Novak Djokovic scored a statement win against an exhausted Kevin Anderson to lift his 4th Wimbledon title and show the entire world he’s fully back from the injury woes that have dogged him since last season. Djokovic has moved into a solo 4th on the all time Grand Slam singles record for men, with 13 slams overall.
In the final it was all Djokovic, in just 30 minutes he raced to the opening set 6-2 breaking Anderson twice, and ensuring he got off to the best possible start. Anderson, normally reliant on his serve and needing to win almost all of his service games to notch the upset, couldn’t raise his level in the second set. Djokovic secured another double break to take it 6-2 and go up 2 sets to 0 in a brisk manner.
The third set was the only competitive one of the contest, Anderson raised his level on serve and got sniffs at set point in two different Djokovic service games (4-5 and 5-6). Djokovic erased them and then raced to a tiebreak win 7-6(3) in the third and final set for a 6-2 6-2 7-6 victory. It wasn’t a classic final, but for Djokovic, it’s a memorable one as he’ll return to the ATP 10.
Anderson, despite suffering another disappointing Grand Slam final defeat, has secured his first ever top 5 ranking (moving to the 5th spot) as the 32 year old defeated Gael Monfils, Roger Federer, and John Isner in a marathon second week to reach the final. He upset Federer from 2 sets to love down as Federer withered away against Anderson’s clutch, aggressive tennis that resulted in a 13-11 5th set. Against Isner it was a classic battle of great servers as Anderson finally prevailed 26-24 in the 5th set, a match that was the second longest in Wimbledon history.
Isner had previously beaten Stefanos Tsitsipas and Milos Raonic to reach the semis, his best ever result at Wimbledon. Rafael Nadal, the other losing semifinalist defeated Jiri Vesely and Juan Martin Del Potro to reach the semis, with Del Potro finally succumbing in 5 sets. It was Nadal’s best Wimbledon in years and over two days he gave Djokovic all he could handle in the semifinal, with Novak prevailing on Saturday 10-8 in the 5th set.
Djokovic also paced himself to wins against Karen Khachanov and Kei Nishikori in the second week, and now looks set to take the US Open Series by storm.
Mike Bryan and Jack Sock, who is struggling mightily in singles, combined to win the doubles title, defeating Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in 5 sets of tremendous doubles action.
Federer has yet to drop a set this tournament, and dominates the h2h against Mannarino. He’ll be a heavy favorite to reach the quarters yet again as Mannarino should be fatigued after a 5 set win against Daniil Medvedev. Federer’s game on grass is showing no signs of slowing down.
The veteran Monfils leads the h2h 5-0 against the big serving Anderson. The Frenchman is playing some peak tennis at Wimbledon and has been cool and collected this tournament winning in 4 sets against Sam Querrey in round 3, and also Paolo Lorenzi in 4 sets in round 2 and Richard Gasquet in straights round 1.
Anderson dropped a set against Andreas Seppi in round 2, but eased past Philipp Kohlschreiber in round 3. This should be a cracking contest, but with Monfils leading the h2h and serving well he should be the favorite to edge past Anderson.
Wins over Ricardas Berankis, Nicolas Jarry, and Guido Pella have put Mackenzie McDonald into a career best position. The young American has played some fantastic tennis in the opening week, including an 11-9 5 set win against Jarry in round 2. His next opponent, Milos Raonic will be the toughest test yet. Raonic dropped a set against Dennis Novak in the third round, but he’s been solid overall. With Raonic playing this well an upset looks unlikely, the Manitoba missile should advance.
A big result for both players, Isner needed 5 sets against Ruben Bemelmans in round 2, but his first and third round wins came in straights. Tsitsipas needed 5 sets against Jared Donaldson, but a third round win over Thomas Fabbiano put him into the second week. Tsitipas has taken advantage of early exits from Grigor Dimitrov and Stan Wawrinka to emerge as a contender. Isner for his part has posted a better result on Wimbledon than usual. This match could go either way, it will be Isner’s experience against Tsitsipas immense talent.
Djokovic fans should be thrilled by his performance so far. He dropped a set against Kyle Edmund but fought back to win that third round match in 4, his only meaningful test in three matches. The Serbian superstar should now face a fatigued Karen Khachanov. Khachanov edged David Ferrer in 4 sets then won 5 setters against Marcos Baghdatis and Frances Tiafoe. This is a great result for Khachanov to make it this far, but I’d be stunned if he could make inroads against an in-form Djokovic.
