The mens half has thrown up one half featuring Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, meanwhile Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer are comfortably sitting in the other half. Let’s get straight down to analysing the draw…
First Quarter – N.Djokovic (1) v T.Berdych (7)
Novak Djokovic will have very happy with the draw as he has avoided Federer, Nadal and Murray, and will be the overwhelming favourite to make the final from the top half. First up for Nole is Florian Mayer, who he defeated in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year. Djokovic’s first test is likely to be another German, Tommy Haas in the round of 16. Haas has rolled back the years with his performances this year and his consistency has inched him to the brink of the top 10. Haas opens up against Dmitry Tursunov and will likely meet the winner of the Eastbourne final and one of the toughest first round matches between Gilles Simon and Feliciano Lopez, in round three.
Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych will be the big two battling to play Djokovic in the quarter-finals. Gasquet has famously struggled at Grand Slams with a 1-15 record in 4th round matches but perhaps the biggest surprise in my draw is that I think he will make the quarters here. The first seed that Gasquet could meet is Sam Querrey in the third round, who will have his hands full with Bernard Tomic in the first round. Berdych had a shocker of a draw in Paris, but has been dealt a much kinder hand in Wimbledon. He takes on Martin Klizan in the first round and is projected to meet Kevin Anderson in the third round, who he has beaten on eight times occasions… basically a plum draw.
A Berdych-Gasquet fourth rounder would be fascinating and I am backing Gasquet if it takes place. Berdych did not look that impressive at Queens going out to Marin Cilic and he lost both his matches at Wimbledon and the Olympics last year. Gasquet’s form has been much better of late and he holds a 5-3 lead in the head-to-head with Berdych including a stunning straight sets victory in Miami earlier this year.
1st Round Predictions: Djokovic to beat Mayer in 3 tight sets, Harrison to beat Chardy in 4 sets, Lopez to beat Simon in 5 sets, Haas to beat Tursunov in 4 sets, Gasquet to beat Granollers in 3 sets, Querrey to beat Tomic in 5 sets and Berdych to beat Klizan in 4 sets
Moo’s Quarter-Final Prediction: Djokovic v Gasquet
Second Quarter – D.Ferrer (4) v J.M. del Potro (8)
|Juan Martin del Potro
David Ferrer hung on to his number 4 seed and has a chance of defending last year’s points with an incredibly positive looking draw. Ferrer did lose first round in s’Hertogenbosch to Xavier Malisse, but his first two match-ups at Wimbledon should not present much of a challenge. He is seeded to meet Alexandr Dolgopolov in the third round. His path will steepen in the 4th round where he could meet the winner of an interesting third rounder between Milos Raonic and Philipp Kohlschreiber. Raonic is 0-4 in sets on grass this year, meanwhile Kohlschreiber made the quarters of Halle and bombed out at the first opportunity in Eastbourne, like Raonic. I really like Kohlschreiber on grass and if he can get through Ivan Dodig in the first round he would be my tip for the 4th round.
Juan Martin del Potro is on course for a tempting third rounder with Grigor Dimitrov. Del Potro plays Albert Ramos in the first round, meanwhile Dimitrov has Simone Bolleli. I expect both players to make it to the 3rd round where I see del Potro knocking off Dimitrov. I think the Bulgarian has a good game for this surface, but del Potro was solid at Queens and let’s not forget that he did claim the bronze medal at the Olympics last year. Kei Nishikori is the highest seed Del Potro could meet before the quarters. Andreas Seppi is also here, but in truth it is a limp section of the draw. I like Michael Llodra on this surface and he could make the 4th round.
1st Round Predictions: Raonic to beat Berlocq in 3 sets, Kudla to beat Duckworth in 4 sets, Kohlschreiber to beat Dodig in 5 sets, Llodra to beat Nieminen in 4 sets, Seppi to beat Istomin in 5 sets, Dimitrov to beat Bolelli in 5 sets and Zemlja to beat Russell in 5 sets.
Moo’s Quarter-Final Prediction: Ferrer v del Potro
Third Quarter – R.Nadal (5) v R.Federer (3)
The big question in the draw was who of the big four would get Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals and it was Roger Federer who drew the short straw. As I write this preview, I am actually struggling for inspiration because I do not think the mens draw will really kick off until the quarter-finals. Both Nadal and Federer have very straightforward paths on paper. Nadal will play Steve Darcis in the first round before a potential third rounder with the wacky Benoit Paire. The biggest interest early on will be the first round match between Lleyton Hewitt and Stanislas Wawrinka. Hewitt was fantastic at Queens, but Wawrinka has been no slouch making the finals in s’Hertogenbosch. He has been much tougher mentally this year so I would back Stan to make the fourth round. Also of note in this section is John Isner playing Evgeny Donskoy, who knocked him out of s’Hertogenbosch last week. I would still think over five sets that Isner will come good.
