Big 4 Still Standing as Wimbledon Heads Into Second Week

As we head into the second week of Wimbledon 2017 the big four and 8 out of the top 10 seeds are still left standing. There is also only three unseeded players left in the draw including Paire, Anderson, and Mannarino.

So things are shaping up nicely but Murray and Djokovic have by far the easier draws left of the big four. Djokovic, in particular, is having it quite good with his first round opponent retiring and not having faced a seed for the first four rounds. Even the 15th seed Monfils lost to Mannarino. It just goes to show you that draws don’t necessarily mean anything.

That said, Djokovic has been playing well and it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference who he faced. Today he defeated one of the surprises of the Championships Gulbis 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(2). It was a slow start but once Djokovic found Gulbis’ forehand it was one unforced error after the other and Gulbis never recovered.

Federer was next on center court who defeated Zverev 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-4. I have not been particularly impressed with Federer so far. He was nervous in the first set against Lajovic and today again in the first set he dropped serve after going up an early break. I mean losing serve to Zverev who is not exactly known for his return game is unusual for Federer.

Federer may be feeling the pressure of winning that record 8th Wimbledon title but we will see how it goes against Dimitrov. Dimitrov’s opponent Sela retired today after dropping the first two sets 6-1, 6-1. Dimitrov has a poor 0-5 record against Federer but having seen Federer I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a close match.

Raonic plays Zverev and hasn’t been very impressive this grass court season. I can see Zverev winning that which would be another tough opponent for Federer even though he made short work of him in Halle.

Djokovic has a much friendlier draw because Mannarino has nothing to really hurt him with while Thiem or Berdych shouldn’t be a problem if he keeps up his good form. There is no guarantee that he will but so far this grass court season things have gone well for him and after exactly a year’s slump things seem to be finally falling into place for him again.

In the top half, you’d think Murray will come through Paire and the winner of Anderson and Querrey as well. Nadal has it tough with Muller and Cilic but unlike Federer, he has been very convincing. Muller is playing well but I don’t think he can defeat Nadal. If someone can it is Cilic but I think Nadal will likely make the final.

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Djokovic and Federer Eases Into Third Round at Wimbledon

On Day 4 of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships, there were no serious upsets although Lorenzi, Del Potro, Isner, and Sock all lost. Djokovic and Federer both had straight-set victories while Raonic and Thiem needed four sets to prevail.

Djokovic defeated Pavlasek 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 and Federer defeated Lajovic 7-6(0), 6-3, 6-2. Djokovic was quite good but Pavlasek was nothing special and was never going to test Djokovic. Lajovic played quite well at the start but was unable to take advantage of Federer’s less than ideal form.

This was the first full match of both Djokovic and Federer and it is still early days but Djokovic looked more convincing. Djokovic plays Gulbis next after Gulbis upset Del Potro in straight sets which is a nice break for Djokovic after Lopez also lost.

Gulbis is quite a talented player but he hasn’t achieved much in ages and the win today was a total upset. He has a good serve but Djokovic should be able to handle it if he returns well and Gulbis’ forehand is also a liability. Djokovic’s draw looks good until the semis now so he has a god opportunity to get some more wins under his belt before a possible meeting with Federer.

Federer plays M. Zverev next who is a good matchup for him but he also has Dimitrov and Raonic left. Raonic wasn’t convincing today almost going two sets to love down to Youzhny after Youzhny had a set point on his serve in the second set tiebreak. I think Zverev may come through to face Federer in the quarters who is a more dangerous opponent for Federer.

In the top half, Murray plays Fognini tomorrow while Nadal plays Kachanov. Nadal vs Kachanov could be interesting if Kachanov plays fearlessly but for now, Nadal is still the favorite.

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Retirements Plague Wimbledon on Day 2 of Championships

Today was a disappointing day at Wimbledon with four more players retiring during the first round after three retired yesterday, including both Djokovic and Federer’s opponents.

Klizan pulled out at 6-3, 2-0 and Dolgopolov pulled out at 6-3, 3-0. I think they need to start doing something about these retirements but if you are a lower ranked player who doesn’t make money then it is hard to blame you for wanting to get that first round prize money at all costs.

Nishikori’s constant retirements and his retirement in Madrid against Djokovic particularly bothered me. Top players should receive some kind of penalty to stop them from playing when there is a risk of injury like having to miss the next two weeks if they retire during a match.

The capitalist model already favors the top players so much that they should not be able to take the spot of someone in the draw who badly needs it.

 It’s also bad for the fans. Apparently, Klizan already had the injury in the warm-up event last week so he should not have played, to begin with. He was just there to pick up the first round prize money of £35 000. That is unacceptable.

It doesn’t help Djokovic either who needs court time. It helps no one but the player who retires. If a lower ranked player was allowed to play instead it could have benefited him immensely. Not just in terms of much-needed money but in terms of experience. Such are the shortcomings of capitalism.

Djokovic plays Pavlasek next while Federer plays Lajovic. Both of them just about played a practice set out on center court so their next rounds will be more like their first matches.

One of the players who retired today was 19th seed Lopez who was in Djokovic’s bracket. Not a bad break for Djokovic but he still has Del Potro and Monfils in that section. Del Potro, in particular, is dangerous and defeated another dangerous player Kokkinakis in a very competitive four-setter today.

The only other seed that tumbled out in the bottom half today was Dickey Gasquet who lost in four sets to Ferrer. The two matches where I saw potential upsets was Del Potro’s and Thiem vs Pospisil. Del Potro’s match was very competitive but Thiem easily defeated Pospisil so well done to him.

He does have a win over Federer and a title on grass so he shouldn’t be underestimated on the surface.

As for tomorrow, the two main matches of Murray vs Brown and Nadal vs Young will be on Center Court again but there will be plenty other interesting matches too. Let’s hope it goes better than today.

Should there be a rule that penalizes top players for retirements?

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