Kei Nishikori vs Ernests Gulbis
This could be a special tournament for Nishikori. He dropped sets against Christian Harrison and Bernard Tomic in the first 2 rounds, in round 3 Nishikori blitzed past a struggling Nick Kyrgios to secure passage into the second week. Gulbis is a massive story as well, the former top 20 player qualified and then won three consecutive 5 set matches to reach this stage. Gulbis defeated Jay Clarke, Damir Dzumhur, and top 5 seed Alexander Zverev in his three main draw matches. The loss was a big blow for Zverev, but Gulbis now has an opportunity to resurrect his troubled career. Gulbis has always had the talent but Nishikori should be the favorite.
An intriguing battle of veterans, Del Potro hasn’t dropped a set this tournament including in round 2 and round 3 victories against Feliciano Lopez and Benoit Paire respectively. Those players are no pushovers, so it’s a sign Del Potro is really feeling it right now. Simon dropped a set against Matt Ebden in round 3, but he’s otherwise played well, winning the matches he should. Del Potro is a step up though and the Argentine should go through.
Jiri Vesely dropped sets against Florian Mayer and Fabio Fognini but he’s advanced to this stage to get a crack at Nadal. Nadal is in great form and hasn’t dropped a set in three routine matches. WIth Nadal playing so well it looks like anything is possible, and I don’t see Vesely stopping him. Nadal should be proud of his performances.
Quarters Federer d. Monfils
Raonic d. Isner
Djokovic d. Nishikori
Del Potro d. Nadal
Federer and Djokovic should go through here, while Del Potro deserves the benefit of the doubt on grass, and Raonic is also solid on this surface.
Federer d. Raonic
Del Potro d. Djokovic
Federer remains the favorite, with Del Potro and Djokovic also potential trophy lifters.
Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Cilic All Ready to Roll at Wimbledon 2018 Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Wimbledon has arrived and for fans of men’s tennis it’s a great time to tune in as most of the ATP’s best are on hand to compete. Here is your full preview, with predictions.
Roger Federer, 8 times a Wimbledon champion, should ease into the second week. Dusan Lajovic, Lukas Lacko and one of Leonardo Mayer/J.L. Struff/Mikhail Youzhny/Ivo Karlovic look set to be his first three opponents. On a good day they could trouble Federer but in best 5 Federer should advance into the second week.
I’ll back Borna Coric to make a run. The young Croat met Federer in a recent final (defeating him) and presuming he beats Daniil Medvedev I also have him getting past Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Adrian Mannarino to reach the second week. Mannarino can be great on grass but Coric has the most upside.
Richard Gasquet and Sam Querrey highlight the third section. Gasquet will have to get past his talented countryman Gael Monfils in round 1, but presuming he does that (and beats Laslo Djere), he’ll draw Querrey, another solid grass court player, in the third round. Querrey has to beat Jordan Thomson and Sergiy Stakhovsky/Joao Sousa. While Querrey is a trendy pick I’ll back the veteran Gasquet to win this section.
The fourth section of the draw features a host of veterans. Kevin Anderson is perhaps the favorite against Norbert Gombos, J.P. Smith/Andreas Seppi, and either Gilles Muller or Philipp Kohlschreiber. Kohli has also had some success on grass but beating Evgeny Donskoy and a struggling but competitive Muller is a tough task. Overall Anderson should survive.
A finalist last year, Marin Cilic could win it all this year. Yoshihito Nisihoka, Guido Pella/Jason Kubler, and most likely MacKenzie McDonald in round 3 are not difficult opponents in the early going (McDonald should surprise and get past Ricardas Berankis and Nicolas Jarry/Filip Krajinovic). The challenge will come for Cilic in later rounds.
Milos Raonic played great in the warm up to Wimbledon and presuming he’s fit he should ease past Liam Broady, John Millman, and the Lucas Pouille/Denis Kudla winner in round 3. Kudla is in great form but Pouille should have enough to get past him. Raonic should win the section.
With Pablo Carreno Busta struggling, the section should open for John Isner. Yannick Maden, Steve Johnson/Ruben Bemelmans, and either Cam Norrie or Radu Albot/Carreno Busta should be his first three opponents. I have the Brit Norrie making a run but Isner coming out ahead in round 3.
Grigor Dimitrov is a solid grass court player and should get past Stan Wawrinka in round 1, Wawrinka is in terrible form. However I have Stefanos Tsitsipas, the rising young gun, winning this section. Tsitsipas opens with Gregoire Barrere, Jared Donaldson should follow, while Dimitrov should win his first 2 matches before falling to Tsitsipas in round 3.
