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WIMBLEDON Men's and Women's Draws: How Top Favorites and Americans Fared

Joker and Murray have tough draws; Fed the easiest; Serena and Kvitova share quarter

June 23, 2012 | 05:30 PM

Since the draws came out yesterday, I've been looking for the WOW first round match-up, but few jump out to me, at least not like the re-match of Isner-Mahut like last year (until maybe the 2nd round, when they could meet, for a 3rd time in a row!). The Marathon is of course an impossible standard for 1st round excitement, but some where on the grounds Monday or Tuesday there will be plenty of first round drama and, probably, a few upsets and surprises.

It's doubtful that we'll see anything more surprising and dramatic than what we saw in the Eastbourne final today, where Tamira Paszek pulled off a second stunning upset in a row to take her first WTA premier title over #8 Angelique Kerber, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. Paszek, a 21 year old Austrian who'd won 2 of 15 WTA matches this year, is coming back from being out for a year due to a back injury in 2010. With a beautiful 2 handed backhand, she fired almost 50 winners to extract herself from serious jeopardy. In the 3rd, she was down 5-3 and 0-40 on her serve, and fought off 4 match points, this against a player who had won her 15 third sets in a row. Yesterday, Paszek had come back from down a set and 0-4 to #4 seed Bartoli, winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Before that she beat #8 seed Hantuchova in 3 sets, as well as upsetting Pironkova. This in an event which featured a favorite to win Wimbledon, defending champ #4 Petra Kvitova, as well as #3 Radwanska and Wozniacki. For this, she'll move up a good 20 spots in the rankings from 59 to top 40, and - after the crown take's it's share - export less than half of the $107,000 she collected as the winner. At least she didn't have to pay for her housing in Eastbourne: she stayed with her God parents (while she thanked many people on court afterwards, there was no nod to heaven above...).

Moving from this to the singles draws, unless you have a dark horse favorite not expected to make the 2nd week, within the first 24 hours of the draws the odds on the betting sites didn't shift much.


Two 1st round matches I'd pay to see are:

- #20 seed Tomic v David Goffin (the 22 year old Belgian who reached the 4th round in Paris and took a set from Fed)

- Nalbandian v #8 seed Tipsarevic (for the chance to see the bobbies at Centre Court looking to make an arrest for the first time since Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train)

The fall of after the top 4 men is from a higher cliff to Berdych at 41 to 1 (Murray is 14.5 to 1).

FED has the easiest quarter of the top 4, but because he drew Joker's half (again), his odds didn't improve from 5 to 1:

- in the quarters#8 seed Tipsarevic or #11 seed ISNER are his most likely challenge

- he has no one before that who should trouble him

JOKER's draw is tough throughout, and his odds declined as a result of that (and because he faces Fed, not Murray in the semis):

- he begins with 2009 quarterfinalist and former #1 Ferrero

- second may be Ryan Harrison or #56 Yen-Shun Lu, who lost to Ryan last week in Eastbourne but was a quarterfinalist at Queen's two week's ago after beating both Tipsarevic and Karlovic, and was a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon in 2010 after beating #7 seed Roddick

- seeded players Monaco, Granollers and Stepanek lurk in the next 2 rounds, along with vets like Chela, Chardy and Blake, and young studs like Troicki and Stakovsky

- in the quarters - he'll see #6 Berdych, to whom he lost in the Wimbledon semis in 2010

RAFA's draw is tough from the 3rd round on (his odds remained about the same at 12 to 5):

- in the 3rd round he can look forward to either Haas or Kohlschreiber (finalists in Halle last week who meet here in the 1st round)

- in the 4th, either #14 seed Lopez (a serve-and-volleyer) or #22 seed Dolgopolov

- in the quarters, he'll see #5 seed Tsonga or #10 seed Fish

MURRAY's draw places Ferrer in his quarter and may force him to win against the biggest servers:

- in the 1st round he faces Davydenko

- in the 2nd, he'll get Karlovic or Sela

- in the 3rd, either #32 seed Anderson (Big serve), Bahdatis or Dimitrov

- in the 4th, either #21 Raonic, Querrey or #16 Cilic

- in the quarters, if not Ferrer, then possibly worse: #9 Del Potro, #19 Nishikori or #29 Roddick, who just won his 5th grass title in Eastbourne over Seppi 6-2, 6-3 (Andy notched his first title of the year, and joined Federer as the active player with the longest streak of title years in a row (12 in a row)

12 American men - 1st round match-ups by quarter (only one of 12 playing a seed - we were very lucky):

- Harrison v Lu (TPE)

- Blake v Becker (GER)

- Russell v Menendez-MacEiras (SP)

- Isner v Falla (COL)

- Young v #26 Youzhny (RUS)

- Sweeting v Starace (ITA)

- Roddick v Jamie Baker (ENG)

- Querrey v Pospisil (CAN)

- Odesnik v Phau (GER)

- Levine v Beck (SVK)

- Fish v Hidalgo (SP)

- Baker v Machado (POR)


Interesting 1st round match-up I'd like to see:

- Vania King v #23 Petkovska (Vania won the doubles last year as a 22 year old, and has performed well in recent major singles events)

MARIA - The #1 seed has a couple of problems in her quarter, but an easy half unless Venus comes to life here for a final time:

- #15 seed Lisicki, a semi-finalist last year

- Clijsters

- #8 seed Kerber

- her semi-final opponent looks to be #5 Stosur or #11 Li, neither of whom have played their best at W (li twice reached quarters; Stosur never past the 3rd round in 9 tries)

SERENA - the #2 favorite has an easy draw until the quarters with #3 Kvitova, (which means she has a tough draw):

- before the quarters, it's easy unless 2008 semi-finalist #25 seed Jie Zheng comes to life as a bigger than her 5'3", or #10 Sara Errani can bring her Paris clay skills to grass

KVITOVA - the #3 seed and fav has a tougher path to the quarters, due to:

- #13 Cibulkova is coming off a solid clay season (quarters In Paris and Rome; finals in Barcelona)

AZARENKA - The #2 seed and #4 fav also has less competition in her quarter:

- among the seeds in her quarter (#8 Wozniacki, #8 Bartoli, and #14 Ivanovic), only Bartoli has gone deeper than the 4th round at W. (runner-up in '07, quarterfinalist in 2011), but was playing with a somewhat serious thigh injury until Friday in Eastbourne

10 American women - match-ups in the 1st round by quarter (4 play seeds):

- King v #23 Certovska (CZE)

- Stephens v Pliskova (CZE)

- #28 MCHALE v Konta (GBR)

- Venus v Vesnina (RUS)

- Hampton v #27 Hantuchova (SVK)

- Oudin v Babos-Hua (HUN)

- #6 SERENA v Strycova (CZE)

- Vandeweghe v #10 Errani (ITA)

- Lepchanko v Mayr-Auchleitner (AUT)

- Falconi v #2 Azarenka (BLR)


Wimbledon Draws: 6.23.12

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