2015 Wimbledon Gentleman’s Week 1 Preview and Predictions
Steen Kirby,Tennis Atlantic
The most famed slam of them all is here, as the best men’s and women’s tennis players in the world will take to the crisp grass courts of Wimbledon in a show of skills, as they begin the quest for points and glory at SW19. Now that the draw is out, here is a preview, with predictions.
June 29-July 12, 2015
Prize Money: 26,750,000
Top 8 seeds (ATP ranking in parentheses)
1: Novak Djokovic (1)
2: Roger Federer (2)
3: Andy Murray (3)
4: Stan Wawrinka (4)
5: Kei Nishikori (5)
6: Tomas Berdych (6)
7: Milos Raonic (8)
8: David Ferrer (7)*
Even with the more complex Wimbledon seeding system, the top 8 seeds, are the top 8 players in the world presently, with Raonic and Ferrer switching spots.
All of the top names are here except for David Ferrer, who withdrew with an elbow injury after the draw was made.
First round matchups to watch:
(1)Novak Djokovic vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber
Novak Djokovic will have to face the toughest round 1 opponent he’s faced at a Grand Slam in years, as the unseeded Kohlschreiber is a dark horse on grass in his own right, and even though he is 1-6 in the h2h, he’ll surely give this match his best effort. Djokovic, the defending, and two time, Wimbledon champion, didn’t play any of the ATP warm up tournaments on grass prior to this years tournament, and he went 1-1 in the Boodles challenger exhibition on grass. (losing to Alex Zverev, beating Richard Gasquet). After a disappointing Roland Garros result, Djokovic is showing signs of vulnerability, and the former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Kohlschreiber has to have hope of at least taking a set, and quite possibly making this a match. Kohlschreiber pushed Roger Federer to the brink of match point in their Halle match, eventually losing in three sets. I expect Djokovic to survive due to Kohlschreiber’s mental liabilities, but it won’t be easy.
(24)Leonardo Mayer vs. Thanasi Kokkinakis
Mayer, an Argentine, tends to prefer clay, and thusly he’s not a “Top 25” player on grass, as his seed would indicate. That said, he’s no slouch either as he comes off the quarterfinals in Nottingham after a pair of wins, and a third set tiebreak loss to Denis Istomin. Opposing him will be the young Australian Kokkinakis. Last year Nick Kyrgios was the one who made his breakthrough at Wimbledon, and now Kokkinakis will try to seize his moment. He’s still adjusting to grass but he’s a solid competitor with a good fast court game, meaning this match is about even odds in my mind. It’s a tough pick, but I’m going with the spirited Australian in 4 or 5 sets over Mayer.
(5)Kei Nishikori vs. Simone Bolelli
Last year they battled for five sets with Nishikori coming out on top at Wimbledon. The Japanese #1 comes off the semis in Halle, and hopefully he’s healthy and ready to make a push in London. Bolelli. a talented shotmaker is 5-2 on grass with a Nottingham quarterfinal on his resume in 2015. This one could well go five also, but Nishikori should be able break Bolelli down into errors and grab a win.Embed from Getty Images
(4)Stan Wawrinka vs. Joao Sousa
Stan the man beat Sousa at Wimbledon in straights last year, and now as a defending quarterfinalist and the French Open champion, he will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders to do well this year. Wawrinka slumped in a defeat to Kevin Anderson at Queens club, and could be vulnerable to a shocking upset, I don’t expect it to happen as Sousa went just 2-3 on grass in 2015, but he did beat Denis Istomin and Sam Groth, a pair of good grass courters, so the ability is there, though consistency is lacking for the streaky Portugese. Wawrinka is most likely to win in straights.
Dustin Brown vs. Yen-Hsun Lu
A great grass court battle of unheralded players. The powerful serve and volleyer Brown qualified for Wimbledon with ease, and did the same in Stuttgart, as his game is at its peak on quick surfaces. Lu upset Halle finalist Andreas Seppi and Feliciano Lopez to reach the quarterfinals in Nottingham, he also qualified at Queens and appears to be in good form with his baseline oriented weaponless game. Brown will provide more spark and excitement, but Lu should be the more reliable of the pair, and thus I have him advancing.
(13)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Gilles Muller
My pick for the most notable seeded victim of round 1 is Tsonga. He played a close encounter with Muller last year on indoor hard, and he’s apparently not been healthy since the French Open semis. JW is fine on grass, but Muller is also excellent with his staunch serve and aggressive volley play. It should be 4 or 5 sets, but look for Muller to win some tiebreaks and get through this match in an upset.
