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ATP Tour: Wimbledon 2008

Wimbledon
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One stop article for Wimbledon 2008.

Links
Home Page: tinyurl.com/f8ha
Draw: tinyurl.com/5zydtq
Order of Play: tinyurl.com/283nj
Scoreboard: tinyurl.com/f12c
Weather Forecast: tinyurl.com/5dn8pz
Interviews: tinyurl.com/4do27a
Rafael Nadal Blog (Times Online): tinyurl.com/yqn8gw

Sunday's Final
Federer vs. Nadal
Here it is again, Federer vs. Nadal. It is the 6th time that these two players meet in a Grand Slam final, an Open Era record. Nadal is looking to become the first player to complete the Roland Garros/Wimbledon double since 1980. Federer is trying to become the first player to win 6 consecutive Wimbledon titles in te Open Era.

Both players have been in incredible form on grass and enter the final with an 11-0 record on it. Federer, the Halle champion, comes in without the loss of a set and was broken twice on his way to the final. Nadal, the Queen's Club champion, has dropped one set and was broken 4 times.

RoundFedererNadal
R128def. Hrbaty 6-3 6-2 6-2def. [Q] Beck 6-4 6-4 7-6
R64def. Soderling 6-3 6-4 7-6def. Gulbis 5-7 6-2 7-6 6-3
R32def. Gicquel 6-3 6-3 6-1def. [23] Kiefer 7-6 6-2 6-3
R16def. [20] Hewitt 7-6 6-2 6-4def. [17] Youzhny 6-3 6-3 6-1
QFdef. Ancic 6-1 7-5 6-4def. [12] Murray 6-3 6-2 6-4
SFdef. Safin 6-3 7-6 6-4def. Schuettler 6-1 7-6 6-4

The matchup is well-known. Nadal is the best defender on the tour and is able to withstand even Federer's best attacking shots. This enables him to get a lot of balls back and eventually leads to Federer making an error.

On top of that, Nadal's (lefty) topspin forehand bounces up shoulder high to Federer's weaker backhand wing. Nadal relentlessly attacks the Federer backhand, opening up the court for a winner on the forehand side or forcing an error from Federer's backhand.

On other surfaces than clay, Federer has the ability to steer the rally to his forehand wing, shorten the points and attack the net. This takes Nadal out of his comfort zone and forces him to make mistakes.

The matchup issues have led to Nadal leading the H2H 11-6 but Federer leads the H2H 5-2 on other surfaces than clay and 2-0 on grass.
More information on the H2H: tinyurl.com/55hevq

Both Federer and Nadal have been serving extremely well this tournament and a lot will be decided by the return of serve, which will be used to set up the point in a more or less neutral position.

Both players have an equal chance of taking the title, but I think Nadal's time to win Wimbledon has come and that he will do this in 4 sets.

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Jul 7, 2008

I don't mind at all Cleaver. I didn't say a thing as far as I can remember

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comment by Ruggs (U11132090)

posted Jul 8, 2008

Nameless, we all know it's you, that name is not in reference to yourself, but the opera by Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini. Now unveil yourself! magic

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comment by Bourne (U3020163)

posted Jul 8, 2008

you think norma is nameless ?

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posted Jul 8, 2008

ruggers

what is nameless's new name ?

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posted Jul 8, 2008

You know what we should do is a nameless appreciation thread

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comment by Bourne (U3020163)

posted Jul 8, 2008

Norma is a tragedia lirica or opera in two acts by Vincenzo Bellini with libretto by Felice Romani after Norma, ossia L'infanticidio (Norma, or The Infanticide) by Alexandre Soumet. First produced at La Scala on December 26, 1831, it is generally regarded as an example of the supreme height of the Bel canto tradition. "Casta diva" was one of the most familiar arias of the nineteenth century

no way is that nameless laugh

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comment by Ruggs (U11132090)

posted Jul 8, 2008

Nameless is a great admirer of Bel canto! *shrugs and flees*

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comment by Bourne (U3020163)

posted Jul 8, 2008

if it is him, then he's a crafty old chap. very crafty. i'd never have guessed.

gj

wild wants you on the 'little bit of' snooker thread. NIT ok

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posted Jul 10, 2008

For reasons I'll keep to myself I was searching my old articles and came across this one:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A25072580

There's nothing new in the world is there (apart from winners at Stuttgart)...?

