Djokovic increased his quarterfinal streak today thanks to Anderson’s mental fragility. Sure he showed his usual ability to get through tough matches but you had the feeling it was on Anderson’s racquet. Djokovic just isn’t at his most effective on faster surfaces. He doesn’t possess the power and weaponry to dominate like Federer for instance. He isn’t physically very strong in his upper body which is why he is vulnerable against the likes of Stan and other power players.
Anderson is such a player and he really should have won. He is just mentally extremely weak which isn’t uncommon at all under South African sports people. It’s like a disease here. All cricket fans know for instance that South Africa always choke in World Cups. Anderson had the right game plan and everything. He was serving big and playing aggressive tennis. He had Djokovic in all sorts of trouble but just didn’t have the balls to put him away. Djokovic started like he was half asleep.
He served a double fault in the first set tie-break at 6-6 to hand Anderson the mini-break which allowed him to win the first set. In the second set tie-break, he got careless again when he was leading 5-2 with two serves to come. He served a double fault on the first point which allowed Anderson to creep back in it and win it too. It looked like there was a massive upset in the making. Then Anderson’s level dropped somewhat and Djokovic took the next two sets and squared things up at 6-7(5), 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-4.
That was yesterday at which point play was suspended due to bad light. This probably favored Anderson because Djokovic had the momentum. When they came back today Anderson started well and looked like he was taking the initiative and he was serving very well. He had Djokovic at 0-30 early on but couldn’t capitalize. He was dominating the play though and making Djokovic look extremely uncomfortable. Even from the baseline he was outhitting him. I thought Djokovic would lose unless there came a characteristic Anderson choke.
And sure enough it came at 5-5 and 15-15 in the fifth set when Anderson served two consecutive double faults. I thought this could finally be the time Anderson overcomes his nerves. He was looking the part all match. But he really has a bad case of the choking sickness. And, of course, the killer that Djokovic is he was not gonna let two consectuve double faults at such a crucial stage go unpunished. Anderson served out wide on his first serve in the deuce court and Djokovic made a devastating low return which Anderson couldn’t handle up at the net.
When serving for the match Djokovic still looked shaky and went down 0-30 but Anderson’s choking reared its ugly head again as he made a few disatrous returns and that was that. You gotta feel for the guy I guess, but I also hate choking. He has really made some of the most disgusting chokes tennis has ever seen. As for Djokovic, his vulnerability on grass was very apparent in this match and I’m not even sure anymore how he defeated Federer in the final last year.
- Elsewhere in the Draw
That said, maybe this match will wake Djokovic up. It looked like he was underestimating Anderson in the first two sets and almost paid a dear price. Hopefully, he won’t be so careless in the coming rounds because if he is he will get slaughtered. He once again has a very challenging draw. He now plays Cilic who defeated Isner and almost defeated him last year as well. And as was the case at the French Open he now has to play three days in a row. It really is quite hard to understand why Wimbledon did not use center court yesterday to finish the match.
But maybe we will see an improved performance from him. If we don’t then there will be no Djokovic in this year’s Wimbledon semis. For the rest of the quarterfinals, it will be Stan vs Gasquet, Murray vs Pospisil, and Federer vs Simon. Stan defeated Goffin which was expected given Goffin’s lack of weapons. Our prediction match was Gasquet vs Kyrgios which Gasquet won in four sets. Kyrgios was back with some very poor attitude as he tanked the second set to go down two sets to love.
Then he all of a sudden started fighting again and won the third set on a tie-break, only to lose the fourth set and the match on a tie-break as well after a double fault. He recently said in an interview that he doesn’t love tennis so I guess his poor attitude shouldn’t be that surprising. He has loads of potential, but blatant tanking won’t help him fulfill it. That said, if he doesn’t love tennis then he doesn’t love it, which means his heart will never really be in it and he will never fulfill his vast potential.
He won’t be the first either. Gasquet himself is someone who admitted to not loving tennis I think, and we know Agassi hated tennis. It’s usually the talented ones. Guys like Rios, Safin, and Nalbandian never fulfilled their vast potential because they weren’t really passionate about the sport. That’s why Federer is so unique. He has both vast talent and passion. Gotta move on. Pospisil managed to make the quarterfinals by upsetting Troicki in five sets which seem like it comes out of nowhere.
He will play Murray who needed four sets to get by Karlovic. Karlovic received some instant karma for his double hit in the previous round when Murray challenged a volley after he hit the passing shot which was out. You should make the challenge before hitting the shot. The volley turned out to be out which gave Murray the crucial break in the fourth set. Then Simon absolutely obliterated Birdshit 6-3, 6-3, 6-2. Don’t ask me what happened there. I didn’t watch. Finally, Federer destroyed Bautista Agut as well which was totally expected.
- The Quarterfinals
Ok, so we are all set for the business end of the tournament. And I am glad Djokovic survived because that makes things that much more interesting. He is quite unpredictable as well. He can struggle like he did last year at Wimbledon and then win the tournament. But for now I will just be happy if he somehow survives Cilic. Djokovic leads the head-to-head 12-0 which turn things probably even more in Cilic’s favor because eventually he is going to get that elusive win.
Then Stan plays Gasquet. You’d think Stan will win, but Gasquet can’t be underestimated. He’s made a Wimbledon semi-final before and Stan has had a cakewalk draw so far. If Gasquet gets into the match who knows. There are no guarantees in life or in tennis. Gasquet could win, which would considerably help Djokovic if he defeats Cilic. In the bottom half, Murray will play Pospisil which is probably the most certain outcome but again nothing is guaranteed. Murray could use a confident performance before a potential semi-final with Federer.
Finally, Federer will play Simon and although Simon has beaten Federer twice and they have had some tough matches, they have never played on grass and Simon doesn’t possess any notable weapons to really trouble Federer. But I guess if he could destroy Berdych like that he can’t be playing too poorly. He is an annoying player who wins ugly and tries to drag you down to his level, but surely Federer is easily the favorite. On grass, it will be fairly easy to end points against Simon.
Lastly, I want to say that some of the more balanced Fedfans have made me realize that I am still a Fedfan after all and that it would be quite sweet if Roger can win a record eighth Wimbledon this year. It would be the fairytale ending and something very special. But like I said before, he has to deserve it. He is not entitled to another Wimbledon title in any way. He is only entitled to it if he wins it. I think that’s the message I wanted to get through in my last post because some Fedfans seem to think he deserves it already.
- The Prediction Game
So yesterday I already updated the rankings on the predictions page and although I selected two matches for predictions people struggled. That’s because most people agreed with me that Kyrgios and Berdych would win. And yet Berdych got destroyed in straight sets and Kyrgios didn’t even push Gasquet to a deciding set. That’s tennis for you. Anyway, Nakul scored the most points because he chose Gasquet over Kyrgios and then predicted the number of sets correctly too.
Nakul has been quite impressive so far I must say and didn’t play the first two games I think. He is now leading the rankings and will take some stopping. But the game is far from over. I will choose two more matches for tomorrow so again you will have a chance to score plenty of points. I am very tempted to go for Djokovic vs Cilic, but I think I’ll go for Wawrinka vs Gasquet and Federer vs Simon this time. It will be interesting to see what the hardcore Federer fans predict, or whether they will even take part in the game.
Don’t forget what happened in the last game. Upsets are always possible!
- Kyrgios Antics
The is in your court.