Murray Wins 3rd Queens, Federer Takes First Title in 2013 and 6th Halle Trophy
ATP London (Queen’s Club)
Andy Murray won his third Aegon Championships crown with a hard fought 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Croat Marin Cilic. It was Murray’s third title of the 2013 campaign and he got it done beating Nicolas Mahut, Marinko Matosevic, Benjamin Becker and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 3 sets.
Cilic beat Ivan Dodig, Feliciano Lopez in 3 sets, Tomas Berdych, and Queens Club legend Lleyton Hewitt in 3 sets to reach the final, his 2nd final of 2013 (Zagreb). As a sidenote, Hewitt upset seeded and younger players Grigor Dimitrov, Sam Querrey and Juan Martin Del Potro to reach the semis.
The Bryans won their 8th doubles title of 2013, and are dominating almost every event they enter with Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares their latest final victims.
Roger Federer won his first title in 10 months 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 over Mikhail Youzhny. The win is the 77th career title for Federer and Number 6 in Halle. He now has the 4th-most overall titles won in the Open era and he got there beating Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, double-bageling Mischa Zverev, and beating Tommy Haas in 3 sets.
Colonel Youzhny beat Dani Gimeno-Traver, Kei Nishikori in 3 sets, Phillip Kohlschreiber and Richard Gasquet.
Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky won the doubles title over Daniele Bracciali and Jonathan Erlich.
2013 ATP London, Halle Previews and Predictions
Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
The dirt season is now over and tennis will return to the ornate lawns of Queen’s Club and the Gerry Weber Open, bringing faster tennis and more volleying.
ATP London (Queen’s Club)
ATP World Tour 250
June 10-June 16, 2013
Prize money: € 779,665
The Big Bracket 250 and joint WTA event brings tennis back to London.
Top 8 seeds (who all receive 1st round byes)
1: Andy Murray
2: Tomas Berdych
3: Juan Martin Del Potro
4: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
5: Marin Cilic
6: Sam Querrey
7: Alex Dolgopolov
8: Kevin Anderson
1st round matchups to watch:
Bernard Tomic vs. Benjamin Becker
Tomic is in dire straits right now but he still has talent and he still has skill on grass. Becker is a journeyman, but he is in the finals of Nottingham and is solid at trying to wear guys down.Have to say Becker is the favorite but this should be a quality match.
Kenny De Schepper vs. Rajeev Ram
De Schepper is a rising young Frenchman who relies on power and a big serve. Ram is of course the lanky American serve and volleyer who does his best work on grass, thus making this a great clash of styles. De Schepper comes off semis in the Nottingham challenger while Ram lost early, thus he should have a bit of an edge.
(13) Jarkko Nieminen vs. Ryan Harrison
First meeting between the pair: Nieminen has had a solid year and is good on all surfaces, while Harrison is working his way back to success but lost in the opening round of the Nottingham grass court challenger this week. Expect quality ball striking and a lot of fast movement.
Andy Murray will be able to occupy his time with something besides twittering once again. He’ll start with Nicolas Mahut or Rhyne Williams and if he gets Mahut again, it would be a rematch of a match he lost at this very event last year. After that, Murray should meet Marinko Matosevic or Michael Llodra. A qualifier and Pablo Andujar are also options in a winnable but challenging section.
The struggling Alex Dolgopolov will play Santiago Giraldo or Jesse Levine, and the winner could get Lukas Rosol, who comes off a clay challenger. A qualifier and the Becker/Tomic winner are all options in this open section.
RG semifinalist Tsonga, who was very disappointing in his semifinal match, will take on Guillaume Rufin or Edouard Roger-Vasselin. After that, he could see Tatsuma Ito, Andrey Kuznetsov, Denis Istomin or Igor Sijsling (who is playing well right now). Istomin will be looking for some better results off of clay.
The versatile Kevin Anderson will play the De Schepper/Ram winner in a key 2nd round match and that should be followed by Benoit Paire, a qualifier, Denis Kudla or Federico Del Bonis.
