2008 Wimbledon Predictions
After witnessing the great tennis we were all treated for today, I suddenly have a craving to write an article.
I could sit here and talk about Federer's gritty victory against the former #1 and Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt. Or the shock of the day on the women's side as the second seeded Jelena Jankovic fell prey to Tamarine Tanasugarn (which would likely be met by a resounding "who"?)
And of course, I could sit here and talk about the match of the tournament, the Scot against the Frenchman, Andy Murray against Richard Gasquet in what was a thrilling five setter that satisfied every tennis fan around the world.
But rather I will keep it interesting and give you my predictions for the rest of this tournament on both the men's and women's side.
#18 Nicole Vaidisova (CZE) vs. Jie Zheng (CHN)
Zheng took out top seed Ivanovic en route to this quarterfinal matchup and has looked strong on the grass courts. Vaidisova has taken care of business and escaped against Chakvetadze with a gutsy 3 set victory. Zheng has yet to lose a set, but is the clear underdog.
Result: Vaidisova in 3 sets.
#14 Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) vs. #6 Serena Williams (USA)
Serena Williams looks in top form through four rounds and she looks determined to get back to the finals to meet her sister Venus in a surprisingly thin women's draw that has the Williams sisters as clear favorites. Radwanska has been playing good tennis but is no match for Williams. I expect a close first set, with a late break to Serena, and then I expect her to pull away in the second.
Result: Serena in 2 sets.
#5 Elena Dementieva (RUS) vs. #21 Nadia Petrova (RUS)
The last two Russians in the tournament on the women's side go head to head. Petrova has yet to lose a set while Dementieva is picking up her game as the tournament continues. If Dementieva can get her first serves in, the match will not see a third set. But, of course, she won't.
Result: Dementieva in 3 sets.
#7 Venus Williams (USA) vs. Tamarine Tanasugarn (THA)
Venus Williams is playing solid tennis right now and the four-time champion meets a feel good story and 31 year-old Tamarine Tanasugarn, the woman who took out Jankovic. This time though she won't be out on court 18. She'll be on show court, court 1, having the pleasure of being the next victim on planet Venus.
Result: Venus in 2 sets.
#18 Nicole Vaidisova (CZE) vs. #6 Serena Williams (USA)
Serena Williams has been the most impressive player on the women's side from the baseline as well as from the net. Vaidisova will have been physically drained from her previous matches while Serena will be no doubt looking ahead to Breakfast at Wimbledon.
Result: Serena in 2 sets.
#5 Elena Dementieva (RUS) vs. #7 Venus Williams (USA)
The seeds will be a bit misleading in this one as Venus will be a heavy favorite. If Dementieva can't get that first serve in Venus will feast on the second serve all day. And when it comes to Venus' serve, she will be bringing the heat.
Result: Venus in a tough 2 sets.
#6 Serena Williams (USA) vs. #7 Venus Williams (USA)
The matchup everyone is looking forward to will certainly come to fruition. At the beginning of this tournament, I predicted Venus would take it home. But so far Serena has been better. If Venus comes to net a bit more, I think she will take it home for the fifth time at the All England Club.
Result: Venus Williams survives and wins 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
#1 Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Mario Ancic (CRO)
The Croatian Sensation is the last man to beat Roger on the grass courts at the All England Club and he is playing his best tennis of the season. Ancic, however, has to be physically drained after a 13-11 fifth set and it will be tough for him to pull it off against a guy who hasn't lost a match on grass in 63 matches.
Result: Federer in 4 sets.
Marat Safin (RUS) vs. #31 Feliciano Lopez (ESP)
Marat Safin has been playing great tennis on the grass courts where he has historically struggled. Lopez is always a threat on these grass courts and the big serving lefty's serve and volley game could prove to be the perfect foil to the Safin baseline game. But, in the end, I expect Safin to lure himself to his first Wimbledon semifinal appearance through sheer will.
Result: Safin in 5 sets.
Rainer Schuettler (GER) vs. Arnaud Clement (FRA)
Two guys that no one could have predicted would be here in the quarterfinals. The scary part is that one of these guys will be in the semifinals. Schuettler looked solid in taking out Tipsarevic, the same man who took out Andy Roddick. I don't like either of these guys, but Schuettler has impressed me enough this tournament.
Result: Schuettler in 4 sets.
#12 Andy Murray (GBR) vs. #2 Rafael Nadal (ESP)
On the clay, this would be a complete mismatch. On the hard courts, it would be the same. In fact, on any other grass court, this would still be a mismatch. But this is in England, at Wimbledon, where the Scot, Murray, will have the crowd behind him. He will be coming off of a huge victory against Gasquet where he came back from two sets down and concurrently won over the city of London with his grit, determination, emotion and passion.
And yet, nonetheless, I love Nadal's chances. He is playing far better tennis than he was this time last year and I don''t see his great play halted by the Scot.
Result: Nadal in 4 sets.
#1 Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Marat Safin (RUS)
On the grass courts, this just seems to be too much of a mismatch. Safin is a great baseline player, but Federer is just flat out too good on the grass courts. With his variety of shots and array of angles, Safin will be questioning himself all game and that's the exact opposite of what he likes to do.
Result: Federer in 3 sets.
Rainer Schuettler (GER) vs. #2 Rafael Nadal (ESP)
If you think the other match is a mismatch on grass, then this is a walkover. Nadal is in top form and while Schuettler has had a great run, all good things must come to an end. It's a wonderful story for the German but he cannot stand in the way of a true rivalry.
Result: Nadal in 3 sets.
#1 Roger Federer (SUI) vs. #2 Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Number one versus number two. Was there ever any question about it? Nadal owns the red clay, but Federer owns the grass at Wimbledon.
Now there's no question that Nadal is closer to that Wimbledon title than Federer is to that Clay court title, but can 66 consecutive wins on grass be lost at the hands of the Spaniard?
Actually, I say yes. I picked Nadal when the tournament started and I'm sticking with him though it will be a battle to the finish line.
If you thought last year's match was a thriller, expect this year's to be that much better. It will be last year's quality with Nadal having a healthy knee in the fifth set. And that will be the difference at the All England Club.
Result: Nadal, in a thrilling 5 sets, wins 4-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 7-5
In any case, it should be a couple of great finals on the men's and women's side if the draw unfolds as it appears it will.
It's breakfast at Wimbledon and I can't wait for it.
Until then, I will just sit back and enjoy the great tennis I have had the pleasure of witnessing.
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