The most important Slam of the year is almost upon us and the draw came out at 10am this morning. Federer, bidding for his 8th Wimbledon title finds himself in Nadal's half of the draw which of course means Murray and Djokovic are in the other.
In terms of the draw seucring the 4th seed sport was extemely important for Roger as it means he won't face Nadal until the semi finals. Winning a slam is a tall order for a player in their thirties but you have to say grass is probably Roger's best chance at scooping #18 and a favourable draw like this one definitely helps. You can see his seeded opponents below:
Federer's Projected Opponents
- Round 1: Paolo Lorenzi
- Round 2: Julien Benneteau
- Round 3: Marcel Granollers
- Round 4: Jerzy Janowicz
- Quarter Final: Stan Wawrinka
- Semi Final: Rafael Nadal
- Final: Novak Djokovic / Andy Murray
Thoughts on the Draw
Very workable is the best way to describe this one and Roger has quite an easy path through to the second week when compared to the 3 seeds in front of him. I'm not looking that far ahead as we saw first hand last year that Roger can be upset early but for the purpose of this post let's take a look at some of his projected opponents 🙂
First up he'll take on Paulo Lorenzi whom he's never played before. Lorenzi has never won a Main Draw Grand Slam Match in his career and I think he'll be 0 and 13 after next Tuesday.
In the 2nd round we will potentially get a rematch of the 2012 third round against Julien Benneteau however I think Gilles Muller is coming through their first round match. Muller is handy on grass and he beat Nadal at Wimbledon in 2005. Muller is 0-3 vs. Federer but they have played a couple of tight sets at the USO in 2008 and let's not forget Muller is a lefty who can make things difficult for the Swiss. Despite that I pick Fed in 3.
Third round is seeded to be Marcel Granollers but has no pedigree on grass and faces the serve & volley of Mahut in the first round who's bound to test him and I think he will play Roger in the third round. Mahut doesn't have the psychology to beat Federer though and I think Fed makes it through to Manic Monday without really too much difficulty.
His fourth round opponent could well be last years beaten Semi Finalist Jerzy Janowicz however he's been in very poor form this year. He's fortunate as there aren't too many threats to him other than Hewitt in the 2nd round who is match tough on grass so could cause the upset. Maybe even Mannarino can come through this section of the draw.
The Quarter Final is potentially an all Swiss affair but Wawrinka's poor record on grass + recent illness could count against him here. He has a tough first round too against Joao Sousa who showed he can play on this surface in Halle vs. Federer. I'm throwing Turusnov into the mix as a Quarter Finalist from this part of the draw.
After that we're into the business end and Nadal is Roger's seeded semi final opponent. I'm not sure Nadal can make the semi's here but he if he does I do struggle to see how Federer would stop him. The grass in the 2nd week bounces higher and plays slower, Nadal will be used to the surface and his ownage of Fed in slams always comes to the fore. But anyway, we'll address that match if it happens 😀
Elsewhere in the Draw
I'll start with defending champion Murray who will kick off the tournament with the first match on Centre Court on Monday. He has it pretty steady up until the Quarter Finals where he could face recent Queens Winner Dimitrov. Dimitrov has a tame record at slam level though – can he finally step up to the plate? With Murray's draw I see him comfortably making the second week but he's been unpredictable this year so you never know…
Andy Murray Projected Opponents: David Goffin, Pablo Andujar, Roberto Bautista-Agut, Kevin Anderson, Grigor Dimitrov, Novak Djokovic, Federer or Nadal.
I think the most interesting player in the draw this year is Djokovic – he took a huge mental blow at the French, and his grass game isn't really on a par with how he performs on hard courts so will he have a good Wimbledon? No real dangers for him until the Quarters but there are a couple of big servers that he could meet early doors. I hope he's put the French behind him and can put in a solid display at SW19.
Novak Djokovic Projected Opponents: Andrey Golubev, Radek Stepanek, Vasek Pospisil, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Berdych or Gulbis, Murray, Nadal or Federer.
Out of the top 4 seeds Nadal probably has the toughest draw as he faces Klizan first up and could then meet his 2012 conqueror Lukas Rosol in the 2nd round. I have no idea what to really expect from Nadal. I saw signs that he's not winning matches as easily at the French but he's hard to describe as an underdog. Maybe he crashes early, or maybe he wins the whole thing. No real middle ground with this guy.
Rafael Nadal Projected Opponents: Martin Klizan, Lukas Rosol, Ivo Karlovic, Richard Gasquet or Gaël Monfils, Milos Raonic or Kei Nishikori, Roger Federer, Djokovic or Murray.
First Round Matches to Watch Out For
- Mikhial Youzhny vs. James Ward – I think Ward wins here
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Jurgen Melzer – Tsonga is on a poor run of form
- Dustin Brown vs. Marcos Baghdatis – Biggest entertainer on grass?
- Federer to make the semi finals
- Wawrinka to lose first week
- Hewitt to make 4th Round
- Tursunov to make the Quarter Final
What do you guys think of the draw? How far can Federer go?