• Federer, Nadal on quarterfinal collision course

    6/23/13 3:53 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Federer, Nadal on quarterfinal collision course A brutal third quarter of the Wimbledon draw features former champions Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Lleyton Hewitt. Topshelf Open runner-up Stanislas Wawrinka will face Hewitt in the first round.

    A rematch of three Wimbledon title matches could take place as early as the quarterfinals of this year's installment. With Rafael Nadal at the mercy of the draw as the No. 5 seed, he ended up finding himself in the same section as Roger Federer.

    Nadal--the winner at SW19 in 2008 and 2010--and Federer--a seven-time champion--will collide in the last eight if they both take care of business through four rounds. The Spaniard's most dangerous roadblock en route may be either Stanislas Wawrinka or John Isner, while Federer's path could include Lukas Rosol and Jerzy Janowicz. Rosol, of course, stunned Nadal in the 2012 second round.

    Wawrinka, meanwhile, is coming off a runner-up finish in 's-Hertogenbosch on Saturday. The 10th-ranked Swiss will have to get right back in gear because is a faced with blockbuster Monday opener against Lleyton Hewitt, who won Wimbledon in 2002. Wawrinka leads the head-to-head series 2-1, including 1-0 on grass (a five-setter during Davis Cup action in 2011).

    Nadal will kick off his campaign against Steve Darcis before possible dates with Lukasz Kubot and then Benoit Paire. Federer is set for a first-round meeting with Victor Hanescu before potentially running into Sergiy Stakhovsky (second round) Rosol (third round), and either Janowicz or Nicolas Almagro (fourth round).

    Other opening-round matches to watch are Isner vs. Evgeny Donskoy and Fabio Fognini vs. Jurgen Melzer.

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^Actually the weather forecast is good. Getting warmer!

deuce , 6/23/13 9:09 AM

Wmby organizers are not stupid. They know who the rock star is.......

rafaisthebest , 6/23/13 9:21 AM

they say that there's a thin line between love and hate. could it be that seventeen is delusionally (is this a word) in love with Rafa? :-)

phoenix , 6/23/13 9:36 AM

@seventeen, 6/23/13 9:30 AM

Last year, Fed played his 1st round match on court No. 1.

Augustina08 , 6/23/13 10:03 AM

Ricky - "The Spaniard's most dangerous roadblock en route may be either Stanislas Wawrinka or John Isner,"

Geez! How hard is it to make Rafa's cup look half empty? His h2h against his most 'dangerous' opponents are Wawa, 10:0 and Isner, 3:0. Granted, every match is a new challenge and nothing is set in stone it does sound a little bit OTT.

nadline , 6/23/13 10:09 AM

Didn't Wawa just lose the final at that tournament with the name I don't even want to bother spelling? To Mahut?

So he is supposed to be the big threat to Rafa? Really? A guy who has never won even one set off Rafa?

Then we have Isner? Come on! I know he is a big server who can stand there blasting aces all over the place and be a pain to play, but he has not been in good form this year at all.

If those are the supposed roadblocks for Rafa, then he isn't going to have any probems.

Nativenewyorker , 6/23/13 10:20 AM redible-Rafael-Nadal-darkest-hour.html

If we are honest, we have lost sight of the scale of Rafael Nadal's achievements in the past four months.

Even if he does not win Wimbledon - and I make him third favourite behind Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray - he has already made a convincing case to be nominated as Player of the Year.

It is staggering that a man whose career was plunged into darkness, when he flew home to Majorca after losing in the second round of Wimbledon to unknown Lukas Rosol last summer, should have returned to illuminate the game so comprehensively after seven months out.

My Top 4 men (seeding)
N Djokovic (1) v JM del Potro (8)
A Murray (2) v R Nadal (5)

Novak Djokovic (Serbia)

With each week Nadal was absent, fears grew that his career might be over because of the wear and tear on his knees.

He missed the Olympic Games at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. When he made such an early withdrawal from his scheduled return ahead of the Australian Open in January, Nadal claimed to have a virus.

But he is not the type of competitor to give in to a virus so far ahead of the first major of the year.

Was it really a case that his knee problems had flared again?

Nadal's camp closed ranks and said little - and his comeback was delayed until February, at a low-key event in Chile.

Since then Nadal has appeared in nine consecutive finals and won seven of them, including the French Open for a record eighth time.

He has lost just two matches and has claimed victories over Djokovic, in an epic semi-final in Paris, and Roger Federer on the Swiss player's favoured hard courts, in Indian Wells.

His five-set win over Djokovic at the French Open delivered an emphatic message: I'm back.

The calibre of the last two sets was of a quality that has rarely, if ever, been bettered on a clay court.

If Nadal's win in the final over David Ferrer was routine in comparison, that's only a further measure of the man.

Until then, Ferrer had not dropped a set. What Nadal has done in 2013 is the stuff of legend - and should be acclaimed as the work of a special talent, a man who has an aura and appeal that everyone loves.

Read more: redible-Rafael-Nadal-darkest-hour.html#ixzz2X1zRWBgL
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rafaisthebest , 6/23/13 11:45 AM

I think Feli is a much bigger roadblock to Nole than Wawa is to Rafa.

phoenix , 6/23/13 12:04 PM

Didn't Boris Becker predict a Novak-Andy RG final, even AFTER Andy had withdrawn? 20/Wimbledon-2013-Boris-Becker-predicts-a-Wimbledon-showdown-between-N ovak-Djokovic-and-Andy-Murray.html

rafaisthebest , 6/23/13 12:55 PM

Wimbledon 2013
Schedule for Day 1 Monday 24 June 2013

No.1 Court
1.00 PM Start Time
1. Ladies' Singles - First round

2. Gentlemen's Singles - First round
Rafael Nadal (ESP)[5] v. Steve Darcis (BEL)

Vamos, Rafa!

Augustina08 , 6/23/13 1:49 PM

It says Wimbledon final not RG final.

chr18 , 6/23/13 2:35 PM

Oh dear, I have to draw chr20-10 a diagram........

For the dim- witted, this is what I mean: Boris Becker is predicting a Novak-Andy Wimby final, just as he predicted a Novak-Andy RG final. His predicted Wimby final will not happen for the same reason his predicted RG final did not take place. No, I don't mean Andy is going to withdraw from Wimby...............oh, please, why am I bothering?

rafaisthebest , 6/23/13 2:48 PM

ritb, for less than a minute there i would have committed the same mistake. it's a good thing that i recovered and got your point before i typed my reply. be patient dear, not everyone in TT has the same IQ as us Rafans ;-)

phoenix , 6/23/13 3:01 PM

chris is being very beady eyed today.

@RITB 11:45 AM
That's quite a tribute. I hadn't realised (a) that John Lloyd was such an admirer of Rafa and (b) that he writes so well.

ed251137 , 6/23/13 3:05 PM

ed251137, I also liked the tribute even if he is not picking Rafa to win. Any rational person cannot ignore and be unimpressed by what Rafa has already achieved this year.

rafaisthebest , 6/23/13 3:13 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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