Wimbledon Draw – Murray in Federer’s Half

DJOKOVIC, Novak SRB [1] vs KOHLSCHREIBER, Philipp GER
NIEMINEN, Jarkko FIN vs HEWITT, Lleyton AUS (WC)
HERBERT, Pierre-Hugues FRA (Q) vs CHUNG, Hyeon KOR
STRUFF, Jan-Lennard GER vs TOMIC, Bernard AUS [27]

MAYER, Leonardo ARG [24] vs KOKKINAKIS, Thanasi AUS
TIPSAREVIC, Janko SRB vs GRANOLLERS, Marcel ESP
ILHAN, Marsel TUR vs JANOWICZ, Jerzy POL
POUILLE, Lucas FRA vs ANDERSON, Kevin RSA [14]

CILIC, Marin CRO [9] vs MORIYA, Hiroki JPN (Q)
HAIDER-MAURER, Andreas AUT vs BERANKIS, Ricardas LTU
EBDEN, Matthew AUS (WC) vs ROLA, Blaz SLO
SOEDA, Go JPN vs ISNER, John USA [17]

CUEVAS, Pablo URU [28] vs KUDLA, Denis USA (WC)
GABASHVILI, Teymuraz RUS vs ZVEREV, Alexander GER
SOUZA, Joao BRA vs GIRALDO, Santiago COL
BOLELLI, Simone ITA vs NISHIKORI, Kei JPN [5]

WAWRINKA, Stan SUI [4] vs SOUSA, Joao POR
ESTRELLA BURGOS, Victor DOM vs BECKER, Benjamin GER
KLIZAN, Martin SVK vs VERDASCO, Fernando ESP
SELA, Dudi ISR vs THIEM, Dominic AUT [32]

ROBREDO, Tommy ESP [19] vs MILLMAN, John AUS (Q)
YOUNG, Donald USA vs BAGHDATIS, Marcos CYP
BROADY, Liam GBR (WC) vs MATOSEVIC, Marinko AUS
ZEBALLOS, Horacio ARG (Q) vs GOFFIN, David BEL [16]

DIMITROV, Grigor BUL [11] vs DELBONIS, Federico ARG
LACKO, Lukas SVK vs JOHNSON, Steve USA
DE SCHEPPER, Kenny FRA (Q) vs SMITH, John-Patrick AUS (Q)
SAVILLE, Luke AUS (Q) vs GASQUET, Richard FRA [21]

KYRGIOS, Nick AUS [26] vs SCHWARTZMAN, Diego ARG
MONACO, Juan ARG vs MAYER, Florian GER
LAJOVIC, Dusan SRB vs HAAS, Tommy GER
GIMENO-TRAVER, Daniel ESP vs RAONIC, Milos CAN [7]

FERRER, David ESP [8] vs WARD, James GBR (WC)
VESELY, Jiri CZE vs LORENZI, Paolo ITA
POSPISIL, Vasek CAN vs MILLOT, Vincent FRA (Q)
SMYCZEK, Tim USA vs FOGNINI, Fabio ITA [30]

TROICKI, Viktor SRB [22] vs NEDOVYESOV, Aleksandr KAZ (Q)
STEPANEK, Radek CZE vs BEDENE, Aljaz GBR
BROWN, Dustin GER (Q) vs LU, Yen-Hsun TPE
BELLUCCI, Thomaz BRA vs NADAL, Rafael ESP [10]

TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried FRA [13] vs MULLER, Gilles LUX
ISTOMIN, Denis UZB vs RAMOS-VINOLAS, Albert ESP
DOLGOPOLOV, Alexandr UKR vs EDMUND, Kyle GBR (WC)
YMER, Elias SWE (Q) vs KARLOVIC, Ivo CRO [23]

SEPPI, Andreas ITA [25] vs KLEIN, Brydan GBR (WC)
STAKHOVSKY, Sergiy UKR vs CORIC, Borna CRO
HAASE, Robin NED vs FALLA, Alejandro COL (Q)
KUKUSHKIN, Mikhail KAZ vs MURRAY, Andy GBR [3]

