Wednesday, July 03, 2013

2013 WIMBLEDON: Men's Quarterfinals Preview

Here are my predictions for the men's quarterfinals at the Wimbledon Championships for 2013. Last year I correctly predicted 4 of 4 men's quarterfinals and correctly predicted 4 of 4 women's quarterfinals. This year I have correctly predicted 3 of 4 women's quarterfinals.

Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] vs.  Tomas Berdych (CZE) [7]. The World #1's march to another seemingly inevitable final showdown with his friend and World #2 Andy Murray continues. Standing in his way is the imposing form of the 6'5" player from the Czech Republic who has beaten Djokovic on this court before, in this very round, a mere three years ago. However, in their 15 career meetings, Berdych has only managed one other win, giving the Serb a confident 13-2 edge. But in Berdych's head, Wimbledon must be the place where he has the best chance to beat the current World #1, and I'm sure he will try his best, to no availPREDICTION: Djokovic.

David Ferrer (ESP) [4] vs. Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) [8]. The height differential between these two combatants makes this appear as if this match-up must be a mismatch. In some sense it is, but it may surprise you to discover that there is a 6-2 head-to-head edge in favor of  the 5'9" David Ferrer over the 6'6" Juan Martin del Potro. In fact, Ferrer eliminated del Potro from imbledon last year in the Round of 16, and has never lost to the Argentine on grass. There's no question that del Potro is playing some of his best tennis and Ferrer is not (The Argentine has won all 12 sets he has played this year while the Spaniard has (of course) also won 12 sets but he's also lost five sets in four rounds. I am quite confident that del Potro will win at least set against Ferrer but I'm also pretty sure that he will not win three. PREDICTION: Ferrer.

Rafael Nadal (ESP) [5] Lukasz Kubot (POL)  vs. Roger Federer (SUI) [3] Jerzy Janowicz (POL) [24]. This is an historic meeting between two Polish men in the quarterfinal of a grand slam tournament, assuring that there will be a Polish semifinalist at Wimbledon for the first time.  It jus goes to show what kind of possibilities can open up when the two greatest players of the last decade, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are both eliminated from the draw early, something which has not happened in more than 36 grand slam tournament. Janowicz has already made a name for himself as a big-serving, excessively talented 22-year-old who at 6'8" moves incredibly well for a guy his size. He has already reached the final of an ATP Master series tournament and has had a meteoric rise up the rankings, from well outside the Top 100 a year ago, to a  near-certain Top 20 appearance at the end of this tournament. PREDICTIONJanowicz

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) [6] Fernando Verdasco (ESP) vs. Andy Murray (GBR) [2].  It's good to see the hard-working Fernando Verdasco having some success on big tennis stages again after a too-long hiatus. This is only his 4th major quarterfinal after 10 fourth-round losses in majors so the Spaniard may feel he has already had more success here than he deserves (or expected). Andy Murray is not going to be satisfied until he wins this title, which he knows he can do since he has faced the best player of his generation on this surface and come away the victor. But that was the Olympics and this is the Wimbledon Championships. Murray has a strong 8-1 head-to-head edge over Verdasco but surprisingly, the two have not played in over 4 years. Regardless, Murray is a man on a mission, which will not be completed until the final Sunday. PREDICTION: Murray. 

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