2017 Wimbledon Commentary Catch-up

You’re supposed to say, “do you want some chips with that ‘catch-up’?”

Thanks for the comments while I was gone; no internet service where I was, which is pretty primitive at this point in time and it wasn’t like I was in the bush. As I went into town, I could see and publish comments but really didn’t have time to read much, comment, etc. But thanks again for keeping the boat afloat.

I tried to respond to each of those comments having returned today.

I have caught scores throughout the first week and have since watched some highlights (which really just add to a pretty strong spring/grass tune-up narrative already in play). Needless to say, I am excited to see tomorrow’s 3R matches which include Federer and Djokovic, among others.

What is clearly present in this year’s tournament is that we have some pretty palpable drama at the top – one could make an argument (if s/he has the wherewithal 😉 . . . for all four (Murray, Djokovic, Federer and Nadal). Then, of course, there’s the Cilic-type who might be pretty dangerous.

But what is most interesting (perhaps remarkable) is that we have a richly loaded draw, amounting to massive contests late that will inform legacy and determine what could be a pretty epic final.

Murray appears to be returning somewhat, has a favorable draw and should go deep here (I am pulling for Querrey to make any sense of the other side of that QF). Pouille and Wawrinka, especially Stan, can go fetch me a pint. What the hell.

Murray is the defending champ and hometown boy, so he could be riding pretty high marching into a SF with . . .

Nadal. I saw the guy play and his FH is arguably the best in the tourney. The argument that one’s clay form can’t translate to grass is getting murdered by the bull. A big serve and bigger weapons are what it will take to keep him at bay. If he can come into the court  and run-around to the FH, he’s going to be very tough to finish (the BH is decisive, as well, as we know). He’s hungry as ever, he’s quite good at the net. . . the tennis intelligence works with this one, folks.

Nadal looks dangerous though he does have a dangerous draw, which I just addressed with a reader in the previous post. We suspect he’ll handle the lefty from Luxembourg, but Gilles is no grass slouch. That match follows a banger with Cilic. Cilic is angry and hungry and big. Nadal hasn’t an easy route.

A Murray SF could be anti-climactic if Nadal survives his next two matches, especially if the QF is Cilic.

The Federer Djokovic situation needs clarification with some viewership on my part, but I suspect Djokovic is going to be very tough in that SF. I received word from London this Day-Two-The-Championships-Wimbledon-2017evening that his next few matches have been waved so the Serb is awaiting his Swiss pal in the SF. Kidding aside, Novak looks confident. His groundstrokes look “back” from where ever they went and he’s coming to net, hitting lines, etc.

On the coaching front, he’s pretty dialed-in, too. Andre and Mario Ančić are captaining the Serb’s Wimbledon campaign. Andre’s confidence is quite interesting, calm and reassuring, which speaks volumes if the Serb is actually in the process of a peak for his showdown with Federer.

Federer, from the little I saw of his Lajović match, looks handsy with his FH (never a good sign). I need to see the BH (as does everyone) forcing the issue here to supplement the serve, net and FH. Running around the BH and trying to ping-pong the FH will not get the Maestro #8.

I wasn’t overly impressed with his tune-up, either: Halle seemed more of a Sascha dip, but Federer did take advantage, which is all one can ask. He did shut-down that final’s hype, but we do know the German gets another crack, most likely, in the WB QF.

First, however, Fed has to beat M.Zverev, Grigor and then Sascha, so long as the Younger survives Raonic or RBV. Tough draw for Federer.

A match-up with Djokovic could be incredible, but Roger had better have that AO/IW/Miami ambidexterity brilliance on display. Djokovic’s ROS and mental toughness, especially with the timing of a return and his coaching think-tank supporting this run could be a beast of an opponent.

There is no way I easily pencil Federer into the winner’s circle just yet. Seems terribly ill-advised aka fool-hardy to overlook his company here at The Championships.

Tomorrow will tell us more.

Seems way premature (and to be honest I hope I am wrong) but I see a Nadal v Djokovic final.

Remember, this is not a fanblog. I eat fanblogs.


15 thoughts on “2017 Wimbledon Commentary Catch-up

  1. Utsav

    I am personally not very worried about Federer just yet, as a supporter. He was rusty in his first few matches at the AO as well. He started playing well only in the Berdych match. So let’s see.

    Nadal is looking good but he has been broken loads of times. I feel he could be undone if he runs into a player who has the tools to do it. Djokovic is looking better than he has all year. He’s at least putting the peasants away, but we’ll know how well he’s really playing the the next couple of rounds.

    Murray is playing well and can put away any of the other three if they have slightly off days.


    1. Good call. I just like to go out on a limb on my blog. Call it like I see it.

      You and I know that I believe 2017 Federer to be pretty special. I am just charting his advance.

      Nadal is playing virtually first strike tennis, even according to his camp. He’s worked on his serve, but more importantly,
      their idea is upon the return of serve, Nadal tries to end the point – very offensive and his FH is doing a lot of this DTL or CC.
      He is very very hungry, wanting to consolidate la decimal, obviously. A hungry confident Nadal is dangerous, as we know.

