Wimbledon Men’s Preview: A Conference of Anti-Experts.
Doots: Alright bitches. Let’s get down to business. First thoughts on Wombly draw?
PJ: Looks good for the Old Man, looks good for Rafa, whatever for Djokovic and LOLOLOLOL for Muzzface.
LJ: I’m overwhelmed by the amount of WTFckery 1st round matchups we have.
Kohli vs Haas: WHYYYYY? Both would have made good runs to 4th round.
PJ: Yeah, I’m sad face by that, too. Not sure Haas and his dodgy hip/back/ankles etc. can hang on with Kohli for best of 5.
Doots: I think it’s partly because of the fact that some ‘grass court players’ (if such things existed these days) tend to be quite mercurial and don’t put in solid results during the year. Kohlschreiber – for instance – has always done well at Halle, but usually disappears for most of the year, bar the ocasional upset on a fast indoor court.
LJ: Their Halle semi was top quality, really good stuff –
PJ: … unlike the Halle final, LJ, BUT I DIGRESS.
Doots: YOU JUST HAD TO BRING THAT UP DIDN’T CHA? What’s with Roger Federer sonotwinningatitleongrass these days? Federer hasn’t won a grass court tournament since 2009. Grass is like … the new clay.
PJ: … new phase of his career to be trolling us? I still cannot believe he lost to HEWITT and HAAS on GRASS in HALLE FINALS.
LJ: I’m interested to see how much more tennis can troll us after Roland Garros, Queens and Halle.
Doots: BRING ON WIMBLEDON then. I mean, if the first rounders are anything to go by, we’re in for some good quality trollage from the tennis gods. Let’s start with Djokovic’s draw.
LJ: He’s got no one to trouble him till Berdych in the quarter, and on Berdy’s current form, [Djokovic] probably will make the semi.
Doots: Mentioning Berdshit though, he has Gulbis first round. Let’s observe a moment of silence for the balls that sacrifice their lives for the match.
PJ: That has the potential to be brilliantly good or brilliantly bad depending which Gulbis or Berdman turns up. I’m going with brilliantly bad.
Doots: Agree. I think it’ll be like Berdshit v Berdshittier.
LJ: I think Berd is slightly more consistent than Gulbis.
Doots: It doesn’t take much to be “slightly more consistent than Gulbis.
LJ: I’m picking Gasquet as a sleeper agent into the quarters, he’s got a good chance.
Doots: Don’t pick Gasquet for anything, LJ. Gasquet is the ultimate antipick.
LJ: hey hey….YOU KNOW I’d follow REESHARD anywhere.
PJ: I’m kinda amused by all the clay people in Djoko’s draw: Granola Bar, Monaco, Almags …
LJ: Their seedings betray their grass potential. You just pray to have your quarter stacked with them like Djoko’s.
Doots: There’s no way of getting rid of clay court players these days. They’ve spread themselves out far beyond the grass season like a malignant tumour. But with a bit of luck, most of them will be gone by the end of the third round, leaving us with the Big 4 and a bunch of players no one has ever heard of before.
PJ: But I think we’re looking at Berdman/Djoko QF. Berdman can pull off a win, but let’s see if his brain feels up to it on the day.
Doots: Okay then, Roger’s quarter: I admit I breathed a sigh of semirelief when I saw it. There’s nothing there that looks too alarming. In a nutshell, we’re looking at Llordra second round, Fiasco THEORETICALLY fourth round (more likely not). And then in the bottom half, we’ve got a choice of Isner/Tipsarevic theoretically.
LJ: It’s a cupcake, with potential to be even cupcakier. Malisse/Simon/Verdasco for the fourth round. No one to really trouble except for Simon? But if Furderer turns up, it’s gonna be ulcer time!
Doots: I’d be surprised if Gillay makes fourth round. Doesn’t strike me as a grass court player, although I suspect he’d move very well on this surface. Moreover, Gillay’s in the same section of the draw as Malisse, Mathieu and “our” Marinko, none of those guys are sitting ducks on grass. At least not against him anyway.
LJ: Isner/Mahut 2nd round – the tennis gods must be CRAZY. Those 2 should be banned from playing each other at Wimby.
PJ: For all the hype around Isner, he hasn’t made it out of the second round at Wimbledon. Ever.
LJ: he hasn’t had a great 1st half of the year, other than beating Fuddtastic on shitty Swiss clay.
Doots: That’s what annoys me about the hype around Isner – he really hasn’t done much other than a good 23 weeks at the Davis Cup and Indian Wells to deserve it.
PJ: Anyone betting Fat/Fit Dave over Tipsy first round?
