It’s been some time since my last blog. Things have been uneasy lately, a lot of big decisions, and anxiety attacks haven’t helped matters. But things overall have been okay, I guess. This blog is going to be heavily focused on one thing; Wimbledon. I’ll mostly be going through the Men’s QF matchups today, as they are on this Wednesday. It’s been a brilliant tournament so far, with a huge shock in Sam Querrey defeating Djokovic in the 3rd round, a sensational upset. Here is my thoughts and tasty predictions on the men’s QF lineup.
Milos Raonic vs Sam Querrey
The battle of the big servers. Sam Querrey has flown under the radar for years, mainly because of injuries, but the guy has a massive serve game, and potentially it’s bigger then Raonic, who we know by now is the best big server in the game. (Unlike the likes of Karlovic and Isner, this guy can actually play tennis and return confidently. No offence given to either of those players, but Raonic has a lot more then just a big serve.)
Querrey however actually holds the record for the most consecutive aces in a match in 10, back in 2007. The guy can play solid tennis, and I think it’s great that he’s managed to re-surge back into the tournament. He’s one of the nicest guys on the tour. Furthermore, he’s the first American man to reach the last eight of a Slam since an ailing Roddick did so at the 2011 US Open. This has come as a nice surprise, and the extra boost could revive his career. Not only did he come in and overpower Djokovic (who admittedly was not at his best, but half of that was Querrey), but he backed it up against a very impressive Mahut. Raonic has done well too, coming back from two sets down for the first time. He’s going to be hard to beat, no matter who he plays.
It’s going to be serve-dominated, with a few tiebreaks. This really could go either way, but I’m going to give the nudge in my head to Milos. Would love to see Querrey go further though.
Marin Cilic vs Roger Federer
A lot of pundits are calling this a tough match for Federer, and they’re right. Roger has struggled with form this season along with injuries. So has Marin Cilic, but both have came into SW19 in considerable form. Federer hasn’t dropped a set, but he’s had a pretty favourable draw. It’s going to get a lot harder for him, much more so then Andy Murray.
Cilic is playing well again. He had a good run in Queens, and Wimbledon is becoming his backyard, with three straight QF appearances. When he’s on form, he has a similar aura to Stan Wawrinka in terms of brutality. In his only Grand Slam win in the 2014 US Open, he blew his final three opponents off the court in straight sets. Berdych, Federer and Nishikori all fell with ease. He’s had a rough time of it as of late, but hopefully is getting back on track. Federer suffered one of the biggest beatings of his career against the Croat that tournament, and it’s still shown. He’s going into the match expecting it to be a slog. Cilic under Goran (the most deadly server in tennis. Yes, even above Karlovic and Sampras), is a potent threat, and when he’s confident, it’s even more dangerous.
If Cilic continues to serve and hit as hard as he has been, it’s going to be very hard for the Swiss. However, I do feel that if Federer brings his A game to the match, he should be able to get through in 4 sets. But don’t be surprised if Cilic shocks him again. If Federer gets through, he is probably my pick to win Wimbledon this year. He surely needs it.
Tomas Berdych vs Lucas Pouille
While I expected Berdych to come through, I thought nothing about Pouille, he’s had an amazing run. He showed some form in this years Rome Masters, reaching the semis, so seems to be coming into his own. He did well knocking out Tomic, while Berdych managed to overcome the huge serving of J. Veseley in the 4th round, winning in 5 sets over two days.
Lucas Pouille though has shown me a lot of grit, coming through a tough contest against the resurgent Del Potro. That was saddening for me, because Del Potro is one of my favourite players of all time, and did brilliantly to reach the 3rd round. Fatigue got him in the end, but hopefully this is the start of him coming back. (Another shame for Stan Warwinka too, but he is naturally inconsistent. He’ll be back though.) I’ve always said Stan is the biggest confidence player on the tour, and if he is on, nobody can beat him. He has that ethos, and it’s great to watch, if not a little frustrating.
This is probably the most under-radar match of the men’s QF lineup, but I think Berydch will take it. The guy is consistent and very powerful, one of the biggest hitters in the game. Despite the struggles he’s had, he’s made three QF in a row. If only he wasn’t so one-dimensional against the Big Four…but underestimate Berdych at your peril. He’s dangerous, powerful and can hit as hard as anyone. But if he underestimates Lucas, he could easily go out too. And that’s fine also, I love it when newish players come into the game. Same with resurgences. (Go Querrey!)
Andy Murray vs Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.
I am so happy that Tsonga is in the QF. Gasuqet was very unfortunate to tweak his back, and is a great player, but Tsonga for me is just stronger, and his win over Isner really showed his grit. He’s an incredibly nice guy too, and should he qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals this year, I’d love to watch him play. In 2015 I was very lucky to watch Federer live vs Berdych. I plan to go again this year.
This is the first time ever that Murray is the overwhelming favourite to win a Grand Slam. Over Federer, that is some feat. Murray has had a great year so far, and has a very “easy” path into the final. He had a kind draw true, but he’s played great. I’d love to see him play more aggressively though. He’s always been shown as a bit passive, but aggressive Murray is one of the most dangerous players in history. Look at his 2008 win against Nadal in the US Open semi. This is a huge chance for him, and Lendls return is great for him. Tsonga though is always going to be dangerous. Murray is a great returner, but not as good as Djokovic. He also does tend to make little mistakes. For the undisputed 4th best player of 2008-onwards, he has some problems with mentality.
Tsonga needs to start fast, and serve well. It may not be enough, but I think it will be competitive. Murray will win probably in 4 sets, but could go the distance if Tsonga keeps the pressure up. He’s made the semi-finals twice, and did big scalps. Remember, this is the same guy who defeated Federer in 2011, from two sets down. Even better, he faced just 1 break point THE WHOLE MATCH, in the very first game. He’s going to be tough.
- Writing has gone okay. I’ve finally started working with my editor on Counterbalance, and things been progressing better then I thought. It’s really improved my confidence. May be updated in future on my progress.
- I’m still writing for a couple more anthologies, hopefully will receive acceptance for them too. While I work on my main fantasy series, this will further my field and hopefully gather more fans. All the stories I’m writing are set in the same fantasy world. Some are in different timelines, so maybe I can expand on it? I’ve been working on a new world/landmass, and thinking of making it the far future version where my series takes place, especially as a new “Dark Age” is happening. I think I have decided on it being in the future of my “Counterbalance” series, where a cataclysm has doomed my other two continents, forcing a mass exodus to my new world. I’ve done a lot of new mapwork lately, and hope I can begin some more stuff for clients soon.
- I picked up some new games. Enderal for Skyrim is finally out, but I’m going to wait until the English version is out.
This was mainly a Wimbledon/tennis article in truth, but a quick update about how I’ve been doing helps too. I’ll be back soon….I promise!