2009 Wimbledon – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Singles Round 2
Every day throughout Wimbledon Nick’s Picks will bring you the latest analysis and predictions. We are also teaming up with The Independent Newspaper in London to cover the event. For the first week, we are coming to you live from Wimbledon so be sure to check our twitter page for information!
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) vs. Victor Crivoi (ROU)
Not many people are talking about Davydenko and that shouldn’t come as a big surprise, because this stoic Russian always seems to fly under the radar. He has not had much success at Wimbledon in the past, with the exception of a fourth round appearance back in 2007. He is capable of more and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him around late next week.
Crivoi beat German Bjorn Phau in five sets in the first round and comes in ranked a career high of #87 in the world. This is his first appearance in the main draw of Wimbledon and would love to become a household name overnight by beating a top player like Davydenko.
This is the first career meeting between Davydenko and Crivoi. Davydenko clearly has the edge here, but with his prior experience at Wimbledon not being the best, you never know. Crivoi has to go for his shots because Davydenko doesn’t commit many errors and is extremely consistent. Look for Davydenko use his outstanding two-handed backhand and take the ball early to control the court. I am interested to see how Davydenko fares in this match and I hope he gets down to business from the first ball.
Nick’s Pick – Davydenko in 3 sets
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) vs. Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
Del Potro made quick work of French veteran Arnaud Clement and now he gets another tough veteran in Hewitt. He is looking to get past the second round of Wimbledon for the first time in his career, and in reality I would be very surprised if he wasn’t around next week.
Hewitt didn’t need much time with American Robby Ginepri in the opening round, taking down the American 6-4, 6-1, 6-1. He is a former Wimbledon champion and world #1, but he isn’t that guy anymore. With that being said, I love the way Hewitt competes every time he steps on the court.
Del Potro and Hewitt have never met prior to this match. The reason why Hewitt got to #1 in the world was his movement. He could cover the court better than anyone, but with the injuries he has sustained that isn’t possible anymore. That’s really a shame because Hewitt gave it his all when he was out on the court. Del Potro is a very good mover for his height and has a monster serve. He also has excellent groundstrokes and anticipates very well. All in all, he is one of the best players in the game today and after Federer I put him in the next group of potential winners. This will be a fun match, but the edge definitely goes to Del Potro.
Nick’s Pick – Del Potro in 4 sets
Robin Soderling (SWE) vs. Marcel Granollers (ESP)
Everyone is interested to see how Soderling does after his remarkable run to the finals of the French Open. So far, so good. He faced a tricky opponent in the first round – Gilles Muller- and was able to get by him in four sets. Soderling has never been past the third round of Wimbledon, but that might change this year.
Granollers defeated German Andreas Beck in four sets in the first round. He has never been past the 2nd round of any Grand Slam in his career, so this win would be one of the best he has had.
Soderling is 1-0 against Granollers, with that win coming earlier this year on clay in Rome. Soderling is a good grass court player because he has the ability to take the ball early, on the rise, and catch his opponent off-guard. He has excellent groundstrokes from both sides, a good serve, and moves well. Granollers has had most of his success on clay, winning one singles title and two doubles titles. He strikes the ball and covers the court extremely well, although it won’t be enough in this match. Look for Soderling to control the court and use his aggressive attacking style to keep Granollers on his heels.
Nick’s Pick – Soderling in 4 sets
Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Simon Greul (GER)
Djokovic didn’t seem comfortable in his opening round win over Julien Benneteau, and he hasn’t really seemed like the Djokovic of old recently. Perhaps he can regain some of that swagger with a couple of good wins. He reached the semis here backing 2007, but lost in the second round last year to Marat Safin.
Greul defeated American Michael Yani in straight sets in the first round. He came through the qualifying rounds and is playing in only his second Wimbledon. The 28-year old German is currently ranked #106 in the world but has been as high as #75.
Djokovic and Greul have never met in an ATP level match, but back in 2005 they did play in a Challenger with Djokovic winning in straight sets. We all know what Djokovic is capable of when playing his best. He has an all-court game and can hit just about any shot from anywhere on the court. He has a great serve, fantastic movement, and knows how to win. To me, he needs to lighten up a little bit and play looser. A couple of years ago, Djokovic was known more as “Joke-avic” and he was playing well. Now, he is very serious and doesn’t seem to be playing as well as he used. Perhaps he needs to find his old self again. Regardless of that, he will get through this match. I am just worried about down the road a bit.
Nick’s Pick – Djokovic in 3 sets