Alexander Zverev is struggling, and although he’ll probably beat James Duckworth, Lorenzi Sonego/Taylor Fritz, and most likely recent grass court titlist Damir Dzumhur to reach the fourth round. Dzumhur faces Max Marterer, and Ernests Gulbis/Jay Clarke to reach round 3.
Nick Kyrgios is in good form and always a threat on grass, I’ll back him to serve past Denis Istomin, Marius Copil, and Kei Nishikori. Nishikori needs to beat Bernard Tomic in round 2 in an interesting match. Nishikori could win the section but on this surface Kyrgios should be favored.
Novak Djokovic started slow coming back from injury earlier this season. That said, he’s rounding into form now just in time for Wimbledon and he should defeat Tennys Sandgren, Guido Andreozzi/Horacio Zeballos, and Kyle Edmund (or Yuichi Sugita) to reach the second week.
Dominic Thiem has never been a factor on grass, but he has a decent section if he can get past David Ferrer or Karen Khachanov in round 2 (Marcos Baghdatis is up in round 1). Fernando Verdasco is in the same section and will face a tough test against Frances Tiafoe before running into Julien Benneteau or Marton Fucsovics. Thiem should win the section but not get further.
Rafael Nadal hasn’t gone very far at Wimbledon in quite some time, but perhaps this will be the year he’s a factor on grass again. Rafa opens with Dudi Sela, Mikhail Kukushkin/Vasek Pospisil will be up in round 2, with rising star Alex De Minaur likely to feature in round 3. De Minaur is in great form on grass and should defeat Marco Cecchinato, and Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Mischa Zverev before getting his crack at stunning Nadal. I’ll back Rafa but not with confidence.
The section above Rafa is rather weak, Fabio Fognini likely reaches round 3 with wins over Taro Daniel and Pablo Cuevas/Alexandr Dolgopolov. I have Jiri Vesely winning the section over Florian Mayer and Diego Schwartzman, then past Fognini. Schwartzman has never won a match at Wimbledon and Vesely is good enough on grass to make it through.
David Goffin and Jack Sock are the seeds in the next section, but Sock is in terrible form and Goffin isn’t doing so great either. I’ll back the in-form Matt Ebden to surprise Goffin in round 1, then get past Albert Ramos and Nikoloz Basilashvili to claim his best ever result in a major. Basilashvili takes on Gilles Simon, then Sock or Matteo Berrettini and could also win the section.
With Andy Murray out, a lucky loser will meet with Benoit Paire in round 1, Jeremy Chardy or Denis Shapovalov are in decent form and should follow. Chardy should take advantage of the section before falling to big hitter Juan Martin Del Potro though. JMDP faces Peter Gojowczyk, and Feliciano Lopez, a solid grass court player, in round 2.
Round of 16 Federer d. Coric
Gasquet d. Anderson
Cilic d. Raonic
Tsitsipas d. Isner
Djokovic d. Thiem
Kyrgios d. A. Zverev
Del Potro d. Ebden
Nadal d. Vesely
The bottom half is far weaker than the top. Cilic vs. Raonic should be a great match, while I have Tsitsipas surprising into the quarters and Kyrgios doing the same. Federer should get revenge in best of 5 against Coric.
Quarters Federer d. Gasquet
Cilic d. Tsitsipas
Djokovic d. Kyrgios
Del Potro d. Nadal
These 4 look like four of the top five contenders in the draw. Djokovic is back in form enough to do damage while Del Potro on grass should be better than Rafa.
Semis Federer d. Cilic
Djokovic d. Del Potro
Cilic and Del Potro will have chances, but Djokovic and Federer should be the favorites to reach the final. At this time I’ll back Federer to win again, until proven wrong he’s a smart choice.
The “big four” men are into Wimbledon week 2 on the men’s side, will one of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray or Roger Federer take home the Wimbledon title? Here is your full week 2 preview.