Robin Haase vs. (Q)Alejandro Falla
A matchup with great grass court potential, Falla beat Haase last year in Halle on grass , and he qualified in Halle this year, and for Wimbledon, proving his forehand centric lefty game is still effective on the surface. Haase reached the semis in Den Bosch and can produce great varied tennis on grass, though his mental fortitude is continually lacking. This one could go either way, but I give Falla a slight edge to get through, perhaps in 5 sets.
(15)Feliciano Lopez vs. Steve Darcis
You can’t beat this match if you like serve and volley tennis on grass, Lopez is 1-1 against Darcis, a fellow veteran with a similar style, though Flopez has more power, and flopez did get a win at Queens when they met on grass in 2012. Darcis famously beat Rafa here, and the otherwise journeyman Belgian simply loves the venue. That said is currently on a five match losing streak. Lopez has had a pedestrian grass court season, going 2-3, but he still has previous success at Wimbledon, and thus I give him the edge to advance.
(31)Jack Sock vs. Sam Groth
Sock will take on a player five years his senior, in the form of the big serving serve and volleyer Groth. The young gun American with a great forehand should have an advantage in this match given his well rounded game, but Groth will be able to apply constant pressure by holding his serve and if he can keep the error count down on his racquet he’ll have his shot in this one. The Australian reached the quarters in Stuttgart and won a challenger in title on grass this year. Sock elected not to play any of the ATP tournaments on grass as warm-up but presumably he’s healthy. I have Jack winning this but a Groth upset wouldn’t shock me.Embed from Getty Images
The winner of Djokovic/Kohlschreiber will face Jarkko Nieminen or Lleyton Hewitt in round 2, as Djokovic could face two talented grass courters in consecutive matches. The former Wimbledon champion Hewitt is playing his final Wimbledon, and surely the legend wants to leave a final mark on the All-England Club center court against Djokovic. Hewitt has been in sharp decline and has been both mentally and physically struggling this year, but he’s still 5-0 against the speedy Nieminen, and thus I’m going with him to snap a losing streak and get to round 2, before bowing out against Novak, who is superior in every way at this point in their respective careers.
The draw does not get easier for Djokovic after Kohlschreiber and Hewitt/Nieminen, as a tough first week will conclude against former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Bernard Tomic in all likelihood. Tomic, a Stuttgart quarterfinalist, will need to defeat JL Struff, who is in the midst of a losing streak, and then Pierre-Hugues Herbert or Hyeon Chung in round 2. Herbert, a big server. qualified for Wimbledon and should have the inside track against Chung, who has talent but is inexperienced on the surface. Look for Bernie to beat them both, and then fall to Djokovic as he has in the three previous times they have met, including the 2011 Wimbledon quarters.
14 seed Kevin Anderson, a finalist in Queens, should be able to cruise past young dirtballer Lucas Pouille. who has lost five straight, and likewise pass a stiffer test against Jerzy Janowicz, a former Wimbledon semifinalist in round 2. JJ reached the quarters in Halle but has failed to be consistent this year , I don’t see him dropping a set against journeyman Marsel Ilhan (5 straight losses), but Anderson with his strong serve+forehand combo is a much more challenging opponent, and given the 2-0 h2h, the South African should advance to round 3.Embed from Getty Images
Thanasi Kokkinakis will have a great shot at the third round, and should make it, presuming he defeats Mayer. Marcel Granollers or Janko Tipsarevic, both struggling vets, will be his round 2 opponent, and it’s difficult to tell which Tipsy will show up for that match. Granollers isn’t great but at least he’s been able to play competitive tennis, and thus I have him as the one losing to Kokkinakis round 2. Anderson beat Kokkinakis last year, and given this is grass with the South Africans good form, look for Djokovic vs. Anderson in the round of 16, as Kev’s good form in Queens should carry him into the second week at Wimbledon.
The winner of Nishikori/Bolelli, presumably Kei unless we get carnage in the first quarter, will almost certainly face Santiago Giraldo in round 2, unless the Colombian is shocked by Joao Souza. who has almost never played on grass. Giraldo has struggled this season, and thus even with his power forehand game maxed, Nishikori is likely to advance to round 3 presuming he can get past the round 1 match.
