Wimbledon Week 2 Preview Anyone else for del Potro for the title?
After a week of upsets which made a mockery of my predictions, here is my preview of week 2 of the 2018 Men’s Singles Wimbledon Championships.
Week 1 had plenty of upsets- check out some of the seeds who were knocked out:
16th seed and Halle Champ Borna Coric (lost to Dannii Medvedev in round 1)
3. Marin Cilic (lost to Guido Pella in round 2)
6th seed Grigor Dimitrov (lost to Stan Wawrinka in round 1)
7th seed Dominic Thiem (retired two sets to love down versus Marcos Baghdatis in round 1)
4th seed Sascha Zverve (lost to Ernests Gulbis in round 3)
15th seed Nick Krygios (lost to 24th seed Kei Nishikori in round 3).
The fourth quarter has been the least damaged with Rafa Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro, and Novak Djokovic all still in the event.
Cilic was probably the only real title contender in that mix, but the absence of many of those other big names will have made the lives of some in the draw a little easier.
The last 16 now looks like this:
Federer Vs Mannarino
Monfils Vs Anderson
McDonald Vs Raonic
Isner Vs Tsitsipas
Khachanov Vs Djokovic
Nishikori Vs Gulbis
del Potro Vs Simon
Vesely Vs Nadal
Federer’s draw got a lot easier after the first week.
Coric and Cilic’s losses have made Federer’s path to the final certainly a lot easier. The Swiss has barely been breaking a sweat as it is and has made it to the second week without dropping a set, but he has had a nice draw, facing Dusan Lajovic, Lukas Lacko and Jan Lennard Struff all of whom he matches up well with.
Federer’s big weakness, his ground game, may be tested a little more by Adrian Mannarino, and if he meets Gael Monfils in the quarters, he will certainly be tested out in that regard, but he should come through as Federer is playing good tennis, Mannarino is inexperienced at this level and Monfils is not exactly famed for the kind of focus he would need to defeat Federer at SW19.
In the semis, Federer could face Milos Raonic, but that match up works well for him (Federer leads 11-3) and Raonic would need to be having an excellent day to defeat him or Federer having an off day, which is possible considering his age and that he has not really been challenged this tournament.
Isner, McDonald or Tsitsipas would also be unlikely to upset Federer, Isner perhaps able to take a set, so more than likely Roger Federer is going through to the 2018 Wimbledon final.
Who is Federer’s likely final opponent?
— Juan M. del Potro (@delpotrojuan) July 3, 2018
Rafa Nadal has been playing some patchy tennis but is into the second week and has a nice draw with Jiri Vesely in round 4, but the quarters is about as far as Nadal should be going this Wimbledon.
del Potro has been playing well and has yet to drop a set, beating Lopez and Paire in the last couple of rounds, and is likely to take Nadal out in the quarters. del Potro just has too much firepower and lives for the big matches. He also has a score to settle after Paris and will not want to miss this chance.
In the semis, del Potro could face Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori, or Ernests Gulbis, and would be favored to win against any of them on the basis of his recent big match form- del Potro is the Indian Wells Champ and is coming off a Roland Garros semis appearance and so he seems to have the winning feeling of late, and that confidence could make the difference against opponents who will push him, have not been consistent enough of late to push del Potro quite far enough.
Novak Djokovic seems the most capable of defeating del Potro and the three time champion is having an impressive return to second week Slam form, however del Potro is going to have the support of the Center court crowd and Djokovic is still not quite where he needs to be to beat del Potro in a slam semi, which is Rafa Nadal US Open and Roland Garros Champion standard.
Still, if Djokovic is going to get back to that level, a semi versus del Potro could be the match which elevates him, but for now, going on the first week and recent history, del Potro seems the player most likely to reach the final.
Who is going to win the final?
If Federer were to be facing anyone else in the draw in the final, I would say he would win, but if he faces del Potro, who has the serve, the second shot, and the back court game to win on a slower center court deep in week 2, as well as the mental strength and smart tactics to defeat Federer in important and close matches, then I have to pick del Potro as a very worthy and popular winner.
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