I had a feeling that Wimbledon came alive today. The first three days seemed kind of pedestrian. It lacked excitement and inspiration, but there sure wasn’t any lack of that today. Not from Dustin Brown anyway. But it wasn’t just Brown that made me feel that way. There were several five-set matches of which the Karlovic vs Dolgopolov match went to 13-11 in the fifth.
- Brown Sends Nadal to Mallorca
This was, of course, our prediction match and Brown managed to pull off the upset 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. These days with Nadal we are so used to him losing to a low ranked player that you can hardly call it an upset anymore. I don’t get the same rush I used to when Nadal loses but Brown was very entertaining and refreshing nonetheless, and I’m not complaining that Nadal lost. This was the first time I watched an actual match from Brown and I didn’t quite know what to make of him at first.
He seemed erratic and quickly dropped serve to love. It looked like he was going for too many drop shots and teeing off on too many balls. But then he seemingly out of nowhere broke Nadal back to love and broke him again at 6-5 to win the opening set. Now he had my attention. It was amazing how he flat out teed off on some of those backhand returns which flashed by Nadal before he was hardly able to move. I’d never quite seen some like it. Really unconventional and refreshing stuff.
Are you feeling pity yet?
There hardly seemed to be any middle ground. He was either teeing off or hitting a drop shot. He has a terrific serve as well and his game seems cut out for grass. He certainly seemed to enjoy the spotlight and wasn’t holding back. That said, Nadal quickly fought back and leveled things at a set all. Things were in doubt again, but in the third set Nadal played an extremely nervous game to get broken. It reminded me an awful lot of Federer when he was in that 2013 confidence crises.
Nadal couldn’t have played a more uncharacteristic game which included several double faults and an awful lot of self-doubt. In the fourth set, I kind of expected another revival from Nadal but Brown was on fire now and broke straight away in the opening game after another uncharacteristic unforced error from Nadal. He almost broke Nadal a second time at 5-3 and 40-15 but let a volley go which he could have hit for a winner and it dropped in. Nadal sensed his chance and held serve to put the pressure right back on Brown.
Yes he can!
You could sense a disaster brewing especially when Brown also lost the first point on his next service game, but to his credit he won the next four points and the match. It was the biggest win of Brown’s career who is 30 years old, ranked #102 in the world and spent most of his career playing on the challenger tour. I’m really happy for the guy and hopefully this win will propel him to bigger things so he can entertain us for a long time to come. Like I said, I’ve never quite seen something like it.
- What Does This Mean for the Draw and Nadal?
Joe already asked the question what this means for the draw. It is a good question because this can make things considerably easier for Murray who had a brutal draw to begin with. Brown could even make the quarters now in his section. That section is very open now. And if Brown does make the quarters I doubt he will have much left in the tank for Murray. Murray will already have to deal with the winner of Tsonga and Karlovic if he beats Seppi which you’d think he would.
So he could use an easier match before a potential semi-final with Federer. So even though Nadal’s loss could potentially have benefited Federer, it could also count against him if he plays a fresh Murray. Murray looked quite clinical against Haase today dropping only five games. He could probably beat Seppi in straight sets too. So he can still arrive in the semis in good physical shape. As for Nadal, I don’t really know how to feel about him anymore. He just keeps losing.
Murray looks like a big threat once again
So much for uncle Toni saying he can win Wimbledon! That said, who knows what could have happened if he passed Brown. At least this time I was right to say that Brown could upset Nadal as opposed to the Bellucci mistake. Although I never saw Brown play a full match, my gut feeling said he had the kind of game that could upset Nadal. If Nadal passed Brown he had the likes of Troicki and Ward/Pospisil up ahead. He would almost surely have made the second week and then he becomes hard to stop.
So thank you Brown(especially on behalf of Fedfans). Nadal’s woes continues and who knows where he goes from here. Well, after Mallorca anyway. His tennis career seems in ruins at this point. He is at that point where Federer was, but it is going on for longer. It has been more than a year now since he lost to Brown the first time in Halle. But who knows with him. Maybe he can start turning things around at the North-American hard court season. All I know is every loss like this makes his confidence crises even bigger.
- Elsewhere in the Draw
I haven’t even gotten to Federer. Sorry, Fedfans! I don’t mean to neglect your player! He played Querrey today and won 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. I could only watch the first two sets, but it was great to see him looking confident and crisp out there. As I expected after what I saw in the Halle final, where Federer appeared to find his forehand at the end of the first set and in the second set, his forehand looks more solid and confident. This bodes well for his chances of a record eighth Wimbledon title but, of course, there is a long way to go.
He played some entertaining tennis as usual today and basically invented a new stroke when he sent a lob over Querrey’s head through his legs while facing towards the net. I mean it’s not an entirely new stroke, but you don’t see it pull off like that very often. He won in straight sets as I expected, but it was a convincing victory. He did the Djoker one better by breaking twice in the final set too. He now plays Groth who is another big server which is something he has always dealt well with.
Master at work
His draw is easy because Lopez was also upset today by Basilashvili who plays Baustista Agut now who is a poor grass court player himself. So Federer should arrive in the quarterfinal without having dropped a set and being very fresh. There he is still on course for a meeting with Berdych who made short work of the recent s-Hertogenbosch champion Mahut. But I am getting ahead of myself. Coric lost to Seppi after being two sets to love up and then getting double breadsticked in the last two sets.
Not sure what happened there. Then I told you about the Karlovic vs Dolgopolov match which went to 13-11 in the fifth set in favor of Dr. Ivo. I just checked in right at the end when the light was starting to fade and The Dog was complaining constantly about it. Not surprisingly he dropped serve to lose the match then. The guy really is an enigma. Why get to 11-12 in the fifth set just to toss it away by losing concentration over something that is affecting both players?
- The Betting Game
Ok, now that business is settled let’s get to the fun part. There were twenty predictions for today’s match and only four people chose the correct winner! So first of all respect to those people who had the courage to pick the underdog again after Bellucci disappointed. To the rest, you ain’t gonna win if you don’t take calculated risks! If there was one guy I thought could upset Nadal in the early rounds it was Brown, so I would have chosen him. Of course, it is easy to say in hindsight, but I did say in my last post that Brown could cause the upset.
Anyway, this means only four people received any points for this round. The rest have to regroup and try again. There were three players who predicted the right winner, the right amount of sets, and in the right order today, and one guy who got the winner, amount of sets, but not in the right order. The top three spots are taken by Jiten, Saim, and Father Toni who all predicted very similar scores so hopefully they didn’t copy from Jiten. Anyway, congrats folks. You took a risk and it paid off.
Still have high hopes for this kid!
As for the rankings, Joe is hauled in by Father Toni in the top spot while the rest of the winners all made big moves. Now to tomorrow’s match. Tomorrow there is a fair amount of good matches again. Djokovic vs Tomic, Isner vs Cilic, Stan vs Verdasco, and Dimitrov vs Gasquet are all interesting, but the match that really catches my attention and intrigues me is the Kyrgios vs Raonic match. They have actually met on two previous occasions of which one was last year’s Wimbledon quarterfinal which Raonic won in four.
Back then Raonic didn’t just come off an injury though and Kyrgios had the biggest win of his career against Nadal in the previous round which could have affected him. I think Kyrgios can win and I hope he does, but I am not part of the game and I will leave the predicting to you!
Please leave your predictions on the predictions page again and have fun!
The is in your court.