Top 10 Statement Wins on the ATP World Tour in 2014

“Statement Win”–not only defeating your opponent, but accomplishing other victories in the process. Whether it be overcoming a lopsided head-to-head record, putting a beat-down on a top rival, getting your name out to the world, or simply playing your best tennis, a statement win is about more than just a notch in the win column. (See also: highlight win, signature win, etc.) 

2014 was another incredible year in tennis, and with the season wrapping up, The Tennis Nerds will look back and highlight some of the best moments from the past twelve months. We’ll try to stray from the norm–“Best points” “Best matches” etc–and give a little variety for our readers. You can find the Top 10 matches of the year just about anywhere. Today, I countdown the Top 10 Statement Wins of 2014. Comment if you agree/disagree or have thoughts on the best statement wins of the year!

10. Kei Nishikori d. Novak Djokovic 6-3 1-6 7-6(4) 6-3 US Open SF

Nishikori was the young gun who made the best breakthrough in 2014, finishing the year ranked a career high #5 in the world and reaching a Grand Slam final in the process. After two five-set marathon wins over Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka, few if any expected Nishikori to have much left in the tank for his Semifinal showdown with Novak Djokovic. He had been hampered by a recurring left foot injury for much of the summer, and looked out of the tournament when he took a medical timeout trailing two sets to one against Raonic. To add insult to injury, Nishikori had spent over 8 hours on court in his previous two matches. A windy day in Flushing led to some inconsistent play early, but after Djokovic won the second set 6-1, Nishikori looked on the ropes. He refused to give in to the sweltering heat of that day, and pulled off a shocking upset over the World #1. More shocking? He beat him at his own game.

9. Stan Wawrinka d. Roger Federer 4-6 7-6(5) 6-2 Monte Carlo F

The fact that Wawrinka is only on this list once is probably a huge mistake on my part. His 5 set epic over Djokovic was deserving, but I felt that this win was actually more significant in terms of mental strength. Coming into the final, Federer led the head to head matchup with his Swiss friend 13-1. FIFTEEN TO ONE. Federer owned his compatriot. Stan struggled not as much with forehands and backhands, but with his head. Mentally he was inferior. So when he lost the first set–playing pretty well–the outcome of the match looked clear. Federer was going to win his first Monte Carlo title. Wawrinka started to hold serve much easier in the second set, and although he gave up a break lead, the Lausanne native sealed the second set tiebreak with a serve and volley overhead winner. He ran away with the third set, tearing the cover off the ball on both wings. Federer was not playing poorly whatsoever, but Wawrinka was just too good.

8. Federer d. Murray 6-0 6-1 ATP World Tour Finals RR

By scoreline alone this one could have been number one. Andy Murray had a subpar 2014 campaign, but looked to be back in good form during the fall season. He won titles in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia to earn himself a spot in the World Tour Finals. His match with Federer was his final round robin match, and he needed a straight sets win to reach the semifinals. Playing in front of a home London crowd, Murray laid an egg, while Federer was on fire. If it weren’t for a few bad unforced errors at 6-0 5-0, Federer would have delivered the Scot a double bagel. Still, Federer proved that he was in far superior form, attacking second serves and approaching the net at will. He was off the court in 56 minutes, handing Murray the worst loss of his career.

It was so bad there aren’t even highlights on YouTube! (But here’s a Hotshot)

7. Novak Djokovic d. Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-3 Miami F

Djokovic came into the Miami final having just won Indian Wells. He was attempting the difficult IW-Miami double in back to back weeks, and had to face one Rafael Nadal in the final. What unfolded was a comprehensive, dominant performance. Djokovic went at the Nadal forehand relentlessly, which opened his two best attacking shots; the inside out forehand and backhand down the line. He was in full flight on return, putting everything Nadal threw at him within feet of the baseline. The last few matches of this rivalry had been back and forth, with Nadal winning 3 of the last 5. You felt like this match would serve as a good barometer to show where each player was at, and it did. Match point was pretty decent as well.