In that third round, any of the four options could await. Denis Kudla, the-all court American wild card with a good grass game is here, and will have an upset chance against dirtballer Pablo Cuevas. Kudla is on a hot streak with a challenger final and a title on grass in consecutive weeks, he’s always been on the cusp of a breakthrough, so a third round run would be huge for his confidence. Teymuraz Gabashvili and Alex Zverev are also both unseeded players in good form, Gabashvili won a challenger recently, while Zverev beat Djokovic in an exhibition, and is 4-3 in ATP grass court tournaments this season. It’s a tough call between Zverev and Gabashvili, but I’m going with Zverev, and then Kudla over Zverev, before Nishikori beats Kudla in the third round, simply given the difference in talent and performance in their careers, and this season.Embed from Getty Images
Marin Cilic and John Isner could be on a third round collision course, Cilic a Stuttgart semifinalist, appears to be finally getting back into top 10 form after coming back from injury, and he should blitz outgunned qualifier Hiroki Moriya in round 1. After that Cilic will also be a heavy favorite against Ricardas Berankis or Andreas Haider-Maurer. AHM much prefers clay, while Berankis qualified in Halle, I have Berankis winning the round 1 match, but losing routinely to Cilic.
Isner will face another Japanese qualifier, Go Soeda, in round 1, and the Queens semifinalist should also outgun his opponent. In round 2, Isner is likely to face Matt Ebden, a formerly top 100 Aussie who is a bit of a grass court specialist these days like Kudla, Ebden and Kudla have torn up the grass court challenger circuit in the UK this year (1 title, 1 final each) and Matty should roll past Blaz Rola, a former college tennis standout. Ebden could challenge Isner if the American can’t get off the blocks well, but in all likelihood it will be Cilic vs. Isner round 3.
Cilic dominates the h2h (4-0) against Isner, and with the exception of serve, is a better player than Isner in each of the important categories. It could be a battle, but Cilic should be the player who reaches the second week.
Wawrinka/Sousa will open with with Benjamin Becker or Victor Estrella. Becker is a good grass courter but hasn’t been healthy recently, while Estrella is on a five match losing streak. If Becker is healthy he should get through that round 1 match, but Wawrinka, barring a shocking collapse, has a safe path to the third round. Former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Fernando Verdasco could await there, he will open with Martin Klizan, who has power but not really a game built for grass. Verdasco should be able to defeat Klizan and then defeat Dominic Thiem or Dudi Sela in round 2. Sela is a career journeyman but the undersized Israeli is good on grass, while Thiem is adjusting to the surface and was a poor 1-3 this year. Thiem has more talent than Sela, but upset potential is there.
Verdasco vs. Wawrinka should be a great third round match, Verdasco actually leads the h2h 2-1 but they have never met on a fast surface, the match should be on Stan’s racquet regardless, as both players can play erratic or brilliant tennis depending on the day. Wawrinka’s backhand will collide with Verdasco’s forehand, and I see Wawrinka surviving that match to reach the round of 16.Embed from Getty Images
The section below Wawrinka/Verdasco is wide open, the 16 seed is David Goffin, who reached the final in Den Bosch, his best ever result on grass. Goffin should cruise past dirtballer Horacio Zeballos and then defeat either Marinko Matosevic or British wild card Liam Broady in round 2. Matosevic has lost 11 matches in a row, Broady has lost 6 in a row in one of the most out of form grand slam matches you will witness. Broady should ride the home crowd to an upset win over the hapless Matosevic, before falling to Goffin. Nottingham semifinalist Marcos Baghdatis, who tends to peak on grass, even late in his career, with his aggressive quick strike game, will open with struggling Donald Young who is on a four match losing streak. Presuming Baghdatis is healthy and fit, he should win that one, and setup a meeting with either qualifier John Millman or Tommy Robredo. Millman has always been a talent but he’s been an underachiever , while Robredo has struggled this year and went 1-1 on grass in 2015. Millman upset Robredo in Sydney in 2013, and I have him doing so again, and upsetting the 19 seed. Baghdatis should beat Millman or Robredo for a spot in the third round.
Goffin-Baghdatis should be another great match, Baghdatis has a 3-0 h2h edge including two wins this year, and I give him the advantage if he’s healthy. Look for the veteran Baghdatis to advance to the second week given his previous semifinal result at Wimbledon years ago.
7 seed Milos Raonic will open with Daniel Gimeno-Traver, a dirtballer, Raonic has been slow returning from a foot injury, but he has a good draw to reach the second week. After DGT, Tommy Haas or Dusan Lajovic will be next. Haas has, as expected, been slow returning from injury as well, with a 1-2 record on grass, and though he should beat Lajovic, who is poor on grass, Raonic should prove to be too stiff of a test for the veteran German, Raonic beat Haas in 2013 on indoor hard in straights.
