Friday, July 1, 2011

Wimbledon Report: Gentlemen's Semifinals

The Wimbledon champion will be played between two of the hottest players of the men's tour this year. This year's Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic will face this year's French Open champion Rafael Nadal. This would be Djokovic's first Wimbledon title and Nadal's third. By reaching the finals, Djokovic takes over the world #1 ranking from Nadal.

Djokovic continued his impressive year, only losing one match all year, by taking out Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who had a 5-2 H2H advantage over the Serbian. Tsonga started strong and looked like could take the first set until Djokovic fought gamely to take it to a tiebreak which he won. Tsonga's level went down after that letting Djokovic easily win the 2nd set. In the third set, Djokovic had a chance to serve it out for his spot in the finals and the #1 ranking, but he got broken and Tsonga impressively won a tight tiebreak. After that though, it was all Djokovic.

The crowd was clearly behind Andy Murray from the start and to his credit Murray gave them plenty to cheer about early in the match going toe to toe with the defending champion Nadal. Centre Court was electic when Murray did manage to win the first set. At 1-2 in the second set with Nadal serving, Murray had the open court to go up 15-40, but his ball went long making it 30-30. Nadal held serve to bring it 2-2 then immediately breaks Murray. Murray was never ever to recover from, losing the set and the next two to the disappointment of his home crowd.

Predictions: Their H2H is 16-11 in Nadal's favor, but Djokovic has beaten Nadal the last 4 times they have played including two matched on Nadal's favored surface clay. In grass, Nadal leads 2-0. Djokovic has only lost one match all year while Nadal is riding a 20-match win streak at Wimbledon. Djokovic already has the #1 ranking, he'll test Nadal, but I believe the Spaniard will win his 3rd Wimbledon title in five epic sets.

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