Monday, June 30, 2008

Big Monday at Wimbledon


No. 1 Roger Federer vs. No. 20 Lleyton Hewitt
Hewitt is one of the top competitors out there and a guy who knows how to play on grass, winning the title six years ago. He's been bothered by a bad hip, however, and has lost the last 11 times against the five-time defending champion. Even worse for the Aussie, Federer appears to have put the French Open debacle behind him, not losing a set in three matches.

All 32 players left in the field will be in action on Monday but these are some of the matches to watch:

No. 2 Rafael Nadal vs. No. 17 Mikhail Youzhny
When they last met in January's Chennai Open final, Youzhny battered the world No. 2 6-0, 6-1 in under an hour. Keep in mind, though, that Nadal played a three-and-a-half hour epic against mentor Carlos Moya the day before.

Nadal had won their previous three battles, including one in five sets in the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, rallying from a two-set hole. He is, by his own admission, an improved player and on a roll after winning his first career grass-court tournament at the Artois Championships.


No. 6 Serena Williams vs. Bethanie Mattek
Mattek got a little help in the third round when last year's finalist, Marion Bartoli, suffered a shoulder injury. The 23-year-old from Phoenix probably would have had a shot anyways, having entered Wimbledon with a 20-4 record in her last 24 matches, lower-level tourneys included. Let's be honest, though: Bartoli is one thing, Williams quite another. Williams survived a shaky first set versus Amelie Mauresmo in the third round and usually warms up in the second week, especially if Justine Henin isn't around.

No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova vs. Agnieszka Radwanska
Kuznetsova suffered her usual early-round wobble, losing the first set against France's Mathilde Johansson in her opener. She's pulled it together in the last two, helping her forget about a woeful showing against Dinara Safina in the French Open semis. Radwanska, the clever Pole, is 14-1 in her last 15 matches and knows how to keep the ball in play, with a little gusto to boot. Ignore that she's 1-4 against Kuznetsova.

No. 7 Venus Williams vs. Alisa Kleybanova
Naomi Cavaday, Anne Keothavong and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Venus Williams set the Wimbledon women's record with a 127 mph serve in her third-round win on Saturday. Could defending champion Venus Williams have asked for an easier first three rounds? Kleybanova, 18, isn't a household name either, although the Russian -- one of many stalking the circuit -- has climbed more than 100 spots to 47th in the rankings since January and ousted Ai Sugiyama, no stranger to grass, in the third round. Like Serena, however, Venus Williams usually heats up when it counts, the grass inspiring her further.


Chris Clee said...

t was a great shame that Turkey didn't get the chance to challenge the final, as I feel it could have been a different story - and also my �10 bet would have been a good one! I thought that the Germans have been lucky throughout the tournament - even losing 1v0 in the final was a lucky score for them!

Nick James said...

france past it. italy need some youth. holland/turkey very good. enjoyed the swiss. senna was player of the tournament - without him xavi and the others wdnt have been able to mount the attacks they did. great player! respek to fabregas too - he's class.

john wright said...

Great tournament, no big build up about Englands Golden Era, no excessive commercial endulgence selling shirts and flags, no England fans locked up or trashing another European city and no let down by over hyped players like Owen, Beckham and Gerrard. The facts are England are light years behind Spain, Germany and even Holland. These teams play as a team, are always in control of the ball and quality controls the game. Not long ball, kick and rush and sound bites like "good from box to box". Give me someone who can control a ball and pass it 5 yards. Would Iniesta get in the England team - No. Does he have a European Winners Medal - YES.

Gareth Jenkins said...

The Russians were a joy to watch for me, who will showcase their talents again in the world cup. Roman Pavlyuchenko was superb, in front of andrei arshavin. And the 2 full backs Yuri Zhirkov and Aleksandr Anyukov attacked the wings better than anyone else in the tournament. I would happily see any of these names on the back of a united shirt.

Paddy Concannon said...

Boruc ? Casilias surely deserves the award? Sergio Ramos (definatley),Boulahrouz (Yes, great man marker, really performed well, after a shaky season at Stamford B),Van Bronchorst (good choice), Philip Lahm should be there, ok, he messed up in teh final, but it was an easy mistake, he was relying on Lhman,to win hte ball, he was inspirational in hislink up play through-out and amazing Vs Turkey, Modric(im sorry, i just dont see it, ok great on the ball, and nice opening penalty, but didnt make a huge impact on any game for me,) fabregas (ofcourse!! ) Senna, (did his job well, playing with such a good offence, he covered well for the wingbacks ) Sneidjer(only player i was disapointed to see go home, amazing on teh ball, great things to come from this star) Robben (once again, was mediocre at best for me, amazing goal, but not much else) schweinstiger not mentioned? criminal in my opinion, i dont mean with relevance to his goals, but performance in full, played amazing, only one for germany in the final that wanted it! and ribery was good for france in my opinion, although its easy to forget the eliminated ! Villa, ( well goes without saying, golded boots and lets hope he recovers and enjoys his trophy, cause deserves it every bit) Van Nistelrooy, (played very well, and in my opinion proved his title as the dutch hitman, over the hill? clear to say hes relaxing ontop !) Podolski? surely worth a mention, played very well in group stages , along with his versatility makes him my second choice forward, Great Tournament, and amazing performances by evey team, i think its safe to say that no one was a walk over, even the host nations who had been deemed as "guarantee'd wins" stuck it to the big teams and did there countries proud in my opinion, my 3 favorites of the tourament were Fabregas . inspirational off the bench, Sneijder . unreal Schweinstiger . showed his worth!

steven kim said...

i believe that ballack needs to be mentioned after his terrific solo display that helped germany to the final. He was definitely the key to germany's overall success in the tournament.

Malachy Gallagher said...

I know how well Fabregas played, but if Ballack should be their instead of him, as Cesc didn't play that much even though his performances where very good when he did. The only reason I feel Casillias isn't in the team is he wasn't troubled much apart from the penalty shoot-out