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Halfway Through Wimbledon: Predicting the Future 3

Posted on July 03, 2015 by Marius Kiniulis
Defending champion Novak Djokovic is among the favorites to win the 2015 Wimbledon men's title.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic is among the favorites to win the 2015 Wimbledon men’s title.

With Rafa Nadal unexpectedly dropping out of the most prestigious grass tournament of the year and Kei Nishikori leaving the title race due to an injury the tennis fans are wondering: who’s next? We took a shot and tied to predict the way Wimbledon is going to play out.

World’s No 1 Novak Djokovic should feel pretty comfortable with his upcoming bracket – none of his potential opponents, at least until the quarter-final are living up to their expectations. Today he plays the 27th seed Bernard Tomic, who had a pretty bumpy ride to the third round. It took the Aussie five sets to beat the 98th ranked Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round and two tiebreaks against ATP’s 151st Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the second.

Meanwhile Djokovic himself feels really comfortable in the record-breaking Wimbledon heat outplaying both of his previous opponents in three-set matches. In fact, the highway to the semi-final looks pretty clear for the defending champion. Yes, there are eight players in the top half who yet have a set to lose, but of the whole list only Stan Wawrinka seems like a potential threat for Djokovic.

It comes as no surprise that the bookies see the Swiss as Novak’s most likely opponent in the semis. The US Open champ Marin Cilic took a huge blow for his reputation from the World’s No 90 Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania in the second round, while the 7th seeded Milos Raonic has yet to face what seems to be a pretty tough challenge in the third round against Nick Kyrgios. The UK-licensed bookie TonyBet gives Raonic just 1.45 odds at advancing to the next round.

Meanwhile, the bottom half looks a little bit more complicated. The 2013 champion and the local favorite Andy Murray is seen as the main candidate to face Djokovic in the final, however, he still has a long way to go. While his third round opponent Andreas Seppi might not seem as a big threat for the World’s No 3, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga just might be. Read the rest of this entry →

Is Andy Murray Set For A U.S. Open Repeat? 3

Posted on August 01, 2013 by Dean Hybl
After winning the U.S. Open in 2012, Andy Murray is hoping for a repeat this year.

After winning the U.S. Open in 2012, Andy Murray is hoping for a repeat this year.

Following his dominating performance in winning his first Wimbledon title, it will be interesting to see if U.S. Open bets make Andy Murray the prohibitive favorite to successfully defend his title at the final tennis major of the year.

It is hard to believe that just a year ago Murray was still searching for his first major championship and clearly was a step behind the “big three” of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Now, following a victory over Federer to win the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal and then wins over Djokovic in the finals of both the 2012 U.S. Open and 2013 Wimbledon, Murray is making a case for himself as the best player in the game.

Of course, being the hunted instead of the hunter is a very different role. The question entering the 2013 U.S. Open is whether Murray can adjust to his new role as one of the tournament favorites. Read the rest of this entry →

Grigor Ditmitrov Upset World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Madrid 0

Posted on May 08, 2013 by JA Allen

The Madrid Match: Dimitrov 7-6, 6-7, 6-3

Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria

Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria

If you watched the match on Tuesday between world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, currently ranked world No. 28, perhaps you witnessed an historic match—much like the fourth round match between Pete Sampras and Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2001.

The Swiss defeated Pistol Pete in five thrilling sets to send the American packing. Sampras would never again reign on Center Court after seven Wimbledon championships while Federer showed the world he could win the big one.

Like Federer, Dimitrov may not capitalize immediately but what the match fully illustrated was that the Bulgarian could win over the best. That critical step Dimitrov took today should instill him with enough confidence to stand toe to toe with anyone on court today. Time will tell, however,  whether this match stands the test of time.

Both combatants mesmerized tennis fans around the globe as the match ebbed and flowed first in Dimitrov’s favor, then in Djokovic’s. The Serb never quit trying to will his way across the finish line. When Dimitrov took the first set tie-break, we all believed that Djokovic was in a dog-fight—but one that he would win—eventually.

