The Wimbledon draw was made today. It’s a pretty even draw and there are many exciting match-ups to look forward to.
Shall we begin our analysis? Let’s stare at the draw sheet to process everything.
Perhaps my initial negative reaction to the draw was over-stated 🙂
DelPo is in Rafa’s half and Muzz’s quarter of the draw. I have to say, if the prospect of DelPo facing Fed early in a tourny seems bad, DelPo-Muzz has the potential to be even worse (especially on grass).
In R1, DelPo faces Robin Haase (Haase, who led Muzz by two sets at the 2011 USO before losing). I’m going to go all out and say DelPo wins this one. In R2, he would face either Igor Kunitsyn or Go Soeda. If he won that match, he’d likely face Nishikori in R3. Then, a *potential* R4 with Ferru or Roddick awaits. The prize for winning would be a QF with either Muzz or Raonic.
DelPo is defending R4 points from last year. Assuming DelPo’s knee problems are cleared up, I’d like to see him reach the QF and put forth a strong fight against Muzz. That would mean he’d have to beat Ferru or Roddick first. While grass is not Ferru’s best surface, Ferru’s strengths play to DelPo’s weaknesses. That said, DelPo should be beating Ferru — both due to their differences in age, plus the fact that DelPo is in possession of the offensive weapons that might not come as naturally to Ferru. Although DelPo has lost on clay and on HC to Ferru in their last two encounters, maybe grass will help to produce a different outcome? We’ve all seen how DelPo stepped up his aggressive play on grass last year —- I’m hoping he rapidly builds on that this year.
This is a tough draw for DelPo because he’s in the same quarter as two top players who play defensive tennis (Ferru and Muzz). On one hand, it’d be an honest test to determine the progress DelPo’s made against those who are often blithely characterized as “counterpunchers.” On the other hand, it adds a few degrees of difficulty to DelPo’s prospects. I’d rather DelPo had Tipsy’s draw! (Tipsy only has a R1 loss to defend at Wimby, which makes it tougher for DelPo to finally overtake Tipsy for that cherished no. 8 ranking in the next two weeks. The dark days continue for awhile longer).
Match by match, we’ll see what happens here.
Other exciting early-round matches to catch:
- Ferrero had the misfortune of drawing Novak in R1: I’d love to bring back the good days of 2003-4 when JCF was at the top, along with Nalby, with Fed quickly making his mark on the tennis world. I’ll definitely try to watch this for Ferrero!
- Nalby vs. Tipsy in R1: Nalby is capable of winning this match. This will be an emotionally-charged encounter. If Tipsy wins, the vocal contingent of morally self-righteous journos will start proclaiming Tipsy a saint for defeating Nalby. I will wait to see what happens before formulating a response. I only hope Topper prepared a proper all-white outfit for Nalby (b/c his rainbow stripes, as much as I genuinely liked them, are not allowed under Wimby’s dress code).
- Stebe vs. Cilic: I’m very curious to see how the young leftie Stebe plays on grass. He had a hard-fought win over Berlocq at Halle, which I take as a good sign. But Stebe still has work to do, given how he lost in straights to Steps in the next round. Also, I need Cilic (who’s in the same quarter as DelPo & Muzz) to provide a helping hand in vanquishing some of the other bothersome threats. Reluctantly, I say, go Cilic!
- Nico Almagro vs. Ollie Rochus: Ollie gave DelPo the fits during their R2 match at Wimby last year (this is when DelPo got so frustrated with Ollie’s scrambling, that he took off his shoes and threw them out of the stadium. I like Ollie and I like Nico, so this R1 will be a fun one to watch. Nico’s a stronger-than-expected contender on grass, contrary to his clay-court image. Vamos Nico!
- Berdy vs. Gulbis: I have to admit that I don’t not enjoy watching Berdy play tennis. But I’m reserving an unqualified positive opinion of Berdy until Argentina soundly defeat the Czechies and send them home at the Davis Cup SF in September. But when Berdy updated his FB with a playful reference to the great Madness song “Our House,” I was confused for words. I love the song, but I don’t like Berdy right now. Yet I like that he referenced the song. I think DelPo needs to tweet more 🙂
- By the way, Fed, Rafa and Djokovic have relatively steady draws. There’s nothing yet to indicate a huge upset may be on the cards. Muzz received the short end of the stick, so it will be interesting to see how far he goes this year.