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posted Aug 21, 2008

All previews

A bit late but ok

Friday's Picks
Federer vs. Safin
Who would have guessed that Safin would be the one to challenge in the semifinal in this tournament. It's nice to see that Safin managed to keep his level up after beatin Djokovic in the second round. Too often a player loses to some journeyman after a big win. Federer's form is getting better and better and his match against Ancic in the quarterfinal was probably his best performance this season.

Safin is a very complete all-round player who hits big from both wings, has a very solid and powerful serve and unlike many other players these days, he's comfortable at the net. Safin's best shot is his backhand, which he can hit both cross-court and down-the-line. Safin's strong points against Federer are that he can hit balls back with interest from tough positions. Combined with his ability to cover the court well, it makes it harder for Federer to outmaneuvre him than others. On the other hand, Safin is not known for being the most consistent of players and mental lapses will be exploited by Federer to race past Safin in no time at all.

By reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon, Safin has become the fourth active player to reach the semifinals of all Grand Slams (the others being Federer, Nalbandian and Djokovic). It has taken a long time for Safin to do this, because grass is a surface he doesn't like that much. On the other hand, Federer's best surface is grass and this will make an upset even harder for Safin.

Federer leads the H2H 8-2 (2-0 on grass), but most of their matches have been closer than the H2H suggests. The last match that Safin won against Federer was one of the all-time great matches. He beat Federer 9-7 in the fifth set after saving a match point at the Australian Open semifinal in 2005. Both players played their best tennis in this match and Safin will want to remember that he can beat a peak Federer.

A match of that caliber is not to be expected however and unless something strange happens, Federer will win in 3 or 4 sets.


---
Wednesday's Picks
Murray vs. Nadal
Murray, with a little help from his opponent, made a remarkable comeback to reach his first QF in a Grand Slam. The question is if he will be mentally and/or physically drained from that effort or if he will be inspired and go all out. Nadal has been in great form throughout the tournament but had an injury scare in his match against Youzhny. It is not yet clear how the leg/knee is holding up but Nadal will play no matter what.

Nadal has been playing making life hard for his opponents by playing aggresive tennis. He's serving well, he's coming to the net, and he is painting the lines with both his forehand and his backhand. Murray must find a way to outmaneuver Nadal by mixing up his game. The other tactic to just outhit Nadal and force an error will be very hard to execute for Murray with Nadal's form at the moment. Murray has the advantage of his very good backhand, which neutralises some of Nadal's main weapon, the topspin forehand.

Nadal leads the H2H 3-0. Two of those matches were on hard court and although close, Nadal won them convincingly in the end. It will be even harder for Murray to beat Nadal on a surface other than hard.

Nadal in 3 or 4.


Federer vs. Ancic
Third chance for Ancic to reach this SF in his career. Ancic has battled long and hard to reach this stage of the tournament and one might wonder if he will be fully fit against Federer. Two 5 set matches and one long and tough 4 set match, he must be feeling tired. Federer on the other hand is fresh and although not on the top of his game, in excellent form.

Ancic has a great serve and is one of the better net players on the tour right now. However, his ground game and movement are not all that with respect to the rest of his game. Federer will punish him for that and therefore we will see Ancic coming to the net often. Ancic will have a tough time getting good position at the net because of the pressure that Federer puts on you, but if he can do it consistently, he will have his chances.

Ancic is known for being the last man to beat Federer on grass, but that was 6 years ago and he has lost the last 5 matches against Federer. Only an inspired Ancic against a not 100% Federer can stop Federer from reaching his 17th consecutive SF in a Grand Slam.

Federer in 3 or 4 sets.


Matches to avoid
Schuettler vs. Clement
Seriously, how lucky can they get?


---
Monday's Picks
Federer vs. Hewitt
The only two Wimbledon champions in the draw will fight for a place in the QF. Federer's form on grass is fine indeed, although he hasn't faced an opponent of Hewitt's class yet. Hewitt is suffering from a hip injury but has decided to play through the pain. So far, he's been playing at a very respectable level.

The H2H between these two is remarkable. Federer once trailed 2-7, but won their last 11 encounters to lead the H2H 13-7. Federer has been very effective at keeping the points short against Hewitt and has found a way to neutralise his backhand down the line. This pretty much takes away all Hewitt's strengths.

However, Hewitt fights hard and is maybe the only player on the tour who just never gives up. Those 11 straight defeats must motivate Hewitt to get one back. He's working with Tony Roche at the moment, former coach of Federer, who I expect to come up with an effective strategy.

If Federer is ever going to be upset by anyone before the finals, this is the most likely opponent to do it. I'll go with the ridiculous prediction of Hewitt in 4 or 5.


