Murray hasn’t had the best prep to defend his title. Losing to Stepanek wasn’t in the plan and the fact that he doesn’t have Lendl who helped him to two Grand Slam wins isn’t ideal. New coach Mauresmo has experience of winning Wimbledon but not of successfully defending the title. The female touch may help Murray as she will pay more attention to his feelings and emotions than Lendl did. Add that to the fact that Murray knows damn well he can’t beat her in an arm wrestle and it could be another winning combination.
Murray doesn’t have an easy draw. He will need to be consistent if he is to reach the quarter final. Fognini in the 4th round won’t be easy and Dimitrov in the quarter final could be the ideal match to fine tune his game. This isn’t going to be a smooth route to the semis.
Nadal’s last win on grass was over Bellucci at Wimbledon in 2012. Rosol, Darcis and Brown have beaten him since. He faces some tough matches if he is going to reach the second week with Sousa in the first round and potentially Paire and Karlovic after that. If Nadal somehow makes it to the quarter finals I reckon he will face Nishikori and if the Japanese player is fit I’d back him to win that one.
Djokovic has Gulbis and Berdych in his section although the latter two will probably meet in the 4th round with Djokovic playing the winner in the quarter final.
Australian Open winner Wawrinka is another of the top players who doesn’t do his best work on the turf. He has a decent chance of making the 4th round where Isner is his most likely opponent. An all Swiss quarter final is a possibility.
Who else could make the 4th round? Kohlschreiber could do it if Nishikori’s body can’t keep up with his ambition. I can see Robredo making the 4th round though he doesn’t have what it takes to beat Federer at Wimbledon.
Predicted quarter finals:
Djokovic v Gulbis
Murray v Dimitrov
Isner v Federer
Nishikori v Nadal
We have had a few strange results in the past few weeks. Normally Serena Williams would be most people’s favourite for the title but she has been well below her best. We have also had several players recently who won their first title. Bouchard, Keys and Vandeweghe all won for the first time.
Halep reached her first Major final at the French Open and must fancy her chances as long as her injury doesn’t get in the way. She has very winnable matches until a potential semi final with Serena Williams or Sharapova.
If Lisicki is going to reach the final again she will need to raise her game a great deal. Pliskova, Ivanovic and Keys could all giver problems based on her recent form.
Azarenka probably isn’t ready to make a serious attempt at the title. Muguruza and Safarova are more than capable of beating her and especially so if she isn’t match fit.
Radwanska is bound to be coming into the tournament feeling she has a chance to do well. There are so many possible banana skins in her section of the draw though. Dellacqua, Kuznetsova and Makarova is no walk in the park. Errani is in there too but I expect her to fall to Makarova in round 3.
Li Na was dumped out of the French Open in the first round. Her route to the semi final is by no means a gimme. Vesnina, Stosur and Wozniacki can give her problems. Kvitova and Stephens will probably meet in the 4th round. This is a tough section to call and a minor surprise or two will leave it wide open.
Predicted quarter finals:
S Williams v Sharapova
Halep v Ivanovic
Safarova v Radwanska
Kvitova v Li