Wimbledon 2011: Review Of The First Week

As Wimbledon takes it’s traditional break today, we shall look back at the week that was of this years Wimbledon championship. This tournament has come with stunning memories, frustrating rain delays and surprises in both the men’s and women’s singles.

The headline news of the womens field is the long anticipated return of the Williams sisters. Venus returns after a hip muscle injury which sidelined her for the majority of the season. The four time Wimbledon champion faced the toughest battle against the 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm who took Venus to the distance. However it was nerves from Date-Krumm which helped Venus in the end as she enters the 3rd round and now will play in the fourth.

Venus Williams scrapes through an epic second round match against Kimiko Date-Krumm and is now in the second week of the tournament.

For Serena, the comeback to Wimbledon meant much more. After winning the championships last year, she had an accident in a restaurant by stepping on glass. However this injury would then lead to several medical problems which put Serena out for 11 months. She now returns, more thankful than ever. She too has engaged in some battles with three sets against Aravane Rezai and Simona Halep. However she comfortably won the gruntathon between her and Maria Kirilenko which earns her a spot in the fourth round where she will meet and inform Marion Bartoli.

Serena on fire against Maria Kirilenko.

In the beginning of the tournament, many players are either delighted or disappointed with their location within the draw. But imagine how it felt for John Isner and Nicolas Mahut to verse each other once again in the first round following their longest ever match last year. This was the match that the sporting world was talking about. But many questioned if this sequel of the Isner and Mahut saga would be just as good as the first. Unfortunately, this match didn’t go the distance as many hoped. Isner successfully prevented another marathon, much to the dismay of fans, winning 7-6 6-3 7-6. It took nine hours less to win this time around.

No marathon this time for Isner and Mahut.

This years championships has also been shaken up by numerous upsets from both the mens and the womens side. The womens side has lost 4 of its top 10 seeds before the beginning of the second week. Australian Sam Stosur was the first to be ousted as she lost to Melinda Czink in the first round. The nexpected upset of the French Open Champion Li Na came next as she lost an epic battle with wild card Sabine Lisicki. Finalist Vera Zvonereva was favoured to be a finalist or even win this years championships, but last years semi finalist Tsvetana Pironkova had different plans as she got revenge by winning in straight sets. Schiavone was the last upset of the top 10, blowing several opportunities and losing 11-9 in their two day match against Tamira Paszek.

Lisicki celebrates her win against Li Na. The score was 3-6 6-4 8-6.

The top men have been more solid with Murray, Federer and Nadal all cruising from match to match. Djokovic faced a challenge against Baghdatis which lead him to boiling point and a smashed racquet. However he still ended up winning in 4 sets. Unfortunately, top 10 seeds Roddick and Soderling weren’t so lucky.

Andy Roddick came in favour to win his match against the Spaniard in their third round clash, winning their last 7 meetings. But a big service game and a dominant and aggresive game plan lead Andy Roddick packing early, leaving a quarter final epic against Murray to never be fought. Another surprise was Robin Soderlings surprising loss against Aussie teenager Bernard Tomic. A stomach illness appeared to be troubling the Swede, but the Australian kept delivering different shots which frustrated the number 5 seed. After coming back two sets to love against Hewitt in the previous round, he was unable to pass another Aussie as Tomic wins the biggest victory so far in his career.

Feliciano Lopez shocks Andy Roddick in the third round.

On of the surprising events of the tournament was the form of the two qualifiers in the mens draw. Bernard Tomic and Lukaz Kubot both came from qualifying and have now reached the fourth round. Kubot had a great run in back to back grand slams with a 3rd round appearance in Roland Garros. He ousted an impressive field of competitors from Ivo Karlovic, Arnaud Clement and Gael Monfils and will now face Feliciano Lopez. Bernard Tomic as mentioned before has had stunning run and shows signs of the future of Australian tennis after Lleyton Hewitt. After ousting Davydenko, Andreev and Soderling, he now faces Belgian Xavier Malisse.

Tomic on a run at Wimbledon.

 

Before we conclude, this years Wimbledon has also been filled with some hilarious moments. It started with Caroline Wozniacki crashing Novak Djokovic’s press conference and grilling him about his one match losing streak. Also Ryan Harrison had a hilarious moment during his shirt change. It seemed he couldn’t figure out how to put on a shirt. Also a first round match up between Americans Alex Bolgomolov Jr. and Donald Young had a intense situation turn awkward and comical. Watch below to see what happened.

