Wimbledon Day 2: Federer, Murray, and Nadal Safely Into Second Round

As opposed to the French Open, three members of the big four is in the bottom half at Wimbledon. But luckily for Federer he doesn’t have Nadal in his quarter the way Djokovic had at the French. Since Nadal is in Murray’s quarter Federer will at most only have to deal with one of them. Today was the turn of the bottom half which means all of Federer, Murray, and Nadal were in action and all of them won in straight sets. I didn’t catch much of the action but caught up some on the highlights.

  • Nadal vs Bellucci

I watched only the first set of Bellucci against Nadal and I made a big mistake to think that Bellucci could trouble Nadal. Nadal ended up winning our prediction match 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. What I saw from Bellucci was truly pathetic. Nadal was still looking vulnerable, but Bellucci was playing on grass like it was a clay court, basically just pushing and waiting for Nadal to end the point. After watching some of Nadal’s match, I feel a lot less certain that he can make the semi-finals.

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It’s hot out there…

I dare say Federer is safe, but of course with Nadal you never know. Nadal plays Brown next who will at least be a much better player than the clueless Bellucci. Brown has already beaten Nadal on grass and you can be sure he will play much more attacking tennis than the dirt baller Bellucci. I haven’t seen much of him, but I think grass suits his game well and he actually has a good shot at upsetting Nadal. This will probably be Nadal’s biggest test before the quarterfinals.

If he survives it he may well make the second week and turn into a different animal.

  • Federer vs Dzumhur

Federer played Dzumhur at the French Open as well and he is just a weaponless player and is therefore even less of a threat on grass, so Federer won 6-1, 6-3, 6-3. Federer looked pretty calm and confident as opposed to Nadal though. But you’d expect that given his form this year and the fact that he won Halle. It’s good early signs for Federer but too early to draw any serious conclusions. Next he will play Querrey who made the final in Nottingham so that will be a better test.

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Jammies?

At least Querrey has a decent grass court game, but he will probably lose in straight sets. I just think we will get a better idea of what goes on with Fedal after their respective second round matches have been played. First rounds are always just an adjustment basically.

  • Elsewhere in the Draw

Like I said Murray also won against Kukushkin, 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4. Then a match which was expected to be close between Tsonga and Muller went to five sets with Tsonga winning 6-2 in the fifth. I can see Tsonga making the fourth round and play Murray unless he loses to Karlovic or even Dolgopolov who both won today as well. Tsonga is a dangerous grass courter who comes off a semi-final in Paris. Murray sure got a tough draw, like Djokovic did in Paris almost.

  • Prediction Game

Ok, now the fun part. Congrats to Tom who won today’s game after predicting Nadal would win 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. Not very far from a perfect prediction at all! Joe takes over the #1 spot for himself after coming second today with another close prediction of 7-5, 6-4, 6-4. Josefina also made another good prediction and finds herself alone in the second spot after the second round of predictions. I would suggest that if you want to stay at the top then leave your prediction to the last minute.

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Baby Djoker defeated Satkhovshy 9-7 in the 5th today

Or else people will just copy your score and I don’t want that anyway. But it’s your game so do as you like! Tomorrow is, of course, the turn of the top half again and I don’t see many interesting matchups aside from Djokovic vs Nieminen, Thiem vs Verdasco, and Dimitrov vs Johnson perhaps. I expect another straight set win for Djokovic with a similar scoreline as the one against Kohlschreiber so I’m gonna go for Thiem vs Verdasco. Grass is Thiem’s worst surface, but he had a decent win in the first round.

Verdasco, on the other hand, had a marathon against Klizan winning 13-11 in the fifth. So maybe Thiem can make a match of it and I want to see if there are any of you who has the courage to predict a victory for him. I have updated the rankings which you can view on the predictions page on the top bar and you can make your predictions below this post again. The two have never met before so you will have nothing to rely on but your tennis knowledge and sixth sense!

Good luck!

  • Highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns5lE54pmG0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYvHmX15sbk

The is in your court.

