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.
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.
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.
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)!
The is in your court.