(Who Will Reach the Top This Year? My Staggering Prediction -
A White European Dude!)
A White European Dude!)
Well played, All-England Club. Thanks to your refusal to move Rafael Nadal up a spot from No. 4 from No. 5 you have effectively crammed all but one of your most likely victors into one half of the draw, leaving Novak Djokovic all by himself in the other, creating what I have declared as the most lopsided and f**ked up Wimbledon draws of all-time. Brava.
I understand you have a "system"for ranking the seeds on grass and it involves taking 75% of points from here and 100% of points from there and mixing it in a bowl and adding some pumpkin pie spice and turning the oven up to 350 and leaving it to bake for an hour covered in aluminum foil, but come on. Rafa's won the Championship twice in the last 5 years. He was a finalist on three other occasions. He's won 7 of the 9 tournaments he entered this year. He just won the French Open. So MAYBE you should have put him as at least no.4 so he's the top seed in his own quarter. I certainly think it was warranted. Ferrer's an awesome dude, but he's not one of the Big Four and they're all healthy and in the draw this year. The best way to ensure three of the Four didn't land on one side was to move Rafa up just one seeding! And now look what you've wrought.
No. 5 Rafael Nadal, No. 3 Roger Federer and No. 2 Andy Murray are in the bottom half of the draw. Novak Djokovic is laughing all the way to the Final by himself in the top. Well, Ferrer is his potential semifinal opponent, but I don't think that concerns him much. Novak, at least on paper, does have some challenges on his way to the final before that and I wouldn't count Novak as someone who gets ahead of himself in the draw. Both No. 13 seed Tommy Haas, or No. 19 seed Gilles Simon, could put up a good fight in the 4th Round. That would be followed by a potential match up with 2010 runner-up and No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych OR No. 9 (total head case) Richard Gasquet in the quarters. But if he makes it through that (and he should), then he's just got Ferrer in the semis. And the odds swing way in Novak's favor there.
Elsewhere in the top half of the draw Ferrer could face No. 8 Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarters and then in the overloaded bottom half we have Murray might meet up with No.6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the same point. But the potential giant showdown of the quarters is Reigning Champ Federer vs. Resurgent Nadal. I'll be happy when the ranking messiness caused by Rafa's long injury hiatus corrects itself so these guys aren't meeting before the semis. It's a tough potential road for either Federer or Nadal to have to go through each other, then, Murray, then Novak to claim the title. Murray has to go through 2 of the Big Four to win, and Novak only has to get through the final against one of them after they've spent the better part of a week battling each other out. Not being a Novak Fan, this advantage bums me out greatly.
But still, that's just what's on paper. All these guys actually have to play all their opponents and win before they reach these potential big match-ups, and we all know that upsets happen. It could make for a very exciting hard fought first week of the tournament, even if it's kinda effed up. I'm hoping my Rafa can find a way through his tough draw. He loves a challenge and loves to suffer so the conditions are certainly right for that. From the draw, I'd say that Novak has the easiest path, but hopefully Rafa will be able to capitalize on his opportunities and have enough energy left to face any opponent in the final round. VAMOS!
... On the women's side if Serena stays healthy and focused she should tear through anybody and everybody for the title.