Why Wimbledon Isn’t Boring & First Round Picks
June 24, 2012 · Print This Article
by: Lyra Pappin
Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Truth. It’s really old and it’s still really fascinating. How has Wimbledon not become boring? How does it maintain its appeal, its prestige, its pull over players, fans and the media? Upon reflection, it seems that Wimbledon is a lot like one of its most successful champions himself, Roger Federer. Somehow, Federer always managed to have everyone on his side, even when he was at his most dominant and it could have become tiresome. How’d he do it? Well, at his worst, he’s excellent and at his best, he’s dominant in a fashion that screws with physics and fries our brains until all we can really do is marvel at his moves. And maybe throw out some baffled, holy language in admiration. Wimbledon’s like that. Drama unfolds day after day, with moments that seem too surreal to be… real. There’s no need to hope that 2012 Wimbledon is going to fuel its storied history, as much like Federer, its oxymoronic consistent novelty keeps us hooked for more.
So, who do we want more from in the opening round?
The Young and The Youngest
David Goffin, the Alex P. Keaton of the ATP, and the guy who shocked his idol, Federer, by taking a set from him during the French Open, will make his second appearance at Wimbledon. The spry Belgian is taking on the young Australian, Bernard Tomic, in a first round match that will likely end with a win for Tomic, but will be a real thrill to watch, and terrific fun if Goffin can pull off the upset.
David Nalbandian and Janko Tipsarevic face off in a match that will get a whole lot more attention as a result of Nalbandian’s accidental Good Fellas moment a few weeks ago, when he kicked an umpire instead of a chair, and drew some serious blood. I do not think There Will Be Blood is an apt title for this match up, but There Will Be A Lack of Focus, could come into play.
The two hatted fellows, Andy Murray and Nicolai Davydenko will face off in round one. Murray has a tough draw, as usual, but this match should be a great barometer for the Scot. If he’s moving well and takes care of Davydenko easily, that could be enough to boost him through to the semis. Plus, if Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can do him a solid and knock off Rafael Nadal, Murray could be looking at his best chance for a slam yet, as it’d be tough for Tsonga to pull off two consecutive big wins. Having said that, it’s pretty guaranteed that chance would come against Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer, and I would not put my money on Murray in either scenario. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…
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On the heels of his big upset victory over Federer in Halle last week, Tommy Haas will be feeling pretty good rolling into the match against compatriot Phillipp Kohlschreiber. Whether the 34 year old has the firepower to take out 28 year old and 27 seed Kohlschreiber is suddenly less questionable, though it’d still be a fair upset. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, right?
The War of 1812!
USA versus Canada! Patriots, show your flags! I guess Sam Querrey isn’t really looking to annex Vasek Pospisil, but that’s no reason to leave Niagara Falls unmanned and defenseless. The Wimbledon grass will have to stand in for this 19th century conflict as Pospisil looks to take out Querrey, who’s actually in a similar position to Pospisil: fair bit of hype and expectations, though overshadowed (literally) by his American friend, John Isner. Pospisil has his own giant frenemy, Milos Raonic, who he’d be likely to play should he take out Querrey.
Pick: Querrey (It’s okay, Canada will seek vengeance and ensure historical accuracy when he meets Raonic in round two.)
Speaking of the tall American, incredibly, Isner could meet Nicolas Mahut for the third consecutive year in the second round. We hope one of them has learned how to break serve by now. Another interesting potential round two matchup is Nadal versus Ivan Dodig, who is most memorable for ousting the Spaniard in the second round of the 2011 Rogers Cup.
Returning to the player-as-tournament thought about Federer being Wimbledon-esque, here’s a quick take on the other three slams:
Australia – flashy and youthful, but doesn’t seem too serious: Gael Monfils
French – I love it at the start but want to rip my eyes out by the increasingly obvious inevitability of the results: Murray
US Open – hard, fast, nightlife loving: Tsonga
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