Wimbledon 2018 Draw
Wimbledon Draw Analysis
The draw for the biggest tennis tournament in the world is out and offers us the chance to explore what could be in store for us in the next few weeks. Many of the biggest names in the game, including Djokovic, Murray and Wawrinka are seeded lower than normal, offering us some fascinating matches in the first week of the tournament.
Of all the contenders in the draw, Federer will probably be the happiest with this draw. The Swiss superstar has had the fortune to miss many of the most dangerous players in the draw, similarly to how number 1 seed Rafael Nadal experienced at the French open. Djokovic, Kyrgios, Zverev, Del Potro, Murray and of course Nadal are all in the other half. Even dangerous, lower ranked players like Shapavaolov, Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez are on the other side of the draw.
Kevin Anderson is the other top 8 player in this quarter, and, while a dangerous big server, it is not a match that Federer will particularly fear playing. Federer has a 4-0 record against the south African, and historically has done well against big servers at Wimbledon. That will need to continue; in the third round Federer could play the biggest server of them all, Ivo Karlovic, who is 39 years old.
Perhaps the crunch match for Federer, until he gets to the semi-finals, could be against young Croatian Borna Coric, who had been threatening to break out all season, before he beat Federer just a week ago in the final of Halle. With this confidence, Coric may be able to push Federer if this match comes about.
Sam Querry, as the 11th seed, has found himself in a decent section of this quarter, and could well make his way quietly through the first week, and into the quarter finals. The American loves this tournament, beating Djokovic here in 2016 and moray in 2017 to make the semi-finals.
First Round matches to watch
Monfils vs Gasquet – an all French affair
Coric vs Medvedev- two promising young players, especially on grass, the winner of this one should be confident of getting into the second week.
This section of the draw comprises of several big servers, including Cilic, Raonic and Isner, all of which have the capability to make it deep into the tournament. Of these however, Cilic stands out as being the most likely to beat Federer in a semi-final, should they make it that far.
Cilic is one of the most underrated players on the tour, and a lot of the time he is passed over when there is a discussion on the favourites for a grand slam. However, Cilic made the final of the Australian open back at the start of the year and played excellent tennis to make the final last year before struggling with injury against Roger Federer. Marin is a grand slam champion and is coming into the tournament in great form, beating quality opposition to win at Queens Club last week. He is definitely a favourite to take the title here at Wimbledon.
On the other side of this section is the most interesting first round match of the tournament. 6th seed Grigor Dimitrov faces off against 3 times grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka, who is trying to get back to the level he was at before his injury layoff. While this match is a fascinating one, and is likely to be on one of the show courts, it is unlikely to be close. Grass is Wawrinka’s least favourite surface, and he lost rather tamely to Andy Murray this week at Eastbourne. Meanwhile, Dimitrov will often bring out his best game on the grass courts of London.
Zverev and Thiem are the top two seeds in this section of the draw, but it is likely that all eyes will be elsewhere in this quarter. An apparently rejuvenated Novak Djokovic will be looking for a strong tournament after a successful tournament at Queens, having a championship point. His first couple of rounds look relatively comfortable for the Serb, if he continues to play at a high level.
On this other side of this quarter, while Zverev is the top seed, Nick Kyrgios must be seen as the favourite to progress. The Australian has had a very good grass court season so far, beating Lopez and almost beating Federer in Stuttgart before beating Murray and Lopez again in London. The Australians serve is truly incredible on this surface and promises to take him far in this tournament.
First round matches to watch
Thiem vs Baghdatis- after a few unsuccessful seasons, will these be the last time we see the Cypriot on the grass courts of London?
Ferrer vs Khachanov- the past vs the future?
Verdasco vs Tiafoe- likewise?
The fourth quarter brings us the most stacked section of the draw by far, and the possibility of the best matchups in the early rounds.
Much of the star power of this section has been stacked into the top of the quarter, which are scheduled to fight it out by the third round. Del Potro should face grass court specialist Feliciano Lopez in the second round, while Murray could fight it out with future star Denis Shapovalov or Jeremy Chardy, who is playing excellent tennis, in the second round. The winners of these second rounds will face each other, in what promises to be a spectacular early round match. Del Potro should be the favourite to make it out, and this will give him the confidence to begin to role through the rounds. Del Potro has shown himself to be dangerous now for a while; it is time for him to really show the player he is on the biggest stage in the sport.
Nadal will be happy to escape this ‘section of death’ and has a decent draw to make it to the quarter finals, something he has not done since 2011. Along the way, he may have to face the feisty Diego Schwartzman, who gave him a scare at Roland Garros. However, this is a good draw for the Spaniard to make some progress in the tournament this year.
Projected Quarter Finals
Federer vs Querry
Cilic vs Dimitrov
Djokovic vs Kyrgios
Del Potro vs Nadal
Projected semi Finals
Federer vs Cilic
Kyrgios vs Del Potro
Cilic vs Del Potro