It was the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The draw at Wimbledon, the most prestigious tennis tournament of all time. With Rafael Nadal officially seeded #5, there was much anticipation as to where he would end up. I’ll break down every quarter of the draw, including potential opponents for the big 4.
Djokovic’s Quarter- Novak must have had a grin on his face when he saw the draw. After getting one of the toughest draw’s at Roland Garros, Djokovic has the easiest draw of the big 4 at Wimbledon. He actually has the toughest first round match out of any of the top 5, because Florian Mayer is a polished grass court player. He made the quarterfinals last year where he lost to Djokovic. This match is even tougher for Novak because its the first round, and he hasn’t played any matches on grass yet this year. Look out for a tight match there. After that, things look like pretty easy sailing for the world number 1. He will play the winner of two Americans in the second round, but neither Russel nor Johnson should trouble him. He could play Jeremy Chardy in the third round, and Tommy Haas in the Round of 16. That would be a fun one because the grass surface would make for an interesting and tight match. His quarterfinal opponent could be Tomas Berdych, but he owns their H2H record. His semifinal opponent could be David Ferrer or Juan Martin Del Potro.
Ferrer’s Quarter- With Ferrer getting the #4 seed, this quarter of the draw is by far the weakest. Ferrer won’t play somebody inside the top 50 until the third round, where he could play Alexander Dolgopolov. Potential Round of 16 match with Milos Raonic or Phillip Kohlshreiber. Juan Martin Del Potro is on the other side of this quarter, as he returns from another wrist injury. He has often struggled on grass, because the ball stays too low for his tall frame. With these two players being the top seeds, this part of the draw has the potential for a breakthrough player. Grigor Dimitrov, Kei Nishikori, and Milos Raonic are all in this quarter, so it should be interesting if one of them can make a run.
Federer’s Quarter- Now we get into the loaded bottom half of the draw. Roger Federer is looking to defend his 2012 Wimbledon Title, and it will take an unprecedented effort to make that happen. With Rafael Nadal landing in his quarter, Federer could potentially have to beat Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic to win the title. Nobody has ever beaten 3 of the big 4 in a tournament. Federer plays another veteran Victor Hanescu in the first round, while Nadal plays Steve Darcis, a flashy but inconsistent player. Nadal has a potential round of 16 match with Stan Wawrinka, who is in the final of the Topshelf Open. Federer could play Jerzy Janowicz in the round of 16.
Murray’s Quarter- Although Murray doesn’t have any tough early round matches, he still has a fairly tough quarter. He could pay Mikhail Youzhny in the round of 16, and Youzhny is playing great grass court tennis after reaching the final in Halle. His potential quarterfinal opponent is Jo Wilfried Tsonga, who has one of the best grass court games outside of the top 4. Can Murray improve one his Runner Up performance of a year ago?
The American’s- Although John Isner’s huge serve should translate well to grass, the rest of his game does not. The ball stays too low for the 6’10 giant. His first round opponent in Evgeny Donskoy, a young Russian who beat him just a few days ago at the Topshelf Open. Sam Querrey played an epic match with Marin Cilic a year ago, and he has a tough first round opponent in Bernard Tomic this year. He could play Richard Gasquet in the third round. Other notable Americans are Denis Kudla, who is on fire on the grass. After reaching the QF’s in Queens(L to Tsonga), Kudla qualified for the main draw and will move into the top 100 after the tournament. He plays another qualifier, James Duckworth, in the first round. Chris Hayes’ boy and American favorite James Blake plays Thiemo De Bakker in the first round.
What are your thoughts on the draw?