6. Marin Cilic d. Roger Federer 6-3 6-3 6-4 US Open SF

Hard to find words for this one. Just a look at the score pretty much tells the story. After looking….shaky against Gilles Simon in the fourth round of the US Open, Cilic started playing the best tennis of his career. This match was astonishing in particular. His liability in years past was often his forehand, but he was outhitting even Federer on that side. He was standing up on the baseline, giving his opponent nothing to work with. Federer wasn’t great, but he also wasn’t bad, which made this result one of the most surprising of 2014. The crowd tried to get Federer into the match throughout, but Cilic silenced them on every occasion with booming serves and flat, penetrating groundstrokes. Cilic claimed his first win in six tries over the 17-time major winner, and went on to beat Nishikori for his first Grand Slam title.

5. Rafael Nadal d. Andy Murray 6-3 6-2 6-1 French Open SF

It was a down year by Nadal’s insane standard, but he managed to win his 9th Rolland Garros title in relatively simple fashion, dropping only two sets the entire tournament. His most impressive performance came in the semifinals against Murray, who appeared to be back in good form after struggling with his return from back injury. Murray had taken Nadal the distance in Rome just two weeks prior, and this semifinal had the chance to replicate that competitive scoreline. It didn’t. Things started off badly for Murray, and they didn’t get any better. Nadal had time on all his shots, and was dictating play from the get-go. Yes, Nadal is the undisputed clay court GOAT, but to beat one of his best rivals, only losing 6 games in the process was a massive effort.

http://youtu.be/UDS-Mgh7wbg (FFT disables embedded video)

4. Novak Djokovic d. Tomas Berdych 6-0 6-2 Beijing F

Beijing seems to treat Djokovic pretty well. He’s won the 500 event all five times he’s chosen to play it. In fact, he’s only dropped *THREE SETS* in 24 matches played. The final in 2014 was, in a way, just another dominant performance from the Serb. But this might have been the best match Djokovic has ever played. Save for getting broken at 6-0 5-0, the world #1 played flawless tennis. He broke Berdych’s serve six times and never looked troubled. The quotes from both players after the match tell the story.

Berdych: “I just said to my coach now that I probably played over 700 matches in my career, and I met guys like Andre, Roger, all those probably in their best times. But I have never, ever experienced anything like that.”

Djokovic: “This has been, in the circumstances, probably the best performance of any final in my career. I have played some great finals, had some convincing wins, some straight-set wins against top rivals. But with this kind of performance and with this domination result-wise, I mean it’s never happened.”

3. Roger Federer d. Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-4 Shanghai SF

As stated in #4, Djokovic was playing unbelievably well during the fall swing. When Federer and Djokovic set the semifinal showdown in Shanghai, Novak was the betting favorite. Still, most in tennis expected a fascinating encounter. Well, it was fascinating. Djokovic played well, but the guy on the other side of the net was a different animal. Federer turned back the clock, and played as well as I’ve seen from him in years. The Edberg net-attacking gameplan coupled with an aggressive baseline game put Federer in vintage form. Vintage is a word that is used too often with Federer, but this really was a vintage performance. Federer halted Djokovic’s incredible 28 match win streak in China, sending a message that he was not going to finish the year quietly.

Federer: “It was a great match, I agree. I think I played very well. There was nothing in the game today that wasn’t working. I think it was a high-level match. I’m unbelievably happy with the way it went.”

Djokovic: “I think I did not play too bad.It’s just that he played everything he wanted to play. He played the perfect match. I think he’s going to tell you how he felt, but that’s how I felt he played. He played an amazing match.”

2. Grigor Dimitrov d. Andy Murray 6-1 7-6(5) 6-2 Wimbledon QF

I’m guessing that many of you will think I’m putting this too high on the list. (And please, let me know what you think!) But when I first came up with the idea for this Top 10, this match was the first thing that came to mind. Murray(on the wrong side of this list for the third time) was truly playing well at Wimbledon through the first four rounds. He had not dropped a set, while Dimitrov had just scraped through a 5 setter with Alex Dolgopolov. But Dimitrov was on a mission during this quarterfinal. He had already made the QFs at the Australian Open, and won two titles in 2014–Acapulco and Bucharest. But the Bulgarian made his official arrival to the top of the sport at SW19, blowing Murray off the court in the process. After every game you thought that Murray would find a way back, but he didn’t come close. Dimitrov’s shotmaking was incredible, and his backhand slice proved critical in a straight set dismantling of the defending champion.