Wimbledon Day 1: Djokovic Off to Solid Start in Title Defense

And we are off! First of all, thanks to everyone who took part in the predictions game. There were some very good predictions but more about that later. Today the defending champion Djokovic opened proceedings at Wimbledon of course. Kohlschreiber was a difficult opponent for him after three weeks with no competitive tennis, but he adjusted quickly and won 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. In fact, he broke Kohlschreiber in his opening service game but soon got broken back.

Then at 4-5 Kohlschreiber served a double fault at 15-30 and made an unforced error on set point. In each set, Kohlschreiber got broken while serving to stay in the set and as I expected he got tight when it mattered. He really isn’t mentally the strongest player. He certainly has the talent to trouble the best but mentally like I said he comes up short. Not to take anything away from Djokovic. It was a tricky first round opponent who came back from breaks in the first and third set.

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Djokovic looked very solid overall and if there were any doubts as to whether he was still hung over from the French Open loss those doubts have now been silenced. He looks sharp and rested and it’s going to take a very good performance to stop him from winning a third Wimbledon crown. He now plays Nieminen who defeated Hewitt in his last Wimbledon 9-7 in the fifth set. It’s tough for Hewitt to go out like that but as usual he fought to the bitter end and he was a great grass courter.

  • Elsewhere in the Draw

The number four seed Stan played today as well and had a solid straight set win too. He has a good draw and his first serious test will probably only be in the quarterfinals against Raonic or Kyrgios. Kyrgios had a straight set win over Schwartzman himself with a bagel in the first set. He is certainly a guy to watch out for. Preferably I’d like to see him make quarters because I like his game more than Raonic and Dimitrov for that matter and he is an exciting player.

I predicted Dimitrov would lose in the first round before the draw came out, but he proved me wrong by beating Delbonis in straight sets. That was a pretty easy first round though and we will see how he fares against Johnson next. I don’t see Dimitrov making quarterfinals anyway. It was also nice to see Haas getting another grass court win today since his comeback from injury against Lajovic, but he will probably lose to Raonic in the next round. I see Thiem also had another grass court win, but Verdasco next will be tough.

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Verdasco defeated Klizan 13-11 in the fifth set though so he may be tired. I’m looking forward to that match to see if Thiem can win two consecutive matches on grass. The grass is clearly his worst surface. Finally, Nishikori needed five sets to get past Bolelli which I watched the end of and Nishikori was struggling with a calf injury, hardly being able to run. He gets injured a lot for a small guy. He is a mediocre grass court player anyway and isn’t a serious threat.

  • Tomorrow’s Prediction Match

Ok so finally I get to the predictions. Like I said there were some very good predictions. In fact two people, Joe and Josefina, came within one game of being spot on! So first of all congrats to them winning the first round! Second of all that made me rethink the rules again. Instead of awarding 50 points to a perfect prediction I am going to cut that in half to 25 points. That way a perfect prediction won’t leave the winner too far in front and out of reach of the rest.

Also, if you predict a tie-break you have to get the tie-break score right as well for a perfect score. That is now hopefully the last time I update the rules. Tomorrow Federer plays his first round against Dzumhur of course, but there are several other matches that will be closer and more interesting. Nadal against Belucci and Tsonga against Muller, for instance, will be way more competitive. It will be interesting to see who wins between Brown and Lu as well to see who will be Nadal’s potential second round opponent.

Nadal is most vulnerable in the early stages when the grass is still new and fast. He has already lost twice before the second round in the last three years and Belucci or Brown/Lu are guys who can make life difficult for him on grass. I found an article yesterday where uncle Toni said he believes Nadal can win Wimbledon, and although I don’t expect it to happen since when has anything Nadal did been predictable? Uncle Toni is not a guy who just says these things anyway. He is a smart guy and I sense a real danger from Nadal if he passes the first two rounds.

