What just happened here. Am I seeing things or did a qualifier just knock off the two time Wimbledon champion? As unbelievable as it may sound Lukas Rosol, ranked #100 in the world, took out Nadal in a five set match. I picked Nadal to win Wimbledon, so not only does this victory give Rosol, a massive confidence boost but it opens up the draw and gives players like Brian Baker and Phillip Kohlscrieber a realistic look at reaching the quarter-finals. Rosol, has done what every qualifier dreams of doing. Playing the match of his life against a highly revered legend and grinding out the win in a furious five set showdown. I had to look up the last time Nadal lost this early. It was Wimbledon 2005. Can you believe that? Seven years of reaching the finals or winning (not including ’09.) This is the first person, aside from Djokovic to have beaten him at a slam, in over a year and he wasn’t even ranked inside the top 100.
So, yeah this upset opens up the draw quite a bit. Of the bottom half players, Tsonga or Murray are the two most likely to benefit from this. Even though I had originally predicted Murray to lose early, it looks like I’m going to have to revise my statement.
Murray, put up an impressive win over Karlovic and with no Nadal in his section, Andy’s road suddenly looks a lot better. Things are shaping up nicely for him.
There were a few surprising upsets in the top half as well, with Ernst Gulbis knocking off the tenth seed Tomas Berdych in three tie-breaks. He then fell to Jerzy Janowizic in a close five setter. Another guy, who you’ve just never heard of before. Makes you wonder if it’ll be a turning point in their careers? Certainly, in Rosol’s case. He’s going to have his name etched in history as the guy who ended Nadal’s run at the finals.
As far as the top half is concerned. Federer and Djokovic look the most promising to advance. That doesn’t come as a surprise. Djokovic, may have to go through his Davis Cup buddy Victor Troicki, to reach the quarter-finals. Troicki has only beaten Djokovic once, but he has been known to give him competitive matches.
I can’t see anyone getting the better of Roger, until the semis. He’s looked sharp so far and again with Nadal out he’s got a good chance at winning another slam. If he can get past Nole, he can handle anyone else, left in the draw.
Now, for my revised prediction. First the quarter finals:
1. Novak Djokovic vs 18. Richard Gasquet
3. Roger Federer vs 8. Janko Tipsarevic
9. Juan Martin Del Potro vs 4. Andy Murray
5. Jo Wilfried Tsonga vs Benoit Paire
from there to the semi-finals
1. Novak Djokovic vs 3. Roger Federer
4. Andy Murray vs 5. Jo Wilfried Tsonga
and then the finals
3. Roger Federer vs 5. Jo Wilfried Tsonga
With the Wimbledon winner being Roger Federer.