2012 Olympics at Wimbledon Draw Analysis by Masterclass
Best of 3 sets until the final which is 5 sets, no tiebreaker in any deciding set.
On grass in 3 sets, with respect to the top 4 player's chances, I first look at the dangerous stoppers. These are the players in the early rounds that are known to be very good on grass, or have a strong attacking game (very good serving, winning groundstrokes or volleys), but do not have the overall ability to win major titles.
After that, I look at the players that can compete from start to finish, and generally have a good attacking game which is favored on faster, lower bouncing grass (first week Wimbledon).
With that, let's see what we have:
#1 Federer (SUI):
I don't think Falla can get on top of Federer again. Falla is left-handed and has a strong backhand, but his serve is not that great, and he pushes a lot of shots. Federer will remember how he beat him, and apply pressure from the start.
I don't think Julian Benneteau will get by Mr. Youzhny. I don't think either will trouble Federer anyway.
Muller might come out of the other part of Federer's section. He could be trouble.
4 players could come out of the other part of Federer's quarter. Isner looks solid for the first 2 rounds. Nalbandian - Tipsarevic will be the most interesting match-up for me in the first round of this half of the draw. The winner of that is likely to play Ivo Karlovic. Karlovic is clearly a stopper. He is dangerous for either Nalbandian or Tipsarevic. Regardless, I see John Isner coming out on top in that part of the quarter. Isner also qualifies as a dangerous stopper. I don't think he can beat Federer on grass unless Isner just serves out of his mind, but he is capable of doing so. So John Isner is a possible upset player for Federer. I don't like Isner's scheduling. He overplays. He appears to plays best when relatively fresh. In my opinion he should have stopped with his victory on the grass at Newport.
So I'm going to still go with Federer to the QF.
#4 David Ferrer (ESP):
I don't think this will be Ferrer's quarter. I believe he will be upset in the second round by Phillip Kohlschreiber. I think Kohli can beat anyone else in his section of the quarter, and I think he can beat anyone in the other half, whether it be Del Potro or Dimitrov.
Federer vs Kohlschreiber
This should be an interesting match. I see it as being a repeat of Halle, where Federer won.
#2 Novak Djokovic (SRB)
Andy Roddick is the obvious danger to Djokovic. Roddick has been playing better of late. He matches up well with Djokovic (5-3 Roddick). And it's the second round on fresh grass. If Roddick plays smart and varies the service and groundstroke placement, hits behind Djokovic, volleys occasionally, makes Djokovic slip and doubt his footing, then Roddick can win. If Roddick just hits consistent pace to Djokovic and doesn't place with variety, Djokovic will be able to eventually start returning everything, which will frustrate Roddick and Djokovic will win. This is a big upset chance here for Andy Roddick who is more of a stopper at this point but still a threat to go all the way, and Nole has to be very concerned with this matchup.
It doesn't get easier for either player, whomever wins. My guess is that the winner will play either Hewitt or Cilic. Both have been good of late. Hewitt finally has some quality matches under his belt (up to Final vs. Isner at Newport) after returning from radical foot surgery. If he's still healthy he has a solid chance against Cilic. Hewitt/Cilic vs Roddick/Djokovic would be very interesting.
In the other section of the Djokovic draw , Jo Wilfried Tsonga is likely to have to face young fireballer and stopper Milos Raonic. But Tsonga has to watch out for Bellucci. Bellucci is another stopper possibility. Let's say Tsonga comes out of that on top. I think he'll have to face young unseeded potential stopper David Goffin to reach the quarterfinal.
So Tsonga/Goffin vs. whomever comes out of the Hewitt/Cilic vs Roddick/Djokovic side of the quarter.
This quarter is very tough for me to call. I'm not sure of any of those matchups on grass, though I give an edge to Roddick.
#3 Andy Murray:
Murray is challenged right away by potentially the best 1st round match in this half vs. a stopper in Stan Wawrinka.
We won't know if Murray is still bothered by the Wimbledon Championships loss till he faces Stan, so this match is not predictable for me.
Let's go with Murray being in Wimbledon form. If he's otherwise, then any player from Wawrinka on could beat him.
The winner is likely to play either potential stoppers Baghdatis or Gasquet to reach the quarters vs. Berdych, if Berdych doesn't get himself upset along the way. Berdych shouldn't be, but one never knows with him.
IF Murray and Berdych make it through, I have to favor Murray on the faster grass where they have yet to play yet.
Murray vs. ? (Tsonga/Roddick/Hewitt)
I think Murray in his Wimbledon form can beat any of the ones who might come out of the Djokovic quarter.
If Murray is still depressed from Wimbledon, he can lose to Wawrinka and perhaps Berdych becomes the favorite in the QF.
Can Djokovic come out of his own quarter? I don't know and I'm going to say it will be very tough for him. Too many grass players with class there.
Federer vs ? (Murray/Berdych/Tsonga/Roddick/Hewitt/Djokovic)
Therer are just too many unknowns for me to make a solid prediction for the Djokovic half and Murray's mood is still unknown at this point.
Regardless, I think if Federer makes it to the semifinal, he'll win the Olympics gold with perhaps the lone exception of Roddick. Then sentimental Federer might be vulnerable.