Canadian wunderkind Milos Raonic (above).
When play commences on the lawns next week, tennis fans will be treated to some very good matchups. With the Wimbledon draws announced today, we figured we’d let you know what to look out for in the first couple of rounds. Ladies first:
Ladies Singles–1st Round
(15) Jelena Jankovic vs. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez
Akgul Amanmuradova vs. (23) Venus Williams
Alison Riske (USA) vs. (2) Vera Zvonareva
(6) Francesca Schiavone vs. Jelena Dokic
Christina McHale (USA) vs. Ekaterina Makarova
(18) Ana Ivanovic vs. Melanie Oudin (USA)
Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Eleni Danilidou
Aravane Rezai vs. Serena Williams
Laura Robson vs. Angelique Kerber
(5) Maria Sharapova vs. Anna Chakvetadze
Mens Singles 1st Round
Ryan Sweeting (USA) vs. Pablo Andujar
Fabio Fognini vs. Milos Raonic
Donald Young (USA) vs. Alex Bogomolov Jr. (USA)
Radek Stepanek vs. Fernando Verdasco
Tobias Kamke vs. Blaz Kavcic
Sergiy Stakhovsky vs. Daniel Cox (GBR)
Ivan Ljubicic vs. Marin Cilic
Ivo Karlovic vs. Janko Tipsarevic
Alexander Dolgopolov Jr. vs. Fernando Gonzalez
John Isner vs. Nicolas Mahut
David Nalbandian vs. Julian Reister
Robin Soderling vs. Philipp Petzschner
Kei Nishikori vs. Lleyton Hewitt
Marcos Baghdatis vs. James Blake
The women’s draw features Mary Joe Fernandez’s rag tag crew of hack Fed Cuppers, in Oudin, McHale, and Vandeweghe. Oudin should get dusted by Ivanovic, who, should she lose, should probably hang it up already. Coco’s got a glimmer of hope against Danilidou. McHale should get shredded by Makarova. FYI, Vania King, who has played well, is in the main draw, as is Alison Riske, who has a very tall order in Vera Z. Who knows? Grass is Riske’s best surface, and maybe the Pensylvania product gets lucky. Zvonareva looked dead during her QF at Eastbourne versus Stosur, after winning 8 of the first 12 games and virtually having the match in the bag. Zvonareva has played a lot of tennis this year. Could that bode well for the American who should be installed on our FC squad, especially considering America’s woeful state of affairs and relegation from the World Group? Journeywoman American by way of Russia Varvara Lepchenko did upset 18th seed Flavia Pennetta at Roland Garros, so we’ll give her a bit of a chance here against 19th seed, Yanina Wickmayer. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, one of the few women with the stones to consistently attack, has a great shot to upset Jelena Jankovic. The Spaniard is 2-1 lifetime versus the gutless, annoying Serb. Also, it would be nice to see young Brit Laura Robson win her first round match with Kerber. Kerber will be favored.
Not to run on about the men, but we do feel it’s high time that Ryan Sweeting, with his ranking up to 66th, notch his first ever match win on grass. We’re very interested to see our boy, young beast Milos Raonic on the grass. The possibility of a 3rd round match between Raonic and Nadal would make for appointment television. As would a possible Del Potro/Nadal round of 16 affair. Nice to see DP in the top 25 again (24). Tommy Haas looks for his first win of the year, and we welcome him back, as well as David Nalbandian, who won 2 rounds at Halle. We also welcome back Chilean ball crusher Fernando Gonzalez who might be a big problem for Dolgopolov, who seems to adjust poorly to specialty surfaces. We love Stepanek, a nice net player, as an upset special in round 1. We’d love to see James Blake do something in the spot versus Baghdatis, but Blake is even more disappointing than usual at Wimbledon. Things look good for former boys champ Donald Young, in a very winnable 1st round match versus another American Alex Bogolomov. We always love watching talented 1-hander Segiy Stakhovsky, who gets diminutive British hack Daniel Cox in round 1. We hope Soderling has a good run here but it wouldn’t shock us if Philipp Petzschner, a very good grass courter and last year’s doubles champ gave him a good go. Our favorite techno tennis player, Janko Tipsarevic has his hands full with ace machine Ivo Karlovic. We might put a few dinari on Dr. Ivo. It would be a good time for Marin Cilic to wake up, though we don’t have much confidence in that.
And in maybe the most celebrated first round rematch ever, we look for Giant John Isner, whose ranking has fell to near 50, to get back on track and take care for Mahut before it gets to 70-68 in the 5th. Isner has weathered the clay season, and can not be faulted for taking Nadal to 5 hard sets at Roland Garros in round 1. We look for him to have a great summer starting here, and carrying over to the American summer hardcourt season.
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