Sunday, June 25, 2006

Wimbledon Odds

Oh Wimbledon, Oh Wimbledon, Where to begin?
Despite the small controversy of prize money (I am in favor of equal prize money, if not more for the gals!), I couldn't be more amped for the Championships. The withdrawal of Dav hurt, a lot. And the rest of the year isn't looking to bright for America's sweetheart anymore. I am pegging a return for the US Open and then retirement. A shame she never got that last slam - damn the Williams sisters in 2005! Still, I will give her a more fitting tribute on that sad day of retirement, but until then, I will think of her fondly as an older, wiser, taller, more articulate friend, who has a fun knack of cursing under her breath when she chokes!

Ok, the gentlemen: Simple enough, Federer to 4peat. A Federer upset is near impossible. He will inch closer to breaking Sampras' records, which will please me beyond words.

Other thoughts on the men: Nadal, seeded 2nd, won't make it past round 3 if that. His third round opponent, interestingly, would be #25 Agassi, and I would root for and expect an Agassi win. I just don't see much happening with Nadal on grass, which benefits Roddick, at #3, tremendously. Possibly a gift of a seed for Andy, who has not done much at all since the finals of Wimbledon last year. But he has made it to the finals the past 2 years, and has a fine chance to make it there again, where he will lose to Federer....again. As for old Andre, he will create a minor stir, perhaps making it to the round of 16 or the quarters, but he hasn't played in forever and has been losing to nobodys a lot. Hotties to watch for: unseeded Marat Safin, who always has the possibility of lifting his game and winning. He actually is up against British Greg Rusedski, a veteran with a huge serve, and this will probably be the most interesting first round match. Other hotties: #17 Robby Ginepri , #19 Tommy Haas, and unseeded Mark Philoppoussis, the 2003 runner-up, who is too perfect for words. Henman, Britain's pride and joy, whose every loss here is more and more painful to watch, has Federer in round 2.

(1) Federer vs. (7) Mario Ancic
(8) James Blake vs. (4) Nalbandian (shaky with him)
(6) Lleyton Hewitt vs. (3) Roddick (i feel like these two hate each other. will be funn!)
(17) Ginepri, sadly beating Agassi in round of 16 vs. who knows. This quarter is wide open. Maybe Nadal will learn how to play on clay. I don't know enough about the men.

Federer vs. Blake
Hewitt vs. Ginepri

Finals: Federer vs. Hewitt
Winner: Rog

The Ladies:
Ugh, JHH just won Eastbourne, the final Wimbledon tuneup, whereas Sharapova lost her Wimbledon tuneup, where she was the two-time defending champ. Perennial semifinalist (or finalist) Dav is out. My new favorite Nadia is out. Mauresmo, a three time-semifinalist, is officially too shaky for even me to side with anymore. Clijsters has not done much on grass, and we are still yet to see Hingis (12) fully break through with some consecutive wins over top players. Then there is current title holder Venus, who is seeded 6th despite her ranking of 12 or so. Ok, let's work this stomach hurts already by the way.

Top quarter: Mauresmo should advance easily to the quarters. Fun sidebar on her, she has the best grass-court game of any woman. As stated before, she is a 3time semifinalist, but she has advanced to those semifinals relatively unnoticed. This year as the top seed that can't happen for her. Her semifinal loss two years ago to Serena 4-6 in the third was one of the best matches ever and showed she does have something in her. She lost in the semis last year to Dav, also 4-6 in the third. She is so close here! A re-burgeoning Anastasia Myskina (9) will clash with Venus in the round of 16. Venus will muscle through there easily.
Quarters: Mauresmo vs. V

2nd quarter: Sharapova should own this quarter. She will be pumped for the title, and there really is no one else worth mentioning here anyway. Elena "Mc-NoServe" Dementieva (7) probably won't last very far. Eleni Danillidou, who destroyed JHH in round 1 last year, is a potential threat for Sharapova in the round of 16.
Quarters: Sharapova vs. Elena Likhovtseva (25)

3rd quarter: Somewhat interesting quarter with #3 JHH, #12 Hingis, #8 Schnyder, who has a tendency to never go away, #15 Daniela Hantuchova, a pretty quarter-finalist a couple of years ago, and Jamea Jackson who recently beat Sharapova.
The Hingis/JHH quarters will be every commentator's favorite battle of pint sized strategists.

4th quarter: This quarter is full of all the hot players from the French Open: Svetlana Kuznetsova (5), Nicole Vaidisova (10), and Ana-Lena Groenefeld (13). Along with good old Clijsters at #2. In a rematch of the French Open semifinal Vaidisova will meet Kutzy in the round of 16. Clijsters doesn't strike me as being a safe-bet on grass, but she is mostly consistent enough to find ways to win.
Quarters: Kutzy vs. Clijsters.

Venus vs. Sharapova (last year's semis)
JHH vs. Kutzy

Finals: Sharapova vs Kutz
Winner: Maria

When all of these predictions prove disastrously untrue, I will blog about my little cross-country jaunt to obviously avoid the painful truth of it all.

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