Tomas Berdych, who fell in that huge opening round match at the French against Monfils, will try again against Thiemo De Bakker or Rogerio Dutra Silva. Dutchman De Bakker has been playing a bit better recently and could do some damage. The rest of this section is Grega Zemlja, Sergiy Stakhovsky and British wild cards Ed Corrie and Kyle Edmund, a couple of young guns.
Marin Cilic could be facing his countryman and the Croatian #2 Ivan Dodig. If Dodig can beat British journeyman James Ward, then Julian Benneteau and Adrian Mannarino will face each other while the crafty Ricardas Berankis will play a qualifier. Benneteau beat Berankis at the French Open in a quality match and Rycka will try to get him back on the grass if they meet.
Juan Martin Del Potro is back in the field after many questions about his health. He’ll play Guillermo Garcia-Lopez or grass maestro Xaiver Malisse and the winner should get Nieminen/Harrison. Guido Pella and British Davis Cup hero Dan Evans are also options.
Sam Querrey should feel much more comfortable on grass and will play Aljaz Bedene or Paul-Henri Mathieu and then could get Grigor Dimitrov, Dudi Sela or veterans Michael Russell and Lleyton Hewitt.This section is deeply intriguing.
Dark Horse: Lleyton Hewitt
There are a lot of choices in terms of dark horses, but Hewitt played well and went out in 5 sets in Paris. Now back on the comfortable confines of grass he has a draw that gives him a chance to make to some noise if he can beat Muscles Russell and then Grisha Dimitrov, followed by an upset of Sam Querrey most likely. After that, it will probably be another big match with Del Potro. He will not be favored after the opening round but anything is possible when it comes to the tenacious veteran.
Murray d. Anderson
Berdych d. Querrey
Murray should be able to find his way to the semis as long as his back is ok though Rosol could be a challenge. Anderson needs to get past De Schepper/Ram, but after that things open up and Tsonga is probably tired from the French, setting up the South African for another good showing. Still, I don’t think it will be enough against the counterpuncher Murray who can parry him well. the h2h is 1-1, but they haven’t met since 2011.
Berdych, though he lost, really didn’t play poorly at RG, and his draw is about as good as it gets, likely rolling the semis unless an underdog like Berankis were to pull off a shock. I also think Querrey squeaks past his section and I can’t trust Del Potro health-wise right now. Berdych is just a better version of Querrey in almost every department, owning a 5-1 h2h record against him.
Berdych d. Murray
Could be a great final. Overall, Berdych leads the h2h 5-4 but Murray has a better record on faster surfaces.
Gerry Weber Open
ATP World Tour 250
June 10-June 16, 2013
Prize money: € 779,665
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes)
1: Roger Federer
2: Richard Gasquet
3: Tommy Haas
4: Kei Nishikori
1st round matchups to watch:
(7) Jerzy Janowicz vs. Phillip Petzschner
Janowicz made the 3rd round in Paris and has the game to do damage on grass given his good serve and quality volleying. Petzschner really is one of those players who only gets fanfare during the grass court season and thus this is an interesting match.
(5) Milos Raonic vs. Gael Monfils
Raonic will be happy to return to some quicker courts while Monfils was one of the huge storylines in Paris, this is a massive match and Raonic will be the favorite though Monfils won their only meeting indoors in 2011. Monfils is still unpredictable but at least he should be somewhat more rested.
4 time Halle champ Roger Federer gets Cedrik-Marcel Stebe or a qualifier, then should get the Janowicz/Petzschner winner, unless David Goffin or Mischa Zverev get through to round 3.
FO quarterfinalist Tommy Haas will play Ernests Gulbis for the 3rd time this year (having split meetings so far) if Gulbis beats Marcos Baghdatis in what would be an entertaining second round match. The Raonic/Monfils winner will play Daniel Brands or a qualifier in another big round 2 match.
Richard Gasquet will play Jurgen Melzer or a qualifier, then he will get one of Florian Mayer, Jan-Lennard Struff, Leo Mayer or a qualifier in an easy section. Kei Nishikori will play Mikhail Youzhny or Dani Gimeno-Traver and the winner likely gets Phillip Kohlschreiber if Kohli beats Carlos Berlocq and Lukasz Kubot/Tobias Kamke.