BERDYCH, Tomas CZE [6] vs CHARDY, Jeremy FRA
KRAJINOVIC, Filip SRB vs MAHUT, Nicolas FRA (WC)
GULBIS, Ernests LAT vs ROSOL, Lukas CZE
ANDUJAR, Pablo ESP vs GARCIA-LOPEZ, Guillermo ESP [29]

MONFILS, Gael FRA [18] vs CARRENO BUSTA, Pablo ESP
MANNARINO, Adrian FRA vs BERRER, Michael GER (Q)
SUGITA, Yuichi JPN (Q) vs KAVCIC, Blaz SLO
ALMAGRO, Nicolas ESP vs SIMON, Gilles FRA [12]

LOPEZ, Feliciano ESP [15] vs DARCIS, Steve BEL
BASILASHVILI, Nikoloz GEO (Q) vs BAGNIS, Facundo ARG
PAIRE, Benoit FRA vs YOUZHNY, Mikhail RUS
BEMELMANS, Ruben BEL vs BAUTISTA AGUT, Roberto ESP [20]

SOCK, Jack USA [31] vs GROTH, Sam AUS
JAZIRI, Malek TUN vs DUCKWORTH, James AUS
QUERREY, Sam USA vs SIJSLING, Igor NED (Q)
DZUMHUR, Damir BIH vs FEDERER, Roger SUI [2]

  • Bottom Half

The draw is out and while Federer got Murray in his half, he has no Nadal to contend with in his quarter. That misfortune fell to Murray who will meet Nadal in the quarterfinals if they both progress that far. I for one hope that match happens. Murray has a poor record against Nadal in slams and it would be a good opportunity for him to improve on that. If you look at Nadal’s quarter it is not that tough if he gets through the first couple of rounds. Murray has some potential stumbling blocks in Tsonga, Karlovic, Muller, and Dolgopolov.

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The dream is alive

Murray has the toughest draw of the big four. Federer’s draw isn’t a cakewalk either. His first four rounds shouldn’t be much of a problem, but then he could play Berdych. Not that Berdych is that big a threat, but he has beaten Federer at Wimbledon before. In the semis, it looks like Murray or Nadal. Both would be very difficult opponents for him. I don’t think Nadal is getting that far but with him I guess you never know. Anyway, Murray would be very tough with the form he’s been in.

  • Top Half

In the top half, Djokovic has a tough first round with Kohlschreiber after three weeks off. If he survives that then he should make quarterfinals where Isner could be difficult. Who knows who will come through in Stan’s quarter. It’s probably between Stan, Kyrgios, and Raonic. In the end, you’d think Djokovic will probably make the final, but my stance on draws is that they are almost entirely meaningless. They are hardly worth a post. It’s just a rough framework of what could happen, and I don’t like speculation.

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Murray to conquer London again?

  • Final Thoughts

I think Federer has a good draw, despite the fact that he got Murray. I think this is also his last realistic chance of winning a slam. It’s now or say goodbye to bel18ve forever. Personally, I don’t care whether he wins it or not. It would be a great story if he can do it no doubt, but I don’t expect it and it won’t bother me in the least if it doesn’t happen. Fedal have won enough. Djokovic already buried Nadal at the French and Murray could do the same to Federer at Wimbledon.

I wouldn’t mind another Djokoray final at all. Murray has dominated the rivalry on grass but they’ve only had two meetings on the surface, and I think Djokovic was tired in the 2013 final after a very difficult match with Del Potro in the semis. He looked tired in the final and if they met in the final again this year I think it would be a much closer encounter. I think Djokovic is ready to defend his title too. He got a tough first round but if he gets past that I like his chances.