This concludes my review on the first week. For more posts on Wimbledon and tennis in general, subscribe or RSS to my blog. Also follow me on twitter for updates on current and future posts and events. If there is anyone you know who would enjoy this or should be recommended to, please share. Once again thank you for reading and feel free to comment on your view of Wimbledon.

All images are courtesy of the official Wimbledon page.

Advertisements

Wimbledon 2011: Men’s Draw

We’ve now reached the third grand slam of the year and it’s the one which means most to the players. Wimbledon is upon us. Time to bring out the accents, the strawberries and the white clothing as we’re in for a fortnight of amazing tennis.

The men’s draw will have it’s eyes focused mainly on the top four players. Despite that, their are many stories to look out for. Will Murray make the Brits proud? Will anyone challenge the big four? Can Nadal defend his title? And especially, what will be the result of the anticipated Isner and Mahut match?

Quarter 1: Nadal’s Quarter

With the two time champion Nadal in is quarter, it’s hard to see anyone else coming out alive out of this quarter. The Spaniard may have difficulties with Pablo Andujar in the second round, who challenged him on the clay. His fourth round has also set up a confrontation between possibly Gilles Simon or 2009 US Open Champion Del Potro, which could be an epic. On the bottom half of this quarter is Tomas Berdych which could be a repeat of last years final for Rafa’s quarter final match. The men who challenge Berdych are Fernando Verdasco who has slipped in the rankings this year and Mardy Fish who is enjoying his new top 10 status.

Quarter Final: Nadal Vs Fish

A bit of a bold decision going for Mardy Fish but I believe Tomas Berdych will come under too much pressure to defend his points, just like w saw in Roland Garros. Also whoever Nadal versus, it’s unlikely anyone will send Nadal packing before the semis.

Semi Finalist: Nadal

Quarter 2: Murray’s Quarter

This quarter contains the Brits biggest hope Andy Murray. Everyone all over the country will stop to see this man play. But it’s Murray who is yet to deliver the expectation of millions of admirers. Richard Gasquet and Stanislas Wawrinka will likely be his biggest threat. The other Andy may be the one that crushes the Brits dream. After missing the French Open, Roddick’s back to prove a point. The only competition I see him having is Gael Monfils. However unless one of them gets food poisoning, it’s likely it will be between the two Andy’s.

Quarter Final: Murray Vs Roddick

This match will depend on Murray. In 2009, Roddick defeated Murray in the semi. I’m seeing the same result this year.

Semi Finalist: Roddick

Quarter 3: Federer’s Quarter  

This quarter contains the six time champion Roger Federer. Again, there’s very little player who could challenge Federer in this quarter. Though it does contain some exciting matches, particularly the Isner Vs Mahut replay. Other players which Federer could face include David Nalbandian, Mikhail Youzhny and Nicolas Almagro. On the top half of this quarter, Ferrer faces a more challenging task on the way to the quarters. His fourth round match up contain many tough competitors such as the Ukrainian Alexander Dolgopolov, Fernando Gonzalez, rising star Grigor Dimitrov and number 12 seed Jo Wilfred Tsonga. The competition for is section will be fierce.

Quarter Final: Federer Vs Tsonga

Although Tsonga or whoever gets this spot will earn their place here, Federer unforunately will be too strong.

Semifinalist: Federer

Quarter 4: Djokovic’s Quarter

With the almighty run coming to an end, Djokovic is back with a vengeance remains a contender to win the title. He faces many tough competitors in his quarter, but fortunately, they’re all located on the top half. Some big names which face Djokovic include Baghdatis, James Black and Victor Troicki. However i’m sure we’ll be seeing him in the quarters. Unfortunately, it’s the Swede Robin Soderling who faces the toughest journey ahead. First round up against Petzchner and than a second roun against Kei Nishikori or an injured Lleyton Hewitt. Yet ‘s only made the third round. Nickolay Davydenko waits in the third and Florian Mayer, Ernests Gulbis, Jurgen Melzer and french open quarter finalist Alejandro Falla could be his fourth round match up. If Soderling get’s through all this, he’ll be in red hot form.

Quarter final: Djokovic Vs Soderling

This could potentially be an epic, but Djokovic seems the likely winner of this battle.

Semi finals:

Nadal Vs Roddick

Roddick will challenge Nadal just like we saw against Federer in 2009. But Nadal will have the answers to dispatch Roddick.

Finalist: Nadal

Federer Vs Djokovic

These two seem to be always meeting in semi finals. Djokovic will ensure that Federer doesn’t beat him again, but Federers experience on the grass has him favoured over the Serb.

