We missed our annual Wimbledon preview the other week. So let’s play catchup.
I’m having a hard time seeing a way in which Novak Djokovic doesn’t win this tournament. As of this writing he’s one set away from reaching the quarterfinals. Hubert Hurkacz seemed like the trickiest opponent of his until the final, but Djokovic is handling that well.
On the other side of the draw I’m intrigued by a potential Matteo Berrettini - Grigor Dimitrov quarterfinal. But to get there Berretini will have to take down Carlos Alcaraz first, and I think it’s a good opportunity for the former Wimbledon finalist. Alcaraz had a tough match against big-hitter Nicolas Jarry. I think he’ll be less fortuitous against the big-hitting Italian.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is also playing very good tennis and has shown good composure this tournament, taking down Andy Murray in the second round. He backed that up with a straight-sets win. He now faces Christopher Eubanks, an exciting American player with some huge groundstrokes.
Semifinals: Tsitsipas def Berrettini // Djokovic def Jannik Sinner
Final: Djokovic def Tsitsipas
World No. 1 Iga Swiatek fought off a stern challenge from Belinda Bencic in the fourth round. It’s the kind of challenge a runaway favourite needs to prepare herself mentally later in the tournament. I’m a little skeptical right now. There are one or two bigger hitters out there who can cause a lot of trouble.
Those players are Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina - the former this year’s Australian Open champion and the latter being the reigning Wimbledon champ. They’re on a collision course for the semifinals, but still need to get past their R16 and QF opponents first. I think Sabalenka is the more volatile player and, thus, can either flame out quickly or win the whole thing.
Elsehwere I’m intrigued by the Ons Jabeur-Petra Kvitova matchup. This surface much better suits the two-time champion Kvitova, but she very much lacks the versatility to match Jabeur. Toughie here.
I’ve long thought the women’s game has lacked a real top tier for years now. For the first time in a long time, the women’s competition may be better viewing than the men’s.
Semifinals: Swiatek def Marketa Vondrousova // Sabalenka def Jabeur
Final: Sabalenka def Swiatek
Fitzie’s track of the day: Oh No, by Wet Leg
And now for your links:
Alasdair Gold: Daniel Levy misses trick as Spurs hike up ticket costs
Brenden Aaronson joins Union Berlin on loan
The Athletic ($$) on ‘fifty shades’ of Andy Murray