When Wimbledon jumbled up the seeding for this years Wimbledon they said it ultimately would make no difference to Federer and Nadal. They were wrong. It will make a huge difference. Federer has been, once again, blessed by the draw Gods and has received very few big seeds who have any real chance of blocking his path to the quarterfinals. If Federer can’t find his way to the semis with this draw then he has more issues than we all though.
Top seed, and world number 2, Roger Federer will play Alejandro Falla who he has defeated in straight sets the four times they played, most recently thumping him 6-1, 6-2 in Halle. Other names in Federers quarter include Tommy Robredo, Feliciano Lopez, Viktor Troicki, Jurgen Melzer, Tomas Berdych, Stanislas Wawrinka and Nikolay Davydenko. Nikolay Davydenko, recently returning to the tour after recovering from a broken wrist, will face the big serving Kevin Anderson in his first round match. Stan Wawrinka will have his work cut out for him if he’s to get past Denis Istomin. Istomin has been showing good form and has provided a solid challenge to Nadal at Queens recently.
Winner: Federer. No challenge.
Novak has drawn Olivier Rochus in the first round and will meet the winner of Taylor Dent and Juan Ignacio Chela in the second round. The bad news for the Serbian number 1 is that Albert Montanes, Gael Monfils, and more significantly Marin Cilic and Lleyton Hewitt lay lurking in the middle of his quarter. Hewitt is likely to provide a stern challenge to the players in the quarter but will be a little bit nervous to see Andy Roddick at the bottom of the quarter. Roddick ended Hewitt’s run last year before being defeated by Federer in the finals. Mardy Fish will face qualifier Bernard Tomic in the first round while Ivan Ljubicic and Philipp Kohlscrieber should be successful in their first round encounters.
Winner: Andy Roddick
One to watch: Lleyton Hewitt
Fernando Verdasco sits up the top of the quarter, prepared to face Fabio Fognini in the first round. Fabs forced Gael Monfils to five sets in their epic Roland Garros R64 match this year before walking away with the match when play was resumed. If the Spaniard survives on grass, he could be met by Nico Almagro in the third round although this is unlikely given that Almagro was carried off court in a stretcher with a hip injury just a few days ago. The recently injured but apparently healed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon lurk in the bottom half of the quarter but, Simon in particular, are likely to be no challenge for Murray IF he can find the form that has abandoned him since the Australian Open.
Winner: Murray. But it’s a strange quarter and anything could happen.
The current world number one, who has been shafted into the number two seeding, has drawn the short straw compared to Federer. At the top of this quarter sits Robin Soderling who will face Robby Ginepri in the first round, however, ultimately Soderling should have a relatively easy path into the third and fourth rounds. Marcos Baghdatis and David Ferrer sit in the middle of the quarter along with Mikhail Youzhny and Ernests Gulbis. With his huge shots and deadly serve Ernest Gulbis could certainly do some damage in this quarter and Nadal will need to elevate his grass court game to get past the Latvian if he has recovered from his hamstring injury. Nadal will face Kei Nishikori in the first round and then the winner of James Balke and Robin Haase. Nadal will be watching Gulbis’ progress as a potential 3rd round opponent.
The good news for Nadal is that any points gained at Wimbledon will be added to his total after he was unable to attempt a title defense last year. Hopefully his hamstring has healed and his will is enough to get him across the line.
Ones to watch: Soderling and Gulbis
Roger Federer V Andy Roddick
Andy Murray V Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer V Rafael Nadal
Looking at the draw it looks like the punters will once again get a remake of one of the greatest matches ever seen at Wimbledon. I’m backing Nadal in 5 sets because I think his shear desire will be a force to be reckoned with but I get a sneaky feeling that Federer will be walking away with a 7th crown.