1. Nick Kyrgios d. Rafael Nadal 7-6(5) 5-7 7-6(5) 6-3 Wimbledon R16

Finally! Number 1. (It took way too long to write this) Is there really any other option here? Kyrgios, 19, went out onto Center Court at the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, and took out Rafael Nadal in stunning fashion. Nadal certainly did play poorly. The match was taken out of his hands by the young Australian, who was bursting with confidence. Kyrgrios’ win was pretty much the definition of a breakout performance. Ranked outside the top 100 at the time of their meeting, Kyrgios looked like he belonged from the onset. Dozens of aces, massive winners, and even a jaw-dropping tweener set the tone as Kyrgios shocked the tennis world. (Actually, he actually shocked the ENTIRE world because of the Drake Drama!)

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Australian Open Quarterfinal Picks–Dimitrov/Nadal and Federer/Murray

baby and fed

There are two blockbuster quarterfinals tonight, with both Baby and Uncle Fed participating. In all seriousness, these have the potential to be great matches, and my roommate Jorge Merlos has joined me to break down the match-ups and make our picks.

Grigor Dimitrov vs Rafael Nadal

Joey: This match has the uncertainty factor. Nadal definitely goes in as the favorite, but there are a few things that could have a massive impact on the outcome of the match. For one, Rafa has grabbed his knee a few times throughout the tournament, and it’s unclear whether he is 100% healthy. The massive blister on his palm could bother him, but he should be able to fight through that. Another unknown is how Dimitov will perform at this level in the most pressure packed match of his life. He had not been past the third round of a Grand Slam before this tournament, and although he has performed exceptionally well thus far, you never know what might happen given the uncharted territory.

The matchup is always tough for a one-hander like Dimitrov against Nadal, but Grigor has taken a set off of Rafa in each of their previous three meetings. Interestingly enough, it has always been the second set, and I believe if Grigor wants a shot at this one he will need to win the first. Unlike most players, Baby Fed hits a very sharp slice that actually can give Nadal trouble. In Cincinnati last year he used the shot very effectively, keeping Rafa on the back foot. It will be interesting to see how much he decides to come over the ball, because his one-hander at shoulder level almost always lands short. We pretty much know what we are going to get from Rafa, who never gives anything away, and always makes the opponent earn the match. Dimitrov has served exceptionally well and he will need that to continue to have any shot. My head tells me Rafa, as does every expert analyst out there, but sometimes you gotta go with your heart right?

Dimitrov 7-6(4) 6-4 2-6 1-6 7-5

Jorge: La Rodilla! The blister! Stop it. After beating Kei Nishikori on Monday, Rafael Nadal is poised to stop the Fed of the future, Grigor Dimitrov. If Dimitrov wants to win this match, his serves have to be on point. Last year in the round of 16 against Nadal at Cincinnati, Dimitrov won 38 of 54 point of his first serve. However winning points off his second serve was not as efficient as he won 12 out of 29 points.

Dimitrov has been able to win at least a set on Nadal in each of their matches but Nadal has been able to close out every match. Grigor takes a lot of positive momentum into this match after taking out Raonic and Bautista Agut, but Nadal looks unstoppable after beating his last 3 opponents in 3 sets. Look for Nadal to use his forehand to break down Grigor’s backhand, and attack Dimitrov’s unstable return game. I see this match ending with a very tough 4th set tiebreaker with Nadal eventually pulling it out.

Nadal 6-4 5-7 6-3 7-6 (7).

Roger Federer vs Andy Murray

Joey: A little after Baby takes the court, Uncle Fed will take center stage against Andy Murray. The two played a great, but not necessarily high quality match one year ago in Melbourne. Murray is coming off of back surgery and has played three players outside the top 100 in route to the quarters, so to say he’s had a weak draw would be an understatement. He has looked sharp though, only dropping one set to Stephane Robert in the round of 16. Through his first four matches it appeared that Murray had a few lapses in concentration, but that is understandable given the competition. He does look fully healthy, but playing his 5th match in 10 days will be a big test for back. After playing somewhat scratchy against James Duckworth in the first round, Federer has looked awesome in last three matches, culminating with a dominant performance over Jo Willy Tsonga that gave all Fed-fans some serious hope and belief.