Round of 16:
Andy Murray vs. Benoit Paire
The defending champion has again found form, Murray dropped a set against Fabio Fognini in round 3, but won easily against Alexander Bublik and Dustin Brown. He now faces another junkball hitter, Benoit Paire, Paire is a surprise in week 2, but he hasn’t faced a difficult draw. Rogerio Dutra Silva, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, and Jerzy Janowicz was his path to week 2, and he only dropped a set against RDS, edging the big servers in rounds 2 and 3. Murray has a backhand that can compete with Paire’s, and a better all-around game, he should win this match with relative ease. Murray in 3
Sam Querrey vs. Kevin Anderson
Two great grass court players, After wins over Thomas Fabbiano and Nikoloz Basilashvili, Querrey upset Jo-Wilfried Tsonga over two days of tennis, winning a fifth set. Anderson eased past Fernando Verdasco, Andreas Seppi, and Ruben Bemelmans, as Daniil Medvedev upset Stan Wawrinka to open up this section. This is a great opportunity for both players, and I expect them to peak, Anderson’s serve should help him through though. Anderson in 5
Rafael Nadal vs. Gilles Muller
Nadal is 5-1 against Muller and hasn’t dropped a set this Wimbledon. Muller is in great form and should bother Rafa a bit, but his topspin should keep the veteran serve and volleyer pinned to the baseline. Nadal beat John Millman, Donald Young, and Karen Khachanov, Muller beat Marton Fuscovics, Lukas Rosol (in five sets), and Aljaz Bedene and deserves much credit for reaching the second week of Wimbledon at his age. A renewed Nadal should prevail. Nadal in 4
Roberto Bautista Agut vs. Marin Cilic
RBA is here after stunning Kei Nishikori in round 3, he also scored wins over Andreas Haider-Maurer and Peter Gojowczyk, it’s a bit of a surprise he’s playing this well, but Cilic has been lights out and should score a punishing win in this one. Cilic has slayed Philipp Kohlschreiber, Florian Mayer, and Steve Johnson all without dropping a set, which is quite an accomplishment on grass. Cilic in 3
Milos Raonic vs. Alexander Zverev
Unlike his performance in Paris, Zverev is playing really well in a slam, he has wins over Evgeny Donskoy, Frances Tiafoe, and surprise qualifier Sebastian Ofner without dropping a set. Raonic beat Jan-Lennard Struff, Mikhail Youzhny, and Albert Ramos in his bid to repeat as a finalist or take the title this season. Raonic’s serve and skill coming forward almost ensures he’ll take a set here, but Zverev is a better mover and should be able to hit his marks to win this. Zverev in 5
Grigor Dimitrov vs. Roger Federer
Federer has never lost to Dimitrov, who plays a somewhat similar style of tennis, and he just dismissed Mischa Zverev in straights, after defeating Dusan Lajovic and Alexandr Dolgopolov. The maestro is in some of his best grass court form, and Dimitrov shouldn’t be able to match him shot for shot. Dimitrov beat Diego Schwartzman, Marcos Baghdatis, and Dudi Sela to get this far. Federer in 3
Dominic Thiem vs. Tomas Berdych
Both players have had a great tournament given they entered in shaky form, Thiem defeated Vasek Pospisil, Gilles Simon, and Jared Donaldson. Berdych defeated Jeremy Chardy, Ryan Harrison, and David Ferrer, the win over Ferrer coming in straights, even though Ferrer upset an injured Richard Gasquet in the opening round. Thiem has the game to win this match, but Berdych’s power on grass should disrupt his timing enough to help the veteran Czech reach the quarterfinals. Berdych in 5
Adrian Mannarino vs. Novak Djokovic
After winning via retirement against Feliciano Lopez, Mannarino has won long matches against Yuichi Sugita and Gael Monfils. His grass form is great and he should be proud of what he’s accomplished in week 1. That said, Novak Djokovic has taken care of business in the opening week, Martin Klizan retired against him, Adam Pavlasek and Ernests Gulbis also succumbed, even though Gulbis had found form to upset Del Potro and reach round 3. If Djokovic is going to lose this tournament, it won’t be against Mannarino, Djokovic is too physical and will bully the Frenchman around the court. Djokovic in 3
Quarters: Murray d. Anderson in 4
Cilic d. Nadal in 5
Federer d. A. Zverev in 4
Djokovic d. Berdych in 3
Cilic is playing well enough that I’ll stick by my prediction of him defeating Nadal in the quarters, the other big names, Murray, Federer, and Djokovic should shrug off challenges to reach the semifinals.
Semis: Murray d. Cilic in 4
Federer d. Djokovic in 4
Murray and Federer are the two best grass court players right now, they are worthy of meeting in the Wimbledon final, and I give Federer a clear edge in that final as long as he can keep himself fit and fresh.
2017 Wimbledon Men’s Preview and Predictions Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The peak of summer has arrived, and with it Wimbledon in London will begin again on Monday. Here is your complete preview, with predictions.