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Djokovic played the Boodles event as a warm-up

I read an article where I was quite impressed with his mindset after the tough French Open loss. He says that it didn’t take long to get over the loss because it’s happened so many times and the way Stan and the crowd acted afterward helped him. Also that the time at home did him good. He also said having Becker for grass helps a lot and that Becker makes him volley a lot. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of damage his improved serve does on grass, as well as his volleys.

But first he has a difficult first round to deal with…

The is in your court.

Posted in Grand Slams, Wimbledon.

27 Comments

  1. I don’t know if anyone realizes this but none of the big 4 has ever defeated the other 3 in the same tournament. If all the seeds hold up I am pretty sure Murray is not winning it. But get this. Wimbledon 2013 and Aus 2015 both had similar scenarios. In Wim 2013 Roger had to defeat Nadal, Murray and Djokovic to win while in Aus 2015 Murray had to defeat Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. Both times what happened ? Federer and Nadal where gone by that stage giving Murray a clear path (which he messed up in Aus 2015). I think Roger has a great chance here. I think its pretty conceivable that Djokovic could lose to one of Nishikori or Stan or maybe even someone else. And if that is the case then basically the semis is the final for Roger and I think if he is fresh for the semis he will defeat Murray. I think Djokovic has the toughest 1st week while Murray has the toughest 2nd week. Federer’s opponents gradually increase in strength and it does feel sort of similar at least to Wimby 2012. Like you said the draw rarely means much and I for one think its a straight 3 way battle between the top 3 and I think the favorite order for me has changed and it is now Djokovic, Federer and then Murray because no way is he defeated Nadal/Federer/Djokovic in a row if it comes to that. Tsonga is also a potential 4th round match for him and if Tsonga somehow find his French Open form and fitness Murray could be toast by the time he reaches the semis and if he does plays and defeats Federer, I don’t see how he can possibly have anything left in the tank against Novak. All in all I think Djokovic got the best draw followed by Federer while Murray and Nadal got pretty bad deals. Its going to be one of the most brutal battles ever for a Grand Slam I think !!

    [Reply]

    Girish Reply:

    Roger defeated the other 3 in ATP World Tour Finals 2010. But it was not possible in the other tournaments as they were ranked in Top 4. And there was no way one could face the other three in the same tournaments the way the draw is made. Its just now that the ranking has shuffled this much.

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Yup I got that one wrong. Usually I am pretty good with facts dunno how I missed that. But I think you get my point. In best of 5 set matches do you seriously think Murray can defeat Tsonga, Nadal, Federer and Djokovic continuously ? I don’t think there is any chance of that. One of them will beat him for sure.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    I don’t think so either Ajay. Some of these will have to drop out for Andy to have a realistic chance.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Well, just because he could play those guys doesn’t mean he will Ajay. But if he has to it will be a tall order. Djokovic would be the main beneficiary. That is if he makes the final

    [Reply]

    Ajay Reply:

    Yup that’s true and I do think one of them will drop out. Djokovic also could lose. Lets see what happens !!

    [Reply]

  2. The Brits sure know how to look after their own :-) What a nightmarish draw! Surely this changes Murray’s pre-draw position as co-favourite with Djoker?! Tsonga, Dull, Fed and Djoker! You cannot be serious! :-) However, Tsonga is a question mark (Injured. May even pull out or last only a couple of matches) and Nadal can possibly be knocked out early (Belluci, Brown). Murray’s hopes of getting his second Wimby will depend on his draw opening up; and I see a real possibility of it happening. If not, then Djoker’s good to defend his title.

    Roger’s is doable until Berdych. If Roger can take care of him easily, then I think he has a good chance against Murray; although I’m not too sure against the new Murray now (Murray 3.0?) He will have no chance against Djoker if Berd and Murray stretch him to 5. I think Roger is in the mood to even things up if Djokerer happens. But in order to do that, he has to be fresh and at his unplayable best. Anything less will not do as Djoker should be as fresh as a daisy come finals day.

