Djokovic was up first again on center court today but instead of him breaking his opponent in their opening service game, Nieminen was the one to break him in the opening game after coming out hot and blasting forehand winners. Nieminen couldn’t maintain that level though and Djokovic broke back in the sixth game to level at 3-3. He then also broke at 5-4 to win the first set after an extended rally. At this point, he started hitting his stride as he broke Nieminen twice to win the second set 6-2.
In the third set, he broke once more and at least Nieminen forced him to serve it out at 5-3 which he did to love. It was Nieminen’s last match at Wimbledon and Djokovic paid him respect afterward. Nieminen gave it his all as we have come to expect from him over the years, but Djokovic was very solid again. They were playing at the hottest time of the day again and Djokovic didn’t look particularly happy in the extreme heat, but it’s hard to tell with him in such matters.
Sheer class from the Djoker lets face it
It was another good serving performance from him and his winners outnumbered his unforced errors 38-13. The most improved part was probably his net game though where he was 26/30. His overheads especially seem much more solid these days and he didn’t miss any of those. It does look like Becker helped him in that area and he has become a very good grass courter in his own right. He is not the classic grass courter with a huge serve and a very attacking game style.
But with the grass having slowed down so much that hardly matters. He seems extremely comfortable on the surface. He even slides on the grass which isn’t easy to do. Probably if they played in the final Federer would still be the favorite simply because of his serve and the fact that he is a more attacking player overall. But it would still be a great contest and we are far from such a final anyway. Both players could lose before the final.
- Elsewhere in the Draw
Our prediction match today was Thiem vs Verdasco of course and Verdasco ended up winning in five sets, 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4. Nakul was the winner and was the only person who predicted Verdasco would lose the first set but go on to win the match. No one got the winner and the number of sets right though, and I was surprised at how many predicted Thiem would win. And he should have. He was two sets to one up and a break in the fifth set. Therefore, it has to go down as a choke.
I don’t want to be too hard on him because he is still young, but I have seen him do this kind of thing time and time again. He gets into winning positions, but he has a very hard time putting guys away. He likes to complicate and make things difficult for himself. I actually thought he was playing quite well on the grass. He definitely has a game that can do damage on grass. He has a big serve, good volleys and touch, and attacking strokes. I also saw that he tried moving up on the return.
Raonic has his work cut out in the next round
That is something that is very important and it needs work. But the reason he lost was his mental weakness. He couldn’t put Verdasco away just like he couldn’t put away many other opponents before and if he wants to take the next big step he needs to change that. But at least I saw that if he gets his head together that he can be a decent grass court player. He definitely should not have to struggle to win matches on the surface. For that he has too complete a game.
Other than that Stan, Dimitrov, and Kyrgios all won in straight sets while Haas bowed out in four sets to Raonic. Djokovic now plays Tomic and Stan will play Verdasco which could get interesting if Verdasco is not tired. Dimitrov vs Gasquet and Kyrgios vs Roanic especially will be more interesting though I think. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dimitrov goes home and Kyrgios can definitely beat Raonic. I’m thinking that may be tomorrow’s prediction match.
- The Prediction Game
So like I said Nakul won the last game for which no one got the winner and amount of sets right. Congrats Nakul! There have been a few of you who have made some consistently good predictions so far so keep it up. It is not one good prediction that will win you the tournament. It is consistently good predictions, just like it will take consistently good performances to win Wimbledon. Tomorrow it’s the turn of the bottom half again and there are a fair amount of decent matchups.
Nadal plays Brown of course and Federer plays Querrey. I think both those matches would be interesting, but more so Nadal vs Brown. Brown is a kind of flamboyant, unpredictable player who can upset Nadal on a good day. Querrey is not bad either but I can only see a straight set win for Federer there. Other matches of interest are Murray vs Haase, Karlovic vs Dolgopolov, and Seppi vs Coric. But I’m gonna have to go with Nadal vs Brown again for our prediction match.
Can he do it again?!
And I’m afraid I’m going to have to change the rules again. In the last round, I have noticed it is just too complicated to determine first, second, and third place and it takes too long. So I am not going to award points for first, second, and third place but award points as follows:
- Predicting the correct winner – 3 points
- Predicting the winner and amount of sets correctly – 6 points
- Predicting the winner, amount of sets, and the sets in the correct order – 9 points
- Predicting everything correctly aside from the tie-break scores if there are tie-breaks – 15 points
- Predicting everything correctly including the tie-break scores if there are tie-breaks(a perfect prediction) – 20 points
I apologize for once again changing the rules, but this is better for you and for me. You will now be able to count the scores for yourself so that I can’t make any mistakes. The previous method was just too complicated. And please make your predictions on the predictions page again. I want to keep the comment section below my posts open for discussions regarding the post. I’m sorry if there is confusion, but this is the first time I am doing this and it’s a little complicated.
The is in your court.