Tuesday, July 07, 2015

2015 WIMBLEDON: Men's Quarterfinals Preview

Here are my predictions for the men's quarterfinals at the Wimbledon Championships for 2015. Last year I correctly predicted 3 of 4 men's quarterfinals and correctly predicted 2 of 4 women's quarterfinals. I also predicted this year's women's quarterfinals.

Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] vs. Marin Cilic (CRO) [9]. The #1 seed never lost to the newest member of the major champion club despite playing him a dozen times. I think that Cilic believes that he can win this match, and he will probably will one and possibly two sets, but I find it extremely unlikely he will be able to win three sets against the 8-time major champion. Novak Djokovic has demonstrated that even when he loses the first two sets against as big a server as Kevin Anderson he can still find a way to win by somehow finding a way to break serve. The Serbian is now starting to become more widely acknowledged as the best service-returner of all time and this talent is what he will use to put pressure on Cilic. Djokovic is playing in his 25th consecutive major quarterfinal (Federer's streak of 36 is pretty safe, but Jimmy Connors' 27 is in jeopardy.) Although Cilic managed to disrupt the Big 4 grip on majors at last year's U.S Open, I don't think he will be able to repeat that feat at this year's Wimbledon. PREDICTION: Djokovic.

Stan Wawrinka (SUI) [4]  vs. Richard Gasquet (FRA) [23] Nick Kyrgios (AUS). These two have played each other only twice on tour and have split these meetings, with Wawrinka winning their one Grand Slam meeting (in 5 sets) at Roland Garros in 2013. Both players are renowned for their artistic, powerful one-handed backhands, a shot that a few years ago was prophesied to be extinct by now with the rise of Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic and their two-handed backhands. Gasquet got here by getting revenge for his heartbreaking 5-set loss to tennis' bad boy Nick Kyrgios despite having nine(!) match points last year by this year winning in a 4th set tiebreak. Kyrgios had gotten his own revenge by eliminating #8 seed Milos Raonic, the man who beat him in last year's Wimbledon quarterfinal and who was expected to hold this quarterfinal slot. However, with his recent win of two major titles in the last 18 months and his tight loss in last year's quarterfinals to Federer, Stan Wawrinka is determined to demonstrate that he belongs at the top of the men's game by finally reaching the final four at Wimbledon (the only major which he has not done this so far). I believe he will end tat drought, and he might make it all the way to the final. PREDICTION: Wawrinka.

Andy Murray (GBR) [3]  vs. Viktor Troicki (SRB) [22] Vasek Pospisil (CAN). These two competitors have reached the 2015 Wimbledon quarterfinals through very different paths and are occupying very different career trajectories. The Canadian is playing in his very first major quarterfinal while the Scot is playing in his eighth consecutive Wimbledon quarterfinal and eighteenth consecutive major quarterfinal. Additionally, Pospisil has played two consecutive 5-set singles matches in his two previous rounds while Murray has only lost two of the last fourteen sets he played and has spent far less time on court. The two have met three times before and the 28-year-old Murray has never lost to the 25-year-old Pospisil. I don't expect that to change on Wednesday. PREDICTION: Murray.

Roger Federer (SUI) [2]  vs. Gilles Simon (FRA) [12] Tomas Berdych (CZE) [6].  Federer is playing sparkling grass court tennis. He has not been broken in the entire tournament; in fact he has only been broken once in the entire grass court season this year.  Simon is the surprise quarterfinalist because from the time the draw was released this spot was expected to be occupied by Tomas Berdych. Surprisingly the Frenchman dominated and dispatched Berdych in three non-competitive sets in the fourth round. Simon early on had a good head-to-head record against Federer (winning the first two matches the two played) but since 2011 they have played five times and Federer has prevailed every time, but not usually very easily. In fact all of their grand slam matches have gone the distance. I suspect that will not be the case on Wednesday, but I would not be surprised if Federer loses a set, and almost certainly, his serve, but would be extremely shocked if he lost the match. PREDICTION: Federer.

1 comment:

carter said...

Berdych's play of late has not been as sharp as it used to be.
As to Pospisil in the battle of the Commonwealth, nice surprise.
Serb vs. Croat and the Commonwealth on one court while
Swiss vs. French on the other court, one following the other.
Wimby must love these match-ups!


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