Dark Horse: Jerzy Janowicz
Janowicz has the game for grass but it will all come down to a likely round 3 meeting with Federer, Fed is still one of the best players ever on grass, but this year he has just not been reliable, losing once again before the semis, to Tsonga in Paris. With Janowicz rising and Federer slipping the conditions are ripe for an upset after that he could get Haas/Brands/Gulbis/Raonic/Monfils all of whom would be tough, and Brands qualifies as a bit of a dark horse too. I will note Federer did beat Janowicz in Rome this year, but that was on clay. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xfOtobpn_E
Janowicz d. Haas
Kohlschreiber d. Gasquet
Haas has a tough section but I think he makes it out before falling to the big Pole, Kohlschreiber should beat Nishikori on grass and then edge Gasquet who has a cupcake draw until the semis.
Janowicz d. Kohlschreiber
Janowicz won their only meeting last year indoors in Paris in route to the masters final and I think he wins his first ATP title in Halle.
Magic Murray is Golden in London, Del Po takes Bronze
Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
Andy Murray earned the biggest win of his career over Roger Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4, in the Olympic final on home turf at Wimbledon to earn the much deserved gold medal in an emotional victory. The raucous crowd urged their man on in their home Olympic games as he delivered a confident, methodical and smashing win over the man many have called the king of grass, avenging his loss in the Wimbledon final one month ago.
Murray broke twice in the first set and the second break closed the set out at 6-2. Then, he proceeded to roll an entire set of games in a row on Federer in the second. The key breakthrough came as Federer was unable to break Murray during a very long game early in the second set. In the third, the tennis was a bit more closely matched, but it was Murray who was top class, breaking midway through the third and then proceeding to confidently serve it out. He closed out the match with three smashing aces that Federer couldn’t answer.
Murray’s play was at his highest level. He was moving well, volleying brilliantly, including some extremely nifty flick volleys, and hitting from the baseline with excellence. While he did not serve the highest percentage, he got the aces when he needed them and managed to stave off any break points Federer received.
It was quite a different Roger Federer from the one who beat Murray in four sets just one month ago at Wimbledon on the grass. One has to wonder if his marathon match against Juan Martin Del Potro in the semis took something out of him, but either way his play was stuck in third gear most of the match with too many errors and a failure to capitalize on the chances he did have.
For Federer, it is a tough loss and a big blow to him as he was gunning hard for an Olympic gold in singles, one of the few accomplishments he has not achieved in his career and something that clearly meant a lot to him. Even in defeat, he remained sportsmanlike and still gets a well-deserved silver medal.
As for “Magic Murray”, he gets a much needed confidence boost and hopefully relieves a great deal of pressure. Even though the Olympics isn’t a grand slam event, the quality of the field and the tennis he had to play to win Gold was very similar, as was the feeling around the importance of the event. He will have a chance at the US Open and beyond as he got past his rivals Federer and Djokovic. You really have to hand it to the British crowd for pulling him and Team Great Britain through in the home Olympics.
In order to make the final, Federer beat Alejandro Falla in three tough sets, Julien Benneteau (who didn’t trouble him this time like he did at Wimbledon), Denis Istomin, last American standing John Isner, and Del Potro in a marathon match 3-6, 7-6, 19-17. Both Del Potro and Federer had chances to win in the third set, and Federer choked away a lot of break points but finally converted and managed to pull it off. After his victory over Del Potro, Federer was choked up during his post match interview while Del Potro walked off the court amid tears and apparently cried for many hours more.
Murray beat Stan Wawrinka, Jarkko Nieminen, Marcos Baghdatis, Nicolas Almagro and confidently handled Novak Djokovic 7-5, 7-5 to make the final. Murray dueled serves with Djokovic and broke him at the end of both sets to win. Both guys played some skillful tennis and expended a lot of energy in the semi.
In the bronze match, Juan Martin Del Potro took it over Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-4. Showing little signs of fatigue or depression after playing two long matches the day before, including a 19-17 third set loss to Federer in the singles semi. At four hours and change, it was a record setting match in length. Del Potro’s victory assured that there has been a medalist from South America in men’s singles the past three Olympic Games.
