Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lurking in the grass

Aside from the Davydenko upset, pretty much all the favorites today kicked off their Wimbledon bids in a winning fashion. The hottest player on the planet, Rafael Nadal, won in straights, as did Venus Williams, Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova, among others.

However in the spirit of the Davydenko loss, I'm going to do something a little different. Yesterday, I picked out what I thought were going to be some intriguing matches. Today, I'm going to flag some matches for tomorrow that I think are upsets in the making. Some may sound far-fetched, others might really be quite conceivable. But hey, I'm a risk-taker, so why not go for it!

• Svetlana Kuznetsova (4) vs. Kateryna Bondarenko: Now, Kuznetsova has some grass-court prowess, having gotten to the quarters here a few times. But I'm going with form on this one: Bondarenko (pictured above) just won a title on grass, while Kuznetsova lost her only warm-up match on the green stuff. Bondarenko in three.

• Igor Andreev vs. David Ferrer (5): Ferrer's had a great run on the turf this year, but the buck stops here for him. I feel that if you can blast forehands on clay, like Andreev does, then they should really squirt through on the green stuff. Andreev in four.

• Samantha Stosur vs. Nicole Vaidisova (18): I almost feel guilty for flagging this one: Vaidisova can't buy a win and Sam just had a great run at a warm-up. Stosur has a shot to make it to at least the fourth round and the run starts in earnest here. Straights for the Aussie.

• Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Stanislas Wawrinka (13): Del Potro (pictured) is an example of that new breed of Argentinian player: The ones that can play well on fast surfaces and aren't just dirt-ballers, I feel. As far as Wawrinka goes, I'm still not convinced. He falls in four.

There's my upset specials. Would it be too crazy to say Marat Safin over Novak Djokovic? Don't worry, I'm not going to!

(Photos: Bondarenko: AP; Del Potro: Getty Images)


IHeartRafa said...


I had the same thought when I saw Sveta's opponent in round two. I thought..."upset in the making." I can't believe Drysdale picked Sveta to be in the semis. NOt after her first round performance, no she won't.

I am surprised Vaidisova got out her first round. Stepanek is a curse...her career started to go down hill after they started to date.

They have no respect for Serena. She is scheduled to play in court 2. So is Hewitt.... let's see if court two would live up to its name. Let's see which ex Wimbledon champion will get buried tomorrow in that court.

van said...

Hey Iheartrafa!

The semis? Drysdale must be losing it! I was even thinking if she won this match then Alona would get her.

I agree with you on Vaidisova. Maybe the Hingis curse rubbed off on Stepanek!

That court 2 always catches someone, huh? Both Hewitt and Serena have pretty winnable matches, but that was supposed to be the case with Sampras years ago, too! I think they both should get through. I hope so: I picked them to get pretty far!

Naf said...

All depends on which Safin shows up tomorrow ... but really, if Djokovic loses that one, I'd be stunned.
I'm also not all that convinced about Bondarenko yet. Seems pretty one-dimensional to me, but who isn't in tennis these days?

thedoublebagel said...

If Novak loses to Marat, I will be a believer again.

Although Vaidisova/Stosur is pretty much up in the air, I still would like to see Nicky win this one. She desperately needs it.

van said...

Hey Naf and Thedoublebagel. I was totally kidding about Marat and Djoko! If Marat wins, I'll eat my hat (or delete this comment I'm posting and pretend that I knew it all along)!

Svetlana should be able to beat Bondarenko: I'm just going by recent form. I think if she beats Kateryna, Alona will get her.

Yeah, I can't think of anyone that needs a decent run more than Vaidisova. It might be tough here, though.

IHeartRafa said...

Van, quick, delete your last comment :)....

Well, Wawrinka and Vaidisova got through. I was rooting for Stosur while watchign them on TV this morning, and the second set was marvellous (eventhough we did not get to see that set on ESPN).

But Safin brought his A game. I guess him not going to Paris to see lil sister in the final is now excusable. He needs all the training he could get before the tournament starts to pull off a good two week tournament.

van said...

I only got to watch a little bit of the matches this morning, but I was shocked, needless to say, by the results. I didn't think Vaidisova had it in her to make such a huge turnaround.

I had a poll on here asking if Safin could be in the top 10 by the end of the year a couple of months ago. Most people seemed to agree. Maybe this is the start of that.