WIMBLEDON WEEK: Quick Last-Second Hits. Can Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams Both Repeat?

Serena Williams in last year's Wimbledon final

A bunch of quick-hit thoughts on certain players going into Wimbledon:

Serena Williams: This might not even be that hard. Better beat her early, before she gets momentum. Only concern: When she has trouble catching her breath, will she be able to keep her mind off the blood clots? Prediction: Winner.

Rafael Nadal: This “clay court specialist’’ hasn’t lost a match at Wimbledon since 2007. Won’t this year, either.

Andy Roddick: Conflicting thoughts. Done winning majors; that’s an awfully nice draw. Last chance? (I’ve probably said that about him before).

Venus Williams: Didn’t look that great at Eastbourne. Kind of off-balance. Still good enough to make a deep run, though.

Roger Federer: The big-bashers who were pushing him backward aren’t doing well. He might have figured out Novak Djokovic. If Nadal loses before the final, this tournament could be his. If not, it’s not.

Caroline Wozniacki: Prove it already. Quarterfinals against Sharapova, good place to start. Prediction: Sharapova.

John Isner-Nicolas Mahut: Straight sets for Isner. But stop picking him as a darkhorse. If you can’t return serve, you can’t win Wimbledon.

Andy Murray: Tabloid fodder.

Li Na: Most intriguing player in field. Might be on the verge of greatness, but had a serious letdown after the Australian. Not a good time for another one

Ana Ivanovic: Bring your own Kleenex to the Melanie Oudin match.

Novak Djokovic: Too much buzz about him when he was winning, not enough now. Grass is seen as his worst surface, but the guy with the best return has a real chance. The loss to Federer at French reduces pressure now, but might have put him back in his place. Can’t wait for Federer-Djokovic semi.

Maria Sharapova: Love the idea of going for big second serves. Now, if only a few would go in.

Juan Martin del Potro: Just. About. Ready.

Robin Soderling: Fifth best player in a field of four.

Ryan Harrison: Dancing a little too close to the line between intense and insane.

Justine Henin: This was your big chance

Daniela Hantuchova: Playing well, but I’m not buying

Wimbledon officials: Court 2 was wrong place to put Venus

Sam Stosur: The grass is too fast to run around every backhand

Shocker: Dokic over Schiavone

Semis: Serena Williams over Sharapova;  Zvonareva over Azarenka

Semis: Nadal over Murray; Djokovic over Federer

Winners: Nadal, Williams

Crazy Computer: Nadal beats Djokovic to win his fifth major out of the past six. . .and Djokovic moves to No. 1 in the world.

About gregcouch

I can talk tennis all day long, and often do. And yet some of the people I talk to about it might rather I talk about something else. Or with someone else. That’s how it is with tennis, right? Sort of an addiction. Sort of a high. I am a national columnist at FoxSports.com and a FoxSports1 TV insider, and have been a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times. In 2010, I was the only American sports writer to cover the full two weeks of all four majors, and also to cover each of the U.S. Masters series events. I’ve seen a lot of tennis, talked with a lot of players, coaches, agents. I watched from a few rows behind the line judge as Serena rolled her foot onto the baseline for the footfault, a good call, at the 2009 U.S. Open. I sat forever watching a John Isner marathon, leaving for Wimbledon village to watch an England World Cup soccer game at a pub and then returning for hours of Isner, sitting a few feet from his wrecked coach. I got to see Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling joke around on a practice court on the middle Sunday at Wimbledon, placing a small wager on a tiebreaker. Djokovic won, and Soderling pulled a bill out of his wallet, crumpled it into his fist and threw it at Djokovic, who unwadded it, kissed it, and told me, “My work is done here.’’ And when Rafael Nadal won the French Open in 2010, I finished my column, walked back out onto the court, and filled an empty tic tac container with the red clay. I’m looking at it right now. Well, I don’t always see the game the same way others do. I can be hard on tennis, particularly on the characters in suits running it. Tennis has no less scandal and dirt than any other game. Yet somehow, it seems to be covered up, usually from an incredible web of conflicts of interest. I promise to always tell the truth as I see it. Of course, I would appreciate it if you’d let me know when I’m wrong. I love sports arguments and hope to be in a few of them with you here. Personal info: One-handed backhand, serve-and-volleyer. View all posts by gregcouch

One response to “WIMBLEDON WEEK: Quick Last-Second Hits. Can Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams Both Repeat?

  • John JM

    Re: Crazy Computer– Too bad. Then he shouldn’t have dropped 4 straight Master’s finals to the guy. # 1 players don’t do that. I don’t agree that majors are the only tournaments that count. Players know going in that 1000 pts. are on the line, which are a lot, so I don’t believe that they’re not striving for their best play.

    BUT, I think it’s a non-issue because if Djok can get past Fed, he’ll also beat Nadal. If he can’t do it now at his new level, then Nadal is just unbeatable. And I don’t believe that he is.

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