Finalist: Federer

Finals:

Nadal Vs Federer

We’ve once again reached a Nadal Vs Federer final. Who could forget the classic in 2008? Federer has improved on the clay against Rafa and we’ve obviously seen Nadal do the same on grass. My favourite will be Federer in this match, but Nadal seems to strong for him now. I predict a four set win by Nadal.

Winner: Rafael Nadal

 

Thank you for reading my post, follow me on twitter and subscribe for more posts on wimbledon. Also, feel free to comment on your opinions. 🙂

Federer Vs Nadal: 2011 Roland Garros Final Preview

The greatest rivalry in mens tennis continues as Roger Federer from Switzerland and Rafael Nadal from Spain will battle in what will be their 25th meeting. They’ve versed each other in 8 grand slam finals, with the last meeting in the 2009 Australian Open Final. With the form these two have shown in the tournament, this promises to be a thriller of a match.

  • Head To Head: Nadal leads 16-8
  • Grand Slam Final Head To Head: Nadal leads 6-2
  • Last Meeting: ATP World Tour Masters 1000, Nadal wins 5-7 6-1 6-3
  • Last Clay Meeting: ATP World Tour Masters 1000, Nadal wins 5-7 6-1 6-3
  • Last Roland Garros Final Meeting: Final, Nadal wins 6-1 6-3 6-0

Rafael Nadal

As we’ve just seen above, the statistics heavily favour the king of clay. He’s beaten Roger Federer four times in the french open and three times in the final. He showed huge domination in their last meeting in the 2008 final.

  • 1st Round: John Isner 6-4 6-7 6-7 6-2 6-4
  • 2nd Round: Andujar 7-5 6-3 7-6
  • 3rd Round: Veic 6-1 6-3 6-0
  • 4th Round: Ljubicic 7-5 6-3 6-3
  • Quarterfinal: Soderling 6-4 6-1 7-6
  • Semi Final: Murray 6-4 7-5 6-4

Nadal began the tournament with lackluster performances against his first two opponents. Many doubted his ability and the possibility of winning this years title. It wasn’t until his quarter final against Robin Soderling where eyebrows were raised and doubters were silenced. He showed a dominating force against the Swede which would then continue in the semi finals. He now comes into the finals as the favourite to win the title.

This time around, there’s more at stake for the world number one. If he wins tonight, he’ll equal Bjorn Borg’s record of six Roland Garros titles. If he loses, he will lose his number one ranking to Novak Djokovic.

So will we see Nadal make history? Or will we see a brand new world number one?

Nadal will play for his 6th Roland Garros title.

 Roger Federer

The Swiss maestro is arguably the best player of all time. He’s won 16 grand slam titles but only one french open title. The year he won, he defeated Soderling in the final who knocked out Nadal in the 4th round. Roger Federer comes into this match with a lot to prove.

  • 1st Round: Lopez 3-6 4-6 6-7
  • 2nd Round: Teixeira 6-3 6-0 6-2
  • 3rd Round: Tipsarevic 6-1 6-4 6-3
  • 4th Round: Wawrinka 6-3 6-2 7-5
  • Quarter Final: Monfils 6-4 6-3 7-6
  • Semi Final: Djokovic 7-6 6-3 3-6 7-5

Roger Federer came into the tournament as the number 3 seed and under the shadow of his younger competitors. Throughout the past fortnight, he’s proved us wrong and shown that he’s still a force within the men’s game. He’s only one set this french open and has played an overall better tournament than Nadal. Many of us predicted that Roger would be knocked out by Djokovic. But in fact it was Federer who surprised and ended the 43 match winning streak. Following this win, Roger will surely come in playing the best clay court tennis of his life.

In the previous round, Federer ruined Novaks chance of history when he stopped his legendery streak. If Roger wins tonight, he will stop Nadal equaling the record number of French Open titles and also knock Nadal off the number one ranking.

Can the swiss maestro finally overcome Nadal on clay? Or will NAdal be too strong once again?

Federer hopes to beat Nadal for the first time at Roland Garros.

 Betting Odds:

  1. Rafael Nadal 2/5
  2. Roger Federer  2

My Prediction

I’m unsure what will happen. Federer is playing the best clay court tennis of his life but Nadal seems too strong. Who could forget their last meeting in 2008. Three years later, he now has his own french open title. I’ll definately be rooting for the underdog Federer. But the statistics of all the head to heads and Nadals dominating force on clay is what makes me favour Rafa winning this year’s french open.