2013 Wimbledon: Bold Predictions for the Second Week
With the first week of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships being so unpredictable and surprising it is hard to rule out any predictions for the second week for being too bold.
Top players can still lose in the fourth round or quarterfinals, and nothing should be taken for granted.
The No. 1-ranked players in the world on the men's and women's sides (Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams) are still in the draws and are looking to back up their ranking with a big win and as many points as possible.
With the draws still wide open let's make some bold predictions for the second and final week.
Tommy Haas Will Upset Novak Djokovic (In Four Sets)
This is the boldest prediction out of all of my ridiculous ones, and I firmly believe it will go down (though I have some doubts, too).
Tommy Haas has been playing sublime tennis and upset Novak Djokovic at the Sony Open earlier this year. Still, those are no reasons for why he will win against the Serb at Wimbledon.
I raise this point—Wimbledon (especially) and the U.S. Open are Haas' best chances to beat a Big Five player, and at the All England Club he can use more variety and change his style up quite a bit.
If he serves and volleys, uses his backhand efficiently, moves Djokovic around with the forehand and comes to net when the opportunity presents itself, he will beat the No. 1-ranked player in the world in four sets.
Bernard Tomic and Tomas Berdych Will Play a Five-Setter
Bernard Tomic has already done so well this tournament, considering he pulled off two huge upsets (against Sam Querrey and Richard Gasquet) and his father, who is also his coach, has been banned from the ATP Tour for at least one year.
Next up he faces Tomas Berdych, and while I can't say Tomic's lack of weapons will help him beat the high-ranked Czech player (though he has the ability to lull all of his opponents right to sleep), I think he has a great chance to put him in a troubled position.
The grass has been beneficial for both of these athletes over the past few years, and this match is one that you should be sure not to miss. You never know—it may just go five sets.
Sabine Lisicki Will Take a Set off Serena Williams
Serena has not been challenged yet and will probably not lose any matches in the second week—that was not the bold prediction.
I believe that Sabine Lisicki's past results at Wimbledon and playing style will allow her some headroom in her match against the world's best player.
She likes to dictate with the serve and her ground strokes and returns pretty well.
However, she may not have the intangibles, like speed and court sense, necessary to win the entire match. I wouldn't count out Lisicki in this fourth-round matchup.
Monica Puig Will Upset Sloane Stephens
While all the media in the United States are focused on the young star, Sloane Stephens, there is a Puerto Rican girl who is even younger than Stephens (Puig is 19 years old) also doing some damage. One also can't forget that Laura Robson has a great opportunity this week.
In fact, Monica Puig and Sloane Stephens are scheduled to play each other in the fourth round.
Neither player looked too sharp in their third-round victories, each one going the distance.
Still, one of these young talents will be playing in the quarterfinals. Stephens has been to the semis of a Slam before (Australian Open this year), but Puig is equally as good and wants it just as much.
Tsvetana Pironkova Will Upset Agnieszka Radwanska
For whatever reason, Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria is stellar when at Wimbledon and low-key when at every other tournament of the calendar year.
Her game is well-suited for grass but that doesn't explain why she has upset top players routinely year after year and made the semifinals three years ago.
She has another shot to do it all again this week, as the draw isn't even as tough as it was in 2010.
Agnieszka Radwanska was a runner-up at SW19 last year but will have a very tough time against the tricky, off-pace balls that her opponent will throw back at her.
Jerzy Janowicz Will Make the Semifinals
This is actually the most reasonable (and expected) prediction of the bunch.
Janowicz, who is the only seeded player in his section of the draw, faces the sometimes-dangerous Jurgen Melzer in his next match.
Melzer is adept on grass but has not been playing all that well recently, even though he has reached the fourth round (his draw was kind to him this year).
In the quarterfinals Janowicz could face either fellow countryman, Lukasz Kubot (who is 31 years old), or the talented Frenchman, Adrian Mannarino.
Nobody should expect to see Janowicz blow this opportunity, as he has been on a roll lately.
Andreas Seppi Will Take out Juan Martin Del Potro
Obviously Juan Martin del Potro hasn't been playing that well lately (since his magical run to the final at Indian Wells) but he is still the favorite to beat Andreas Seppi.
I was surprised that Kei Nishikori couldn't put the Italian player away in the last round, losing after holding a two-sets-to-one advantage.
Seppi has a very steady and consistent game—he doesn't go for too much and only takes risks when the time is right.
This type of game can get into Delpo's head and wear him down. As long as Seppi returns serve well enough, he can beat Del Potro in five sets at Wimbledon.
His quarterfinal opponent would be Ivan Dodig or David Ferrer.
Mikhail Youzhny or Fernando Verdasco Will Challenge Andy Murray
Mikhail Youzhny is only getting better and more experienced with age and has been on fire for the past few months, showing off his all-court game on the various court surfaces.
He is all business when he sets foot on court, and I think he can take the first set from the home-crowd favorite, Andy Murray, in the fourth round. From that point on anything is possible, though the oddsmakers surely aren't convinced.
Kenny De Schepper will not hurt Andy Murray in any way in the quarterfinals but Fernando Verdasco might, especially since he has in the past.
It has been a while since Verdasco was in a rhythm but maybe this week can be his most successful one at Wimbledon ever.
The Spaniard's problem will be holding serve more so than breaking, but I know for sure that Andy Murray is not thinking ahead of any of these matches. He needs to take it one match at a time, or he'll be the next top player escorted out of the prestigious event.