Hey everyone, apologies on not posting for a while but to be honest I’ve not had much to talk about since Wimbledon and to top it off I’ve been pretty busy with work! Anyway, the Olympics officially starts tonight with the opening ceremony and the tennis kicks off tomorrow with Roger 3rd on centre court against Alejandro Falla.
Although I’m already bored of the Olympics, trust me living in the UK means all you hear all day everyday is adverts about it and stupid hype, I’m actually looking forward to watching more grass court tennis. This is the first time in Roger’s career we’ve had the pleasure of watching him play on grass again after Wimbledon, and what better way to do it coming off the back of his 17th Grand slam victory.
Predictions vs. Falla
Everyone else seems to think this is a total routine match but I don’t think we can underestimate Falla on grass. He took an albeit injured Roger to 5 sets in the first round of Wimbledon in 2010 and made the third round this year, a fairly solid showing. Some readers even laughed when I predicted Falla would beat Isner in the first round yet he won in 5 sets and then beat grass court specialist Nicolas Mahut before losing to Denis Istomin.
I think Roger is getting the job done but it will be a test, Falla is a leftie and he can certainly come up with some shots so I expect the opening set to be fairly tight hence why I’m predicting 7-5 6-4.
The Rest of Roger’s Draw
In the second round Roger will face either Julien Benneteau or Mikhail Youzhny, both of whom he played at this years Wimbledon. The match against Benneteau was one of the keys to the tournament a couple of weeks ago, and the one against Youzhny was a typical JesusFed performance.
If Roger plays Benneteau I’m sure he will demolish him, after beating him from 2 sets down the Frenchman is done before they even get on court. The same applies to Youzhny really, he’s never beaten Fed and doesn’t have the weapons to cause any problems and once errors creep into his game he pretty much self destructs.
The third round is pretty wide open with Verdasco and Muller potential opponents but I actually think he will play Denis Istomin. Istomin is another tricky player on grass but it should be a comfortable match for Fed. From there the quarters could be against Tipsarevic or Isner and the semis likely to be either Juan Martin Del Potro or David Ferrer. I’ll assess those matches nearer the time but I think it’s a pretty solid draw and making the final is a real possibility.
The Other Half of the Draw
Both Djokovic and Murray landed in the same half of the draw, and they both have tough matches to get through before potentially meeting in the semi finals.
Murray kicks off against Stan Wawrinka who is more than capable of giving him a hard time, especially over 3 sets, if he tees off with his backhand and keeps the points shorts he could come through but he has to play consistent, something he often struggles with.
Murray also potentially faces Nieminen, Gasquet and Berdych before he can even think about a semi final against Djokovic.
Djokovic faces Fognini first up, then potentially Roddick, I imagine he will routine those before likely facing Hewitt or Maran Cilic, I think he will have too much for those guys and really his only concern is Tsonga in the Quarter finals.
Is Federer Favourite?
On paper Roger is definitely the favourite after his performances over the last 9 months and at Wimbledon but we have to remember the Olympics never quite plays to the script.
Historically Roger hasn’t done great in Olympic singles losing early to players he routinely beats in regular tournament play so it’s a tough one to call. I think the fact the matches are over 3 sets makes it even more of a lottery, if you get off to a bad start then you don’t have long to regroup so I’m sure there will be some upsets across the draw.
Grass definitely gives Roger an advantage so I think he’ll make the final and then we shall see. I guess really the Olympics plays out like an old masters 1000 tournament, best of 3 and then a best of 5 final, and Roger had no problem winning those tournaments so he has more than a good chance of taking his first Olympics singles gold medal back to Switzerland before the American hard court swing kicks in.
I’ll be posting regular match reports throughout the tournament so stay stuned.