Wimbledon 2012: Day 4 preview

published: Jun, 28, 2012

by: Tom Cochrane

by: Tom Cochrane

Rain predictably made an appearance at the All England Club on Day 3, but it wasn’t enough to save some of the big names in the women’s tournament. Caroline Wozniacki, Sam Stosur, Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova were all packing their bags after getting bundled out on the third day of play.

Day 3 Recap

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki continued a disappointing season, squandering 2 match points against the Austrian Paszek before going down in 3 sets. Sam Stosur’s abysmal record at Wimbledon continued, with the Aussie losing to former junior star Aranxta Rus in 3 sets, while Sorana Cirstea upset China’s Li Na. And Klara Zakopalova rounded out the upsets as she took out thirteenth seeded Dominika Cibulkova in an impressive straight sets performance.

More fortunate among the women’s big names on Day 3 were Kim Clijsters, Agnieszka Radwanska, Julia Goerges and Maria Kirilenko, who all advanced. Sabine Lisicki, Vera Zvonareva and Ana Ivanovic also won through, although each of them had to endure a third set to prevail.

In the men’s tournament, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic accounted for tricky opponents in businesslike fashion, notching straight sets wins over Fabio Fognini and Ryan Harrison respectively. Other winners were Andy Roddick, Janko Tipsarevic, Richard Gasquet and Juan Monaco.

Jurgen Melzer upset Swiss seed Stanislas Wawrinka, finishing off the fifth set of their match 8-6, while his doubles partner Philipp Petzschner wasn’t so successful, going down to Florian Mayer in another 5-setter. And fresh from his superb win over Tomas Berdych in round 1, the inconsistent Ernests Gulbis came crashing back down to earth with a loss to the unfancied Pole Jerzy Janowicz.

Match of the Day – Day 4

1. Ivo Karlovic vs. Andy Murray

Big server Ivo Karlovic first announced himself on the world stage by sensationally defeating defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the opening round at Wimbledon in 2003. From there, Karlovic has gone on to have a good career, although he is now approaching veteran status on the ATP Tour.

Karlovic’s incredible serve means that this would be a danger match for anyone in the tournament, but Murray looked very sharp against Davydenko in the opening round, and the Scot is probably the second-best returner on the ATP Tour (behind Djokovic) so he is well placed to be able to nullify Karlovic’s serve. Still, Murray will need to put in another A-game performance. Murray in 4.

2. Sam Querrey vs. Milos Raonic

This is a North American battle of the big-servers, with American Sam Querrey a former Queen’s Club champion, and Canadian Milos Raonic a rising star on the ATP Tour. It’s likely that there will be very few breaks of serve in this match, so it will come down to who plays their best tennis on the big points, such as break points and in the tiebreakers.

In terms of serving prowess, I don’t think there is much that separates the two, but Raonic is the better player from the back of the court in my opinion, and the Canadian probably has more confidence at this point in time. Raonic in 4.

3. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga looked to be striking the ball very well in the opening round, where he overcame a very tough opponent in Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets. Tsonga achieved a career best performance in Paris by making the quarter-finals, and of anyone outside the Big 4, I think the Frenchman has the best chance of upsetting the apple cart and making a run to the semi-finals or final.

Garcia-Lopez is a good player, but the Spaniard is, unsurprisingly, much more at home on clay-courts, so I don’t think he will pose too many problems for the Frenchman in this clash. Tsonga in 4.

4. Brian Baker vs. Jarkko Nieminen

Having come out of nowhere to make a run to the final in Nice and then backing it up with a creditable performance at Roland Garros, American Brian Baker seems to be relishing his second chance at a career on the ATP Tour after injuries ruined much of the last 6 years for him.

Nieminen is a quality player, whose left-handed serve can be difficult to handle on grass-courts. A winner in Sydney earlier this year, Nieminen pushed Andy Murray in Paris and probably should have claimed victory in that match. I think the Finn will be too strong in this one, although Baker will compete strongly. Nieminen in 5.

5. Grigor Dimitrov vs. Marcos Baghdatis

A lot of pundits compared the game of young Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov to that of Roger Federer, which is a pretty unfair comparison to make, and one that put a lot of pressure on Dimitrov. In recent weeks, Dimitrov has started to play at a high level more consistently, and perhaps that’s due to the Bulgarian developing his own style of game rather than trying to emulate Federer’s game or anyone else’s game.

Baghdatis has had success at Wimbledon before, and at his best the Cypriot has a game that is well-suited to the grass-courts of the All England Club. However, I think Baghdatis is a bit past his best, so I consider that this match is there for Dimitrov’s taking. Dimitrov played well to defeat Anderson in round 1, but will need another good effort to take down Baghdatis. Dimitrov in 5.

Put your house on: Second seed Rafael Nadal to steamroll past Lukas Rosol in straight sets.

Upset alert: Former prodigy Mirjana Lucic could cause a boilover against ninth seed Marion Bartoli.

Likely to go the distance: I think the Xavier Malisse – Gilles Simon match (held over from yesterday) and the Dimitrov – Baghdatis match (previewed above) are likely to go to a deciding fifth set.

That’s it for today. Enjoy the tennis and I’ll be back with another serve tomorrow.

Tom Cochrane

I like to work the angles around the tennis court. Not afraid to take the pace off the ball, I also have an affinity with the occasional cheeky drop shot.

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One thought on “Wimbledon 2012: Opening day preview

  1. Hi, enjoyed reading your analysis. Unlike reading the “new” wimbedon.org website.

    Am I the only one that is shocked that they broke the ability to enlarge content on their webpages? In the 25 years I’ve been on the web, I’ve never seen anyone break things like the ability to scroll left and right.

    Maybe it’s time to sell my IBM stock.

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