Friday, July 04, 2014

2014 WIMBLEDON: Men's Semifinals Preview

Here are my predictions for the men's quarterfinals at the Wimbledon Championships for 2014. Last year I correctly predicted 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals and correctly predicted 4 of 4 women's quarterfinals. This year I have so far correctly predicted 1 of 2 women's quarterfinals.

Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] vs. Andy Murray (GBR) [3] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) [11]. 
The #1 seed was surprisingly pushed to five sets by Marin Cilic in the quarterfinal. However, this should not really be disturbing to Novak fans since all three of the sets Novak won he had at least a 2-break lead. Djokovic is playing in his 16th major semifinal of the last 17 he has played (he lost in the 2014 Australian Open quarterfinal to Stan Wawrinka). Dimitrov is playing in his very first major semifinal and coming off the biggest win of his career in his straight-sets dismissal of the defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray the round before. Djokovic leads Dimitrov 3-1 in their head-to-head, but the fact that the 23-year-old Bulgarian has a win over the #1 seed from last year means that he knows that it is possible to beat him. Djokovic has not won a major since the 2013 Australian Open despite reaching three major finals since then, so he is hungry to win his 7th major title. Dimitrov is hungry for his first major title and I am confident that he will win one eventually, but I find it very unlikely that it will be the 2014 Wimbledon championship. PREDICTION: Djokovic.

Roger Federer (SUI) [4] vs. 
Milos Raonic (CAN) [8]. These two have met four times and the 17-time major champion has won all four meetings, including one very tight meeting on grass in 2012. Raonic is playing in his very first major semifinal of his career while Federer is playing in his record thirty-fifth, and eighth at Wimbledon. He has never lost a Wimbledon semifinal. However, the Canadian is a very dangerous opponent with a gigantic serve and powerful forehand. But
Federer has a lot of experience playing against big serving and forehands before (c.f. Andy Roddick)  and has obviously had success in this situation.
Raonic is one of the next generation of ATP stars and he is widely expected to win majors in the future, but like his fellow youngster Dimitrov playing in his first major semifinal, I find it hard to believe that this is the tournament where the changing of the guard will happen. Instead, I expect (and hope) that Federer will be playing in his 25th major final, at the same place 2 years after he won his 17th titlePREDICTIONFederer

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