Saturday, 25 June 2011

Halfway there but no closer to knowing...

It's been something of a bitty and disrupted first week with rain delays, injuries and matches spanning two days but it's been as fascinating as ever and the excitement and anticipation of a thrilling climax is building. 

Roddick was the first major name to fall (I hope you took my advice and didn't have a wager on him, even at 33/1), probably marking the end of any attempts to really compete here. Another Masters 1000 or 2 is about all A-Rod can hope for I fear as his career winds down somewhat.

So the top 4 are all still with us, Murray safely into R4, for a replay of 2008's epic encounter. As seems customary with our fiery Scot at Slams, some early troubles which should lead to real confidence and form in the latter stages. At Roland Garros he had such a tussle with Troicki and coming through it gave him good momentum and belief to put away Chela and take on Nadal. Dropping sets against Gimeno-Traver and Ljubicic may have a similar effect and he'll need it as it looks like Gasquet - Monfils - Nadal could be his next 3 matches.

Nadal has looked untroubled generally, although has given up a few breaks and looked shaky at points. He didn't exactly start the French in blistering form but we all know what happened there. For some reason William Hill have dropped him to 9/4 compared to 2/1 before the tournament started but his progress has been pretty smooth so far. Playing Simon/JMDP then most likely Berdych before Murray and Federer/Djokovic certainly isn't an easy route but this is Nadal we're talking about

Federer has looked seriously good so far, smashing more than 80 winners in his two straight set victories so far. William Hill now have him as favourite, at 2/1, despite the fact that his section of the draw is the only one where all 4 seeds are still in (Almagro, Youzhny, Nalbandian). There's also the fact that Kukushkin and Mannarino are pretty awful. A renewal of the old rivalry between him and Nalbo could be interesting

Djokovic has looked devastating so far and I can't see Baghdatis causing him too much trouble. Everything's right about his game at the moment and he seems to have dealt with the end of his winning run with a maturity that is becoming increasingly characteristic of the current World Number 2. His William Hill odds have remarkably lengthened to 3/1 (11/4 before tournament) and now might be a good time to have a stab on him.* 

So, as the title suggests, we're no nearer knowing who is going to be top dog at the end of it all. That's goes for who will win Wimbledon as well as who will be World Number 1. This table shows how the rankings will look of the top 3 depending on results: 


Djokovic just needs to make the final to be No. 1, but Federer could also overtake Nadal is the Spaniard falls before the final. Interesting times ahead...

A quick review of my predictions from the last blog entry... (with my own marking)

  • Nadal lost 8 games, not 4-6. 5/10
  • I suggested Murray would be taken to a tie-break but he went one "better" and lost a set 4/10
  • Federer hit a ridiculous 53 winners (38 in second round) 9/10
  • Djokovic cruised through straight sets 0/10
  • Nishikori gave Hewitt a decent run at times but the 5 setter was one round out, as Hewitt Soderling went the distance. 6/10
  • 5 seeds went out in the first round, although Dolgo and Tipsy were in there. 4/10

Not the best performance then.

To make amends, here are some more...

  • There will be at least 6 breaks of serve in Gasquet - Murray
  • There will be at least 80 UFE in Tsonga-Gonzo
  • Djokovic will beat Marcos and then Lu/Llodra in straight sets
  • Fish-Berdych (assuming they both make it through) will be very close - couple of tie breaks, at least 4 sets, that sort of thing
  • Nadal will lose a set to DelPo/Simon

Now it's actually started for the day, I think I'll watch some rather than just talking about it...

*In fact, if you bet equally on Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, say £100 on each, you won't lose money if any of the three win (Fed win and you'd be even, Nadal you'd be up £25, Djokovic win you'd be up £100)

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