After Roland Garros, it’s Wimbledon time. Just loving the grass and retractable roof and if only I have the money and the vacation packages, I have no single ounce of doubt in getting to Paris and London for full three months of endless excitement and fun. Geez, I want that dream!
But enough of that dream and I’m getting frustrated now. My goal in writing this content is to simply choose my picks for the grass grand slam and not to dream of the impossible (lol).
Looking back, Roland Garros have several events of upsets and unexpected. The King of Clay was ousted by the courageous Robin Soderling in four sets and now, I’m thinking of what possible shocking events can transpire in Wimbledon. Can anyone make loud noises again just like Robin Soderling? Will Ana Ivanovic soar high or after this grand slam, I will just see her name glide down the top 20?
Sad but true, there will be no repeat of the men’s epic final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Rafa decided to withdraw due to knee tendinitis. It’s quite hard to imagine a grass grand slam without the rivalry and without any doubt, Roger Federer is again the big favorite, if not the 100% favorite, it’s 70-30. It’s quite predictable if he wins but I will be glad if Andy Murray puts him in a vulnerable position.
In women’s, what to expect more than the Williams sisters’ domination? Grass courts are like the second home for Venus and Serena. I’m certain if one of these two sisters reach finals, she will be the next number one in the world.
ESPN’s has alread chosen their early exits, sleepers and winners. Like expected, they pick Roger Federer and Venus Williams in their champion’s list. Yeah, their predictions are all possible but ESPN’s predictions are not reliable most of the time.
Way back in Australian Open this year, most of them voted for Rafael Nadal as the early exit contender but it turned out he’s the overall champion, even outlasting crowd favorite (Federer) in five sets.
Just days ago before the Roland Garros, they put Ana Ivanovic in the early exit list but surprise, Ivanovic cruised to the fourth round with three astounding matches prior to her exit.
Considering their invincible performance in grass unless, of course, they are injured, my predictable picks for the win are: Roger Federer in men’s and Venus/Serena for women’s. I won’t pick for Andy Murray because he still needs to get rid of the nerves and crowd pressures before making it to the finals. but Murray is a giant threat, no doubt. That is if he doesn’t feel sick or injured.
There are probably a number of wildcards this 2009. In men’s, I consider Andy Roddick a silent threat. Americans love grass and honestly, Roddick’s performance in grand slams this season are impressive (semifinals in Australian Open and for the first time, fourth round in Roland Garros). It’s Roddick’s Turn to Catch A Break
The recent triump of Tommy Haas in Gerry Webber Open, where he maimed Novak Djokovic in three sets 6–3, 6–7, 6–1 , might put him in the potential list of wildcards. Same case with Robin Soderling, I’m not certain his excellent run at the Roland Garros may repeat in grass center courts.
Novak Djokovic is a “surprise” player. You can never read what’s on his mind. I never put him in my predictable winners’ list considering his Wimbledon semifinal run last 2007 and it will be better if I place him in my wildcard belt. It’s probably a 50-50 case for Nole. I completely thought his consistent clay performance (runner ups in Monte Carlo and Rome, last 4 in Madrid) could last till the RG unfortunately, he found himself going home during the third round. If this right-handed Serb feels inspired, he can get a good run at Wimbledon but if not, then ESPN’s prediction of early exit is 100% true.
I don’t know with Fernando Verdasco. His QF curse on grass tournaments is not on his side (first round exit at Gerry Webber Open and second round defeat to Benjamin Becker (5-7, 6-7) at Ordina Open. Perhaps, Verdasco may do well in grass if the draw allows him to.
Caroline Wozniacki is probably a potential threat too coming to Wimbledon. She was tested hard by Virginie Razzano (7-6, 7-5) during the AEGON International Finals. What bothers me is her 2009 grand slam track records, she’s consistently ousted during the third rounds.
Maria Sharapova is a dark horse. This 2004 Wimbledon Champion can’t wait to be in the WTA Top 10 again and I say it’s truly a superb performance by making two quaterfinals and a semifinal appearance in tournaments after a ten-month-absence in the circuit.
Of course, will I forget my beloved? Of course not. Ana Ivanovic is still a fighter in her own right even she didn’t win a singles’ title this 2009. Numerous issues are in her head right now. Ivanovic’s inconsistency bugs off her overall game, she’s sliding down the rankings (currently at 13) and having coaching issues with Craig Kardon and she was stunned by Nadia Petrova in three sets at first round of AEGON International.
I don’t know about Ana Ivanovic and she’s facing a tough draw coming to Wimbledon. Just hoping she survives!