Federer has Victor Hanescu in the first round who will never have the longetivity to threaten in this match. In the third round, he should meet Fabio Fognini, who has Lukas Rosol, the big headline maker of Wimbledon 2012, in his section. Nicolas Almagro and Jerzy Janowicz are also present, but neither are dangers to Federer. Almagro has not played since his 4th round collapse to Tommy Robredo at Roland Garros, meanwhile Janowicz lost to the world number 240, Mirza Basic in his first match of Halle. Radek Stepanek would definitely be my tip to upset Janowicz and Almagro and meet Federer in the 4th round.
1st Round Predictions: Nadal to beat Darcis in 4 sets, Isner to beat Donskoy in 4 sets, Wawrinka to beat Hewitt in 5 sets, Janowicz to beat Edmund in 4 sets, Fognini to beat Melzer in 3 sets and Federer to beat Hanescu in 3 sets (1 tight, 2 easy).
Moo’s Quarter-Final Prediction: Nadal v Federer
Fourth Quarter – J.W.Tsonga (6) v A.Murray (2)
Although Andy Murray avoided Rafael Nadal in his quarter, he has a tough draw as he attempts to win his first Wimbledon title. At the start of the year, I had Murray earmarked for Wimbledon and his performances at Queen have put him back in contention having missed Roland Garros. Murray’s first match will be Benny Becker, who he beat in straight sets at Queens. Marathon man, Tommy Robredo is Murray’s first possible seed although don’t discount Nicolas Mahut to come through as he has rather suddenly hit some sweet form, winning the title in s’Hertogenbosch. Janko Tipsarevic and Mikhail Youzhny are likely to be battling to meet Murray in the 4th round. If you have read my previous blogs, you will know my stance on Tipsarevic. Youzhny actually looks to be one of the safest bests in the draw to make the last 16.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga returns to Wimbledon where he has made the semi-finals in the last two years; however he has drawn a deceptively dangerous draw. David Goffin will be first up, but a second round match with Ernests Gulbis will be very interesting. I am pretty disappointed with the mens draw in that all four of the floaters I had noted drew toughies. Another of those looming, Xavier Malisse drew Fernando Verdasco in the first round. Malisse is a bit of a grass court GOAT, but Verdasco has really steadied the ship of late and thrashed Malisse down under in Melbourne earlier this year.
Tsonga is projected to meet Julien Benneteau in the third round, who pushed Federer all the way last year in one of the highlights from the 2012 mens draw. I am very confident Marin Cilic will be waiting for Tsonga in the 4th round. This is another weak section of the draw that features Juan Monaco and is so lame that I think Monaco, not a natural grass courter, will make the third round.
1st Round Predictions: Tsonga to beat Goffin in 3 sets, Gulbis to beat Roger-Vasselin in 4 sets, Malisse to beat Verdasco in 5 sets, Benneteau to beat Kamke in 5 sets, Monaco to beat Knittel in 5 sets, Cilic to beat Baghdatis in 4 sets, Tipsarevic to beat Troicki in 4 sets, Youzhny to beat Haase in 3 sets, Lu to beat Ward in 4 sets and Murray to beat Becker in 3 sets
Moo’s Quarter-Final Prediction – Tsonga v Murray
|Moo’s Final Prediction: A Murray d. N.Djokovic
|As mentioned above, I had Murray to win Wimbledon at the start of the year and I thought he did well enough at Queens for me to give him the nod as my Wimbledon champion. I think that going in his favour is that he will be very fresh having missed RG and avoiding Nadal in the quarters. I think the Nadal-Federer quarter (please happen) will be a great spectacle and I would go for Rafa to come through. Nadal has been constantly playing down his chances for Wimbledon, but I am still wary that he could storm it again. Djokovic really should be making the final from the top half and I will be shocked if he doesn’t come through.
You can view my full predictions for my mens draw at Wimbledon HERE
Play gets underway on Monday at 11.30am and my previews for each day will begin from Tuesday evening. I will be stuck at work for the first four days, but I am off from this Friday and will be able devote a bit more time to my blog in the second week 🙂
I will also be going to Wimbledon on the middle Saturday as my brother got late returns in the central Wimbledon ballot so there will be another report along with part two of Eastbourne down the road. I will also be live tweeting next on Saturday so please give me a follow @MooTennisBlog if that sounds of interest to you… Enjoy Wimbledon everyone and please keep following Moo’s Tennis Blog throughout the next two weeks 🙂