Friday, July 08, 2016

2016 WIMBLEDON: Men's Semifinals Preview

Here are my predictions for the men's quarterfinals at the Wimbledon Championships for 2016. Last year I correctly predicted 2 of 2 men's semifinals and correctly predicted 2 of 2 women's semifinals. This year I have correctly predicted 3 of 4 women's quarterfinals and 4 of 4 men's quarterfinals. I also predicted this year's women's semifinals.

Roger Federer (SUI) [3] vs. Milos Raonic (CAN) [6]. The 17-time major champion is very lucky to be still in the hunt for his record 8th Wimbledon title. He went down by 2 sets to none against 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic. After falling into a perilous situation (2-3, 0-40) in the third set, Federer was able to miraculously hold serve and was finally able to break Cilic's serve and run away with the third set. However, in the fourth set things were extremely tense with respective service holds until the tiebreak. In the tiebreak, Cilic had two match points and Federer had multiple set points and eventually won the fourth set tiebreak 11-9. Raonic had a much easier time in his quarterfinal, dispatching the giantkiller Sam Querrey in four sets. The Canadian has made his intentions of trying to win Wimbledon crystal clear with his hiring of John McEnroe for the grass court season. Interestingly, this semifinal is a repeat of the 2014 Wimbledon semifinal, which was won (relatively) easily by Federer in three tight sets (6-4 6-4 6-4). Overall, Federer has a 9-2 career head-to-head over his opponent, but Raonic won their last meeting, in the Bribane final earlier this year. I still think Federer has not shown his best tennis at Wimbledon this year yet, but I believe he will rise to the occasion, and will need to do so, in order to reach his record 11th Wimbledon final on Sunday.  PREDICTION: Federer.

Andy Murray (GBR) [2] vs. Tomas Berdych (CZE) [10] Jiri Vesely (CZE). For the first time, Andy Murray is the favorite at a major tournament, as the highest remaining seed. This is a very different situation, since this is occurring at Wimbledon, a tournament he has won before, and which is his home slam. Murray had a tougher than expected tussle with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in their quarterfinal, after winning the first two sets, the Frenchman came back and won the next two sets and raised the possibility of upsetting Murray. However, Murray dug deep and won the fifth and final set very easily, 6-1. In the semifinal, he will face Tomas Berdych who has excellent grass court bona fides (as a 2010 Wimbledon finalist). However, despite having a relatively close overall head to head of 8-6 between the two players in the favor of Murray, no one expects him to have much difficulty winning this match. In their recent meetings, Murray has won  pretty easily and even though the two have never met on grass, there is every expectation that the Briton will reach his 2nd Wimbledon final, and 11th career major final. PREDICTION: Murray.

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