Murray leads the head to head 11-9, while Federer leads the Grand Slam record 3-1. Hard courts are definitely the Muzza’s best surface, with his movement giving his opponents fits. The surface on Rod Laver Arena in a little quicker this year, but it’s a night match so condition will slow down. With the new racket, Federer has been serving very effeciently, even adding a few m.p.h.’s. His wide serve in the deuce court has been especially potent, and he uses that serve on almost every first point of his service games. Murray has played Federer with more aggressiveness in their past few meetings, and it will be important he does so against, because Federer has been bossing his opponents around the court. I think we know what to expect from Murray, a good solid performance. Federer is much more of a questions. However, there is a certain fire in Fed’s eyes and you know how badly he wants to prove the doubters wrong. Again, I’ll admit it, I’m picking with my heart.

Federer 6-3 7-5 6-7(5) 6-4

Jorge: I readily admit that I did not expect this match to happen. I did not see Federer beating Tsonga, and certainly not with that kind of  conviction, crushing Jo Willy in straight sets. It was the perfect way for Fed to come into this matchup against Murray. Murray has looked solid in his first few matches coming back from surgery but has not faced a big challenge from any opponent.

What I have seen from Federer in the past week has been amazing after a dismal 2013.  If Federer can move like he has been for the past couple matches, he can win this match. Look for more of the serve and volley from Roger to neutralize the Murray backhand return. The serve and volley tactic won’t seal the deal, but it will be a key part in winning the match.

Federer 5-7 6-4 7-6 (4) 3-6 6-4.

Go ahead, blast our picks. But I want to hear from you guys. As Brad Gilbert and Ricky Dimon  would say, who ya got and scoreline?

Cincinnati Early Round Recap

Nadal Yellow   It’s good to be back! Before I start with the main draw of Cincy, I just want to say that I was very impressed by the play of American youngster Mackenzie McDonald in qualies. He defeated 2 tough opponents in Nicolas Mahut and Steve Johnson to advance to his first ATP main draw. He was beaten down by David Goffin in the first round, but it’s good to know that American tennis has some bright young players that we can look forward to, As for the main draw, most of the matches have been fairly straight forward with all the top seeds advancing to the round of 16. I am going to break down the action by each quarter.

Novak Djokovic’s quarter: Djokovic was given no trouble today as he improved to 8 – 0 against Argentinian Juan Monaco by a score of 7 – 5, 6 – 2. Djokovic has a fairly routine route to the semis as he will play Goffin in the next. Goffin has plenty of talent, but no one (except Nadal right now) can stay with Nole from the baseline. Goffin did pick up a great win against red hot Vasek Pospisil in an epic tiebreaker in the third. Goffin saved 3 match points. As for the other part of the quarter, Milos Raonic continues to make an impact on the ATP. He recently became the first Canadian to crack the top 10 and has now picked up 2 solid wins to begin his campaign in Cincy. He defeated American youngster Jack Sock in three sets in the first round and then fought off Serbian big shot Janko Tipsarevic today. Tipsy picked up a good win against Sam Querrey in the first round. As for American #1 John Isner, he pulled off what could have been the biggest win of his year by upseting #8 seed Richard Gasquet in straight sets. I really thought this would be a tough one for Isner, but he looked a lot more aggresive today with his forehand and I think it flustered the Frenchman a little. Should be quite the serving display tomorrow when Isner and Raonic face off tomorrow,

David Ferrer’s quarter: Even though Ferrer and Del Potro both advanced to the round of 16, the real story of this quarter has been Ryan Harrison. Ryan picked up a huge win against Dolgopolov in the first round before his match up with Ferrer. Now given both of their game styles, u would think Ferrer would easily out grind Harrison. But from what I saw, Ryan was extremely aggresive. A completely different player that looked way more confident that he usual did, Ferrer did end up wearing Harrison down to win 6 – 4 in the third, but there is no doubt that the help from Brad Gilbert has certainly helped Ryan progress in his career. The big upset in this section was my boy James Blake defeating the Polish cannon, Jerzy Janowicz. Jerzy boy was certainly not at his best and James took advantage of that. Surprisingly, it was Blake’s defense that won him a lot of points. Blake lost to Dimitry Tursunov today in straights. Tursunov will play Ferrer tomorrow, The other part of the section was straight forward with Del Potro and Lopez advancing to play in the round of 16 as well.

