So does anyone think Cilic can defend his title? Surely not. Worcester City have more chance of reaching the Premiership.
Let’s take a look at the 4 sections and try to figure out who might make it to the quarter finals.
This section has Djokovic and Nadal. Djokovic has a reasonably easy draw. Pospisil and Seppi are not going to trouble him as long as he is fit. His first test is likely to come in the shape of Goffin in the 4th round. When I made my notes on the draw I wrote down Goffin beats Djokovic! I don’t remember the thought process that led up to writing that down! Goffin took a set from him in Cincinnati but he won’t beat a healthy Djokovic in a best of 5 set format. Maybe my subconscious predicted an upset!
The other half of the section has some big servers. Raonic has been a little out of sorts recently. Lopez had been in a dip in form too but played much better last week. Steve Johnson rediscovered his serving ability this week but his fighting ability left him when he took on Herbert in the semi final.
Nadal will probably meet Johnson in the 3rd round. I don’t think Johnson is ready mentally to win that one. Raonic and Lopez could meet in the 3rd round but they will have to work hard to get there. Raonic faces Verdasco who can up his game in big matches and Lopez won’t have an easy time against Mardy Fish who looked impressive in Cincinnati.
I have gone For Raonic and Nadal to meet in the 4th round. An in form Raonic would give Nadal some problems but unless the big Canadian can find some real form this week we will see a Djokovic v Nadal quarter final
Predicted quarter final: Djokovic v Nadal
Outsiders with a chance: Goffin and Raonic
Nishikori and Ferrer head this section of the draw. It looks like being a very open section as we have Tsonga, Cilic, Monfils and Dimitrov. Just for good measure there’s also Chardy who has played some good tennis recently and also Dolgopolov and Robredo who have both shown excellent recent form.
Nishikori has had a great season. He withdrew last week but I think that was a precautionary measure to be ready for the slam. I don’t see Stepanek bothering him. Dolgopolov and Robredo are set to meet in the second round. I think Robredo will go forward to meet Nishikori.
All the third round matches in this section are ones that any tennis fan will want to watch. Tsonga v Monfils. Cilic v Dimitrov. Chardy v Ferrer.
Tsonga seems in good shape at the moment and I expect him to have a great tournament. He will be too strong for Monfils. Cilic v Dimitrov is a tricky one. Both have had poor matches in recent tournaments. Cilic has more to play for but I expect the pressure of being defending champion will be too much for him.
Ferrer reached the quarter final of the French Open. He has played just 1 match since then which was in Nottingham where he lost to Baghdatis in straight sets. Potentially he faces Chardy in the 3rd round. If Chardy’s strong form continues he will beat Florian Mayer in round 2. I would actually favour Chardy to beat Ferrer. The Spaniard will obviously fight all the way but he is woefully short of match practise.
Predicted quarter final: Nishikori v Dimitrov
Outsider with a chance: Tsonga
Murray and Wawrinka head this section.
Wawrinka will need to be focused if he is to make the quarter finals. Sock could test him in the third round. Simon will definitely make him work hard in the 4th. To get that far Simon needs to get past Gulbis and Troicki.
Murray has a pretty good draw. Kyrgios in the 1st round could be a banana skin but I expect him to deal with the gobby Aussie. Murray will love any mind games that Kyrgios can come up with. Mannarino and Bellucci are his probable opponents in rounds 2 and 3.
Murray’s opponent in the 4th round will be one of Anderson, Istomin or Thiem. Istomin and Thiem are likely to meet in the second round with the winner meeting Anderson. I think unless Thiem plays an inspired first week we will see Anderson in the 4th round.
Predicted quarter final: Wawrinka v Murray
Outsider with a chance: Simon
Berdych and Federer head up this section.
Berdych’s form has been a little flat lately. He will have a good warm up match against Kudla in round 2. The 3rd round will probably put him against Querrey. That match could easily go Querrey’s way if Berdych is below par.
Tomic and Hewitt meet in the second round and I have to go with Tomic for that one.
His opponent in the 3rd round looks like being Gasquet. I’d expect Gasquet to go through to play either Berdych or Querrey in the 4th round.
Federer will meet Baghdatis in the second round. Federer will play the winner from Kohlschreiber v Rosol which should be tight but I expect Kohlschreiber to come through.
The other part of this section has Isner and Karlovic who look likely to meet in the 3rd round. I think Isner will come through the battle of the big servers and will meet Federer.
Predicted quarter finals: Gasquet v Federer
Outsider with a chance: Berdych – Seems strange to call Berdych an outsider! He will need to hit the sort of level that he showed earlier in the season but if he does he can take out Gasquet.