    Anyone familiar with Cilic on grass? His section consist of names I don’t recognise. He has an opportunity if he is good on grass. In Djoker’s section, Kei is injured and grass is his weakest surface. He would be toast for Djoker. I see Stan as Djoker’s only threat. Stan has improved on grass reaching the quarters last year. If he becomes hot again (he’s already heating up for nude photoshoot for SI Body issue!) he may spring another FO-like surprise! Or not! Then he is jam for Djoker on his Kei toast! Kohlshrieber as a dangerous first round for Djoker is over-rated, I think. No disrespect to the very likeable German whom many say is the 5th/6th best grass courter. Djoker can eat him for breakfast with his Stan jam and Kei toast! Since when has Kohlshreiber ever given Djoker any trouble?! He can steal a set if Djoker needs some time breaking into grass not playing a proper tune up tourney and all. But it will more likely be a perfect prep on grass for Djoker; practising with the 5th best grass court player in the world!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Veronica. What’s with all the breakfast references though? ;)) I don’t think Cilic is much of a grass courter, although he seems to think he is. It looks like Federer will face either Murray or Nadal in the SF, and that would be a tough match before a final with Djokovic. He’d better hope Djokovic loses before the final to Stan da Friend and rolls over in the final.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    “What’s with all the breakfast references?” Djoker loves his breakfast. Although he would likely have gluten-free toast and manuka honey instead of jam :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    How do you know he likes his breakfast? Have you been secretly stalking him? I always knew you were a closet Djoker fan! Come on, admit it! :))

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Haha, you wish, Ru-an! I dont have to be a fan of someone to appreciate and even get inspired by their finer points. I’m an ardent admirer of Djoker. I read his book. I find out about him. That’s all :-)

    [Reply]

  3. I’d love to see Federer v Nadal in a major one last time. Well, as long as its not on clay! Preferably on grass.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    That would be cool, Andrew. I would like to watch them at Wimby once again.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Me too. Who wins if they meet in the semis?

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    I think Roger might edge it if he is playing well. But if Nadal returns to some kind of form and mid match, Roger starts allowing him to get into his head, it’s over :-) it’s hard to tell now. Depends on what level/form they are by the time they meet each other.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ok. Well, I am waiting for your prediction about my latest post. Forget this post and move on! The prediction game was created at your recommendation!!! :!!

    [Reply]

  4. In a recent interview, Paul Annacone made an incisive observation: for most players it becomes harder to win Grand Slams as they get older because they feel the clock ticking and thus put even more pressure on themselves, but Federer plays with fewer nerves because he’s well-adjusted and doesn’t burden himself with that kind of crippling pressure. That in itself helps him play better and increases his chances of winning.

    He’s in the enviable position of being able to play purely for the love of the game, not to add to his historical legacy–that’s the freedom he earned six years ago when he completed the Career Slam and broke Sampras’ Grand Slam record. I think this is where people totally misunderstand him. They think he’s playing to extend records and make sure he has the most titles, etc.

    He’s playing because he loves new challenges and just enjoys the game of tennis. I think he’s a player who has to constantly innovate in his game in order to stay engaged. If he could still win playing the same tennis he did in 2004-07, he would have gotten bored and quit already. Once he can no longer break new ground, when he sees no further path of development in his tennis, he’ll retire. But it won’t be because he gave up in despair over not winning another Grand Slam.

    So I think this “last chance” meme is silly. It may be the last chance for many other players to add to their records, as they have far more to prove than he does and they’re desperate to make their mark before time runs out. Djokovic, Nadal, and Murray are no longer spring chickens and they’re being challenged by a new generation of players. 3 of the last 5 majors have been won by a player outside the “big four” and chances are that this trend will accelerate, with the rise of young guns like Raonic. Of these three, Nadal could still surpass Federer’s Grand Slam mark but even his window will close in the next couple years. Should he fail to regain his crown in Paris next year, it will be nearly impossible.