Rafael Nadal’s quarter:

This is easily the most difficult quarter of the whole draw starting tomorrow. The only “surprise” was when Grigor Dimitrov defeated Nicolas Almagro. But Dimitrov is so talented that I wasn’t really shocked by that. Nice win for Brian Baker over Denis Istomin to get his campaign back on track after his injurt in Melbourne all those months ago. The round of 16 matchups can’t get much better in this quarter with Federer playing Haas and Nadal playing Dimitrov. That should be quite tasty.

Andy Murray’s quarter:

Murray cruised by Youzhny today in straights and will take on Frenchman Julien Benneteau tomorrow. Radek Stepanek had a nice win over Fabio Fognini in the first round before falling to Benneteau. Tomas Berdych also advanced easily over Jarkko Nieminen. The most surprising win came to Tommy Robredo over Stan Wawrinka. Both have had exceptional years though but Stan cracked the top 10 this year so that is certainly a surprise. But all of his should know better than to count out the Spaniard after what he did at Roland Garros. Robredo will be up against a stern test against Berdych tomorrow.

Enjoy everybody!

The Wimbledon Final- What it Means For Both Players

trophy

 

The Wimbledon Men’s Final is set, and the fans could not ask for much more. It was a crazy tournament, with numerous seeds going down in the early-going, but in the end, the top 2 players in the world stated the course and set a blockbuster final. Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray. These two have played 18 times before, and although Djokovic only leads 11-7, he is 3-1 in Grand Slams against Murray. This match is very significant  for each player, so let’s break down what this match means to each man.

Novak Djokovic- For Novak, this match means redemption. We all know the story; he was up a break in the fifth set of his epic semifinal clash with Rafa Nadal at the French Open when he made a huge mistake by touching the net on an easy put-away. He ended up losing that match, and it was one of the toughest losses in Novak’s career. He said at the beginning of the season that his goal was to win the French Open, and he failed, which makes this match all the more important. It would be huge for Nole to come back right and win Wimbledon, and get redemption for his defeat at the French Open.

Andy Murray- For Andy, this match means…everything. I know that seems like a bit much, but it’s the truth. He has the expectation of a nation on his shoulders, and nothing other than a win will be good enough. He reached the final last year, and if he loses in the final again this year it will be a huge disappointment for him and for the UK. It’s an unfair burden to put on one man, but that’s what happens when the last British man to win Wimbledon was Fred Perry in 1936. The pressure will be immense, but that’s nothing new for Murray. He’s matured over the years, and he plays for himself rather than for the UK. This match means everything to the man they call the Muzzard.

The Matchup- These guys play very similar game styles, and so matches tend to go very long. Both guys would be labeled counter-punchers, but they both have the ability to play agressive. The winner of this match will be the one who dictates play better with the serve and forehand, because both have unbelievable 2 handed backhands. Also, the player that attacks their opponents 2nd serve most effectively will most likely come out on top.

Who has the Edge? 

Forehand- Djokovic

Backhand- Murray

1st Serve- Murray

2nd Serve- Djokovic

Return- Even

Movement on Grass- Murray

Intangibles- Djokovic

The Winner Will Be… Andy Murray. This one is so hard for me to pick. If this was anywhere but Wimbledon I would have picked Novak, but this just seems like Murray’s year. I don’t particularly like either player, but both have unbelievable physical fitness and mental strength. For me, the difference is going to be the crowd. The Djoker look irritated in his semifinal match that the crowd was for Delpo, and it’s going to be so much worse tomorrow. Murray will ride the wave of emotion from himself and the crowd, to win this one in 4 tight sets.

Thoughts?

 

Wimbledon Quarterfinal Recap

andyyy

It looks like we have witnessed the match of the tournament today. But before I get into the Murray/Verdasco battle, I will summarize the other quarterfinals first.

Novak Djokovic held an 13 – 2 record going into his quarterfinal match with Tomas Berdych, so you could say he was going in with some confidence. However, Berdych beat Djokovic the last time they played so he was ready for the big stage. The first set was very tight, with Djokovic having multiple opportunites to break, but Berdych hitting that massive serve and forehand to keep him in the set. As the first set went to a tiebreaker, each player went back and forth in the breaker. Berdych had a chance at 5 – 4 in the breaker but missed a pretty easy return. Djokovic quickly took advantage of that and won the breaker 7 – 5. Even then though, Berdych broke early in the second set, but that was all Berdych had going for him the rest of the match. Djokovic quickly broke back and took the second and third sets by the score of 4 and 3. Djokovic has still yet to drop a set in this tournament. But he will have a very stiff test in the semis.

