Wimbledon 2009: Gentlemen’s quarterfinal Preview
June 30, 2009 · Print This Article
The quarterfinals of grand slam events often times provide some of the most electrifying matches the tournament has to offer. Not only it terms of sheer number of great matches that will be played—4, but also the instant elevation that each and every player will have to perform if they are to stick around.
Alright folks, without taking a slips on the remaining lush parts of Center Court, let’s get right to the whose, who of this years Wimbledon retro, final eight.
6th seed Andy Roddick vs. Lleyton Hewitt
Head-to-head record: Hewitt leads 6-5, with Roddick winning the pairs last four encounters, as well as both matches on grass-courts.
The skinny of this contest will be as followed: Classic serve vs. return match—not often seen nowadays.
Roddick did struggle early in the event, but did pick it up significantly against Berdych in round four. His willingness to win is ever present.
Hewitt has returned to his pesky determined self during the fortnight. His comprehensive win over del Potro in round two, was followed up by vintage Aussie comeback against Stepanek in the previous round. With fists pumps flowing, the Aussie would fully welcome a 2002 resurrection.
With that being said, you would have to think Roddick holds the advantage.
Andy is clearly the fitter of the two players, and you would have to think that the old Aussie is feeling his glorious run, each and every morning he wakes up. Roddick is fresh as a daisy, with his year-to-date air tight regime with Coach Stefanki, appearing to pay dividends.
Hewitt does hold the volley card, and will be looking to employ his forward movement if possible. Roddick will look to keep Lleyton away from the net.
If Andy can impose himself in his serve games (simply vital for Roddick), then his return game, which is the worse part of his grass-game, can loosen up. Pound for pound Hewitt has a better over all grass-game, with Roddick holding the supreme x-factor in the serve. The serve is important here people.
It’s been a great fortnight for Hewitt, but is says here that what goes around comes around. Roddick is a player of pride, and will be looking to gain karma and avenge his 2001 loss to Hewitt at the U.S. Open (a tournament Hewitt). A bum call late in the fifth-set sent Roddick into a frenzy, and Hewitt towards a finals win over Pete Sampras. But wait, there is hawk-eye this time around.
Pick: Roddick in 4-sets
3rd seed Andy Murray vs. Juan Carlos Ferrero
Head-to-head: Murray leads 1-0, with the pairs only match coming a few weeks ago at Queen’s Club.
Last on Center Court—all of Britain watching—the Nation at a stand still. Sound familiar? Yes, Andy Murray is playing.
With the Scot three wins away from relieving tennis a starved country in search of a hero, a wild card, and some potential drama are up next on Center Court.
Stan Wawrinka and the possible sabotage of roof-gone-wrong almost up-ended Murray in round four. Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero will hope his rendition of a Stan Wawrinka gone-right, will spoil the engaged hopefuls throughout the U.K.
It will be unlikely.
Although Ferrero has been on fire throughout his matches thus far, the “mosquito”, or new found “lawnmower”, will have his forehand doing most of the talking.
The Spaniard is at a distinct disadvantage against Murray in every category. From serving to slicing, Andy owns the pot.
Perhaps the few nods of encouragement, which Ferrero can call upon reside in his experience (he’s been there done that, pretty much everywhere), and let’s not forget his wild card factor.
The generosity of the All England Club has often backfired on the powers that be. Remember Goran Ivanisevic taking out Tim Henmen during the 2001 Championships? Gulp.
But in all seriousness, Ferrero can not rely on the canon serve which Goran was blessed with. His pop-less serve will provide little-to-no-adversity towards Murray.
Once again, Ferrero will continue the retro theme throughout the fortnight, but will come up significantly short in front of a crowd which will be staring his defeat, from the first ball struck.
Pick: Murray in 3-sets
4th seed Novak Djokovic vs. 24th seed Tommy Haas
Head-to-head record: Djokovic leads 2-1 overall, with Haas winning the pairs lone grass-court match.
The old versus the new.
Tommy Haas has put forth somewhat of a renaissance effort this fortnight. His reservoir of all-court traits, match-up well with the high-flying, acrobatic showmanship of Djokovic.
In terms of actual ability, this is a close affair. Both players possess great ground-strokes and more that adequate serving tools.
In terms of actual mental focus, well, once again this is a close affair. With Djokovic proving to go “South” when things are not in his favor— Haas is not to be outdone, by displaying a lack a perspective during tight matches. These two chaps are a matched made in mental fortitude. But will certainly have a good crack at one another.
If we were to base the outcome on sheer credentials, Djokovic would have to get the nod. He is a grand slam champion after all, and has won numerous Masters 1000 titles.
Haas on the other hand, pound-for-pound maybe the grass-court player. His ball striking, and ability to flatten-out his shots are slightly more extenuated on the lawns.
With that being said, Djokovic also holds the youth factor in his back pocket. Although Haas has survived up until this point, one would have to think that his 31-year-old frame is reaching maintenance mode.
All in all, should be a shot-makers dream come Court 1 on Wednesday, with a full force effort by each combatant.
Over all Haas has put together a better fortnight, but Djokovic has proved his footing to be in place, which ultimately will make the difference.
Break out the popcorn, gonna be a great one.
Pick: Djokovic in 4-sets
2nd seed Roger Federer vs. 22nd seed Ivo Karlovic
Head-to-head record: Federer leads 8-1, with the Swiss winning the pairs only grass-court encounter.
Rise and shine everyone, the first match on Center Court will be filled with a few missiles and a military jacket.
With Doctor Ivo not losing his serve the entire fortnight (or the entire grass season for that matter), King Fed will have to be at his utmost best, when standing on the returning line.
With no symphony for rhythm being allowed by Karlovic, look to check back, in oh, an hour after each set, to view a tie-breaker. That is where things will get interesting.
Karlovic has always had a knack of gaining close scorelines with the Swiss—his serve speaks volumes, and often times sets.
But on the flip side of the perpetual bombs which Ivo serves up, lies a stone cold racket guru, who embraces the battle of cutting down tennis’ giant.
Federer loves the power game. And although Karlovic will certainly pop his fair share of non-returnables, to, at, and past the Swiss, it has always been Federer’s chess match mind which is focused on how this story is going to end—”You can’t hang with me in the ‘breakers Ivo.”
How many players have actually verbally expressed their eagerness for returning the Karlovic serve? How many great players (Tsonga, Verdasco, etc…) have left this fortnight, wishing Dudi Sela had crossed thier paths? Not Federer.
Bottom line, get ready for a pot-of-coffee, and a rock-and-sock-em tennis match. Undoubtedly, Karloivc is playing the tennis of life (finally), and if there was ever a moment to progress to the final-four of Wimbledon, based on form, this would be his year.
However, across the net from Ivo, will stand a statue of tennis brilliance, with his formidable and elite grass-court game never shying away from the leaps and bounds of his opponents. Although Karlovic will see over the statue, he will not break it.
Look for a close one, with the guy who shows up with two bags advancing.
Pick: Federer in 4-sets