Djokovic will certainly be disappointed after two tough losses back to back and failing to repeat as bronze medalist, but he still did well to make it as far as he did. Djokovic also survived a third round test against the tenacious Lleyton Hewitt, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. Hewitt nearly knocked him off and turned back the clock.
In the men’s doubles, the Bryan Brothers took the gold and completed the career slam over the exciting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra, who took silver. Another French team of Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet took the bronze medal over David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez. Tsonga played a lot of tennis himself, including a 25-23 third set win over Milos Raonic in singles, the second most games in a set behind the epic Isner-Mahut match at Wimbledon a couple of years back.
The two French teams produced plenty of flair in the 2012 Olympics and their winning celebrations were quite a thing to behold as were many of their shots. http://morganemoulin.tumblr.com/post/28693623174/jo-wilfried-tsonga-and-michael-llodra (Tsonga/Llodra celebration)
Lastly, in mixed doubles, Murray and his partner, the young and talented 18-year-old British player, Laura Robson, fell in a tight match to Belarusians Max Mirnyi and Vika Azarenka, who were thrilled with their gold medal. Azarenka also won the bronze in women’s singles, while Mirnyi was the flag bearer for Belarus and played in what he says will be his final Olympics. It is worth noting that the team of Murray/Robson was a mixed doubles wild card while Mirnyi/Azeranka were the top seeds, so it was a good result for both teams. Americans Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond took the bronze over Germans Christopher Kas and Sabine Lisicki.
Murray (gold and silver), Mike Bryan (gold and bronze), Serena Williams (singles gold and ladies doubles gold) and Azarenka (gold and bronze) all walked away with more than one medal in the Olympic tennis event.
Olympic Tennis Preview: Men’s Singles
Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
Just a few weeks after Wimbledon, the top tennis players are back at the All England Club vying not for trophies but for Olympic medals in the 2012 London Olympic games. In the 2008 Beijing Games, Rafael Nadal took home the gold, Fernando Gonzalez took home the silver and Novak Djokovic the bronze. As Gonzalez is retired and Nadal had to pull out with knee problems, we will have some new medalists. Here is a preview of the draw. (http://2012.itftennis.com/olympics/results/men%27s-singles.aspx)
Top 8 Seeds:
1: Roger Federer
2: Novak Djokovic
3: Andy Murray
4: David Ferrer
5: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
6: Tomas Berdych
7: Janko Tipsarevic
8: Juan Martin Del Potro
1st round match ups to watch:
Roger Federer vs. Alejandro Falla
The Wimbledon champion will start his quest for gold in singles (he won the gold in doubles with Stanislas Wawrinka in the 2008 Games) against the man who pushed him to five sets in the 2010 Wimbledon tournament. While Federer will be a heavy favorite, there is always a chance for a scare.
Denis Istomin vs. Fernando Verdasco
Istomin reached the fourth round of Wimbledon while Verdasco has been up and down recently. FerVer is higher ranked but Istomin will have a good chance in this match up.
David Nalbandian vs. Janko Tipsarevic
Nalby and Tipsy will face a rematch after Tipsarevic beat Nalbandian in the first round of Wimbledon this year. Tipsarevic has also been on fire recently, winning Stuttgart and reaching the final of Gstaad. While that was on clay, it is still a good indication of his current form and why he will be a favorite in this match up. That being said, Nalbandian is always a threat on grass.
Bernard Tomic vs. Kei Nishikori
A couple of the most hyped young players in the game, Tomic and Nishikori have had polar career turns recently with Tomic having a very bad year and Nishikori having a good but inconsistent year. Tomic, who had a masterful run at Wimbledon last year, has not made a quarterfinal in any tournament since April and he bombed out his first match at both tournaments he played on grass, Eastbourne and Wimbledon. For his part, Nishikori is 20-12 on the year and reached the Round of 32 at Wimbledon and the Quarterfinals in Newport. He will be a favorite against Tomic, but both guys still have a lot of potential.