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Pressure could seriously mount for Federer…

After that he has Troicki who he already beat in Stuttgart and then after Ferrer’s withdrawal the only seed left for him before the quarters is Fognini who is very unpredictable. And once he gets into the second week he becomes hard to stop. He could even defeat Murray knowing his head-to-head with Murray in slams, and play Federer in the semis. What kind of pressure would it create for Federer knowing that if he loses then Nadal completely owns him, not to mention the Wimbledon dream would probably be over for good?

Such a match would be extremely fascinating, but we are far from it. Just some food for thought. The match between Tsonga and Muller should be very interesting as well because both are very good grass court players. But in the end I think Nadal vs Belluci provides the most intrigue and unpredictability for a prediction match. From now on you will also make your prediction under the post where I made the prediction match public. In other words, you will make your prediction below this post.

The comment section below this post will also be for live chatting during the match, as well as for comments related to my post. That will work the best because that way we can chat during the match about your scores too. You can view the rankings on the prediction page now. The rankings are quite bundled up at present but will soon spread out nicely. Remember you can join the game at any time. You don’t need to start from the beginning. I will add a short version of the rankings to my blog’s front page soon after this post.

Now let the predictions begin(again)!

  • Highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RltoSstpACE

The is in your court.

The Predictions Game

Hey, folks. Veronica asked for a prediction competition and I have seen people make predictions before, so I decided to give it a try. I like the idea of having rankings on my blog for users like they have rankings in tennis. Then we can crown a winner after each tournament and display the rankings on my blog. It would also be a good way to counter bias because if people want to win the competition they will have to predict with their heads, not their hearts. Come to think of it, this could be really interesting!

  • Rules(Updated)

I will put the rules of the separate page I made for predictions as well.

  1. I will choose one match(or sometimes more depending on the matches) from each round which I think is interesting and take predictions for the match(es).
  2. You can predict the winner, the number of sets played, and the score. The more of these three categories you predict the better will be your chance of winning because if more than one person got the winner right I will next look at who predicted the number of sets played correctly. And if more than one person got both of those right too I will finally look at the score for who came the closest.
  3. You can make only one prediction per match and once you’ve made it that’s it. I won’t take any requests for changes.
  4. Points will be rewarded as follows: 1st place = 10 points, 2nd place = 7 points, 3rd place = 4 points, getting the winner and the amount of sets right = 2 points, getting only the winner right = 1 point. If you get the winner, the number of sets, and the score all right then you will get 50 bonus points. I make it that many because if you are that good then you deserve to win the tournament.
  5. Whoever is ranked #1 at the end of the tournament wins and will remain in the #1 spot until the next tournament, at which point we start a new tournament and everyone starts from 0 points again.
  6. The rankings will be displayed on the front page of my blog so that everyone will know who are the best predictors in the tennis world.
  7. I will not take part in the competition as people could believe I rig the rankings in my own favor(knowing the point system you will be able to calculate the points yourself but I think it is better if I sit out anyway).
  • How to Play

After every post during a tournament, I will select the match(es) for which you can make a prediction(s) and post a link to the predictions page(which you can also find under ‘Content -> Other -> Predictions‘ on the top bar of my blog). There you can make your prediction in a comment. Once the match(es) that I selected begins predictions will close and I will accept no more. Once the match is over I will calculate the results and adjust the rankings. The rankings will always be displayed on my blog and once the tournament is over I will announce the winner.

  • The First Match I Will Take Predictions For

The defending champion plays first on Monday as per tradition, and as you probably could have guessed the match I have selected is Djokovic vs Kohlschreiber. Djokovic will be playing his first competitive match in three weeks while Kohlschreiber played Stuttgart and Halle. In Stuttgart, he lost to Monfils in the quarterfinals and in Halle he lost in the first round to Federer in a final set tie-break. The head-to-head is 6-1 in Djokovic’s favor with Kohlschreiber winning the 2009 French Open meeting.

All the meetings have been competitive and they have never played on grass before which is Kohlschreiber’s best surface.

To make a prediction leave a comment here.

The is in your court.