July 3-16, 2017
London, Great Britain
Prize Money: £14,840,000
Top 8 seeds (ATP ranking in parentheses)
1: Andy Murray (1)
2: Novak Djokovic (2)
3: Roger Federer (4)
4: Rafael Nadal (5)
5: Stan Wawrinka (3)
6: Milos Raonic (6)
7: Marin Cilic (8)
8: Dominic Thiem (9)
The biggest player missing is David Goffin, dirtballers Pablo Carreno Busta and Pablo Cuevas are also out, as is Britain’s Daniel Evans, who failed a drug test.
First round matches to watch:
Denis Shapovalov vs. Jerzy Janowicz
Talented young Canadian Shapovalov makes his slam debut with a winnable but difficult contest against the big hitter Janowicz. The Polish player is a former Wimbledon semifinalist, but his lack of work ethic has crushed his ATP level talents and he’s still languishing outside of the top 150. Janowicz has enough game to win this, but don’t count Shapovalov out, he’s a hard worker and plays well beyond his years.
(31)Fernando Verdasco vs. Kevin Anderson
Both Verdasco and Anderson have reached the second week at Wimbledon before and are solid on grass. These veterans could use a bit of form though and we could be in for a long and shaky contest. Verdasco has more upside, but Anderson’s serve is a steady weapon on fast surfaces, and he should secure tiebreaks to win.
(5)Stan Wawrinka vs. Daniil Medvedev
Wawrinka has made two Wimbledon quarterfinals, and some are calling him a dark horse this year, but his form has been terrible on grass the past couple of seasons, and it seems his long backswing really disadvantages him on the grass. Medvedev has been in red hot form with a 9-3 record on the grass this season. The young Russian is due for a breakthrough win, and I’ll back him to get it on a fast surface that suits his game. Look for Wawrinka to be the first major Wimbledon casualty.
(7)Marin Cilic vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber
Both players have reached the quarters at Wimbledon, but Cilic has done it three years in a row and he’s in better form, with a legitimate shot to be the dark horse contender for the final, and possibly the title. He’ll need to go against the h2h in this matchup though, as Kohli has won 6 out of 9 meetings in this matchup. Cilic’s form is a bit better though, and the Croatian should find his way.
(27)Mischa Zverev vs. Bernard Tomic
Despite struggling this season, the former quarterfinalist Tomic just beat Zverev on grass rather easily, and Wimbledon is his best slam, as it suits his funky game. Zverev is a late bloomer with a lethal serve and volley game when he’s clicking though and this could turn into a very long match. Tomic is the favorite, but I’ll go with Zverev to keep his mettle and win a likely five setter, Tomic’s inconsistency is a great worry.
(8)Dominic Thiem vs. Vasek Pospisil
Thiem is just 1-2 on grass this year and has never played well at Wimbledon. Pospisil is 9-3 and once reached the quarters at SW19, the Canadian has fallen in the rankings, but his serve is still dangerous, and given how awful Thiem’s game has looked in his two grass court outings, I’ll go with Pospisil in the upset, in what should be a big boost to his confidence. Pospisil has the talent to win this.
(19)Feliciano Lopez vs. Adrian Mannarino
A three-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, the 35 year old Lopez is in some of the best form his career on grass with a 9-1 record that includes a final and a title at Queen’s club. Mannarino just reached the final in Antalya on grass and also has talent on this fast surface, but fatigue could play a factor in his performance. Look for the veteran Lopez to get this win, and take his serve and volley game deeper into the tournament, where he will threaten some of the top players.
(29)Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Thanasi Kokkinakis
Both players are comeback kids, having overcome injuries to return to the ATP tour. Kokkinakis is still easing his way back but his game is suited for fast surfaces, Del Potro has not had grass court prep but he’s look competitive in his return to the game, and of course the former semifinalist has lethal power on grass. Del Potro is a worthy favorite, but we’ll see if this match turns into a larger battle.
The defending and two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has struggled at the ATP level this season but he rose up to reach the semis on clay at the French Open, and on a better surface for his game he should presumably be able to survive the early rounds and get himself into form. He’ll start with lucky loser Alexander Bublik, with Dustin Brown/Joao Sousa to follow, Brown can be dangerous but he’s far from consistent. I have Jiri Vesely as Murray’s opponent in round 3, Vesely will face qualifier Illya Marchenko, with Dmitry Tursunov/Fabio Fognini to follow, it’s a weak section on grass Vesely likely has a slight edge before falling to Murray.