Youzhny vs. Nadal
Youzhny is (or was) one of Nadal's three worst nightmares. He prevented Nadal from reaching the SF at the US Open, went 2-0 last year against him at Wimbledon and destroyed Nadal 6-0 6-1 at the beginning of this year.

Youzhny has the perfect tactics against Nadal. He hits hard, flat and deep to the Nadal forehand, taking time away from him and pushing him far behind the baseline forcing an error or a short ball. On top of that he has a strong backhand which neutralises Nadal's biggest weapon, the topspin forehand.

Having said all this, Nadal still leads the H2H against and Youzhny is not in the form he wants to be to beat Nadal. I expect Nadal to win in 3 or 4 sets.


Gasquet vs. Murray
Arguably the two biggest talents of this generation. Both players haven't landed a big result as of yet, although Gasquet has had many times in his career already where he has been very very close to making a breakthrough to being one of the absolute top players in the world.

Both players have shown excellent form in reaching this stage of the tournament and it's a pity that these guys have to play each other this early in the event. Their games are similar in the sense that both have a better backhand than forehand, a solid serve and are excellent at both defense and offense.

Gasquet leads the H2H 2-0, but will have a tough time making it 3-0. The result will depend on who will be the better player on the day.


---
Saturday's Picks
Haas vs. Murray
Haas is one of the most talented players of the Federer generation and probably also the biggest underachiever of his generation. This has a lot to do with his mental frailty: Haas can implode on court without any reason at all. Haas' form is probably not that good but as far as I can see, it's getting better. Murray has been playing some fine tennis indeed and is definitely favourite in this match.

Both players have a very solid backhand, excellent feel for the ball and are very creative players. Both players have played beautiful, tight matches before splitting the victories at 1-1.

Since Murray's form seems to be better right now and because he has the support of almost everyone in the stadium, he should be able to win this match but Haas can not be taken lightly by anyone. On a good day he can shatter the dreams of most British tennis fans.


Stepanek vs. Youzhny
Stepanek has been on a good run of form since beating Federer in AMS Rome this year, but had a disappoint grass court season so far. He lost to Haas in the first round of Halle and withdrew in the second round of Nottingham and had to come back from 0-2 down to reach the third round. Youzhny is having a poor season since reaching the QF at the Australian Open and struggled his way through here at Wimbledon.

Stepanek can play the all court game, disrupt the rhytm of his opponent and serve big when he needs to. Youzhny is one of the best big hitters on the court and has been called "King of the Practice Courts" by Federer. When on, Youzhny is almost unstoppable.

Considering the form of both, I give Stepanek the edge and expect him to win in 3 or 4 sets.


Mathieu vs. Cilic
This is the third time this season that these two players meet on grass, something that doesn't happen often these days. Mathieu beat Cilic at Queen's in 3 sets, but Cilic returned the favour in three by beatin Mathieu in 3 at Notthingham.

Both players are very talented players with an attacking style of tennis. Mathieu is the better ball striker and mover, where Cilic has the better serve. Most importantly though, Mathieu is the more experienced of the two. Something that can prove to be the decisive factor in this match.

A very tough match to call, but I must give the edge to Mathieu.


---
Friday's Picks
Ancic vs. Ferrer
An interesting clash of styles between an agressive and a (more or less) defensive player. Ancic is one of the best servers in the world and loves to attack the net. Ferrer is one of the best returners in the world and loves to play from the baseline.

These two played a match on grass at the Ordina Open in Holland last week. That match was surprisingly won in a tight match by Ferrer, who went on to win the tournament without the loss of a set. Ancic is still the better grass court player of the two, but Ferrer must feel confident from the win and isn't as mentally suspect as Ancic.

I am not at all sure who will win this match. If Ancic is going to win, it has to happen in 3, possibly 4 sets. Over 5 sets I'd definitely pick Ferrer to outlast Ancic.


Berdych vs. Verdasco
A match between two mentally unstable player can become either fantastic when both players are on, or a circus when both players are not.

Berdych is a fine player on grass who has been in poor form since the Davis Cup against Russia this season. He was lucky to came through round 1 but seems to be finding some form again. Verdasco surprised by reaching the final of a grass court tournament in Nottingham and seems to be in very respectable form.

Both players play an attacking style of tennis which is beautiful to watch when a player is on. Even though Berdych is the more talented player, Verdasco is in finer form and I expect Verdasco to get in the winning position. This is as far as I dare to go when predicting a Verdasco match, who is an expert in stealing defeat from the jaws of victory.


