Monday, June 21, 2010

Wimbledon: Men's Preview

After losing in the quarterfinals at this year's French Open and losing his number one ranking, top seed and defending champion Roger Federer will want to prove he's still top dog by capturing his record-tying 7th Wimbledon crown. His draw looks good until the third round where he could face 30th seed Tommy Robredo or dangerous floaters such as Janko Tipsarevic and Arnaud Clement. Fourth round opponents could be 16th seed Jurgen Melzer who is coming off a semifinals appearance in Roland Garros or 22nd seed Feliciano Lopez who reached the semifinals at Queen's Club recently. In the quarterfinal round, he could meet up recently struggling 7th seed Nikolay Davydenko, 12th seed Tomas Berdych, or his compatriot and 20th seed Stanislas Wawrinka.

Former semifinalist and 3rd seed Novak Djokovic will be tested early by Olivier Rochus of Belgium in the first round. If fit, however, he should do well to reach fourth round where he could meet 21st seed Gael Monfils or more likely former champion and 15th seed Lleyton Hewitt who recently won a title on grass in Halle beating Federer in the finals. Djokovic's most likely quarterfinal opponent is last year's finalist and 5th seed Andy Roddick. Roddick will have to get through hard-hitting Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round and then 11th seed Marin Cilic, 17th seed Ivan Ljubicic, or good friend Mardy Fish in the fourth round first.

Hometown favorite and 4th seed Andy Murray will try and do one more round better than last year and reach the final especially with the Queen planning on attending. No one should trouble him in the early rounds if he's healthy. His first seed would be 26th seed Gilles Simon who has been struggling more than the Scot. The fourth round will be a bit more challenging 14th seed Juan Carlos Ferrero or more likely 18th seed Sam Querrey who will be looking to redeem his slam season after a terrible showing at the French Open. Murray's quarterfinal opponents could be red hot 8th seed Fernando Verdasco, 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, or 19th seed Nicolas Almagro.

Finally, top ranked but second seeded Rafael Nadal will be looking to extend his 7 match win streak at Wimbledon after withdrawing last year unable to defend his title from 2008. He has a potential tantalizing match with unseeded James Blake in the second round, but if he makes it through, he should cruise to the fourth round where 13th seed Mikhail Youzhny, 23rd seed John Isner, or unseeded Dudi Sela awaits. It just gets harder from there on in as he'll have to defeat 6th seed Robin Soderling, 9th seed David Ferrer, 24th seed Marcos Baghdatis, or 25th seed Tomaz Belluci. It'll probably be Soderling, which would be a French Open final rematch. The Swede, however, will have to get through another Robby first in Robby Ginepri in the first round.

Roger Federer d. Tomas Berdych
Andy Roddick d. Lleyton Hewitt
Andy Murray d. Fernando Verdasco
Rafael Nadal d. Robin Soderling

Roger Federer d. Andy Roddick
Rafael Nadal d. Andy Murray

Roger Federer d. Rafael Nadal

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