Sunday, 5 July 2015

Women's Draw in Tatters

Rest day at Wimbledon 2015 gives everyone a chance to take a few breaths and analyse what has happened over an amazing first three rounds of singles play.

While the top half of the women's draw has remained reasonably intact, apart from the disappointing early departure of seventh seed Ana Ivanovic, the dominance of Serena Williams was almost shattered by local Heather Watson who came within two points of ousting the champ.

The second week will begin with yet another Williams sisters clash, and with Maria Sharapova and Lucie Safarova still looming large for quarter final action.  Another Grand Slam tournament specialist who is beginning to make a move after a struggle coming back from injury is Victoria Azarenka.  The 23rd seed, and 2011 semi finalist here, appears set to play a quarter final against the surviving Williams sister and that should be a top match.

The bottom half is simply seed carnage.  Jelena Jankovic turned back the clock to shock the defending champion Petra Kvitova in three thrilling sets, and the second seed followed Simona Halep, Ekaterina Makarova, and Angelique Kerber as top ten players out of the tournament before the round of sixteen.  The highest seed surviving is number 5 Caroline Wozniacki and her next match is a tough one against young Spanish sensation Garbine Muguruza.

Of the remaining eight players in the lower half, no one has won a major, whereas the top half has four players who have won 34 between them.

If Serena is to achieve the third leg of a calendar Grand Slam, she will have well and truly deserved it, because she will in all likelihood need to defeat two, maybe three, fellow GS title winners in the process.

The men's draw has not been without its share of damage either, with Nadal the biggest name to fall, joining 8th seed Ferrer and 5th seed Nishikori (albeit the latter by walkover).  Last year's semi finalist Milos Raonic is gone too, at the hands of young Australian Nick Kyrgios.  The 20 year old is acting like a ten year old at times but is thrilling crowds with his tennis.  Hopefully his inflated opinion of himself and where he is in the game, is lowered soon, and he can be a player we like, as well as like to watch.

The sideshows being produced by the likes of Kyrgios and Dustin Brown have not done a thing to rock the worlds of the top four seeds who have not shown the slightest sign of deviating from their respective routes to semi final action.  Sure, Federer and Murray each donated a set in winning third round matches, but the results were never in question.

Karlovic could be the best chance of upsetting the apple cart, but Murray is on home turf and very comfortable.  Only Cilic is left outside of the top four to have won at the highest level, so possibly he and previous finalist Berdych may cause some issues should they make it to the final eight.

For me though, a Djokovic v Murray finale still looks the best bet.

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