Look for Nick Kyrgios to also reach the third round, after his run to the quarterfinals last year. Kyrgios has been struggling under the pressure of being the top young gun in the game at the moment, but Diego Schwartzman, his round 1 opponent, is a dirtballer, and neither Juan Monaco, nor a struggling Florian Mayer should be able to oust him in round 2. Monaco is another South American relatively allergic to grass, while Mayer reached the quarters in Halle, but the veteran has otherwise struggled. Kyrgios-Mayer could be good but presuming NK is healthy he should be fine, he tends to peak for slams.Embed from Getty Images
Raonic-Kyrgios could be a great match, and NK shouldn’t be counted out, especially with Raonic having the lingering effects of a foot injury, but his relentless serve should baffle Kyrgios just like it did at Wimbledon last year, where Kyrgios was in better form. The Queens quarterfinalist Raonic should reach the second week.
11 seed Grigor Dimitrov opens with Federico Delbonis, and the winner of Lukas Lacko/Steve Johnson will follow that. Dimitrov is struggling, a winner of just two of his last six matches but he reached the semis here last year and should at least get to round 2. Johnson and Lacko are both inconsistent, but if on, could trouble Dimitrov, that said I have Grisha reaching round 3 and setting up a match against Richard Gasquet, the versatile French veteran. Gasquet opens with qualifier Luke Saville, who could trouble him given his previous junior success at Wimbledon (2011 boys champion). Gasquet should win that though and then beat either qualifier JP Smith or qualifier Kenny De Schepper, more likely De Schepper, to get that match against Dimitrov.
Gasquet is 4-0 in the h2h against Dimitrov, that said the match should still be a battle if they meet in round 3. Gasquet should advance though given Dimitrov’s poor form, and thus reach the second week.Embed from Getty Images
The former Wimbledon champion, and current Queens club champion Andy Murray once again has the hopes of a nation on him at Wimbledon. His form has been fantastic all season, across the surfaces, and he should blitz into the fourth round with relative ease. Mikhail Kukushkin, who is struggling, is an easy out in round 1, and then Haase/Falla would challenge him given this is grass, but it’s unlikely they will be able to maintain the level needed to oust the UK #1. In the third round, Andreas Seppi, the Halle finalist, should await. Seppi with his varied game should be able to dispatch Brydan Klein, a UK wild card, and the winner of Sergiy Stakhovsky/Borna Coric. Coric/Stako have split meetings this year, Stakhovsky is superior on grass and thus he’s the favorite with his serve and volley game. Stako could also give Seppi problems but he hasn’t been entirely healthy. Murray is 6-1 in his career vs Seppi.
Tsonga/Muller will face Denis Istomin or Albert Ramos in round 2, Istomin won the title in Nottingham and he’s a good grass courter so he could trouble either Muller or Tsonga, but given the fatigue factor I have Muller into the third round. Ivo Karlovic will face Elias Ymer, a qualifier, in round 1, Dr. Ivo should win that with his big serve, andthen Kyle Edmund, a wild card, or Alexandr Dolgopolov will await. Dolgopolov is in good form and has two previous h2h wins over Ivo, thus I have him advancing into the third round. The Ukrainian shotmaker defeated Rafael Nadal at Queens and reached the semis in Nottingham while Karlovic reached the semis in Halle, and upset Tomas Berdych.
Muller-Dolgopolov (or Tsonga/Karlovic/Istomin) here should make for an interesting third rounder, Dolgo, if on, is a top 20 player in terms of talent, but he tends to have lapses in his game, while Muller is steady but doesn’t have as much of a peak. Either serve as a dark horse, and I have Dolgopolov getting past the two servebots Karlovic and Muller to reach the second week.Embed from Getty Images
Rafael Nadal, the champion in Stuttgart, will be looking to avoid an early exit against Thomaz Bellucci. Nadal tends to be boom or bust on grass these days, and Bellucci has power, but he’s not great on grass, thus Nadal should win that, and beat Brown or Lu in round 2. Brown could trouble Nadal, as he has beaten Rafa before on grass, but I don’t see that resulting repeating itself unless Dreddy can redline his game. In the third round, Viktor Troicki, the player he faced in the Stuttgart final, is his likely opponent. Troicki opens with Alex Nedovyesov, a qualifier, and then the winner of Radek Stepanek/Aljaz Bedene. Stepanek is a declined veteran, though formerly good on grass, and with Troicki in red hot form, he shouldn’t have issue reaching the third round.
