Wimbledon Men’s Draw Preview: Murray-Nadal, Federer-Djokovic SFs Slated
The Wimbledon draw is out, and it’s loaded. For the first time in three years, the Big 4 occupy the Top 4 seeds at a Slam, and based on the draws, they’ll be favoured again to make it to the final weekend.
Andy Murray Quarter
Andy Murray finally got some confidence in Paris, but a quick exit at Queen’s and now a hip issue has left the defending champion as a question mark at his big event on the tennis calendar. Fortunately for the World No. 1, if healthy he should have an easy first week. “Lucky loser” Alexander Bublik is up first followed possibly by Dustin Brown then Jiri Vesely in the third. Week two could see Murray up against Nick Kyrgios in the fourth, then JW Tsonga. Obiovusly, Kyrgios and Tsonga would be danger guys for Murray. Stan Wawrinka has never done that well at Wimbledon, but maybe his fortunes will change under new coach Paul Annacone. In the end, I think Tsonga takes advantage and makes a run.
The Pick: JW Tsonga
Rafael Nadal Quarter
Rafael Nadal will hope to end a recent slide at Wimbledon. The 2-time champion didn’t play last year and since reaching the 2011 final, he’s won just 5 matches total at the tournament! This year, though, Rafa has been reenergized, playing well on the hard courts as well as the clay. And even though he didn’t play a lead-up event, I think he’ll be ok, at least early on. But things get tricky in third against the bruising Karen Khanchanov then everyone’s dark horse pick Gilles Muller. If he gets by Muller, I think Marin Cilic stops him in the quarters. I think the Croat makes up for not closing out Federer last year, and serves his way past Rafa to make the semifinals. And other than Phil Kohlschrieber in the first, I love Cilic’s draw. So if he gets through the German, he should be good and good enough.
The Pick: Marin Cilic
Roger Federer Quarter
Just a month from turning 36, it’s remarkable that Roger Federer is still a favorite to win Grand Slam tournaments. And he might just win another. The court probably won’t be as quick as Australia, but few are as good and seasonsed on the grass as the Swiss. But he’s got a tough draw this week. Right out he faces Alexandr Dolgopolov, potentially Mischa Zverev in the third, Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth followed by a rematch with Milos Raonic in the quarters. I like Federer in all those matches, but he could certainly lose again to Raonic if the Canadian gets out of his funk and perhaps to Dimitrov. Alexander Zverev is also lurking and I pen him to beat Raonic and come out to that quarterfinal. But in best-of-5, I don’t think anyone in this section knocks out Roger.
The Pick: Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic Quarter
I know a lot will be made about Martin Klizan being a tough opponent for Novak Djokovic, but I don’t see an issue here for the Serb. I like Novak and I like his draw. Of the top guys, he’s got the best road. Juan Martin Del Potro in the third, Feliciano Lopez in the fourth and Richard Gasquet in the quarters sounds tough, but… Del Potro comes in off an injury, so we don’t know about him. Lopez has been hot, but in a Slam can he pull a big win? And Gasquet is Gasquet. Dominic Thiem could get out to that Gasquet match, but with Agassi in the box, I think Djokovic comes though.
The Pick: Novak Djokovic
Cilic d Tsonga: Marin Cilic rides that serve past the Frenchman to reach his second Slam final.
Federer d Djokovic: Federer gets the edge on the grass.
Federer d Cilic: Federer figures out the Cilic serve for his 8th Wimbledon title.
Players who could do damage if things break right are Muller, Kyrgios, A Zverev and Lopez. Could one of them make a run to the semifinals?
Obviously, the condition of Murray’s hip will be a important. Let’s see how Del Potro is. If he’s healthy could he give Djokovic a run?
I’m not convinced Rafa could win Wimbledon again. I think Novak will get things right and I like how Cilic is playing. But it’s hard to argue with what Roger’s done at Wimbledon and how he did at the start of the season.
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