Wimbledon 2013: Updated Predictions After Rash of Injuries and Upsets
After a day of massive upsets on the show courts at the All England Club, the well-scripted landscape of top seeds literally was sent packing. One question remains. Who will be left standing in week two once the quarterfinals get underway?
Additionally, who will advance to the semifinals and finals now that many of the pre-tournament favorites are gone?
Victoria Azarenka, the women's No. 2 seed could not take the court Wednesday after a vicious fall on Monday.
Then, the No. 3 seed, Maria Sharapova, whose way to the final improved dramatically when Azarenka was forced to retire, found herself in equally hot water on Court 2. She stumbled and fell more than once, and from that point seemed unsure of her footing. Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal, ranked No. 131 in the world, moves on to the next round while Sharapova goes home.
Enter the No. 6 seed, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who became the next fatality of the day on Centre Court.He seemed to crumble after winning the first set over Ernests Gulbis. Tsonga retired citing injury while trailing in the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
But the real shocker came when third seed Roger Federer, defending and seven-time champion of this event, fell to Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine, ranked No. 116 in the world. Federer equaled or bettered Stakhovsky in all aspects of the match except winning the big points when it mattered most.
Those moving on both the men's and women's side of the draw follow.
Men's Quarterfinal No. 1
No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 7 Tomas Berdych
Assuming the deluge of upsets do not continue on day four, you have to like Tomas Berdych's chances of making it through to the quarterfinals. There he will no doubt meet Novak Djokovic for a chance to advance to the Wimbledon semifinals.
Berdych reached the finals of Wimbledon in 2010, losing to Rafael Nadal. He knows how to win on grass.
As you look ahead, expect No. 13 seed Tommy Haas to be Djokovic's toughest match coming into the quarters while Berdych's test may come from No. 9 seed Richard Gasquet, who possesses all the tools to win on grass.
Men's Quarterfinal No. 2
No. 4 David Ferrer vs. No. 8 Juan Martin del Potro
Sitting in the bottom half of Novak Djokovic's side of the draw is the feisty Spaniard David Ferrer.
Ferrer's sternest challenge should come from the No. 17 seed Milos Raonic. The big-serving Canadian could prove dangerous, but his movement remains suspect against the fleet-footed Ferrer.
Juan Martin del Potro, on the other hand, has been playing well so far into the proceedings.
His chief stumbling block might be (29) Grigor Dimitrov, who is set to make a breakthrough, or another speedster, Kei Nishikori of Japan seeded No. 12.
Men's Quarterfinal No. 3
Dustin Brown vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky
This section of the draw was decimated by upsets. Therefore, expect a couple of the players who orchestrated the new order to make it to the quarterfinal match.
In a second-round upset on injury-ridden Court No. 2, the day got underway with world No. 189 Dustin Brown upsetting former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt in four sets. His serve and volley play harkened back to days of yore when John McEnroe dominated Centre Court.
Sergiy Stakhovsky, who upset Roger Federer in four sets, also had a string of powerful serves and volleys.
In fact, seeing the two of them battling it out old style would be a treat—assuming each of them makes it that far.
Men's Quarterfinal No. 4
(2) Andy Murray vs. Ernests Gulbis
The current world No. 38, Latvian Ernests Gulbis upended the No. 6 seed, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, on "Upset Wednesday." The two were battling on Centre Court after Ana Ivanovic lost her second-round match.
It was a day of unexpected results on all show courts.
Expect Gulbis to be tested by his next opponent Fernando Verdasco, who is playing some of his best grass court tennis so far. If he gets by Verdasco, he could well make it to the quarterfinals.
Andy Murray, the No. 2 seed, will be on full alert after the barrage of upsets. He will make his way to the quarterfinals, however, without too much difficulty playing within himself, fully confident at this stage.
Women's No. 1 Quarterfinal
(1) Serena Williams vs. (7) Angelique Kerber
Serena Williams' quarter of the draw remains largely unaffected by upsets, so far.
The No. 1 seed must worry about her potential encounter with German Sabine Lisicki, who always plays well on grass. She's upset a number of higher seeds during her past two seasons at Wimbledon. She has as much power as Williams, though not the depth of experience.
No. 7 seed Angelique Kerber reached the semifinals at Wimbledon 2012 and will be seeking to get that far again. Her chief worry before reaching the quarterfinal round may come at the hands of Brit rising star Laura Robson.
Expect both Williams and Kerber, however, to meet in the quarterfinals.
