Wimbledon Day 5 Preview (The Men)

25 Jun

If today wasn’t a day for the record books, then I don’t know what will be.   Perhaps the most dramatic and long sporting game/match ended today with John Isner beating Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set way out on Court 18 at the All-England Club.  This match was truly remarkable in so many ways and will never be forgotten by anyone who had the privlidge of watching it transpire Tuesday, Wednesday, and today.  Meanwhile, while this match was going on, other matches actually went on! Nadal won his match over Robin Haase of Holland in a relatively short five setter, just over 2 hours, to move onto the third round.  Andy Murray impressed the Queen with his straight set win over Jarkko Nieminen on Centre Court.  Tomorrow may bring the most tantalizing matches of the tournament so far based on previous results and the players’ credentials.

(21) Gael Monfils (FRA) vs. (15) Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)

Finally Australian tennis has something to cheer about again.  Within the past month, Sam Stosur made the French Open finals and Hewitt beat Federer in the Halle final just a couple of weeks ago.  Now, he finds himself up against on of the most athletic men in the game, Gael Monfils.  But, what he has in physical strength is taken away in his mental capacities, which are severely lacking as evidenced by his second round exit in the French Open after being two sets to none up again Fabio Fognini.  The hard-working Australian will look to make quick work of the Frenchman, in order to gear up for the “business end” of the tournament, but he may be tested by Monfils on Centre Court.  But, if Hewitt can hold his own against the hard hitting Frenchman, then I see him moving onto the fourth round, one step closer to another quarterfinal with Andy Roddick.

Pick: Hewitt in 4

Can Hewitt relive former glory at Wimbledon, the home of his last Grand Slam?

(1) Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Arnaud Clement (FRA)

The veteran Frenchman has been succesful on the grass courts before by getting to the quarterfinals here at Wimbledon in 2008.  After Federer’s mighty struggles in the opening rounds this year, one has to wonder how will he fare against someone who actually has credentials on grass.  On paper, this match looks like a cakewalk, but so did his previous matches, so unless Federer is near 100%, then I think that we will be in for another wildly entertaining match.  But the again, Federer could bring his A-game and be done within 2 hours, so really who knows?

Pick: Federer in 4

Will we see more distressed looks from Federer like this one in his 3rd round match?

(29) Phillip Kohlschreiber (GER) vs. (5) Andy Roddick (USA)

These two men have a match of note in their Grand Slam history: the 2008 Australian Open 3rd round.  In this match, Kohlschreiber beat Roddick in one of the worst losses I have seen Roddick involved in for a long time.   But the 2010 Roddick is defiantly more fit, more confident, and an overall better player than the 2008 Roddick, so I have a feeling that he won’t let this one get out of hand.  On another note, these are the only two men to take a set off of Federer at the Championships last year.

Pick: Roddick in 3, maybe 4

O

Will he find himself in another Wimbledon final?

Other matches to watch:

(3) Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. (28) Albert Montanes (ESP): If this match was being played on clay, then this would be much tighter and much closer, but on the fast lawns of Wimbledon, Djokovic will take advantage of the Spaniard from the ground and end this one pretty quickly. Pick: Djokovic in 3

(22) Feliciano Lopez (ESP) vs. (16) Jurgen Melzer (AUT): The surprise semifinalist at Roland Garros, Melzer, against the man who beat Rafael Nadal on the grass at Queen’s Club several weeks ago.  This match will be in Lopez’s hands, as he has much more grass court experience than his Austrian opponent.  Expect Melzer to fight back though and make this match an interesting one.  Pick: Lopez in 5

Thiemo de Bakker (NED) vs. (23) John Isner (USA): Wow.  Just a day after his epic win over Mahut, John Isner has to come back first on Court 5 to play his second round match against a man who had to play a 16-14 fifth set in the first round against Santiago Giraldo.  Even though exhaustion might be setting in for the American, he showed that he is extreamly fit even for a big man and will be tested, but not as tested as he was against Mahut in the first round (no one has ever been that tested before). Pick: Isner in 3

For your enjoyment...

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