ATP Olympics: Preview and Predictions

Roger Federer
FIRST PROJECTED QUARTER – R.Federer v J.Tipsarevic
Roger Federer was in sublime form, claiming his seventh Wimbledon title earlier this month and he will face off against some old haunts at the Olympics.  He plays Alejandro Falla in the first round, who famously nearly caused one of the greatest upsets in tennis history at Wimbledon when he served for the win in a first round match in 2010.  His second round opponent will be either Julien Benneteau or Mikhail Youzhny; both were beaten by Federer at Wimbledon this year.

Federer’s projected quarter-final opponent is Janko Tipsarevic, who will once again face off with David Nalbandian in the first round and play first match up on No.1 court.  Tipsarevic is set for a third round clash with the American, John Isner who fell at the first stage of Wimbledon, but managed to resurrect his form by winning the grass court title in Newport one week later. 

Prediction – Federer v Isner

David Ferrer
David Ferrer has had the best year of his career as he won his fifth title in Bastad two weeks ago.  He has always been written off on the grass, but was superb at Wimbledon this year pushing Andy Murray hard before falling in the quarter-finals.  He plays Vasek Pospisil in the first round before a potentially tricky second round match with Philipp Kohlschreiber.  I really admire the German’s game, but so many times I have written off Ferrer and this time I won’t be; plus Kohlschreiber is still playing in a tournament this week in Kitzbuhel, which just does not make logical sense! Kei Nishikori is Ferrer’s seeded opponent in the third round, who will have to get past the out-of-form, but still dangerous, Bernard Tomic in his opening match.

For some strange reason, I am not fancying Juan Martin Del Potro’s opportunity at the Olympics.  He takes on Ivan Dodig in the first round.  As the mens tournament will be played in best of three set matches, I am tipping Grigor Dimitrov to make the quarter-finals.  Dimitrov has been a promising talent yet to deliver, but things finally appears to be clicking for him following a semi-final run at Queens and back-to-back semi-finals in recent weeks on the clay.  He could take on Del Potro in the third round.

Prediction – Ferrer v Dimitrov

Andy Murray
Tomas Berdych suffered a surprising first round loss at Wimbledon to Ernests Gulbis and he will look to put that behind him at the Olympics where he takes on Steve Darcis in the first round.  He is likely to face Ryan Harrison in the second round, who has been knocking on the door for a while and will no doubt have his chances against the big-serving Czech.  Nicolas Almagro will be waiting in the third round, if he can beat Viktor Troicki in the first round.

Andy Murray has the toughest of the first round matches against Stanislas Wawrinka.  Wawrinka pushed Murray hard in a Wimbledon epic under the roof in 2009 and last beat Murray at the US Open in 2010; however I would always back Murray for this one.  Richard Gasquet could play Andy Murray in the third round; the Frenchman possesses such talent but so frequently fails to live up to his hype.

Prediction – Berdych v Murray


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had a great Wimbledon as he matched his performance in 2011 with a run to the semi-finals.  Tsonga plays Thomaz Bellucci in the first round before a potential meeting with Milos Raonic in the second round.  I tipped Raonic to make a name for himself at Wimbledon this year, but he has disappointed in recent weeks.  He has the game to trouble Tsonga, but I would back Tsonga for the win.  The newly crowner, top-tenner Juan Monaco plays the talented David Goffin in round one with Monaco my safe tip to meet Tsonga in the third round.

Novak Djokovic has some tricky early obstacles to get past in London.  He opens up against Fabio Fognini,  but may have to play Andy Roddick in the second round.  Marin Cilic is destined to meet former Wimbledon champion, Lleyton Hewitt in another second rounder in a tough section of the draw.  Hewitt showed a return to form in Newport (on grass) where he reached the final, but Cilic has looked impressive since returning to the tour just before the French Open following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Prediction – Tsonga v Djokovic

Gold Medal Match – Roger Federer d. Andy Murray

Bronze Medal Match – Novak Djokovic d. David Ferrer

Most of my predictions have been rather safe this week and I am once again going for the Wimbledon champion.  Federer has a terribly straightforward draw to the final whereas Djokovic and Murray will be forced to work hard to make the gold medal match; that will probably go against Federer as I do not think he will be severely tested, but I am a little fence who will come through from the bottom half! I would love to see Ferrer nick a medal, but I think he will have to hope that one of the big three suffers a surprise exit…


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