Who Will Be King Of Wimbledon?

| June 22, 2012 | 0 Comments

The die is cast and local favorite Andy Murray (20/1) probably wants a re-draw. As the fourth seed, Murray landed on the back page where Rafa Nadal and a host of talented challengers are lurking. Literally every match could result in an upset. 2nd seeded French Open Champion Rafa Nadal (7/2) will probably have something to say about the draw. Poor Rafa.

As for Murray, this guy cannot get a break.  In London, he sparks admiration and anger at the same time. The Brits don’t like to admit it but they love his volatile performances that aptly reflect his love-hate relationship with the media.  Andy Murray is a great tennis player.  In another era, he would be a dominant player.  But, as it is, he must settle for being the fourth best male player on the planet. That is because three of the best men to ever hold a racket are healthy, playing well and tend to look past the Scotsmen.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal with French Open 2012 Trophy

In Paris, Nadal denied top seed Novak Djokovic’s (9/4) bid to hold four consecutive Grand Slams but on Wimbledon’s fast track, it is defending champion Djokovic’s title to lose.  On the lightning fast grass of Wimbledon’s, Novak not only has the game but also enjoys a surprisingly favorable draw. He should face young American Ryan Harrison in the second round but has no serious grass court challengers until the quarters where 6th seed Tomaz Berdych (25/1) should be waiting. Berdych will have to outgun 18th seed Richard Gasquet (150/1) but on the grass Tomaz is a decided favorite.

Wimbledon’s legendary courts present an interesting contrast to the red clay at Roland Garros.  We can expect lots of pace and impressive serving. Players with big serves can pull upsets on this terrain and there is a host of young raw talent on page 2, where with the exception of big John Isner (66/1), the power players are lurking.

3rd seed Roger Federer is on the first page and is scheduled to knock heads with Djokovic in the semis. The Swiss has some work to do. If Fernando Verdasco (200/1) has his game, the two should meet in the round of 16. If Verdasco blinks, 13th seed Gilles Simon (150/1) would emerge.  Simon does not have the grass court credentials of Verdasco.

Federer must be considered the favorite to reach the quarters where he is scheduled to meet 8th seed Janko Tipsarevic (150/1), who will have to claw his way through some big players. John Isner is in Tipsarevic’s bracket.  In a bad joke, the hard-serving American will likely face Nicolas Mahut (200/1), the loser of their three-day match two years ago, in round 2.  Isner has emerged as the best American player and presents an ominous challenge for anyone on this surface.

Nadal has no sweet sailing through his bracket. He will face talented Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in the first round. That is no piece of cake. Assuming Rafa wins, he will go on to face the likes of Phillipp Kohlschreiber (100/1), Alexandr Dolgopolov (200/1) and presumably Jo Willy Tsonga (25/1) in the quarters.  Tsonga will have to play through Lleyton Hewitt, Stan Wawrinka (200/1) or Bernard Tomic (25/1) or 10th seed Mardy Fish (150/1).  Tsonga is very much in form but nothing is ever easy for the big Frenchman.

Here are the big names in the Murray bracket. Andy Roddick (100/1), Wimbledon finalist two years ago, Juan Martin del Potro (20/1), who nobody wants to play, Marin Cilic (125/1), who won at Eastbourne and is serving bigger than ever, Milos Raonic (25/1), Canada’s fireballer with a 155 mph serve, Kevin Anderson (200/1) of South Africa, another big hitter, and 7th seed David Ferrer (150/1), who beat Murray in Paris. Murray does not have time to look ahead.  He will meet dangerous Nikolay Davydenko in the first round. If Murray reaches the semis, he will have earned it.

The way we see it del Potro will take out Ferrer and Raonic will dispose of Murray.  I like Raonic’s chances against del Potro.  I like Tsonga over Nadal.  I like Isner over Federer.  Djokovic reaches the finals and downs Raonic to defend his 2011 title.

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