Stanislas Wawrinka vs. Andy Murray
If Andy Murray is to do well in his home nations Olympics, he will have to get past Stanislas Wawrinka in the opening round. Murray made the final of Wimbledon this year while Wawrinka will be the flag bearer for Switzerland in the opening ceremony. Wawrinka is not the most comfortable on grass but he is still a dangerous player who could cause problems for Murray.
David Goffin vs. Juan Monaco
One of the most intriguing young players in the game right now, Goffin will face Monaco, who just broke into the top ten and is in top form going into London. Goffin reached the Round of 32 at Wimbledon and the Round of 16 at the French Open. Monaco, who won Hamburg and was a finalist in Stuttgart will be a favorite, but Goffin could pull an upset.
Wimbledon Champ Federer will likely be able to reach the quarters, but to do so he will have to get past some old rivals. After Falla, he would draw Julien Benneteau, who pushed him to five sets at this year’s Wimbledon. He could also see Mikhail Youzhny, and could then play Istomin or Verdasco in the third round. His other two options are Atlanta finalist Gilles Muller and Adrian Ungur of Romania.
Tipsaervic could face Phillip Petzschner, who replaced Ivo Karlovic, or Lukas Lacko in the second round, and then could play a big third round clash with John Isner. Isner will face veteran serve and volleyer Olivier Rochus and then the winner of Lu Yen-Hsun and Malek Jaziri, neither of which should be too hard for Big John. The winner of that match makes the Quarters.
David Ferrer, now Spain’s top ranked participant, opens up against the young Vasek Pospisil of Canada. He would then face the winner of Philip Kohlschreiber vs. Blaz Kavic, a couple of guys who have been playing a lot of clay recently. Ferrer could face a dangerous third round clash with Nishikori. Nishikori will have to get through Tomic and Radek Stepanek or Nikolay Davydenko to make the date with Ferrer.
Del Potro opens up against Ivan Dodig and could face Andreas Seppi, who has had a great year and possibly Gilles Simon in the third round. Also lurking is the young Grigor Dimitrov, who has a game that does well on grass. Dimitrov opens up against Lukasz Kubot of Poland and then would face Simon or Mikhail Kukushkin.
Novak Djokovic faces Fabio Fognini in the opener and could get a strong looking Andy Roddick in what would be a second round blockbuster. If he gets through that, Marin Cilic is his likely third round opponent. Keep an eye on wily veterans Lleyton Hewitt and Jurgen Melzer, who spent a week in Vegas before the Olympics.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga starts off against a recently top performing Thomaz Bellucci and then could face the dangerous Milos Raonic in the second round. After that, he could play Monaco, who, after Goffin, will face the winner of Dmitry Tursunov vs. Feliciano Lopez.
The home favorite Murray will get Somdev Devvarman of India or Jarkko Nieminen of Finland in the second round after facing Wawrinka. Another rematch with Richard Gasquet could be in the cards for the third round. Go Soeda and Marcos Baghdatis, the flag bearer for Cyprus, are also in this part of the draw as is Dutchman Robin Haase.
A slumping Tomas Berdych, who lost in the first round to Ernest Gulbis at Wimbledon, will open against Steve Darcis of Belgium then could face Ryan Harrison in the second round. Rival Nicolas Almagro is lurking in the third round. Harrison starts off with Santiago Giraldo, while Almagro faces Viktor Troicki and then either Carlos Berlocq or Alex Bogomolov.
Dark Horse: Grigor Dimitrov
The young Bulgarian is finally coming into his own and recently reached the semis in Bastad and Gstaad on clay. He has a game that plays well on grass and also reached the semis of Queen’s Club. He is 18-12 on the year and has a pretty lucky draw, as Gilles Simon hasn’t really been performing well recently and Del Potro is rather inconsistent. He has a nice shot at the quarterfinals at least.
Federer d. Tipsarevic
Ferrer d. Dimitrov
Murray d. Almagro
Djokovic d. Monaco
Federer d. Ferrer
Murray d. Djokovic
Federer d. Murray
In what would be a rematch of the Wimbledon final, and a second chance for Andy Murray to best Federer in best of five sets in front of the home fans.