      With Djokovic, he has such an easy draw, not sure who will test him until the SF, which can work against him, sure.

      Bottomline with him or any top player like that: how long can the dip last? He is bound to return to form. Think of the motivation he has to reach the final and win this tournament, 2017 Fedal as a back-story.

      Someone said it in the comments or I read it somewhere, and I think this is true: no one expected anything from Federer in Melbourne. That’s a part of that run, the momentum, etc. That’s not the case here.

      As I said a couple of posts ago, if Federer can win this wire-to-wire, so to speak, as the favorite, the debate is over.

      But here at SW19, Murray and Djokovic are bigger factors, it appears, and Nadal is playing monster tennis again.

      Really looking forward to watching Federer and Djokovic today. Grigor and Raonic are through in that tough Federer section.
      He will have to be playing well to reach the SF, so this should help a great deal.


    2. wilfried

      @ Utsav
      [I am personally not very worried about Federer just yet]
      WIsh I could feel that way too, but I don’t.
      Nerves or no nerves, Roger better not wait any longer for the eggs to be hatched, or his eggs will be taken away, either by Novak (sometimes disrespectfully called the ‘the egg lover’ by his haters), or by someone else for that matter.


      1. Let’s assess after the Fed match. Novak not very impressive today against an unprepared Gulbis. Novak probably should close this out in 3. Tight here in the 3rd set.


      2. Incondite

        I truly worry about Roger more when he plays a perfect match too early in a tournament than when he seems a bit off in his early matches. I do think he’s trying to pace himself for now, but he will probably need to put the pedal down in all his matches from this point onward.


  2. Incondite

    I haven’t seen enough of the tennis, but Federer’s forehand usually correlates with his footwork, i.e. bad footwork = more spraying.

    Has anyone noticed how his feet and placement have been so far?


    1. I need to see more as well, but what I essentially mean by “handsy” is a lot of top-spin, and he’s often reaching, the shot is more arm and wrist, the shot more of a flicky top-spin, which I described as “ping-pongy” as well.

      Federer looks good and has to have decent confidence, but I would just prefer to see him hitting flatter, deeper ground strokes. The “handsy” FH can be and is a weapon he can use, but it’s not penetrating, and worst of all – it looks rushed.

      Watch the match today to see if this develops.

      He has 7 WBs, he’s Federer – I’m just seeing some things reminiscent of ’15, when he was a step behind Djokovic.


      1. Jason Bourne

        Federer’s game definitely — at least for now — doesn’t inspire much confidence on the #8 hype. The BH from the earlier half-year seemed lost, many of his approaches looked tentative, ROS not good. I’m not sure if he will be able to put together parts of his game that he needs for #8. Right now he’s largely just relying on his serve…which definitely won’t be enough for the big boys. Perhaps even Dimitrov or Raonic can cut his run short. At this state, Djokovic could well straight-set him. As much as I want to see him lift #8, it just looks many parts of his game are everywhere.

        From the big boys, it looks like Nadal has the best form as of now.


      2. Jason Bourne

        Regarding the BH, my hypothesis is that the “neo BH” is designed for normal bounce height, not the low bounce that grass produces. I rarely saw he made the DTL BH. Most, if not all, of what I’ve seen just goes to the net.


      3. Incondite

        Hmm, reaching for shots tends to make it sound like his footwork should be better I guess…


  3. This Gulbis v Djokovic will be interesting if Ernests has that 2014 power/brilliance that made him especially dangerous.

    Gulbis just broke the Serb for a 2-1 advantage in the first set; the Serb is already frustrated with some of the Chair’s calls.
    Gulbis has confidence and is hammering the ball from both wings.

    Stay tuned. . .. Twitter.


    1. Henry

      Joker’s forehand return looks abysmal. He isn’t seeing the ball well today. Glare? Lack of confidence? Gulbis is usually firing/slapping the ball well in the first half of the first set but there is a reason he literally has not won a match the last 18 months and it’s not just injury… I think Joker will rebound and win in straights but he sure does look awful.


      1. Agree, but Gulbis just handed him the first set. Novak because of draw will continue to advance, gain confidence. If the SF manifests, Federer will have to serve large. Obviously.


      2. We have a potential Tomic-the-tank-engine here in the DjokerVGulbis – after Latvian had break, up 4-3 in first. . . 6-4, 4-0 Novak in 2nd. Back to my criticism of Novak’s draw. Novak has Mannarino next, then Thiem (grass allergies) or Berdych . . .

        are you kidding me?

        Nadal has Muller then Cilic.
        Federer has the Elder, Dimitrov, then the Younger or last year’s runner-up.

        A lot of forces at work here.

        This almost reminds me of Novak’s ’16 USO draw. My argument then was it was “undeserving.”

        Still, he has a free pass to the SF. Not a good look.


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