We touched briefly on the Halle draw this week, at least from Federer’s perspective. His top half really gets interesting in the SF, although to overlook those first three opponents seems a bit rude, no? But you get the picture. Thiem, if he can sell his wares on grass, something he’s been able to do in the past, could present an interesting challenge for Federer though the Swiss seems to be pretty much on point.
The bottom-half has some decent journeyman and NextGen talent. Haase plays Bautista Agut in a R16 match, Nishikori gets the winner of Mischa Zverev v Khachanov (nice contrast of style and age there), Gasquet is down there coming-off his win in the Netherlands last week, and Sascha opens with Coric.
There are certainly some names and match-ups there to get the tennis fan interested. Stay tuned.
But Queen’s Club has another level of grass depth, especially for a 500.
Some first round matches played today or tomorrow in the top-half include:
Cilic v Verdasco (Cilic advanced 3 and 4)
Shapovalov v Muller (Muller moves on in two TB)
So we have a R16 match there between Cilic and Muller — you want a peek at potential Wimbledon trouble-makers? Watch this match of powerful S & V; Cilic certainly has big 2nd week aspirations at WB and Muller we know can play (see Muller v Nadal WB 2017).
In the next R16 match (these boys won easily today): Wawrinka v Querrey.
Tomorrow’s first round matches in the rest of that top half:
Goffin v Feli Lopez
Raonic v Bhambri
Kyrgios v Andy Murray (very interesting R1 match, with Murray attempting his come-back from injury. Tough re-entry).
Harrison v Edmund
Look at the potential QF matches in that top-half:
Cilic/Muller v Wawrinka/Querrey (nice to see Stan on the practice court with Norman).
Raonic v Kyrgios (unless Goffin or Lopez can beat the Canadian and/or Andy or fellow Brit Edmund can get into Kyrgios’ head).
Are you confused? I am not, but go look at the draw if you need brighter colors.
The SF looks like Kevin Anderson, finally with an amenable surface, playing the winner of a second round match between Dimitrov and Djokovic.
To be fair, the winner of that Grigor/Novak exchange gets the winner of Berdych and the Brit Evans back from his drug (cocaine) suspension; the Brit can carve the ball, should see Berdych in that R16.
Not to sound redundant, but that Dimitrovic match seems awfully interesting. Djokovic has to advance there, but this only gets sideways if the Bulgarian has his grass slippers fitted and ready to avoid another phantom performance.
Speaking of phantoms, what happened to Jack Sock, dismissed by Medvedev today.
Speaking of Americans, I suppose I don’t want to overlook Tiafoe, but, as I said, Anderson with his offensive tennis should find enough advantage to get through his weaker little draw.
Stayt-tuned. I’ll organize the tea leaves, keep the tea warm and the ale fresh.
Halle and London should provide all kinds of compelling match-ups with brilliant tennis repartee.
One final note on World Cup. My kid and I talk and watch quite a bit of soccer since he’s playing some decent ball at this point (14 years) and I played in college. About two weeks ago I came to an understanding (premonition) that Belgium has the pieces this year. I know it’s not traditionally wise to pick against the traditional powers.
But I like The Red Devils, their captain Eden Hazard, scorer Romelu Lukaku and gentleman play-maker Kevin De Bruyne. Nice win today (beautiful goal from Dries Mertens).