3rd place match:
Djokovic d. Ferrer
Djokovic will attempt to repeat as Bronze medalist.
Last night, Serena Williams was scheduled to be in attendance at the Washington Kastles home match against the Kansas City Explorers, but decided against testing her back before London 2012. Venus Williams substituted for her younger sister and she did not disappoint in any way. After posting back-to-back 5-1 wins in womens singles and doubles to give the home team an insurmountable lead, Williams was warmly embraced by the sellout crowd and attracted so many well wishers all the way to her ride to the airport that she must have cut the flight close. You can catch that scene at the end of the video below.
Earlier, in a pre-match press conference, Wiliams was asked what she thought about grunting. She said “tonight you’ll see the intensity level go and up and down, the voices will go up and down, in the crowd and on the court. It’s just tennis.”
Venus Williams is about much more than just tennis. Pro tennis players rarely make an impact on our lives the way that Venus has. What else can explain the intense attachment that the fans feel for her?
2012 Wimbledon Week 2 Men’s Preview
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
Week 1 at “The Championships” has finished up, and the story of the week has to be upsets, the biggest one being Lukas Rosol. The world no. 100 overcame Rafael Nadal in what was an absolutely thrilling 5 set shocker that will be forever embedded in the memory of tennis fans. Tomas Berdych fell to Ernest Gulbis in the 1st round and Roger Federer also suffered a near upset as Julien Benneteau gave him a scare, but Fed survived in 5 to carry on. Here is a breakdown of the remaining field round of 16 match ups.
Novak Djokovic vs. Viktor Troicki
Djokovic, who lost a set against Radek Stepanek in his 3rd round match but has otherwise looked quite sharp will take on his countryman Troicki, who has been a pleasant surprise, notching wins over Marcel Granollers and Martin Klizan in 5 and Juan Monaco in straights. While Troicki has played well, the fatigue of the long matches he has played will likely catch up to him and it is unlikely he will have the game to dispatch Djokovic, who can already see the final.
Richard Gasquet vs. Florian Mayer
Gasquet has won all his matches in straight sets while Mayer needed 5 sets to finish off 2nd round opponent Phillip Petzschner (who gave a good account for himself) and Polish surprise Jerzy Janowicz. Janowicz beat the man who beat Berdych, the lovable underachiever Ernest Gulbis in the previous round. Gasquet will be a favorite, but the German Mayer has a sharp game that could give Richard trouble.
Roger Federer vs. Xavier Malisse
As mentioned earlier, Federer needed 5 sets and came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Benneteau in the previous round but won his other 2 matches in straights, while Malisse one of the picks for dark horse this week has done his job beating, Marinko Matosevic and seeded players Gilles Simon (who might have been a bit distracted thanks to his own mouth) and Fernando Verdasco in 5. X-Man is a wily vet, but Federer will likely put the pedal to the metal in this one, hoping to avoid another scare.
Denis Istomin vs. Mikhail Youzhny
Istomin is the first Uzbek man to ever reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon and did so by beating the seeded Italian Andreas Seppi, Igor Andreev, and Alejandro Falla. Youzhny has had a nice career resurgence recently and took out the 8 seed Janko Tipsarevic to make the round of 16. Youzhny might be a slight favorite in this one but it could go either way.
David Ferrer vs. Juan Martin Del Potro
Ferrer outhit Andy Roddick to advance, along with winning his 2 other previous matches in straights. Del Potro beat Robin Haase in 4, Go Soeda in 4 and another man from Japan, Kei Nishikori, who did well coming off an absence, in straights to advance. Ferrer will be the favorite but Del Potro has the ability to get the win if he can play consistently and keep pressure on Ferrer.