Hewitt vs. Bolelli
The only previous match between these two was played last year at SW19 and ended up in Hewitt obliterating Bolelli. However, Bolelli made significant improvements since then, even reaching his first ATP final this season. In my opinion, Hewitt doesn't look as sharp as he did last season when he went through a couple of months in which he only lost to Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.

Both players prefer to play from the baseline. Bolelli is the more agressive player of the two but Hewitt is well known for his excellent defense and counterpunching.

This match is an excellent chance for both to reach round 4 of this tournament. I expect Hewitt to win in 4.


---
Thursday's Picks
Nadal vs. Gulbis
Nadal faces a difficult opponent in Gulbis. Gulbis reached his first QF in a Grand Slam at Roland Garros, losing to Djokovic and looks to be in good form. Nadal will not be happy with facing Gulbis so soon.

Gulbis has the type of game that usually troubles Nadal. He has a big serve and a big forehand but is relatively weak from the backhand side, something that Nadal loves to exploit. If Gulbis can take time away from Nadal by hitting his forehand big to the Nadal forehand, he will surely generate chances. Gulbis is prone to making errors though and the mental strain gets to him when the match gets tight or when he gets in a winning position.

Nadal in 3 or 4 sets. A slight possibility for an upset here though.


Roddick vs. Tipsarevic
Roddick hasn't been at his best in his first round match against Schwank and looked very predictable. Tipsarevic is a player who has the confidence that he can beat anyone, something that could be seen when he pushed Federer to 10-8 in the fifth set at the Australian Open.

I feel that Roddick needs to up his game a lot in order to beat Tipsarevic, as Tipsarevic is a decent returner who gets a lot of balls back in play. In general, Tipsarevic' ground game is better than Roddick's, but Roddick has far more experience which will help him in tight situations. Both players won't go away easily.

Maybe I'll get this one wrong, but I expect the upset here in 4 or 5 sets.


Cilic vs. Nieminen
Cilic is a talented player, but more and more people are calling him overrated rather than talented these days. This match is a great chance for Cilic to reach the third round though, as he plays Nieminen. After a very solid start to this season, Nieminen disappeared somewhat. He lost a match he shouldn't have lost against Zverev on grass in Halle and doesn't seem well prepared for this even. Still, Nieminen has reached the QF at Wimbledon and is a decent player on grass.

This match is a bit of a clash of styles. Cilic plays attacking tennis while Nieminen is more or less a counterpuncher.

I don't really know who's going to win this match, but I give Nieminen a slightly better chance even though Cilic is more in form between the two of them.


---
Wednesday's Picks
Djokovic vs. Safin
Neither Djokovic nor Safin needs an introduction. Two big names going at each other, unfortunately Safin is not the player he once was and he doesn't even show flashes of his old self anymore.

Both players play more or less the same game. Powerful and smart serve, extremely good backhand and a more than decent forehand. However, the technique of both players isn't well suited for grass tennis, as both players don't like low bouncing/skidding balls. This is something that probably bothers Djokovic more than Safin, as was demonstrated by Berrer in Round 1. The key for Safin is to exploit this but I doubt he has the game to do it consistently.

Djokovic in 3, maybe 4 sets if Safin shows some flashes of brilliance. Of course, this prediction comes with a disclaimer: you never know what's going to happen when Marat steps on court.


Federer vs. Soderling
Soderling is one of the most dangerous floaters in the draw here. I'm sure nobody wants to see his name in the second round of Wimbledon under his own.

Soderling has the game to trouble Federer on grass, with his big serves and punishing groundstrokes. He has shown this in their Halle match in 2005 when he came very close to beating Federer, even holding match points at some point in that match.

Soderling is in great form, but has shown in his first round match that there is no end to his Mental Midgetry, after losing a set with a bagel to Kevin Kim. These lapses aren't going to cut the cheese and will see him make horrible mistakes on the big points.

Federer to win. The number of sets depends on Soderling's control of nerves.


Baghdatis vs. Johansson
A former Australian Open champion against a former Australian Open finalist. Both players also reached the SF of Wimbledon at one point in their careers so obviously, they know how to play on grass.

Both players have a good serve but Baghdatis has more feel for the ball and is a more complete and powerful tennis player in general. However, Johansson can make it a tough match for Baghdatis.

Baghdatis to win in 3 tight sets.


