Wimbledon is just about to kick off, and the Draw is more than mouth-watering! Will take a brief look around and write some thoughts and expectations from the Men’s Side of the draw. Will try to identify, who by the looks of It, has the momentum going coming into the 3rd Grand Slam tournament of the year! Let’s start with the top half of the draw.
No.1 Seed and Defending Champion Novak Djokovic had drawn probably the trickiest and hardest opponent anyone could get in Philipp Kohlschreiber in R1. Despite the Serb having a great record against the German, 6 wins in 7 matches with the lone loss coming 6 years ago in Roland Garros, Philipp is someone who on any given day can push the favorites around with his overall game and nice shots, especially on this particular surface. Novak’s mental strength is questionable at times and many times he gives his opponents a chance to get into a match, where he seems to have the upper hand. Most importantly Novak comes here without any official preparation as he preferred not to take advantage of the 3 week Grass court swing prior to the London Grand Slam event. He played the Boodles exhibition instead with some mixed results, but with a lot of fun and trick plays a plenty.
Djokovic has a potential 3rd round encounter with Bernard Tomic, who can be dangerous with his serve and groundstrokes especially on the quicker grass. Intriguing 4-th round against the big serving South African Kevin Andreson could be somehow a bit problematic. The Queens Club Finalist just a week ago upset Stan Wawrinka in R2 there and scored more than 90 aces in just 5 matches he played. Murray proved to be just too much for him in the final and he lost in straight sets. Novak and Kevin have played 5 times, with the Serb leading 4-1, but they haven’t met since 2012.
Another intriguing matchup between the US Open Champion Marin Cilic and John Isner could happen in R3 as they are in the same top quarter of the draw. Many tiebreaks ahead probably and interesting that the Croat leads the h2h 4-0.
The highest seed Novak could face in the QF is the No.5 Kei Nishikori. The Japanese expects to be ready for Wimbledon next week, saying Friday that his condition is steadily improving after hurting his left calf last week.
“My injury is getting better all the time and I think I’ll be fine,” Nishikori, the fifth seed at Wimbledon, said in a post on his official website.
“It was disappointing that I had to retire in the semifinals but I can take something from having played three matches on grass and putting in three good performances,” he said.
“My calf started hurting in the third set of the game before the semifinal against (Poland’s Jerzy) Janowicz and I somehow managed to win. But when I got up the next morning the pain had increased to the point where I couldn’t even walk properly.
“I haven’t felt pain like that for a while so it was a bit of a shock but I was able to gear up well (for Wimbledon) and I will do my best next week.”
Kei has a good early draw starting with Simone Bolelli and first seed he could face is the clay court specialist Pablo Cuevas, but remains a mystery at what condition he currently finds himself in. He hasn’t been beyond the 4-th round here, but if he is fit he looks a good bet to at least match the points count from a year ago.
The Bottom part of the top half of the draw has the Roland Garros Champion Stan Wawrinka seeded at #4 and Milos Raonic at #7. Milos is ranked No.8 but Wimbledon switched him with David Ferrer. Before they collide in what could be a very exciting Quarter Final they have to deal with some adversity first. Stan comes here with only 1 win on the Grass, coming at Queens versus Kyrgios as he found it hard to adjust to the surface after months on the Clay courts and bowed out to Anderson in R2. He has potentially an easy path to a QF, as he starts off his campaign vs Joao Sousa from Portugal and the first seed he could face is No.31 Dominic Thiem, who has only 1 win on Grass in his career, a week ago in Nottingham vs Malek Jaziri. The Winner of #19 Robredo and #16 Goffin could be his 3rd round opponent. Just a little north of the draw Raonic has some bigger problems in his hands. He could face last year’s surprising Quarterfinalist Nick Kyrgios while a 4-th round opponent in the form of last year’s SF-ist Grigor Dimitrov or very crafty Richard Gasquet doesn’t sound good at all. Although Kyrgios and Dimitrov are not performing well at this moment, coming back to a familiar place where they had good memories could spark them up yet again and cause some trouble along the way. This part of the draw could have cracking matches starting from 3rd round, so will be interesting to see who will make through for a potential SF vs World No.1 and who will fail to deliver, losing some spots in the rankings as they all can’t cover what they achieved a year ago.
An interesting story around first round match – Jarkko Nieminen v Lleyton Hewitt. This will be the last Wimbledon for both players, as Jarkko is set to retire by the end of 2015 and Lleyton Hewitt has announced his intention to retire after playing his 20th Australian Open next year. However, the 33-year-old will remain involved in the game by taking over as the Australian Davis Cup captain at some point in the future.
“I’ve thought long and hard,” Hewitt, a former Wimbledon and US Open champion, said. “I plan to play the Aussie Open next year and most likely finish then.“
See our full list of previews for Wimbledon here.
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