Nadal is 5-0 in his career against Troicki, so barring a shot he should dispatch the Stuttgart finalist and Queens semifinalist to reach the second week.
After the Ferrer withdrawal, lucky loser Luca Vanni will be an underdog against British wild card James Ward, as Ward has a great chance to go as far as the fourth round on grass. At a minimum, Wardy should rise and defeat Vanni in front of home fans. After that Jiri Vesely, who opens with grass allergic Paolo Lorenzi awaits. Ward isn’t in great form, while Vesely isn’t great on grass, that said, Vesely has more talent so I see him reaching the third round.
30 seed Fabio Fognini opens with a struggling Tim Smyczek, Fognini is volatile and not great on grass, thus Smyczek will have his chance, but Fognini is more likely to be ousted by a hopefully healthy Vasek Pospisil in round 2. Pospisil opens with qualifier Vincent Millot, a French journeyman veteran. He’s showed signs of improvement though he’s struggled, from time to time this year and in a weak section, I have him upsetting Fognini to reach round 3.
It’s amazing that any of the players in this section would reach the fourth round, Pospisil-Vesely is my pick for the third round matchup, and that’s a coin flip to me. I have Pospisil advancing based upon the surface, but he hasn’t showed the form needed to reach the second week of a slam in quite some time, so perhaps this is Vesely’s time to rise.
The 7 time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer will again serve it up at SW19, in what is perhaps his last realistic chance to win another Grand Slam and add to his record setting total. A finalist last year, the Swiss should roll past Damir Dzumhur, and either Nottingham finalist Sam Querrey, or qualifier Igor Sijsling to reach the third round. Sock/Groth should await him in round 3, and I don’t see them giving him too much trouble given this is grass. Sock/Groth faces the winner of Malek Jaziri/James Duckworth in round 2.
Lopez/Darcis will face Nikolosz Basilashvili, a qualifier, or dirtballer Facundo Bagnis round 2. Lopez presuming he gets past Darcis shouldn’t have a problem reaching the third round. Roberto Bautista Agut could await there for an all-Spanish battle, presuming RBA beats all courter Ruben Bemelmans, and then Benoit Paire or Mikhail Youzhny. Paire hates grass, while Youzhny is nearing retirement and in poor form. I actually have RBA losing to Bemelmans in an upset, but I may be too bullish on that. The Belgian qualified for Nottingham while RBA has lost three straight. Bemelmans should also defeat Paire or Youzhny, and I have Bemelmans over Youzhny in my bracket.
Given this is grass, Lopez should reach the second week and defeat Bemelmans or another opponent, even though his season has been poor thus far.Embed from Getty Images
Tomas Berdych will open with Jeremy Chardy, who he has a 3-0 h2h advantage against. Berdych reached the quarters in Halle and the former Wimbledon finalist should be able to get past that one. Wild card Nicolas Mahut, the Den Bosch champion, is a dangerous grass court serve and volleyer in round 2, presuming he rolls past Filip Krajinovic, but Berdych should have too much power for Mahut, and also one of Guillermo Garcia-Lopez/Pablo Andujar/Ernests Gulbis/Lukas Rosol in round 3. Gulbis has been awful this year, and Rosol can be a powerful ball basher on grass, thus look for Rosol to beat Gulbis, and also Garcia-Lopez given this is grass to reach round 3. GGL reached the quarters in Queens and beat Andujar there.
Rosol is to some extent a poor man’s Berdych, given their similar styles, and the fact Berdych does everything better than Rosol, Tomas should reach the round of 16 in the battle of Davis Cup teammates. He has a 2-0 h2h edge on hard courts.
12 seed Gilles Simon opens with Nicolas Almagro, with the winner of qualifier Yuichi Sugita/Blaz Kavcic to follow. The Queens semifinalist and Nottingham quarterfinalist Simon, who has been steady this year, should advance through those matches with ease to reach round 3. Sugita is good on grass and should beat Kavcic.