Nick Kyrgios has been unfit, but his game is great for grass. He’ll have to get past the serve and volleyer Pierre-Hugues Herbert, and if he does that he should be favored against Benoit Paire/Rogerio Dutra Silva in round 2. I have Lucas Pouille defeating Malek Jaziri and Shapovalov/Janowicz, before falling to Kyrgios in the third round. Pouille has been improving on grass as of late.
I have Kevin Anderson defeating Verdasco, then the recently in-form Andreas Seppi (who opens with Norbert Gombos), Anderson should reach the second week, and I have him doing so against Tommy Haas. After Tomic, Haas will face Wawrinka/Medvedev, and despite his age he remains a threat at Wimbledon.
Despite two career Wimbledon semifinal appearances, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has struggled lately and isn’t a threat this tournament. He’ll open with Cam Norrie, Simone Bolelli or Rendy Lu will follow, and Sam Querrey is his likely third round opponent. Querrey has a game suited for grass, he should defeat Thomas Fabbiano and Carlos Berlocq/Nikoloz Basilashvili to reach the third round. Neither player is in great form, but Tsonga has a higher ceiling so I’ll back him for round 4.
The two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal has struggled on grass in recent years, but his form has come back in a big way this season and he’s worth backing early on against John Millman, Donald Young/Denis Istomin and Karen Khachanov in the third round. Khachanov has shown great form on grass and is rising rapidly in the rankings, the young Russian should defeat his countryman Andrey Kuznetsov, plus Andrew Whittington/Thiago Monteiro before falling to Rafa.
Big servers Ivo Karlovic and Gilles Muller look set for a third round clash, Karlovic opens with Aljaz Bedene, Muller faces Marton Fucsovics, then big hitter Lukas Rosol or Henri Laaksonen. Karlovic faces Damir Dzhumur/Renzo Olivo in round 2, with Muller in great form on grass and having a solid season, he’s a favorite to reach the second week.
After Kohlschreiber, I have Marin Cilic catching fire and defeating Viktor Troicki/Florian Mayer, and Steve Johnson to reach the second week. Johnson opens with dirtballer Nicolas Kicker, then Radu Albot or Facundo Bagnis. Cilic should have too much power for the forehand centric Johnson.
Both Roberto Bautista Agut and Kei Nishikori have made the second week at Wimbledon before, and they look set for a third round clash. RBA opens with Andreas Haider-Maurer, then Marius Copil or Peter Gojowczyk, Nishikori will look to overcome a hip injury against Marco Cecchinato, and then Sergiy Stakhovsky/Julien Benneteau. With fitness a concern for Kei and his somewhat pedestrian play this year, I have RBA reaching the fourth round.
A seven-time champion at Wimbledon, Roger Federer won the title in Halle and again finds himself the favorite at his favorite Grand Slam. The legend will begin his journey against erratic shotmaker Alexandr Dolgopolov, then Dusan Lajovic/Stefanos Tsitsipas, I have him facing Mischa Zverev round 3, but Tomic is also an option. Taro Daniel/Mikhail Kukushkin are the other players in this section, I’d be surprised if Federer dropped a set through three matches.
A former Wimbledon semifinalist, Grigor Dimitrov should defeat Diego Schwartzman, James Ward/Marcos Baghdatis, and John Isner to reach week 2. Dimitrov has been up and down this year, but right now seems closer to up than down, and Baghdatis is injured. Isner opens with Taylor Fritz, with Dudi Sela/Marcel Granollers to follow, he’s good enough to win two rounds with his serve but I don’t trust his form this season.
Defending finalist Milos Raonic has been flat in his return from injury, he should serve and volley past J.L. Struff, then defeat Nicolas Mahut/Mikhail Youzhny, and Jordan Thompson in this week section, but he’s another name that is not in good form to challenge for the title. The Aussie Thompson stunned Murray at Queen’s, he faces Albert Ramos, who prefers clay, then Andrey Rublev or Stefano Travaglia.
Young gun Alexander Zverev rebounded from disappointment at Roland Garros to go 6-2 on grass, he should find form this slam against Evgeny Donskoy and Robin Haase/Frances Tiafoe to reach round 3. Jack Sock opens with Christian Garin, Thomaz Bellucci or Sebastian Ofner will follow, and with Sock not playing his best, Zverev should reach round 4.