    But Federer’s got nothing left to prove. Everything he wins now is gravy. If he loses, he feels bad for a day maybe, and then enjoys some time with his happy, healthy family, without having to worry about money or rankings points or historical legacies, etc. If he wins, he can take pleasure in crafting another tennis masterpiece. There’s no outside urgency or pressure of the ticking clock or any of that.

    Djokovic has never defended a major title aside from AO. Last year at Wimbledon he was the hungry world #2 looking to reclaim the top spot from Nadal, desperate for another Grand Slam win after losing three straight major finals. From that position, he was able to play his best tennis.

    Now it’s different–he’s at the top and he needs to defend his position. For months, he poured his energies into entering the select pantheon of immortals who have won all four majors. He failed, and now has to dig deep just to maintain the status quo. Had he won RG, Wimbledon would have been pure gravy–he could have swung freely, soaring on the wings of confidence, and tried to become the first man since Laver to win the first three majors of the season, with ample point cushion to remain #1 by a huge margin even had he fallen short at Wimbledon. Now he absolutely has to defend his Wimbledon title or he risks being overtaken by Federer or Murray later in the season should he slip up. What a difference one match makes!

    Of course he said otherwise, said he spent time at home doing domestic things like dealing with the laundry, garbage, and cleaning (it’s important for a champion to say things like that in interviews to seem more relatable to ordinary people). What else is he supposed to say? But the reality is he’s got a lot of pressure to deal with.

    IMO, Nadal is in a position similar to where Federer was in 2013. He’s lost his consistency, even in the majors–he’s capable of playing his devastating best one day and then totally collapsing the next. Even if he looks good in the first couple rounds, his level may drop precipitously and without warning in the next match. Should he make it to the Wimbledon semis, he will be back to his best and be a real threat to win, but it’s unlikely.

    However, I think he will mount a comeback at some point, magically regaining the power and speed he had two years ago. Had Nadal been defeated in the final at Roland Garros, that might have been the beginning of the end. But losing in an earlier round isn’t nearly as traumatic. One of the posters here (Andrew, I think) commented that if Djokovic failed to win RG this year and stamp his dominance on clay, it would leave the door open for Nadal to come back, and that may well prove prescient.

    Murray looks very good, and I’d back him to make at least the semis and beat Nadal should they meet. It seems his marriage has indeed given him some stability and peace of mind. But there’s a small catch: it may be true he’s playing better tennis than when he won Wimbledon. But Djokovic and Federer are also playing better tennis than when he won Wimbledon. And as you say, Murray’s at heart a defensive player. He may have learned to hit his forehand a bit more often, but he’s going to revert to type when put under sufficient pressure. Grass favors the attacking player and both Federer and Djokovic are more aggressive than he is, at their best.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, Federer is God forever and Djokodalray are a bunch of losers. We get it.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    I get what you mean about Roger, Steve. But I don’t think he has no pressure. In a way, he has nothing to prove and his kinda pressure are different from the others as he’s over that. But still why he keeps playing is he believes he can still be competitive. If he loses more, like being lower in rankings for longer periods, he would lose interest and retire. He would want to win and somewhat stay in top 4. You can’t not call that pressure. And he knows in his heart that this year, maybe even next, is his last realistic chance of winning Wimby. The clock is ticking and other players don’t wait for him. Logically he would be giving his all and feeling the pressure. I don’t think anyone would doubt he is desperate to win a slam, even if he has nothing to prove anymore; although I think the fact that he keeps on playing does put him under the pressure of expectant fans and the public. That should be enough pressure already! He has a remarkable ability to get over losses. But that is a very different thing altogether and has no bearing on the level of pressure he feels when he competes. Anyway, I hope he handles the pressure well and be able to win it this time. But Roger on grass is a sight to behold, win or lose.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right, Veronica. There is a lot of pressure on Federer. He knows it’s his last chance to win a slam. It’s now or never. He has been grinding it out past his prime for three years in the hope to pick up another slam. In that time, he made only one slam final and even with easy draws he can’t make semis or finals. Last year he came about as close as you can to winning another slam, even though you feel he almost had no right to force a fifth set. If he fails to win it this year then last year’s loss is going to hurt even more, knowing how close he came and that his slam winning days are well and truly over. I hope for his sake he can do it because it’s going to hurt knowing his slam winning days are most likely well and truly behind him.