Matches to avoid
Bolelli vs. Gonzalez
There's just no end to it, it seems. Another green clay match, albeit one of higher quality.


---
Tuesday's Picks
Santoro vs. Murray
The Magician has anounced that this season is his final season on the tour. Apparently, he requested to play on the Centre Court of Wimbledon because he had never played there before. The luck of the draw has given him the opportunity to do so. Murray retired from Queen's Club with a minor injury but the injury should cause him no problems in this match.

Both players make great use of spin and angles, which will hopefully lead to a unique match. Santoro's unorthodox technique is always something special, but now at the end of his career he can be overpowered by punishing groundstrokes.

I expect an easy but enjoyable straight sets win for Murray.

Gasquet vs. Fish
Gasquet's switching of coach seems to have done him a world of good. He's finally showing some emotion again on court and has backed it up with decent play at Queen's Club. Fish had his incredible performance at Indian Wells this year, destroying Federer on his way to the final. However, he hasn't shown much after that tournament and his physical condition at the moment is also iffy.

Gasquet may struggle a bit with Fish' excellent serve, but overall he is one, maybe two classes above Fish. It will be interesting to see if Gasquet will play agressive tennis or defensive tennis, a style which hasn't done him much good in recent times.

Gasquet to win in 3 or 4 sets.

Chardy vs. Gil
Chardy made a name for himself when he played outstanding tennis at the French Open and reached the fourth round as a wildcard. In fact, it earned him another wildcard for this year's Wimbledon. He will be playing Gil who came through the qualifiers to make the main draw.

It would be nice if Chardy can continue his run with another good performance here, but Gil is currently on a little run himself and won't go away easily. It's a great chance for both to make the second round of a slam.

Chardy to win in 4.

Matches to avoid
Almagro vs. Granollers-Pujol
On popular demand. Another green clay classic!


---
Monday's picks
Hewitt vs. Haase
Hewitt is coming back from an injury, but has shown pretty good form for a comeback player at Roland Garros and at Queen's Club.
Haase is a talented young player with some big scalps to his name, but as of yet has failed to make a breakthrough and some are wondering if he ever will.

Haase has the weapons and the ability to test Hewitt, but I expect Hewitt to withstand the attacks. Hewitt in 4 sets if Haase comes on court with a plan.

Berdych vs. Korolev
Berdych is one of the very few players these days who knows how to play on grass. Unfortunately, he has been in poor form since the Davis Cup matches against Russia.
Korolev avoided the grass tune-up events by playing Sopot (clay) and doesn't have a lot of experience on grass.

Still, considering Berdych' form, an upset is possible. Expect Berdych to win but don't be surprised if he doesn't.

Llodra vs. Ancic
Two S&V players going at each other on grass. If you don't think that's a great thing, don't follow the rest of this tournament, please!

Llodra has had an injury but appears to be recovered. Ancic' form on grass has been decent but not great, suffering a loss to two top players in Gasquet at Queen's Club and Ferrer at the Ordina Open.

A tough match for both and the result will probably depend on a few points. Considering Llodra's injury, I expect Ancic to pull through.

Baghdatis vs. Darcis
Baghdatis is another player coming back from injury but has already shown good form on grass with a run to the QF in Halle (l. Federer). Baghdatis will be glad that he plays Darcis who isn't in great form. Darcis form can be traced back to his wrist injury, a type of injury that has lingering effects.

Darcis will provide Baghdatis with a proper test. Baghdatis in 3 or 4.


Matches to avoid
Montanes vs. Berlocq
For those who feel that the clay court season is a bit too short, a green clay classic!


---
Links
Home Page: http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/index.html
Draw: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Wimbledon_Championships_-_Men%27s_Singles
Order of Play: http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/schedule/index.html
Scoreboard: http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/index.html
Weather Forecast: http://weather.msn.com/local.aspx?&wealocations=wc%3aUKXX1226&setunit=C
Interviews: http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/interviews/index.html
Watch Threads (606): http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/F10477475?thread=5593253&skip=177&show=1
Rafael Nadal Blog (Times Online): http://timesonline.typepad.com/rafael_nadal/


---
Links
Home Page: http://tinyurl.com/f8ha
Draw: http://tinyurl.com/5zydtq
Order of Play: http://tinyurl.com/283nj
Scoreboard: http://tinyurl.com/f12c
Weather Forecast: http://tinyurl.com/5dn8pz
Interviews: http://tinyurl.com/4do27a
Rafael Nadal Blog (Times Online): http://tinyurl.com/yqn8gw

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