Three-time Wimbledon Champion Novak Djokovic just won in Eastbourne on grass and heads into his match with Martin Klizan holding positive momentum. Djokovic should ease past Ernesto Escobedo/Adam Pavlasek in round 2, and then defeat Del Potro in the third round. After Kokkinakis I have Del Potro beating Ernests Gulbis/Victor Estrella in round 2, before succumbing to Djokovic.
Feliciano Lopez will face Antalya Champ Yuichi Sugita or Brydan Klein, presuming Gael Monfils knee is alright he should defeat big hitter Daniel Brands, then Kyle Edmund/Alex Ward in round 2. I have Lopez over Monfils in the third round to reach week 2.
I have Vasek Pospisil making a run to round 4, after Thiem, a struggling Gilles Simon or Nicolas Jarry will be up in round 2, one of Janko Tipsarevic/Jared Donaldson or Horacio Zeballos/Paolo Lorenzi will be up in round 3. Tipsarevic could make the the third round as Donaldson and neither Zeballos/Lorenzi are good on grass, this is a very weak section.
Richard Gasquet is in great form, Gasquet should thump a struggling David Ferrer, Steve Darcis/Ricardas Berankis, and Tomas Berdych. The former Wimbledon semifinalist Gasquet looks to be a real threat to go deep into the tournament. Berdych faces Jeremy Chardy and then Borna Coric or Ryan Harrison, his power should give him an edge.
Dark Horses (one for each section): Kevin Anderson, Gilles Muller, Jordan Thompson, and Vasek Pospisil
Anderson, Muller, and Pospisil have dangerous serves, while Thompson is skilled enough on grass that they all have a chance to rise up and make a big impact despite their non-elite ranking.
Round of 16 Murray d. Kyrgios
Anderson d. Tsonga
Nadal d. Muller
Cilic d. Bautista Agut
Zverev d. Raonic
Federer d. Dimitrov
Gasquet d. Pospisil
Djokovic d. Lopez
I have Anderson beating Tsonga based on form, Murray, Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic should be good enough to reach the last 8. Cilic and Zverev should be favorites on form, while Gasquet benefits from a favorable draw.
Quarters Murray d. Anderson
Cilic d. Nadal
Federer d. Zverev
Djokovic d. Gasquet
On grass Nadal remains at a disadvantage, and I’ll go with Cilic in an upset, the other big three should be somewhat safe as Federer just beat Zverev in Halle rather easily in the final.
Semis Murray d. Cilic
Federer d. Djokovic
The defending champion against the best grass court player of all-time is a fitting final, Federer’s form should see him capture a victory.
Roger Federer failed to put together consecutive top class performances, and it was Novak Djokovic who once again walked away with the Wimbledon title. The 2015 trophy is his third at the All-England club, and he’s the first repeat winner at Wimbledon on the men’s side since Federer in the mid 2000’s. Djokovic has now won two slams this year, and continues to be secure in the world #1 ranking spot, as he’s the best player in the men’s game right now by some margin.
Djokovic beat Federer in three hours, and four sets 7-6(1) 6-7(10) 6-4 6-3, as Federer fought hard to try and get the first two sets, but his quality declined over the final two frames. In set 1 Federer went up a break 4-2, but lost his serve the next game, he would later have two set point chances on Djokovic’s serve at 5-6, but Novak saved them both in a long service game, and then rolled through the tiebreak as Federer’s chances disappeared.
The Swiss would fight back in the second, even after failing to convert two more break point chances at 2-2. He staved off a set point serving 4-5, and then in the second set tiebreak saved an incredible six set points, including three consecutive down 3-6 in the tiebreak, before finally converting his second set point serving 11-10 in the tiebreak.
At this point Djokovic was angry, but he used that anger to fuel his game to another gear, a gear that Federer lacked. After dealing with an assault of winners from Fed, and some sloppy errors on his part in the first two sets, Djokovic buckled down and broke for 2-1 in the third, after failing to convert two break points in the opening service game of set 3. There would be a rain delay a couple of games later, but Federer didn’t look any better coming out of it, as Djokovic held the rest of the way and took the third 6-4, forcing Federer into a difficult position.