    [Reply]

    steve Reply:

    Sure, he’ll retire if he feels he can’t play at the highest level. But I don’t think he’s “desperate” for anything. He just wants to keep playing until he has gotten everything he possibly can out of his career. “Desperate” implies you think the world will end if you don’t get what you want, and I don’t think that’s how Federer sees it. He’ll give it his best shot, if he loses the other player was better, he looks at what he did to see how he can improve for next time, and that’s it. Nothing is at stake, in terms of historical legacy or money or his career. He has all of that. He worked very hard to secure it, survived all the pressure in 2009, and now he can just play for himself and his own enjoyment of the game.

    The pressure when he competes is all internal, coming from his own desire to play well and his own extremely high standards. He’s not worried about his next meal (for the vast majority of pro tennis players, it’s a hand-to-mouth existence) or whether he’s ticked off all the boxes on the list of achievements for the all-time great players. That makes a big difference in how freely he swings.

    Djokovic is at the point in his career where Federer was in 2006-08–preoccupied with making the leap from great champion to all-time great. We saw his desperate desire in the final in Paris; he broke his racket in anger after losing the second set and then wept as he received the runner-up plate. Now he’s starting to get an inkling of how tough it is to make that leap. Federer has already accomplished that, so he doesn’t have to deal with that pressure anymore.

    Many of the people who are pushing the “last chance” business seem to want to push him out the door as fast as they can, which I don’t understand. As long as he’s playing, he’ll have chances to win. He can afford to take a long-term view since he’s under no pressure to produce immediate results. If he feels his game is in good shape and he’s making progress, who are we to say otherwise?

    Sure, three years without a Grand Slam seems like a long time. But consider that he spent all of last year rebuilding his confidence after his difficult 2013 season and getting used to the new racket. It took him nearly two years to win another Grand Slam after teaming up with Annacone. He only began working with Edberg at the beginning of last year, plus he had to change his racket and tactics. Given all that, I think he’s doing pretty well to be getting the results he’s been getting.

    He’s also world #2. Given that there’s only one player on the planet who’s ranked above him, are people really going to say with a straight face that this is his last chance? After all, when Sampras won his last major, he was out of the top fifteen, and then there’s Ivanisevic’s miraculous Wimbledon victory as a wildcard after he had fallen to #125 in the world. Compared to them, Federer’s in a far better position to win.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Why so concerned with Djokovic though Steve? You are always trying to write him off or acting as if all the pressure is on him. It’s like you feel threatened by him. Anyway, at least he didn’t get dominated by his main rival and he defeated Nadal at the French which Federer could never do. This is a problem for Federer who according to you is so perfect and playing only for fun.

    And now Ferrer has withdrawn, opening the path for Nadal to the second week. And we all know once he makes the second week he becomes a serious danger. What if he makes semis and beats Federer? Do you still think in such a match there would be no pressure for Federer, and that he could swing freely? The slam meetings since the 2007 Wimbledon final says no.

    Uncle Toni: “I believe he [Rafa] can win Wimbledon this year”

    [Reply]

    Pet Raa Reply:

    Steve is blinded by his love for Roger. If he meets Murray/Rafa in the semis, nothing short of a miracle will help him lift the trophy this time, even if he manages to scrape through somehow. On the other hand, if the draw opens up for him and he gets an easy semi, he might have a chance, albeit a very very tiny one. Djoko would be extra careful not to allow a repeat of the 4th set last year.

    He knows all this very well and irrespective of how calm, composed and carefree he appears in his interviews, he is under IMMENSE pressure. This is his last chance after all.