LJ: That’s my upset pick of the 1st round. I’m perplexed by Nalby: he still has the potential but I find him crazier as he gets older. I think he has a good chance against Tipsy though.
PJ: Nalby’s always crazy. Part of his charm.
Doots: I wouldn’t call whatever it is that Nalbandian has “charm”. But you’re right, he does have a chance against Tipsy. Although I think the crowd might have something to say about that.
How much do you think Nalbandian might still be thinking about the way Queens ended when he steps on court at Wimbledon next week? I suspect most of the crowd will have watched a video of Nalbandian’s outbreak by now and turned against Daveed. Tipsy should get plenty of support.
LJ: yes, I think if the crowd gets worked into it, bye bye Nalby.
PJ: Oh hey, Fed might play Fab Fog second round if Fab Fog beats Llods. HOW WILL YOU CHOOSE, LJ?
LJ: …there is no choice in that
Doots: Yeah, it’s Fabio all the way for LJ.
LJ: for the record, I said one thing about Fognini during Aus Open and it was that he doesn’t look half bad at certain angles. THIS DOES NOT MEAN I FIND HIM HOT.
PJ: I believe your exact words were: “I totally find Fognini doable.”
Doots: PJ I think you might be onto something here – “I totally find Fognini doable FROM CERTAIN ANGLES“.
LJ: that was after looking at one of my photos, so it was totally because of my skillz as a mad photographer! ANYWAYS moving along –
Doots: Onto Murray’s quarter then. The only question here is: CAN ANDY MURRAY WIN WIMBLEDON?
LJ: I’ll eat my RF hat if he does.
PJ: … repeating my RG mantra: he may bust out of the barracks and win…? HAHAHAHA. Sorry. I had to do that.
Doots: Someone send me this in an email the other day, just thought I’d share: How Long Since A Brit Won Wimbledon. In my most vulnerable hour, I do feel a bit sorry for Murray. I mean, as if the media scrutiny when he’s in the UK wasn’t enough, Murray also has the hardest draw of the Big 4 (can we still call it the Big 4 these days?). Davyo FIRST round. Karlovic second. Baghdatis, Querrey, Raonic or Cilic fourth round. On the other side he has most probably – del Potro or Ferrer.
LJ: not to worried about Daveydenko, he has been losing solidly in the 1st round these days, and Del Potro not a great grass mover and with his bum knee … But I’m pissed Raonic and cilic are on track to meet in the 3rd.
PJ: All the big servers has landed in Muzzface’s quarter. If his returns are clicking, he should be okay, but if he has a bad serving day, he can go bye bye to ANYONE of those guys.
Doots: Delpony hasn’t had a chance on grass. We don’t really know if he does suck or not. He came up the rankings only after Wimbledon 2008, came against an inspired Hewitt in 2009, and was injured most of 2010. And what about Lord Farquaad? Do we think Ferrer could make grass work for him?
LJ: if he could make it to the 2nd week when the courts turn to clay, he’ll better his chances. I’m keeping an eye out on Andrey Kuznetsov, took 1st set from Tsonga at the French and won Junior Wimby in 2009, just came through quallies here. And you know if Andy Roddick regains some form, he could sneak into the quarters.
PJ: How nice it would be for Andy Roddick to have one last huzzah and reach the quarters, but to be honest that’s as likely as me landing in Roger Federer’s pants.
Doots: I wasn’t a huge Roddick believer back in his heyday, and I’m even less of one now. He does have the advantage of landing in a relatively easy section of the draw. I don’t think it gets any better than a Brit (Jamie Baker), an American nonstarter and cheat (Odesnik), and a Spaniard (Ferrer) for your first 3 rounds at Wimbledon.
LJ: a topic of debate for another time, but how is Odesnik still playing?
Doots: his ban was reduced to 1 year + 2 months effective from 2010. So he’s been free to play since last year.
PJ: I have to admit I am curious to see how Raonic will do. Since he’s supposed to be the next Pete Sampras and all.
Doots: Raonic still needs his Big 4 win.
PJ: He beat Muzzah in Barcelona … that’s his only Big 4 win.
Doots: Beating Murray might be the least convincing breakthrough ever.
LJ: Wasn’t Muzzah’s back broken in Barca?
PJ: Err isn’t Muzzah’s perpetually broken nowadays? Back, ass, groin, crotch …
LJ: I’m thinking this is the last straw for Lendl relationship? Don’t see how it can go further if results don’t start measuring up. I think this quarter is an absolute crapshoot. It’ll depend all on day form. Doesn’t wimby always give us a surprise quarterfinalist? I think it’s going to come from this side of the draw.
