Wimbledon 2011: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and 20 Bold Predictions Part II
Yesterday, we looked at predictions 20-11 and covered the excitement that is building for Isner vs. Mahut round two. We also looked at the looming bad weather and the havoc it could wreak, the rise of the Spanish Armada and the decline of their American counterparts.
With dominance at the top of the men's game and relatively manageable paths through the early rounds for the world's top players, the second week could easily be host to seven of the eight top seeds.
A tall order as it has only happened only once before, in 1969; such a outcome would set the stage for an epic finale at The All England Club.
With a star studded quarterfinals likely, who will emerge to reach the semis. Will all top four seeds survive? Will we see a repeat of the French Open finals or will Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic break through. At the end of the day who will be the last man standing and the one to raise the trophy?
Let's find out. Here are the remaining 10-1 bold predictions for this year's 2011 Wimbledon men's draw.
10. Andy Roddick Will Be the Only American to Reach the 4th Round
America's current tennis slump of late is further compounded by a tough draw for Americans.
Michael Russel drew Rafa Nadal and James Blake gets Marcos Baghdatis looking to end their tournaments. Isner is looking at Federer in the third round, and if Donald Young makes it that far, he's got a tall order in Tomas Berdych waiting for him.
The only two Americans of note are Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish.
Roddick should advance and safely make the fourth round and beyond. The question is whether Fish can do the same.
Unfortunately, the answer will be no. While Fish will be favored and will win his first-round matchup, he will be upset somewhere soon after.
Coming off a victory in Halle last week, 37th ranked German Philipp Kohlschreiber could be the one to take Fish down in the second round.
The American has only reached the third round three times in eight tries. Make it three for nine after another disappointing early exit.
9. Andy Murray's Quarterfinals Draw Will Produce the Most Fireworks
I am still predicting that both Andy's make it through to their much awaited matchup in the final eight.
If there is a quarter of the draw that will cause mayhem however, it's definitely theirs.
The draw is fraught with danger.
Andy Murray alone must deal with the young and very dangerous, big serving Croat Marin Cilic who is fast climbing the ladder of the tennis rankings. If he survives Cilic, Murray then awaits Richard Gasquet or Stanislas Wawrinka, two rising stars in their own right.
Gasquet beat Andy Roddick en route to a surprise semifinals in '07 while Wawrinka is no stranger to success either having made the round of 16 twice and beaten Juan Martin del Potro in the process.
Roddick's path is only slightly easier. He shouldn't face too many difficulties until a potential showdown with Gael Monfils in the fourth round.
If Roddick can survive the Frenchman's powerful, all-court game, he should be tested and primed for Murray in the quarters.
It should be fun.
Roger Federer's Quarterfinal Draw Is the Most Wide Open
Yesterday I predicted the seventh seeded David Ferrer to lose before the quarterfinals which already opens up the top part of this draw.
While I still think Roger Federer will move through, the six-time Wimbledon champion is probably the most vulnerable of the top seven seeds.
The statement is actually less about the state of Federer's game and more about his competition.
After breezing through the first two rounds, Federer could face David Nalbandian in the third. The one-time Wimbledon finalist is one of the few players on tour who can really frustrate the Swiss Star.
An 8-10 lifetime record against Federer, Nalbandian carries the elite distinction of being amongst only a handful of players to beat Federer more than three times.
If—and when—Federer does finally knock out the relentless Argentinian counterpuncher, big serving American John Isner may await.
Not only could Isner's monster serve give Federer fits, he will also face the added element of having just faced a player with a complete opposite style of play.
If anyone can overcome such adversity, it's Federer. Still, with Ferrer likely going down and Federer's more difficult draw, this is the most wide open quarter of the draw.
7. Jo-Wilfred Tsonga Will Round Out the Quarterfinals
Having cracked the mystique of Rafa Nadal at the Queen's Club tournament last week, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga is on a roll and looking to break into the top 10 in the world rankings.