18 seed Gael Monfils opens with dirtballer Pablo Carreno Busta, and then Adrian Mannarino or Michael Berrer in round 2. Berrer qualified, while Mannarino, a Den Bosch quarterfinalist, is a good all-courter. Mannarino should give Monfils a test, but the Stuttgart semifinalist and Halle quarterfinalist should come through and reach round 3 to setup an all-French battle with Simon.Embed from Getty Images
Simon-Monfils has previously given us some of the most exciting, yet boring tennis known to man, that said, Simon dominates the h2h 5-1, and he won a h2h meeting this year in Marseille, given his good form, Gilles is the favorite for the round of 16.
Dark Horses (one for each quarter of the draw): Simone Bolelli, Marcos Baghdatis, Alexandr Dolgopolov/Gilles Muller, Ruben BemelmansEmbed from Getty Images
Bolelli would need to defeat Nishikori, but if he pulls off that feat the Italian shotmaker will be the favorite in every possible match going into the round of 16, and there he would have a chance against Cilic/Isner. Baghdatis should reach the round of 16, and I wouldn’t put it past him to upset Wawrinka/Verdasco there.
Dolgopolov or Muller are reaching week 2 in my bracket, I don’t see them getting past Murray though ,while Bemelmans could reach the second week if Lopez comes up short. Upsetting RBA would be a big move for him.
Week 1 Predictions (round of 16 matchups)
Djokovic d. Anderson
Cilic d. Nishikori
Wawrinka d. Baghdatis
Raonic d. Gasquet
Nadal d. Pospisil
Murray d. Dolgopolov
Berdych d. Simon
Federer d. Lopez
Djokovic is 4-1 against Anderson and has a Wimbledon win, Cilic and Nishikori are rivals and Kei has a 5-3 edge in that one, that said this is grass and I feel Cilic has a small advantage now that he’s coming into form, just like his upset win at the US Open in the 2014 final.
Wawrinka is 5-0 against Baghdatis and has a grass court win, making me feel more at ease picking him. Raonic just beat Gasquet at Queens and leads the h2h 3-1 in that one, he should improve with each match he plays and serve his way into the quarters.
Presuming Nadal reaches the round of 16, his matchup there should be easy and the quarters is close a lock for Rafa. Murray is 3-0 against Dolgo and superior on grass, so he also should accelerate into the quarters. Murray beat Muller at Queens this year.
Simon leads the h2h 6-4 against Berdych but Berdych won their meeting this year, and has been solid this year, I feel he will overpower the Frenchman to reach the quarters. Fed is 11-0 against Lopez and I don’t see him losing before the quarters.
Picking the rest of the way
Djokovic d. Cilic
Raonic d. Wawrinka
Murray d. Nadal
Federer d. Berdych
Djokovic beat Cilic at Wimbledon last year in 5 sets, and he leads the h2h 12-0 in that matchup, Wawrinka is 4-0 against Raonic, but their matchups have been relatively close, and this is grass, a surface I feel swings the advantage to Raonic.
Murray shocked Nadal in Madrid this year and though Rafa is 3-0 at Wimbledon in the h2h, Murray is in some of the best form of his career right now, while Rafa is not, and with that being the case, I have Murray advancing in a battle. Federer has twice beaten Berdych this year, and tends to dominate that matchup on the mental side. Federer has a loss to Berdych at Wimby but leads the grass h2h 2-1 and I see the world #2 living up to his ranking and getting through.
Djokovic d. Raonic
Murray d. Federer
Djokovic is 5-0 against Raonic, it’s not out of the equation that he could be tripped up, but Djokovic rolled at their AO meeting this year, and Raonic has yet to prove he can rise up in slams and conjure up a level of play needed to beat the world #1.
Murray hasn’t beaten Federer since back surgery, but he famously beat him in the 2012 Wimbledon final and as mentioned, his form is at its peak at the moment. I’d be surprised if Murray can’t will himself into the final this year, given how solid he’s been all season, it’d be a deserved result for him to get past Fed.
Murray d. Djokovic
I wouldn’t have predicted this result until Djokovic lost in the French Open final to Wawrinka. That result was a mental blow to him and I feel that result will reverberate through the rest of his 2015 season. He struggled under the pressure there, and he has show signs the loss is affecting him. He’s a more talented and skillful player than Murray, but Murray has will and heart on his side at the moment, he appears at ease with his game, and himself, and if there is any surface he can beat Novak on, it’s grass, as their previous Wimbledon final showed.
Novak hasn’t lost to Murray since his back surgery, but Murray appears back, and I was impressed by AM pushing Novak to five sets on clay at the French. Rather than pressure, look for Murray to feed off the home crowd and home cooking and take home a third grand slam title and second Wimbledon title.