For all you tennis fans out there, here are my predictions for the remainder of Wimbledon. I have no inside knowledge that makes my picks any better than any other fan with with a general knowledge of about three-quarters of the players who are still playing, but hey, I had a few years where I picked the winner of the Super Bowl (modestly fattening my wallet) without knowing anything of the teams who were playing, so who’s to say I couldn’t be right?
Of the players remaining on the men’s side, the ones I care about the most are:
Roger Federer, who I’ve followed closely for 10 years because of all the professional players his physique and style of play most resembles mine – just exponentially better. Roger will not win because he can be out run and out hit at this stage of his career, and he likely would have to beat Nadal to get to the finals. The ceiling of Roger’s game is just plain lower than it used to be.
Wawrinka has the game, but not (yet?) the champion’s heart.
Dimitrov, who I read is getting tired of his nicknames “Baby Fed” for the (resemblance of his game to Federer) and “Mr. Sharapova” (because he’s been going out with Maria Sharapova for 18 months), might be ready to make it as far as the semi finals – but I don’t think it will happen this year. But it would be really fun if it did.
Djokovic is an interesting dude, carrying himself with an increasingly mature, almost statesmanlike demeanor after earning the nickname Djoker when he was a young whipper-snapper, but has not been at his best in finals of late.
Murray seems to be hitting his stride just in time for the second week at Wimbledon. I’m intrigued – but slightly put off – by his moody, fatalistic, the-world-is-out-to-get-me look that he gets sometimes when things aren’t going his way. I do think it’s cool that he just hired a female coach.
Rafa Nadal looks to be getting better with each match, and he most assuredly does have the heart of a champion. Unlikely as it seems from his bad grass court record over the previous two years, now that he’s made it through the first week, he’s the man to beat.
Round of 16 (and end of 3rd round):
Bolelli over Nishikori. Wawrinka over Istomin. Lopez over Isner.
Djokovic over Tsonga. Chardy over Cilic. Murray over Anderson. Dimitrov over Mayer.
Raonic over Bolelli. Lopez over Wawrinka. Federer over Robredo. Nadal over Kyrgios.
Djokovic over Chardy. Murray over Dimitrov. Lopez over Federer. Nadal over Raonic.
Murray over Djokovic. Nadal over Lopez.
Finals: Nadal over Murray.
I don’t know that many of the women players. With Serena Williams out of the way I think it’s Sharapova’s tournament to lose. As I wrote after the French Open, I never root for Sharapava, but I agree with a comment that John McEnroe said: Sharapova’s one of the best competitors that women’s tennis has ever seen. I fault her, unfairly, for being 6’2″ and beautiful.
I’ve been pulling for Simona Halep ever since her great French Open final against Sharapova, but I don’t think she’s going to make it past the quarter finals here. She needs to develop a better serve to be competitive all the way to the finals of Wimbledon – which may come in another year or two.
Unfortunately, I think Agie Radwanska will use her craftiness to make it all the way to the finals, where she will be obliterated by Sharapova.
Round of 16 (and end of 3rd round):
Lisicki over Ivanovic. Shvedova over Keys.
Bouchard over Cornet. Sharapova over Kerber. Halep over Diyas. Lisicki over Shvedova.
Safarova over Smitkova. Radwanska over Makarova. Kvitova over Peng. Wozniacki over Zahlavova Strycova.
Sharapova over Bouchard. Lisicki over Halep.
Radwanska over Safarova. Kvitova over Wozniacki.
Sharapova over Lisicki.
Radwanska over Kvitova.
Sharapova over Radwanska.
A final note. Is it me, or are women tennis players, as a group, the most physically attractive female athletes? (The men, to my possibly jealous and jaundiced eye, are not so uniformly good looking.) What do women think?