Wimbledon: Draw & Quartered. Will Djokovic, Wawrinka, Murray & Federer reach semis?

 

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FIRST QUARTER

The No. 1 Novak Djokovic is the defending champion, so he is legitimately the favorite, but emotionally he must still be thinking about what occurred when he lost to Stan Wawrinka in the Roland Garros final. Even if he finally had grabbed his first title in Paris, he would still have a difficult draw in Wimbledon and that is the situation before him.

He will play the former top-20 Philip Kohlschreiber in the first round, who can swing away when he is feeling healthy and very ambitious. Even if Djokovic beats the German, he would play the former 2002 Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt, who is playing for the last time and while he isn’t playing well this year, the Aussie will push himself to the limit because he loves grass. However, Djokovic is faster and stronger over Hewitt.

In the third round, the Serbian will win but will have to go five sets against Bernard Tomic, who should have been playing better over the past two weeks on grass. Tomic has reached the quarterfinals before and if he is churning, he could pull if off, but Djokovic knows how to bother him with his backhand and short slices. Djokovic will exhaust Kevin Anderson in the fourth round because he can return his biggest first serves and confuse the South African.

But Djokovic will lose in the quarters to either Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic or John Isner. Cilic and Isner will bomb away with their gigantic serves in the third round, but the Croatian will overcome the American in five sets. Then Cilic — who beat the Japanese in the 2014 US Open final – believes that he is ready to play perfectly again. But this time, Nishikori will dictate and win in straight sets. Nishikori is fast enough and he’s very powerful against Djokovic. If he can lock in early he won’t be upset mentally and disappear. He won’t and Nishikori will reach the semifinal.

2nd QUARTER

The RG defending champion Stan Wawrinka has never been great on the grass, but times have changed and he has a legitimate shot. He could face the fairly powerful Dominic Thiem in the third round and he should be able to win fairly easy as the young player is a bit sporadic. In the fourth round, he should also waltz past David Goffin, who doesn’t love the grass. But now the quarterfinal will be very difficult against one of these three: Milos Raonic, Nick Kyrgios and Grigor Dimitrov.

Raonic reached the semifinals last year and while he is just coming back for the injury, the Canadian has all the tools to go further. He has a terrific serve, he can volley, and he knows how to keep the points short. He should be able to take down the former No. 2 Tommy Haas in the second round, and he will stay steady over the young and very promising Kyrgios. Then he will likely have to go up against Dimitrov, who also reached the 2014 Wimbledon semis. Last year, it looked like Dimitrov was ready to race into the top 5, but he has almost folded this year, which means that Raonic will club him when it’s very tight.

Djokovic will go out at the quarters and so Wawrinka will too, when Raonic finally keeps on banging and he will meet Nishikori in the semis.

3rd QUARTER

Here comes the Britain Andy Murray, who has a pretty good draw early, but then he will get heavy work later. Murray should be able to school Mikhail Kukushkin to open, race past Robin Haase and then battle with the teenager Borna Coric or Andreas Seppi. Neither have the goods to unearth him. He may face Jo Tsonga in the fourth round, who can bang the serves on grass now, plus, at RG,  the Frenchman looked awfully good. Yes on a great day he could shock Murray, but Tsonga has been hurt again so it is very likely that he will fold early.

Murray could face Ivo Karlovic in the fourth round, who serves ace after ace until the sun goes out. Yes, Karlovic can bring Murray into every tiebreaker, but how is he going to return enough points and win three sets? He can’t do much after the rallies begin and he can’t jump his returns or way back on the baseline. Murray will take him down, on the tiebreaks or before hand.

It appears that Murray will face the two-time Wimbledon champion by Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal. The Spaniard has not played great this year, not on clay or the hard courts. He has not been terrible, but he has not been great, either. He believes he will get back to 100 percent soon. Perhaps he will, and there is no one around early who would will be able to upset him (including David Ferrer, whom they could play in the fourth round). Maybe he will be ready to go against Murray, blasting his huge lefty forehand and serves. Perhaps he will be running like the wind. But Nadal is not ready to pull out all the necessary steps yet. Murray will be more consistent and will win in four sets over Nadal, reaching the semifinal.

4th QUARTER

Roger Federer has won seven titles at Wimbledon and even though he is 33 years old, he has it all the tools – but he has to play great the entire time because he is now a little slower. This is grass however and he can keep the points short. He cannot whale away, but he has the best serve and volley out there and he must decide to move forward. That is the only way he is going to win the title because the youngsters are now coming at him.

In the second round, he could face Sam Querrey, who is a big server, but he can’t mix up against Federer, which is mandatory. Then he will likely go up against the 22-year-old Jack Sock in the third round, which could be very close if the American has learned to figure out the grass. He has become much stronger this year and he is pretty smart and he will dictate where he is going, but he is not quite there yet to stun the 17-time Slam champion.

Federer knows exactly how to face another veteran, Feliciano Lopez, in the fourth round, who loves to attack, but he is up and down.

In the quarters, the Swiss will go up against Tomas Berdych, Gael Monfils or Gilles Simon. Another Frenchman was hurt again – Monfils – but Simon has looked pretty good during the past week. However, Simon falls down in the Grand Slams and Berdych really likes grass. He has been extremely consistent this year and the Czech will face Federer, whom he beat once at Wimbledon in 2010. Federer was clearly irritated against Berdych in 2010 but he has not done it again. These days the Swiss knows exactly how to figure him out. Federer will reach a semifinal, once again.

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