Women's No. 2 Quarterfinal
(4) Agnieszka Radwanska vs. (6) Li Na
Sitting in the bottom half of Serena Williams' draw, Agnieskzka Radwanksa relishes the opportunity to go back to the finals, just as she did a year ago when she met and lost to Williams. She did manage to take one set before losing the match.
Radwanska could have a couple of tough matches, first from U.S. rising star Madison Keys and then from Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, who waits to break through at Wimbledon.
The No. 6 seed, Li Na, on the other hand, may find her road blocked by her next opponent Simona Halep of Romania, whose play of late has been on the upswing.
Expect to see Li Na meet Radwanska in the quarterfinal round.
Women's No. 3 Quarterfinal
(17) Sloane Stephens vs. (15) Marion Bartoli
With Maria Sharapova losing her match on Wednesday, the path for someone new to make the quarterfinals opened wide up.
Of those left standing in this section of the draw, expect United States phenom Sloane Stephens to step up to the plate. She might be challenged for a spot by another upstart, Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, who is also enjoying some top-notch results.
The other benefactor who will likely succeed to the quarterfinals is former finalist Marion Bartoli, who reached the championship match in 2007, losing to Venus Williams. Perhaps Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal, who knocked off Sharapova, will survive to best Bartoli.
But by that stage, you have to give the nod to Bartoli, who's been there before to reach the quarterfinals where she'll meet Stephens.
Women's No. 4 Quarterfinal
(8) Petra Kvitova vs. (20) Kirsten Flipkens
Once Victoria Azarenka was forced to retire, Petra Kvitova, a former Wimbledon champ, found her stock rising. She seems destined to reach the quarterfinals again this year.
During her march there, she might be tested by Eugenie Bouchard of Canada. But if Kvitova shows up playing her best tennis, she should advance comfortably.
Who the Czech might face in the quarterfinals is a bit of a puzzle, but Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium has enjoyed some outstanding results of late.
While Flipkens might be tested by Vesna Dolonc of Serbia, the Belgian has more weapons and should move on.
(1) Novak Djokovic vs.(4) David Ferrer
Sergiy Stakhovsky vs. (2) Andy Murray
On grass, in a contest between world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and world No. 4 David Ferrer, you have to favor Djokovic, who has appeared in the finals, winning the title in 2011 as well as making the semifinals three times. Expect Djokovic to emerge the winner, moving onto the championship match.
Facing him across the net will be Andy Murray, who has to face a less experienced player than Ferrer, thus, making his task easier. If it is indeed Sergiy Skakhovsky, who played a magnificent match against Roger Federer, Murray will have plenty of film to draw upon. Countering the Ukraine's serve and volley should prove much easier by then.
Expect Djokovic and Murray to advance to the final.
Sloane Stephens vs. Petra Kvitova
Serena Williams vs. Agnieszka Radwanska
At the semifinal stage of the tournament, Petra Kvitova should be able to overcome the talented, but less experienced Sloan Stephens—who may learn a great deal from this valuable experience. Kvitova, who won this tournament in 2011, has, by this time, overcome many of her doubts. She only has to face Serena Williams in the final if she can get past Sloane Stephens.
No doubt Serena Williams will get past Agnieszka Radwanska. She met the Pole in last year's final and dispatched her in three sets. Radwanska will be ready, but she lacks the fire power of Williams and will find it difficult to keep pace.
Expect Williams and Kvitova to reach the finals in 2013.
Andy Murray: Champion
Even though Andy Murray has never won this title before, he did win a final held on Centre Court at the 2012 Summer Olympics when he defeated Roger Federer in the final. He also reached the final in 2012, having to get past an in-form Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Getting past Novak Djokovic is something Murray accomplished in the finals of the U.S. Open in 2012. He did, however, lose to Djokovic at this year's final in Melbourne, giving Djokovic his fourth Australian Open title.
Overall, Murray's game is better suited to grass than Djokovic's has proven to be in the past. Murray will win it all.
Serena Williams: Champion
It is hard to imagine anyone other than Serena Williams emerging from Championship Saturday with the Wimbledon trophy in hand. This became especially true once Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova departed during the second round on Wednesday.
Petra Kvitova lost to Serena during last year's quarterfinals at the All England Club. Although she has the game to win it all, Kvitova lacks the mental edge to take the championship away from Williams. Her nerves and her doubt will see her coming in second-best in 2013.
Serena will win her sixth Wimbledon title.