Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wimbledon Report: Gentlemen's Quarterfinals

The sun came out today for the men's quarterfinal action and were there some surprises. All of the matches were basically trickier and tougher than I had imagined. For some, it was a thrill, for one match in particular though, it was very disappointing.

Six-time champion Roger Federer had a 7-1 H2H record against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga heading into their match and while Tsonga is a solid grasscourt player Federer was seen as the favorite. He became even more so after winning the first 2 sets since he was 178-0. Then the rails came off, or more accurately the Tsonga train ramped up speed. He outhit and outplayed Federer the next three sets mounting one of his greatest comebacks ever to reach his first ever Wimbledon semifinals. He'll meet Novak Djokovic who defeated qualified Bernard Tomic who unexpectedly put up a fight, winning the 2nd set and giving Djokovic headaches by varying the pace of the ball. In the end, the Serbian notched his tour-high 46th match of the year.

Defending champ Rafael Nadal continued his quest for his 3rd French Open-Wimbledon double by taking out Mardy Fish, the last American singles player left in the draw. It's a testament to Fish though that he remained close to Nadal throughout the match even winning the 3rd set. Nadal will go head to head with Andy Murray in the semifinals after the Brit won in straight sets against Feliciano Lopez. While the scoreline was quite straightforward, Murray did sustain some kind of thigh injury late in the match. Stay tuned.

Predictions: Like the women, I actually ended up predicting 3 of the 4 eventual semifinalist with Federer the only hold out. I'm still a bit in shock that he lost that game, but no use in moping around. Nadal owns Murray and Murray has underperformed on this court plenty of times, which means Nadal is the clear favorite. Tsonga-Djokovic is a bit more complicated. While Djokovic has had a nearly flawless year, it's Tsonga who heads their H2H 5-2. And yet, I believe Nadal-Djokovic will be the final we'll see on Sunday.

Sighting: Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport partnered up for Legends Doubles. I bet they could still do some damage if they joined the women's tour now. Come back to us. Please.

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