An upset (although by seeding only) of David Ferrer will help toward that goal as Tsonga makes his just his second quarterfinals appearance at Wimbledon.
Tsonga will be the only player outside the top eight to make the quarters and his second straight Wimbledon quarterfinals will give Tsonga plenty of confidence heading into his showdown with Federer.
6. Nadal Loses in the Quarters to Tomas Berdych
In the biggest upset to date and probably of the whole tournament (although debatable), Rafa Nadal will lose in shocking fashion to the same guy that took out Federer here at last year's quarterfinals, Tomas Berdych.
After a horrible French Open in which he lost in the first round, Berdych will regain his form and the magic of his run to last year's finals revenging his defeat to Nadal in the championship match in the process.
Nadal's inability to repeat leaves the door wide open for somebody else. Will it be Federer? Djokovic? Murray or even Berdych himself?
5. Britain's Wait for a Champion Continues
Since the beginning of the Open Era in 1968 there has never begin a British Champion at Wimbledon. The 42-year wait continues.
In the battle of the Andy's, it is the American Roddick who will emerge victorious crushing the hearts of the loyal faithful on Murray Mound.
Playing with a sense of urgency and purpose, Roddick's powerful serve and huge forehands will be too much for the counterpunching Murray who will succumb in five tough and grinding sets.
Roddick avenges his rather lopsided loss to Murray at last week's Queen's Club and keeps his dream of finally winning Wimbledon alive.
4. Federer Marches on Past Tsonga
Head up, Roger. Last year was only an aberration.
In the end, it doesn't matter how hard Federer's draw may be, how big his opponent's serves are or how much confidence Tsonga is playing with.
Federer almost always finds a way to advance. After a tight opening set, Federer shows Tsonga why he is best player to step foot on the lawns of Wimbledon and steamrolls the Frenchman the rest of the way.
Federer atones for his 2010 Wimbledon failure and is safely through to the semis once more.
3. Djokovic Sets Stage for French Open Semifinals Rematch
Novak Djokovic isn't particularly great on grass.
Fortunately for him, neither is his opponent, fifth seed Robin Soderling.
At 43-1, Djokovic is too good and too relentless for the Swede who presents few problems for the red hot Djokovic.
Making quick work of Soderling allows Djokovic plenty of time to prepare for Roger round II.
Cue the music... duhn duhn duuhnnn.
2. Roddick and Federer Advance for a Rematch of Their Epic '09 Final.
If you are Andy Roddick, you better have a nice bottle of Champagne waiting for Tomas Berdych at his locker after his match over Nadal.
If Berdych does beat Rafa Nadal and Roddick is still around, there will be nobody happier than Roddick (that's including Berdych).
Relieved of having to face Nadal, Roddick takes advantage and serves his way past an emotionally and physically exhausted Berdych straight into the finals.
To his dismay however, his Wimbledon arch nemesis Roger Federer will be waiting for him.
Using Djokovic's relative unease on grass to his advantage, Federer defeats the Djoker for the second time in as many matches setting the stage for an rematch of his epic Wimbledon final with Andy Roddick from two years prior.
Who will win in their fourth meeting on the last day of Wimbledon?
Roger Federer Ties Pete Sampras with His 7th Wimbledon Crown
Why Federer of course.
Sorry Andy, we feel your pai,n but you really shouldn't let it get you down. You just were born in the wrong era.
Roger Federer is the world's all-time greatest grass court player. Tying Pete Sampras for a record seven Wimbledon titles was about the only accomplishment left for Federer.
Unfortunately for tennis fans, this year's version won't nearly be as memorable as the last time the two met on the Lawns of Center Court.
Nonetheless, it will still be a riveting final with the crowd getting behind and trying to encourage the underdog Roddick.
In the end, it's to no avail as Federer prevails in four sets.
Finally the tennis world is restored. Nadal holds the French Open trophy at the same time Roger has his Wimbledon one.