My picks were pretty good for the Round of 16, as I only picked one match wrong. Lucasz Kubot beat Adrian Mannarino in a tough 5 setter, and his signature celebration is in the picture above. Yes, he is doing the Can-Can. As we look ahead to the quarterfinal, it’s time to realize that we only have a few more days of this great tournament left. Let’s preview the last 8.
Novak Djokovic vs Tomas Berdych- It won’t be the first time these two have played. To say that these players know each others games is an understatement. Djokovic owns the head to head record 13 to 2. However, one of those two wins for Berdych came the last time these two played. After being up a set and 5-2 in Rome, Djokovic crumbled and eventually fell to the Birdman. The other match Berdych won was at Wimbledon in 2010, the year he made the final. Djokovic has looked unreal this fortnight, making little to no unforced errors. The first time he looked human was when Tommy Haas broke him as served for the match. Berdych has been no slouch this year either, taking out two talented players in Kevin Anderson and Bernard Tomic in 4 sets. The problem for Berdych is that Djokovic loves the pace Tomas gives him. Djokovic is a great counter-puncher, and Berdych’s big strokes don’t really bother the Djoker. Berdych can win the match, but a lot of things have to go right. Ultimately, it will come down to his forehand. Almost every match he plays is on his racket, and it will come down to whether he can hit enough winners off of the forehand side. I see Berdych playing sick for a set or 2 but not enough to win the match. Djoker in 4.
David Ferrer vs Juan Martin Del Potro- Delpo has surprised me throughout this tournament. The ball stays low, yet he has been willing to get down and still spank the ball. He hasn’t dropped a set, while Ferrer has dropped at least 1 set in each of his matches. Still, this is a bad matchup for Delpo. Ferrer owns the big hitters, with a record of 12-5 against Delpo and Berdych combined. Ferrer gives you nothing, absolutely nothing, and in the end Delpo’s knee might suffer because of that reason. He will be able to play 100% for 3, maybe 4 sets, but not 5. I’m taking Ferrer in 5 sets, but rooting for Delpo.
Jerzy Janowicz vs Lucasz Kubot- Most people are going to write Jerzy into the Semi’s, but don’t do it too fast. Although nearly everything points to Janowicz winning this match, Can-Can Kubot has a few things in his game that bother Jerzy boy. First, Kubot serves and volleys. This is a good play against Jerzy because his worst shot might be his passing shots. He hits just about the flattest ball in the top 100, and so that makes passing shots a little tougher. Kubot also goes for it on his return, which is pretty much the best strategy against the huge serve of Janowicz. With all that in mind, I’m still taking and rooting for Jerzy boy Janowicz in 4 tight sets.
Andy Murray vs Fernando Verdasco- Yes, Fernando has been playing great these past few weeks. Yes, he’s beaten Murray before. Yes, he has a big forehand. But, no, he’s not winning this match. Murray is way too good on grass, and he looks more focused than I’ve ever seen him. It was good run for Tabasco, but Murray is taking this one in straight sets.