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WIMBLEDON PREVIEW

 PREDICTIONS AND ANALYSIS

2008

Wimbledon, the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world is upon us and what a fantastic field we have this year. The men’s title is up for grabs more so this year than in quite a few years’ past. The Fed Express is no lock to win again as Nadal has also mastered the grass. Winning his first grass court title at the Queen’s Club, Nadal has positioned himself nicely to win his fifth Grand Slam title and first one away from Roland Garros. Federer, on the other hand, has Novak Djokovic on his side of the draw, making Nadal's path to the finals a bit easier than Federer’s. We see a three-man race for the title with Federer, Nadal and Djokovic vying for supremacy. But let’s also take a look at some players who we can all make money off of in the first week of Wimbledon.

Money Players

Marcos Baghdatis – The young man from Cyprus has had a sub-par year to say the least for the talented former Aussie Open finalist has posted an 11-8 record on tour. But this is Wimbledon and this is when some of his best tennis comes out. A semi-finalist two years ago and a quarter-finalist last year, his powerful serve, flat ground strokes and great shot making ability make him extremely dangerous on this surface. He will be a little underrated with his play this year, which makes for some great value. We rate him one of the top five grass courters in the world when he is on. A solid win today makes more of reason to take him, especially in the first week.

Mario Ancic – The last man to beat Roger Federer on grass years ago is a former semi-finalist at the Championships and is always dangerous on the grass with his serve and volley game. We were surprised that the All-England Club did not make an exception and seed the Croatian, up from his number 43 ranking in the world. He is much better than that as he recovers from injury and looks towards the top ten again. He already took out the 32nd seed today in Michael Llodra and will be a great keeper in the first week.

Fernando Gonzalez – Surprisingly, the hard-hitting Chilean is really fantastic on grass. A former Wimbledon quarter-finalist, his smash mouth game suits the courts and even with his big back swing on his ground strokes, he rarely he gets caught hitting late. If anything, the grass helps his serve and enables him to set up his rocket forehand. Don’t be surprised if he is in the second week and he will be a consistent performer for you guaranteed.


Play with Caution

Richard Gasquet – He seems to be on our list recently no matter what tournament he is playing this year. But there is great reason. Richard has only a 13-12 record on tour this year and just doesn’t seem to have pulled his game together. But grass is where he has recorded his best Grand Slam result, with a semi-final appearance last year. So that will be fresh on gambler’s minds but beware. With two grass tournaments under his belt before the Championships, he lost to Nalbandian in the quarters of the Queen’s Club in a close three set match but lost in the first round of ‘s-Hertogenbosch to Marc Gicquel, not exactly an upper echelon threat. Buyers beware.

James Blake – James’s matches are usually very short in the first week of any major and usually, he loses in the first week. Blake has yet to get to the second week of Wimbledon and his game, which should be suited the faster surface, has not done so. A loss last year to Juan Carlos Ferrero leaves doubt that he will ever be a threat at this event. But his price’s still remain low and pose much, if any value, when his play on grass is anything but spectacular.

Lleyton Hewitt – It is sometimes hard to believe that he is a former Wimbledon champion. His play continues to remain the same as a lot more players are passing him by. No one can question his intensity and effort but his shots simply do not have the force that they once had as he finds it increasingly the difficult to hurt players. He narrowly escaped from Robin Haase today in five sets and we could definitely see him going down early in this tournament.

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