Juan Martin Del Potro was an absolute stud today. This is the best I have seen of him since the US Open last year. Del Potro took on grinder David Ferrer and Ferrer has given Del Potro in the past. However, Del Potro looked a lot like the old Del Potro, like the one that won the US Open a couple years ago. His running forehand was absolutely enormous today. You wouldn’t think that he could create so much power on the run, but that forehand is like a hammer waiting to come down on its victims. Del Potro will take on Djokovic in what should be an epic semifinal on Friday.

The surprising all Polish quarterfinal was pretty straight forward for the most part with the talented Jerzy Janowicz advancing to his first grand slam semifinal. Janowicz looked pretty spectacular again against his countryman Lukasz Kubot as he hit another 30 aces. Kubot wasn’t in any control of this match. Although the first set was close, it was Janowicz dictating with his serve and variety. I have never seen a player so tall with so much variety in his game and am really looking forward to watching this kid progress throughout his career.

Now I knew that Fernando Verdasco was playing good ball, but not as well as I saw him yesterday. He pushed Andy Murray to the absolute limit yesterday in what may very well be the match of the tournament. Verdasco’s forehand was on in the first 2 sets as he took both of them rather easily by the scores of 4 and 3. However, as most expected, Verdasco’s quality went down just enough for Murray to claw his way back into the match. Murray won the third 6 – 1 and the fourth 6 – 3. The fifth set was an absolute grind with Verdasco crushing his groundstrokes and Murray just playing defense the whole set. What I wanted to see from Murray was to take it to Verdasco, but that did not happen. Nevertheless, Verdasco finally broke down at 5 all and Murray broke him and then held for the match. The home crowd was thrilled that their man escaped, but he will need to pick up his game big time as he takes on Jerzy “Jersey Boy” Janowicz.

Joey will preview these semifinal showdowns today.

The Final 8

cancankubot

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.

Thoughts?

Wimbledon – Manic Monday Recap

Fernando

 

It’s good to  be back! Chris Hayes has returned from his job with the USTA to please all our viewers again. I have been working a futures event here in Rochester and will get to that later in the week, probably after Wimbledon. I will share my experiences as press aide and player liasion and watching some of the future stars of men’s tennis. But let’s get back to Wimbledon!

If you told me that the Polish duo of Jerzy Janowicz and Lukasz Kubot would be the quarterfinal matchup instead of Nadal and Federer, I might have punched you in the face. Alas, here we are and that is exactly what we have. Lukasz Kubot, Wimbledon quarterfinalist. Just doesn’t sound right coming out of my mouth. Joey and I have seen the talent in Janowicz and this is a real opportunity for him. Jerzy has actually had some solid wins over Almagro and Melzer while Kubot had to through Adrian Mannarino to get through the quarter. ADRIAN MANNARINO. Roger and Rafa really left a gapping hole in this draw. Jerzy defeated Melzer in an epic 5 set marathon, and Kubot also defeated Mannarino in 5 sets.

The top half of the draw is much more straight forward. Novak Djokovic looked very strong again against Tommy Haas, defeating him in straight sets. Nole will play Berdych in the quarters. Berdych had to work hard to get by Australian youngster Bernie Tomic. That was a very entertaining match with 2 big servers and could not have been much closer. Berdych got by in 4 sets. David Ferrer looked like he was in trouble again against Ivan Dodig after dropping the first set again, but it turned out the second set tiebreaker was all he needed as he cruised in the third and fourth sets. I am still most impressed with Del Potro. He defeated a crafty Italian in Seppi in straight sets and has yet to drop a set in this Wimbledon. Ferrer should be very wary of the big Argentinian in the quarters.

As for the British man Andy Murray, he did not look spectacular against Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny yesterday. Murray was lucky to get through that in straight sets. Youzhny served for the second set up 5 – 3 and was up 4 – 2 in the second set tiebreaker. After he came back from that, Youzhny went into his usual disposable self and got crushed in the third. Murray’s quarterfinal encounter is an intriging match with Fernando Verdasco who defeated Kenny De Schepper in the fourth round.

Joey will preview all of these quarterfinal matches later today!