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

 

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Djokovic Streak Ends at 41

The unstoppable force of Novak Djokovic has swept the world of tennis this season. However, his legendary run has finally come to an end. In the he loses after 41 consecutive victories , just one match short to equal the record of Mcenroe’s 42-0 streak in the 1984 season.

It all began in the Hopman Cup where Novak Djokovic didn’t lose a single match. He continued the form into the Australian Open where he beat Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the final on the way to victory. What we didn’t know was that these victories were only the beginning of his phenomenal run.

Djokovic wins the Australian Open.

He then followed this victory by winning in Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Rome. These victories were also filled with difficult matches which the Serb eventually overcame. Djokovic defeated Nadal in both Indian Wells and Madrid after coming back one set down in both. He then continued this Rafa assault by defeating him again in the final of Rome. But it was Andy Murray who proved to be his greatest challenge. In their three hour encounter in Rome, Djokovic was two points from defeat until a double fault allowed him to come back and win the match. Throughout his streak, he lost ten sets in his matches against Nadal (two), Murray, Federer, Bellucci, Ferrer, Bedych, Lopez and Del Porto.

Coming into the french open, Djokovic emerged as a huge favourite to take it all while some predicted that his streak would end during the fortnight. Novak sailed past his first two matches to meet 2009 US Open Champion Juan Martin Del Potro in the third round. The Serb lost a set but came back the next day to win the next two. On what was supposed to be the match which he would most likely equal the record, his Italian opponent Fabio Fognini withdrew before their quarter final match which gave Novak a walkover into the semis.

Equaling the record suddenly got tougher as his next opponent was 3rd seed Roger Federer. Federer seemed in control as he won the first two sets. The former world number one has never lost a grand slam match from two sets up so Djokovic now faced mission impossible. The Serb began the third set with an early break to lead 3-0. He took advantage of his opportunity and took the set 6-3.

Confident Federer.

Djokovic looks above for help.

The fourth set began with both men holding their serves. In the 9th game at 4-4, Djokovic won a hard earned break to lead 5-4. But Federer denied a 5th set from happening and broke back in the following game. Another match tiebreak occured where dusk approached, the energy of the crowd turned electric and the future of the streak would be determined within the next several points.

The final moments were nail biting tennis. Federer hit his 17th ace followed by a winner to lead 6-3 in the tiebreak. Djokovic then survived a lucky net cord and served an ace to bring the score at 6-5. Hearts raced between the two players, the crowd and all the viewers watching at home. Roger tossed his final ball in the air and slammed an ace right down the middle to bring the crowd at it’s feet.

Federer into the finals.

 

The two champions embrace.

Roger Federer now faces 5 time French Open winner Rafael Nadal in the final in what we hope lives up to all their amazing matches. For Djokovic however, it’s a bitter loss. One win short of history and also one win short of the desired number one ranking. If Federer does defeat Rafa, then Novak is the new number one. In the next few weeks, it’ll be interesting how he bounces back after a tough loss. Though i’m sure that Novak will fight back in his following matches.

French Open Mens Draw Analysis: One Week Later

Unlike the women’s draw, the mens side has been more solid and consistent. With the exception of a few absences and some pretty bad predictions from last week, the big four still remain in contention.

Quarter 1: Nadal

Previous Prediction: Nadal Vs Simon

Nadal hasn’t gone past his first two matches as smoothly as we hoped. Though he proved us wrong by an easy victory against Antonio Veic. He now faces Ivan Ljubicic who defeated an unwell Verdasco. Despite the potential challenge, Nadal will find his way into the quarters. Meanwhile, the following match promises to be battle with two time runner up Robin Soderling and home favourite and french man Gilles Simon. Soderling has the experience, but Simon will have the support.

Nadal Vs Simon

I still stand by my prediction even though Soderling is the better bet. I’m sure Nadal will win here.

Semi Finalist: Nadal

Quarter 2: Murray

Previous Prediction: Murray Vs Melzer

This section has completely opened up for Murray with the defeat of Jurgen Melzer. In the previous match, he badly rolled his ankle and says it still ached during his press conference. If this really does affect Murrays game, we will see a new semi finalist from here. It’s likely to be Victor Troicki who has to get past Murray to equal his best result. This is very difficult to predict with the injured ankle. Argentinian Juan Ignacio Chela and qualifier Alejandro Falla inhabit the other side of this quarter. Both have taken advantage of the open draw and one will achieve their first quarter final in a grand slam.

Troicki Vs Falla

Troicki may take advantage of Murray’s situation while Falla who almost knocked out Roger Federer in Wimbledon will over Chela.

Semi Finalist: Troicki

Quarter 3: Federer

Previous Prediction: Federer Vs Monfils

The quiet man of this years french open, Federer is fine to play with the spotlight on his two higher ranked opponents. He faces compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka who upset the number 9 seed Jo Wilfred Tsonga in a grueling five set match. In the other section is David Ferrer Vs sliderman Gael Monfils. Both have played well this year and have rised in the rankings.

Federer Vs Monfils

Monfils is powerful on clay, but I believe Federer will over come him in this match.

Semi Finalist: Federer

Quarter 4: Djokovic

Previous Prediction: Djokovic Vs Haas

I look back laughing at my prediction. I guess I expected too much of the returning veteran. Djokovic has proven his status as the favourite by defeating Juan Martin Del Potro. He faces another tough matchup against Richard Gasquet and the french crowd. I believe Novak should win this match and will likely win against Fabio Fognini or Alberto Montanes.

Djokovic Vs Fognini

Semi Finalist: Djokovic

Semi Finals:

Nadal Vs Troicki

It should be Murray, but i’ve changed my mind to Troicki after the sprained ankle. I’m sure Nadal will win this in three or possibly four sets.

Finalist: Nadal

Federer Vs Djokovic

An interesting match up, particularly on clay.I trust Novaks streak will still  go on after this match.

Finalist: Djokovic

Grand Final:

Djokovic Vs Nadal

This will be the match of the year. The streak will either end or continue after this tournament. In my opinion, Nadal will be the one ending it. In a grueling five set match I predict the winner will be….

 

Champion: Djokovic