Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wimbledon: Fourth Round Preview

Wimbledon began with 256 tennis players looking to grab the ultimate prize in tennis. Tomorrow the 32 remaining players, 16 men and 16 women, are all scheduled to play in one of the greatest day in tennis.

Serena Williams [1] vs. Maria Sharapova [16]

Agnieszka Radwanska [7] vs. Na Li [9]
Caroline Wozniacki [3] vs. Petra Kvitova
Kaia Kanepi vs. Klara Zakopalova

Kim Clijsters [8] vs. Justine Henin [17]

Jelena Jankovic [4] vs. Vera Zvonareva [21]
Marion Bartoli [11] vs. Tsvetana Pironkova
Venus Williams [2] vs. Jarmila Groth

With these match-ups, all eyes are on the blockbuster fourth round clashes between former number ones and Grand Slam champions. On the top, it will be former Wimbledon champions Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. They have not met in the grass of Wimbledon since Sharapova upset Serena in 2004 to capture the title. Based on form, it should go to Serena, but Sharapova should not be underestimated.

The other clash is between Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin. Both retired then unretired, they quickly rose up in the ranks with Clijsters claiming her second US Open and Henin reaching the finals at the Australian Open. Should be a toss-up, and thus a definite a must watch.

Other than Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Na Li, which is another toss-up, the other matches should be relatively straightforward with higher seeds winning.

Predictions: Before the tournament, I made my predictions and I went with Serena and Henin in their respective blockbuster match ups. My early prediction of Samantha Stosur and Jie Zheng to make it this far is wrong so I'll replace them with Caroline Wozniacki and Kaia Kanepi. Everyone else is still alive, so I'll remain with my earlier guesses.

Roger Federer [1] vs. Jurgen Melzer [16]

Tomas Berdych [12] vs. Daniel Brands
Novak Djokovic [3] vs. Lleyton Hewitt [15]
Andy Roddick [5] vs. Yen-Hsun Lu

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [10] vs. Julien Benneteau [32]
Andy Murray [4] vs. Sam Querrey [18]
Robin Soderling [6] vs. David Ferrer [9]
Rafael Nadal [2] vs. Paul-Henri Mathieu

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal has a tougher-than-expected first week, but they should get through their next match. Federer shouldn't underestimate Jurgen Melzer though since Melzer accomplished something this year that Federer didn't, reach the French Open semifinals. Andy Roddick should feel happy with his chances against Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu who is making his first 4th round appearance ever.

As the only two players in the men's side to not have lost a set, Andy Murray and Robin Soderling are looking very strong heading into the second week. Both will have to get through motivated opponents especially Murray who has to face off against surprise Queen's Club champion Sam Querrey.

A Frenchman will make the quarterfinals this year since compatriots Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Julien Benneteau will go head to head. The match of the day, however, will probably be Novak Djokovic going up against a resurgent and recent Halle champion Lleyton Hewitt.

Predictions: Surprisingly, other than Fernando Verdasco, everyone I had predicted before the tournament to still be around by the quarterfinals are still around. I'll put Tsonga in as my replacement quarterfinalist.

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