In set 4, Federer appeared to struggle with the wind and his error count went up considerably, he lost his serve at 2-3, and never recovered, failing to generate a break point on the Djokovic serve. At 3-5 he was broken again, gifting Djokovic the match on his first match point. Statistically, both men served at a similar level, but Djokovic was more efficient facing break point, as he saved 6 out of 7, while Fed saved 6 of 10, after previously only being broken once all tournament. Djokovic was also cleaner from the baseline as he slapped 46 winners compared to 16 errors, while Federer had a 58/35 spread. Simply put, Djokovic’s superior returning was enough to win the day against his elder rival as the Serbian sporting legend demonstrated he has shaken off any mental cobwebs from his shocking French Open final defeat to Wawrinka.
Surely Djokovic will enter the summer Masters tournaments, and the US Open as the favorite as he bids to win 3 out of 4 slams on the season. Federer meanwhile demonstrated he still has more good matches left in him, as his play at times this week was fantastic, even compared to his level of play in his prime. Winning a five set match against a physical opponent will likely continue to be a tough ask in a slam final, but Federer remains as the world #2 for good reason, and his longevity and grace is something to behold, as we truly are in a great era for men’s tennis.
In the second week, it was infact Djokovic that had to fight harder to reach the final, he shockingly went down 2-0 against Kevin Anderson, as the South African won a pair of tough tiebreaks 8-6 and was serving at a peak level, a level Djokovic was dazed by. The world #1 would do what world #1’s do however, as he found the spirit within himself to wake up, and remind Anderson beating the best in the world doesn’t come easy. He won the third set 6-1, and the fourth 6-4 as Anderson collapsed under the pressure of trying to pull off what would have been a massive upset. At this point, darkness suspended the match, and the next day Djokovic came out and won the fifth set 7-5. Anderson fought harder than expected to try to recover and finish the upset, but Djokovic had that extra gear that Kev couldn’t reach, in what was the biggest test for Novak of the 2015 tournament.
He went on to roll past a fatigued Marin Cilic in straights 6-4 6-4 6-4, and then outplayed, and outworked Richard Gasquet, a surprise semifinalist 7-6(2) 6-4 6-4. Gasquet played some of the best tennis of his career, as he upset Stan Wawrinka in the semifinals 11-9 in the 5th set. Wawrinka played well overall, as grass isn’t his best fit as a surface, and his first four wins were great, but Gasquet’s backhand befuddled him and he couldn’t get over the hump. It was an accomplishment for the classy French veteran to reach a grand slam semifinal as a 21 seed regardless, in round 4 Gasquet beat Nick Kyrgios in a close fourth set tiebreak, erasing the awful memory of his defeat last year against the volatile young Aussie.
As for Federer, he had little trouble against Roberto Bautista Agut, who was hampered by a sprained ankle and fell in straights, and then he beat Gilles Simon, another Frenchman who had a successful tournament, but had little to threaten the world #2. Simon beat Gael Monfils and Tomas Berdych on the week, but lost to Federer in 3 sets. In the semis, it was Andy Murray, who was also playing great tennis at Wimbledon. Murray came into the match as a slight favorite after a pair of week two wins over the big serving Ivo Karlovic in four sets, and surprise quarterfinalist Vasek Pospisil in three sets. Pospisil was the player who took advantage of the soft section in the draw, and reached his first ever slam quarterfinal, as he continues to occasionally show he still is a player with promise, especially on fast surfaces that suit his underrated serve.
Murray didn’t play poorly at all against Federer as he kept his first serve % high, and his error count relatively low, but Federer was simply stunning, putting up one of the serving performances of his career. The world #3 and UK number #1 often failed to generate even half chances against the Federer serve, and the Swiss broke when needed with his controlled aggression, world-class forehand and crisp volleys to take the match 7-5 7-5 6-4. His home fan base was certainly disappointed, but Murray really did all he could this tournament, and Federer on the day was just too good for anyone, as Murray again came up short in his quest to win another Wimbledon. All the same he’s had a good, and consistently top-tier year as he appears healthy, and happy with his tennis.
In the men’s doubles a surprise final took place as the #4 seeds Jean-Julien Rojer, and Horia Tecau beat Jamie Murray, the brother of Andy, and his partner John Peers the #13 seeds 7-6(5) 6-4 6-4. Tecau had previously come up short in Wimbledon finals, so finally taking the championship was a major career highlight for him. A qualifying team of Jonathan Erlich and Philipp Petzschner reached the semifinals, beating #2 seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the process, while the Bryan brothers lost in the quarterfinals to Florin Mergea and Rohan Bopanna.
The (primarily) North American hard court summer will begin in earnest for many of the worlds top players now as the focus shifts towards the US Open Series, on the road to the 2015 US Open, as many great matches have yet to be played in 2015.