The second set unfolded with Djokovic down again, figuratively and literally, as he slipped on the baseline, temporarily injuring an already tender right ankle. But Djokovic righted the ship and won the second set tiebreak.

At that point we all believed that Dimitrov had fought the good fight—but surely the world No. 1 had the momentum to finish the youngster off in the third set. But 3 hours and 5 minutes later, Djokovic was gone and a new potential champion was left standing.

Read the rest of this entry →

Men’s Tennis Power Rankings: Nadal Ready to Recapture No. 1 6

Posted on June 22, 2012 by JA Allen

Nadal focuses on winning during every match.

The tennis power rankings as created by Feng Rong were developed to objectively measure a tennis player’s current form. This is accomplished by weighting the outcomes so that the four most recent results count the most.

This ranking assesses the power in the men’s game as players get ready to do battle on the stately grounds of Wimbledon—this after leaving the normally dusty environment of Stade Roland Garros.

In 2012, however, dust was replaced by puddles as the rains fell profusely in Paris during week two of the Grand Slam tournament, postponing the men’s final until Monday.

Wimbledon, with its new retractable Centre Court roof, will be spared a troubled final in 2012 because the roof can be closed and lighting employed.

Who will win this year’s Wimbledon crown? No one knows, of course.

Will it be one of the top ten in our Power Listing? Only time will tell.

We survey the men’s top ten in our power ranking and speculate on their potential for winning the Wimbledon championship as well as looking at some other potential winners.

Read the rest of this entry →

The Best Ever: Rafael Nadal Wins His Seventh French Open Title 11

Posted on June 11, 2012 by JA Allen

2012 French Open Final - Djokovic vs. Nadal

This year’s French Open men’s champion had much riding on the outcome.

Rafael Nadal entered the grounds of Stade Roland Garros to defend his only Grand Slam title of 2011.

Diminishing Nadal’s tennis aura throughout 2011 was the Serb Novak Djokovic who needed to win this title in Paris to complete his career grand slam—just as Roger Federer attempted in 2006 and 2007 when Nadal turned the great Swiss back, denying him his due.

No other man in the history of the Open Era has dominated a surface more than Rafael Nadal on clay.

Greatest of his achievements on the red clay, however, have come on Court Phillippe Chatrier where Nadal has suffered defeat only once since 2005.

Nadal’s journey to seven Grand Slam titles on the clay has been one of almost total domination starting back when the World No. 2 was a teenager…

Read the rest of this entry →

Forecasting the Fortunes of the Top Seeds at the 2012 French Open 13

Posted on May 04, 2012 by JA Allen

The 2012 French Open gets underway on May 27, 2012

The clay-court season has offered few surprises so far for the men on tour.

Rafael Nadal has re-established his iron foothold on the red clay, offering his opponents a healthy dose of lethal backspin and Majorcan aggression. There is something about breathing red dust that instills Nadal with an air of invincibility few can overcome.

For the ladies, Queen Victoria Azarenka has bowed to few, trying to cement her grasp on the No. 1 ranking.

Losing only to Marion Bartoli at Indian Wells, Azarenka demonstrated no nervous tics or signs of relenting her perch at the top of the women’s game. That is, until she was buried under a siege of Russian ground strokes thrown at her by world No. 2  Marian Sharapova at Stuttgart.

Sharapova pulled the proverbial rug out from under Azarenka in Germany during the finals on Sunday, winning 6-1, 6-4.

The women’s top four players—Azarenka, Sharapova, Petra Kvitova and Agnieszka Radwanska appear to have established some sort of stability for the ladies, although certainly not on a par with the men’s top four—Novak Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and  Andy Murray.

In a few weeks, both the men and the women will roll into Roland Garros for the second Grand Slam of the season.

Those at the top will continue to be favored to win, but there may be some surprises on the terre battue in Paris.

Read the rest of this entry →

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