Friday 22 June 2012

Wimbledon 2012 and BIG 4 - Breaking down the draw

The draw for Wimbledon has finally been released. Djokovic once again finds himself in the same half of the draw as Federer. This has happened for the 16th time during the past 21 majors. Murray and Nadal are seeded to meet each other in the semi-final. There are a lot of mouth watering first round clashes. Let us have a look into the draw.

Djokovic has a tricky opener in the form of former world no.1 and 2002 Roland Garros champion and 2007 and 2009 Wimbledon quarter-finalist, Ferreo. They have split their prior 2 meetings but they have not met since Madrid 2007. Djokovic should be able to negotiate his way easily into the quarter-finals. 

The second highest seed in Djokovic's half is Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon finalist.  Berdych may face some test in the fourth round with either Gasquet, the 2007 Wimbledon semi-finalist or the in form Almagro. Berdych leads Almgaro 6-3 but trails Gasquet 2-3 in the pair's head to head meetings. However, he should be able to make his way past them to set a block buster quarter-final clash against Djokovic.

Djokovic is 9-1 life time against Berdych, BUT, yes, BUT in caps, Berdych's lone victory over Djokovic came here at the lawns of Wimbledon in 2010 in the semi-finals. Berdych has been playing well lately. He made it to the QF of Australain Open before bowing out to Nadal in 4 sets and lost in the 4th round of Roland Garros at the hands of Delpotro. However, he crashed out of Halle in the 3rd round at the hands of eventual champion Haas. Djokovic recently beat Murray in the Boodle's Challenge 64 64.

First Round Matches to watch:
Djokovic vs Ferrero;
Berdych vs Gulbis; and
Harrison vs Lu.

Pick: Djokovic def Berdych

Federer heads the 2nd quarter, with Tiparevic at the bottom of the quarter. Federer's first test could come in the potential 4th round meeting against Simon. Federer has had trouble against Simon in the past. Federer is  2-2 against Simon, winning the pair's last 2 meetings, though the last win came via retirement.

However, Simon must overcome a potential 2nd round match against the 2002 semi-finalist Malisse. Malisse made it to the 4th round here last year and is coming off a semi-final showing at Unicef Open. Simon has won both matches played against Malisse.If Simon makes it to the 3rd round , he will have to overcome the challenge of Verdasco, who has has made it to the 4th round of Wimbledon on 3 ocassions ( 2006, 2008 and 2009), Simon however has made a trip to the 4th round only once, in 2009. Simon and Verdasco have split the previous 4 matches they played. 

Potential quarter-final opponents of Federer can be Tipsarevic who faces a tricky opener against Nalbandian (2002 Wimbledon runner-up), Nalbandian or Isner. Nalbandian has won 2 of the 3 matches played against Tipsarevic. Federer leads the H2H against all 3, Nalbandian, Tipsarevic and Isner. Federer is 11-8 against Nalbandian, 3-1 against Isner, and 5-0 against Tipsarevic.

First round matches to watch:
-Isner vs Falla; Isner has had wins over Federer and Djokovic this year but has failed to capitalise over them. Falla is the man who stretched Federer to 5 sets in the first round of Wimbledon in 2010.
-Nalbandian vs Tipsarevic, Nalbandian was the 2002 Wimbledon runner-up and recent Queens's finalist. Tipsarevic however, has never been beyond the 4th round of Wimbledon.

Pick: Federer def. Nalbandian

Semi-final: Djokovic def. Federer

Although I would love to see Federer extract some revenge and beat Djokovic to make it the final, but the current form of both players suggests otherwise. Federer should be extra motivated, since he has a shot at the top spot if he wins the title. (P.S: I will be keeping my fingers crossed for Federer to claim the record equalling 7th Wimbledon crown and the top spot.)


Murray has by far the toughest quarter of the BIG 4. He faces a tricky opener against former world no. 3 Davydenko. Murray, however should not have a problem against Davydenko, given the current form of both the players. Murray leads the H2H 5-4, however the pair has not played since Masters 1000 Canada, when Murray defeated Davydenko in the QF.

Murray then faces another tricky opponent in the second round, should he get past Davydenko in the form of 2009 Wimbledon quarter-finalist Ivo karlovic. Murray leads Karlovic 3-0, however the pair has not met since their meeting in the semi-finals of Cincinnati 2008.

Potential 4th round encounter for Murray can be Raonic or reigning Queen's champion Cilic.

Del Potro, Ferrer or Roddick can be potential QF opponents of Murray. Roddick will have to overcome Ferrer in the potential 3rd round clash. Roddick is beginning to find his form. He is into the final of Eastbourne.Given Ferrer's record at Wimbledon (he has never been beyond 4th round) and Roddick's recent form, Roddick should book a place into the 4th round and a potential meeting with Delpotro. I will be picking Raonic over Murray and Delpotro over Ferrer or Roddick. Most of you must be thinking that I am crazy, but hey, these are just picks, though my mind would tell me to go with Murray but I want to go with Raonic.

First round matches to watch:
Murray vs Davydenko; and
Dimitrov vs Anderson

Pick: Del Potro def. Raonic

Nadal and Tsonga headline the last quarter of the draw. Nadal's first test can come in the 3rd round. A potential meeting with the reigning Halle champion and 2009 Wimbledon semi-finalist Hass. Nadal has won the pair's all 5 encounters, with Haas failing to win a set against Nadal. Haas will have to overcome Kohlschreiber in the first round though. The two met recently in Halle semi-finals, with Haas edging Kohlschreiber in straight sets. Rest of Nadal's draw is manageable. His real test will come in the quarter-finals, where he may meet either Tsonga, Hewitt or Tomic. 

Tsonga and Hewitt play each other in the first round, though Tsonga has won the pair's 2 meetings, he comes in Wimbledon with a question mark on his broken finger. Tomic made it to the quarter-finals here last year, so he might have his say. His draw seems manageable as well. My mind says me to go with Tsonga, but my heart tells me to go with Tomic, so I will go with Tomic to make it to the quarters.

Nadal leads the H2H against Tsonga 7-3, though one of Tsonga's 3 victories came on grass in the Quarter-finals of Queen's last year. 

Nadal leads the H2H against Hewitt as well 6-4. Hewitt's last victory over Nadal came back in 2006 in the quarter-finals of Queen's. Nadal has been to the final of Wimbledon in his previous 5 visits to Wimbledon, winning the Wimbledon crown on two occasions (2008 and 2010).

First round matches to watch:
Tsonga vs Hewitt; 
Haas vs Kohlschreiber; and 
Tommic vs Goffin

Pick: Nadal def. Tomic

Semi-finals: Nadal def. Del Potro

Final: Nadal def. Djokovic

What do you guys see? and who do you guys think should win the title?

* The image is not my property and can be found on google images.


  1. Hello Omair, so I see that Womens tennis blog inspired you to start your own thing, hasn't it? :-)

    Interesting analysis, will you do one on WTA? I hope so.

    Here is mine, will we agree on some of the pics ?

    1. Hi Marine :)
      Thank you so very much for going through it :) Yup it definitely did inspire me :) ALthough it is very tough to get along with your own blog!
      I am hoping to do an analysis on the WTA as well! I am working on it! Hope to get it done by tomorrow!

    2. Yes, having the own blog brings a lot of challenges. On the other hand you learn many skills,too,so it is a great learning experience.

      I am looking forward to your take on WTA draw. :-)

    3. Yup, true indeed you learn a lot via your blog! But it is a full time job :( which makes things really tough! I hope to continue contributing to WTB, though :)