Doots: Shall we move onto the last quarter then? Not an easy one for Rafa: He has Tsonga as the quarterfinal seed. Dodig second round should be fun. Kohlschreiber/Haas potentially as a third round match up. Dolgopolov possibly a fourth round opponent.
LJ: I think it’s okay until the quarters, and then going up against Tsonga in quarters … we all know how THAT feels. Kohli/Haas would be dangerous, but i think not in a best of 5.
PJ: Doots, you know I LOVE Dolgo but his headcaseyness is in infinity levels. I foresee him losing to Bolgomolov in the first round.
Doots: You are blinded by your love for Crazy. I’m talking theoretics here, and theoretically, it’s not a bad draw for Dolgo to get to the fourth round.
LJ: I’m interested to see how Mardy Fish fares here … he’s coming back from injury.
Doots: I expect Mardy Fish to get to the fourth round at least. He’s landed himself in a good section of the draw for his return. The only semi-threat for his quarter is Tomic, who I’m hoping Goffin will take care of first round so we can get some proper (non-Australian) Wimbledon coverage here in Aus.
LJ: Yeah I agree I think Mardy will get to 3rd round fine with opportunity for 4th against Tsonga. I’m dying to see Goffin on grass though – if he’s as like Agassi as everyone hopes he’d be.
PJ: Tsonga/Hewitt. First round.
LJ: oh Rusty. I can’t believe how much I used to hate him.
Doots: I can’t believe how much everyone has grown to love him since his early days. Talk about aging with grace.
LJ: great interview in the run up by Tennis Aus – brings a tear to my eye. Heart of a pure champion – Sampras may have won more, but I respect Rusty more in their old age.
Doots: But you know the funny thing is, I can see Hewitt losing in a five setter against Tsonga after going down 2 sets. Tsonga seems like the precise type of player who would implode under the effects of Hewitt’s sheer leechlikeness.
LJ: He’ll take at least a set. The set he took off Djoko at the Aus Open was one of the most exhilarating sets of tennis all year.
PJ: I WAS THERE FOR THAT MATCH. IT WAS FUCKING AMAZEBALLS (not to mention he was practically crying after beating Raonic because he didn’t think he could play tennis again).
Doots: How long do we think Lleyton still has in the game?
PJ: To be honest … I foresee retirement this year or next, and if the Djoko match is his last AO match, it would be a darn good way to go out with a bang.
LJ: end of the year … After Olympics should be a massive string of retirements.
Doots: I did think the Olympics would be a last hurrah for a lot of players in Federer’s generation, but now that we’re getting closer to it, I think a lot of them will play out this year and possibly the next. I’m surprised though that Gonzalez didn’t try to delay his retirement until the Olympics. It’s been his defining legacy.
LJ: Depending on how Roddick goes, he may not be far off, or at least start playing diminished tourneys or maybe take a sabbath
PJ: Oh man. I will be so dehydrated from crying when Fed’s old men starts riding off into the sunset.
So who do you guys see as danger for Rrrraaaafaaa?
LJ: Haas and Tsonga, but I expect him to pull through to semis just by sheer power of RG momentum alone. He’s got the Rafa aura back after Roland Garros.
Doots: I don’t think any of the early round threats can do more than take a set or two off him. The real threat is Tsonga, who is unfortunately rather susceptible to the whimsy of being French.
PJ: Also Tsonga has finger issues. Every year I expect someone to upset Rafa and no one ever does so I think he’s a safe pick for finals even.
LJ: considering what a crazy fuckery the other quarter is, Rafa might be a good bet for making final.
Doots: Alright. FEARLESS picks then? Mine are – semis: Federer v Djokovic. Rafa v ohohoh … Cilic. (FEARLESS, THAT I AM.) Final: Federer v Nadal. Winner: Federer.
PJ: Semis: Federer v Djokovic, Rafa v Raonic. Final: Federer v Nadal (ULCERS. ULCERS.) Winner: … the older pair of Pants.
LJ: Fed vs Djoko, Rafa vs Raonic, Fed vs Rafa … and ROOOOOOOOOGERRRRRRRRRRR FEDERERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
Doots: We all picked Roger to win. He is doomed then.
PJ: If I can pick what I really reallly want, what I really really want…?
Doots: You can pick all the cherries you want, PJ.
PJ: Federer v Hewitt, Haas v Roddick. Federer v Haas. FEDERER FOR THE WIN.
Doots: You’re so 2000late, PJ. 2000late and delusional.
PJ: I CLAIM PRIDE IN THAT. THANK YOU.
LJ: okay my alternate reality picks – Fed vs Gasquet, Roddick vs Haas, Fed vs Haas … Fed wins.
Doots: You both need to get out of the Noughties.