Monday, 10 July 2017

Wimbledon 2017 : 4th round preview and predictions


Arguably the most prestigious tennis tournament in the calendar year, with the final 16 players battling it out to win the coveted trophy.. It has to be the most fascinating week of tennis to look forward to in the entire year. I cannot wait for the round of 16 clashes later today, hence, I will give a little preview of each of the matches along with my predictions.




[1] ANDY MURRAY VS BENOIT PAIRE

HEAD TO HEAD : 1-0
LAST MEETING : ANDY MURRAY 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 (MONTE CARLO MASTERS 2016, RD. OF 16)

At a similar stage earlier this year, Andy was to face Mischa Zverev in the Australian Open, and in my predictions post, I dismissed the challenge, and predicted Murray to come out in straight sets. I was wrong though. Andy couldn't find an answer to Mischa's relentless charge to the net, and was sent packing in 4 sets. So could Paire pull another upset on the world number 1? I wouldn't put my money on that though, especially when Andy is feeling so much at home on his favourite surface, grass. Paire might take a set off, but I see this going just one way, all the way.

PREDICTION : ANDY MURRAY 6-3, 6-4, 7-5


[24] SAM QUERRY VS KEVIN ANDERSON

HEAD TO HEAD : 8-5
LAST MEETING : KEVIN ANDERSON 6-7(5), 7-6(3), 6-3 (MIAMI MASTERS 2015, RD. OF 64)

A clash of big servers, expect this one to have a few tie breaks. While Anderson defeated Verdasco, Seppi and Bemelmans on his way to the last 16, Querrey took down Fabbiano, Basillashvili and Tsonga. This one could go either way, but I pick Querrey, the guy who beat an invincible Djokovic last year in the lawns of Wimbledon, to beat Anderson in 4 sets.

PREDICTION : SAM QUERREY 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(7), 7-5


[4] RAFAEL NADAL VS [16] GILLES MULLER

HEAD TO HEAD : 5-1
LAST MEETING : KEVIN ANDERSON 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 (INDIAN WELLS MASTERS 2016, RD. OF 64)

Gilles Muller is exactly the kind of opponent that Nadal would have wanted to avoid in the first week of Wimbledon when the draw came out. The reason being that more the grass wears off towards the latter part of the tournament, the more dangerous Nadal gets, as the surface keeps getting slower. But looking at the way he is playing, I doubt it would have mattered. Muller might give the Spaniard some trouble with his big serves and hurrying him with some net play, but the ominous Nadal will come out unscathed in 3, or just maybe 4 sets.

PREDICTION : RAFAEL NADAL 6-4, 7-6(1), 6-2


[19] ROBERTO BAUTISTA AGUT VS [7] MARIN CILIC

HEAD TO HEAD : 1-2
LAST MEETING : BAUTISTA AGUT 6-4, 7-6(5), 7-5 (AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2016, RD. OF 32)

Bautista Agut took out Nishikori in the 3rd round, but Cilic is another beast altogether. He has served excellently throughout the grass court season and is looking in great form. I actually feel he is a legitimate contender to lift the trophy too. Agut doesn't have the game to weather the storm that Cilic will conjure today.

PREDICTION : MARIN CILIC 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(4)


[6] MILOS RAONIC VS [10] ALEXANDER ZVEREV

HEAD TO HEAD : 0-1
LAST MEETING : ALEXANDER ZVEREV 7-6(4), 6-1 (ROME MASTERS 2017, QF)

This one, for me, is going to be the match to look forward to the most in this round. Raonic, last year's runner up here, will ride on that confidence, and will look to go one better this year. Zverev on the other hand, is improving with every match he is playing, and I see him as a definite (near) future number 1. In fact, both men have an outside chance to lay their hands on the trophy and neither will bow out without a fight. I am really torn on this one, but I think Raonic will narrowly edge out the German with his superior serve and volley game.

PREDICTION : MILOS RAONIC 5-7, 6-3, 6-7(6), 7-6(5), 8-6


[13] GRIGOR DIMITROV VS [3] ROGER FEDERER

HEAD TO HEAD : 0-5
LAST MEETING : ROGER FEDERER 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 (AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2016, RD. OF 32)

Dimitrov is playing decent tennis this year, and made the semi finals of Queen's, losing out to the eventual champion Feliciano Lopez. That being said, Federer is playing ruthless tennis this year, and is yet to drop a set in his 8 victories on grass since his loss to Hass at Stuttgart. Dimitrov's game is similar to Roger's in many ways, but whatever Dimitrov does, Federer does it better. On paper the Bulgarian does seem like a threat to Federer's bid to win his 8th Wimbledon, but I think the Swiss maestro will brush him aside with ease.

PREDICTION : ROGER FEDERER 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(3)


[8] DOMINIC THIEM VS [11] TOMAS BERDYCH
HEAD TO HEAD : 0-1
LAST MEETING : TOMAS BERDYCH 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, (US OPEN 2014, RD. OF 16)

This one is also not as straight forward as it seems. I would have picked Thiem on clay or even on hard courts, but on grass, he is still improving. Berdych is a dangerous opponent, who can outhit most of the players on tour. I back him to do so against Thiem today, and feel he will come through in 4 sets.

PREDICTION : TOMAS BERDYCH 7-6(5), 6-3, 4-6, 7-5


ADRIAN MANNARINO VS [2] NOVAK DJOKOVIC

HEAD TO HEAD : 0-1
LAST MEETING : NOVAK DJOKOVIC 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(5), (WIMBLEDON 2016, RD. OF 64)

Mannarino did upset Monfils in the previous round, coming through in 5 sets, but Djokovic is quietly starting to find some form. Whether he will be able to come back to his absolute best in time to win Wimbledon this year, is something that remains to be seen, but Mannarino will be no match to even a lesser Djokovic today. I say the world number 2 annihilates the Frenchman in 3 sets.

PREDICTION : NOVAK DJOKOVIC 6-1, 6-3, 6-2



So according to my predictions, here is what the Quarter final line up will look like


[1] ANDY MURRAY VS [24] SAM QUERREY

[2] RAFAEL NADAL VS [7] MARIN CILIC

[6] MILOS RAONIC VS [3] ROGER FEDERER

[11] TOMAS BERDYCH VS [2] NOVAK DJOKOVIC



Do let me know what you think of my predictions. Stay tuned for the predictions for all the matches from here on till the finals. Have a great day!

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