stephens.

madmax Says:

Nirmal Kumar Says:
Julien has proved to be a very tough opponent for Roger. It’s wise not to look beyond second match. It’s possible Julien may not reach second round, but if he does, it could be an intriguing match.

June 22nd, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Nirmal, you are correct. He has, but then I think that Roger, perhaps at that time, was a bit too casual. Now the aura has gone, I think he has stepped it up more, with the improvements to his game. No need to repeat what they have been over the last 12 months.

madmax Says:

Some really positive and healthy articles for all the top guys coming from the Sports journos.

madmax Says:


Hilarious! Thanks for sharing. I first of all didn’t get it, thinking: Cinderella to the ball. Ugly sisters in the back, etc.

Then I thought, I could really see the funny side. Thanks for making my day! :)

Rafa is driving right? Or should I say, he is in the driving seat! – he sure is Giles, and no reason why he shouldn’t win wimby this year.

tennis fan Says:

I don’t know but since past 2-3 years what we mostly see Nadal Djokovic duel. This time I want Nadal Murray final

Daniel Says:

Nadal needs this first set. He has lost last 6 sets he played on grass: fifth set to Rosol in 2012, 3 sets to Darcis in 2013 and 2 weeks ago, 2 sets to Brown.

Top story: Murray Overcomes Hurkacz In Vienna; Berrettini Gets Into Turin