    It is crazy to think that he only plays for the love of the game nowadays. He has been at the very top of the game for more than a decade now, and while no one can accomplish that without true love for the game, it is also impossible to achieve without making winning the primary aim of his life. Not necessarily the sole one, to be accomplished at all costs, but the most important one by a huge, huge margin. Do you think it is that easy to let it all go in a couple of years, even if you know deep inside that may no longer be good enough? He may have been a god on the tennis court but he is not one off it, as he would have to be to let winning take a back seat so quickly, and play just for the love of the game, irrespective of how much he has already won. Nope, he plays to win, and has kept playing only because he sincerely believes he can still win a couple of big ones.

    Outside of Federer’e head, however, the sad fact is that Novak is pretty much a lock for the title.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. Well, I don’t know if Djoker is a lock for the title PR, although I wouldn’t mind if that was true. I do completely agree however that Steve is blinded by his love for Roger and that there is big pressure on Roger to win this title. You are absolutely right that a huge part of why Federer play is to win another slam. In fact, if he knew since 2012 that he would not win another slam he may have retired but of course there was no way of knowing that.

    Being the champion that he is, he certainly wants to go out with a blaze of glory. It’s going to be much tougher for him to retire knowing that he stayed on to win that one final slam and he failed to do so. In that sense, he is under IMMENSE pressure. He is basically playing for the GOAT title here. If he wins a record 8th Wimby title I think the h2h with Nadal would have minor significance, but if he doesn’t win the title or even worse loses to Nadal, then his GOAThood is going to be in serious doubt.

    He needs something extra to reduce the significance of being owned by his main rival, because right now it certainly is not helping his GOAT claim.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    I like with some of the things you said here, Steve, especially about his new racket and new tactics. Both were not fully broken into yet in last year’s Wimby. I expect him to play better this year. When I said “desperate”‘ and for that matter, “pressure” as well, I don’t mean it in the typical sense. As you put it more clearly, it’s more internal than external. What I’m trying to say is it doesn’t feel less just because it is internal. In fact, it may feel more because Roger is a perfectionist and expects a lot from himself. And also, in fact, he deals with external pressure better because we’ve seen how well he embraced being called favourite or wearing the no. 1 crown or being the hunted and winning so much being in that kind of external pressure. He wants to experience winning a slam again, even more so than in the past, as he had said himself, because he appreciates it more now and we have seen how happy he gets when he wins a trophy, even a 250. This is the kind of pressure and desperation I’m talking about. Which is not easy and not as simple as being not worried about history and able to swing freely. With getting older, I don’t see how he can afford to take the long term view if we are talking about the big titles. If he is contented with winning smaller titles and going fairly deep, not minding lower rankings, of course he can take the long term view. With his kind of play, he can play till he’s 40! But to win at slams, no matter how you look at it, it is this year or next; unless something drastic happens like the big 3 retiring, major injuries, etc. No one is diminishing what Roger has done this year. The guy is no. 2 at 34 and beating everyone except a few top guys! Don’t think this is precedented or will be repeated! Total respect and total admiration. I don’t think you can compare Sampras’ and Ivanisevic’s runs. They didn’t have the golden era of a big 3 (one of which is his nemesis!) to deal with for one! And then so many excellent second tier players plus dangerous young guns to deal with! I’m just saying the window is closing for slam glory and he will feel the pressure of getting it done this year and next.

    [Reply]

  5. Hey Ruan, I had predicted correctly that Murray will be in Federer’s half ;-)
    I stand by my prediction – Djokovic is the firm favourite for me. The draw for Murray does seem brutal but I’m sure his draw is gonna open up with one or two top guns exiting early (as in 2013). Federer has a really difficult task actually even if he doesn’t have that difficult a draw till the quarter finals. However, hope is eternal & I hope Federer wins even if Djokovic is the best player in the world now.
    Wawrinka can become a tough player to beat as well if his serve percentage is high.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well done Hari. I thought Murray would be in Djoker’s half again. Good to see Djokovic is the firm favorite for you.

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