Marin Cilic vs. Andy Murray
Marin Cilic outlasted Sam Querrey in a 5 set, 5 1/2hr epic that finished 17-15 in the 5th, making it the 2nd longest match in Wimbledon history. Cilic will now face Andy Murray. He also beat Cedrik-Marcel Stebe and Lukasz Kubot. While he is playing well, the question is: Will he have anything left in the tank to pull it off? Murray, meanwhile, handled Nikolay Davydenko and Ivo Karlovic before sending off Marcos Baghdatis in 4 under the gun of the dreaded Wimbledon 11 pm curfew.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Mardy Fish
Tsonga dispatched his 3 early round opponents and is looking very strong, while Fish has done remarkably well after a long absence from the tour. He needed 5 sets to beat Brit James Ward, but he knocked off wunderkind David Goffin (who beat Tomic earlier in the week). If he has his game in top shape, there is a chance of a win against Tsonga. Still, Jo-Willie will be the favorite.
Brian Baker vs. Phillip Kohlschreiber
Both these guys have done remarkably well to reach the round of 16, but they got a lot of help from Lukas Rosol, who knocked out big dog Nadal. Kohli was able to outlast a likely lightheaded Rosol to advance and also beat Malek Janziri and countryman Tommy Haas in 5 sets in the 1st round. Baker, who continues his red-hot play dispatched his 1st 2 opponents in straights and needed 4 sets to take down Benoit Paire. Peppo is the seeded player, but Baker is playing so well right he might be the slight favorite.
Djokovic d. Gasquet
Federer d. Youzhny
Murray d. Ferrer
Tsonga d. Baker
Djokovic d. Federer
Tsonga d. Murray
Djokovic d. Tsonga
If this somewhat surprising final occurs, it would be a rematch of their French Open battle and Tsonga’s 2nd Grand Slam final appearance, the other being at the 2008 Aussie open which he lost to Djokovic.
2012 ATP Halle and Queen’s Club Recap
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
Tommy Haas continued his shocking run of stellar play, taking the Halle title today over fellow veteran Roger Federer, 7-6 6-4. The world number 87, who recently broke back in the top 100 at the age of 34, rolled over Bernard Tomic, Tomas Berdych in 3 sets and countryman Philip Kohlschreiber (who had shocked Nadal in his previous round match to reach the final) before taking it to Federer.
Haas showed more than glimpses of his former top 10 self: beating players much his junior and showing not only grit but also great skill on the grass, just as he had shown on clay in Paris and Munich.
Federer will go home disappointed but he still beat Florian Mayer, survived in 3 sets over big bomber Milos Raonic (who couldn’t close him out) and shellacked Mikhail Youzhny to reach yet another final on grass.
Aisam Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer won the doubles title over Treat Huey and Scott Lipsky.
ATP London Queen’s Club
Yet another aggressive David Nalbandian outburst gave Marin Cilic the title in the AEGON Championships, even though he was down 6-7 4-3. The incident occurred when Nalbandian kicked an advertising board in rage around a lines judge and accidentally injured him in the process, causing the linesman’s leg to bleed profusely.
It not only made quite the mess but also resulted in Nalby being DQ’ed and Cilic taking the title to the shock of fans who proceeded to boo profusely all the way through the trophy ceremony. This is not the first time this year Nalbandian has suffered from a violent outburst, as he was fined $8,000 for throwing water at another tournament official during his first round match at the Australian Open. It was an unfortunate incident any way you look at it.
As for the rest of the tournament, it was a week of upsets as top 3 seeds Murray, Tsonga and Tipsarevic all fell before the quarterfinals to much lower ranked players. Nalbandian came from a set down to beat Vasek Pospisil, handled Ruben Bemelmans, came back from a set down to beat both Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Xaiver Malisse, and then rolled over refreshing youngster Grigor Dimitrov to reach the final.
Dimitrov punched above his weight this week as well, as he beat Bobby Reynolds, Nicolas Mahut (who upset Andy Murray in the previous round) and came from a set down to beat the big serving Kevin Anderson.
6 seed Cilic took care of Matt Ebden, Lukas Rosol, Yen Hsun-Lu (who beat Tipsy Tipsarevic in the previous round) and suprising Sam Querrey to reach the final. Querrey had beaten seeded players Julien Benneteau and Denis Istomin along with (Tsonga-eliminator) Ivan Dodig and Olivier Rochus.
The event was also marred by a lot of rain, as can be expected during the British summer and a lot of the match schedules became convoluted. Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor beat the Bryans for the 2nd week in a row to take the doubles title.