2012 Wimbledon Tennis Championship
All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club – Wimbledon, England
Playing Surface: Grass
Friday, July 6, 2012, 8:00 am Eastern, TV: ESPN
All odds courtesy of Bookmaker
Although 7 time French Open and 2 time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal was upset in the second round, the Wimbledon Men’s semifinals are not lacking starpower. Number 1 seed Novak Djokovic will take on #3 Roger Federer in one semifinal. Number 4 Andy Murray will take on #5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the other semifinal. The winners will play in the final Sunday.
Here is a look at both match-ups with odds courtesy of Bookmaker.
#1 Novak Djokovic (-245) vs #3 Roger Federer (+195)
Djokovic is 25 from Serbia. He is 41-6 this year with titles at the Australian Open and Miami. He has three losses in Finals on clay to Nadal at Rome, Monte Carlo, and at the French Open. He hasn’t played since the French Open.
Djokovic has won four of the last 6 majors, and is the defending champion at Wimbledon. He looks to solidify his standing as the best player in the world.
Djokovic has wins over Juan Carlos Ferrero, Ryan Harrison, #28 Radek Stepanek, Victor Troiki, and #31 Florian Mayer to get to the semifinals. He dropped the first set to Stepanek but hasn’t lost more than 4 games in any other set. He beat Mayer in straight sets 6-4,6-1, 6-4.
Federer, 30 from Switzlerland, is 44-6 with titles at Madrid, Indian Wells, Dubai, and Rotterdam. He lost in the semifinals at both the Australian Open and the French Open. He lost in the finals of a tournament in Halle Germany on grass as a tune-up for Wimbledon.
Federer is a 16 time major champion, but hasn’t won since the 2010 Australian Open. He is a 6 time champion here, but has lost in the quarters the last two years. Federer is still the third best player in the world, but seems to have lost a step against Djokovic and Nadal.
Federer has wins over Albert Ramos, Fabio Fognini, #29 Julien Benneteau, Xavier Malisse, and #26 Mikhail Youzhny to get to the semifinals. Federer lost the first two sets against Benneteau but fought back to survive and advance. He also lost a set to Malisse after Federer took a 2 sets to love lead. Federer crushed Youzhny in straight sets in the quarters 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
Federer leads the overall series against Djokovic 14-12, but Djokovic has won 6 of the last 7. The only win for Federer in that stretch came in the semifinals of the French Open in 2011. Djokovic has won both meetings this year, both on clay. Djokovic beat Federer in the semis of the 2011 US Open and in this year’s French Open. Amazingly, the two rivals have never played each other at Wimbledon or on grass.
Djokovic is going for his second straight title at Wimbledon, and Federer is going for his 7th in his career. The younger, stronger Djokovic has turned the tables against Federer. Before his recent stretch of dominance, Djokovic was only 6-13 against Federer. It is hard to think that the great Federer is done winning majors, but he will have to do something drastic to change his fortunes against Djokovic and Nadal. If he can find a way to upset Djokovic, Federer will be a heavy favorite against either Murray or Tsonga. I don’t see him beating Djokovic though. Djokovic wins in 4 sets, but Federer wins at least 4 games in every set.
#4 Andy Murray (-230) vs #5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (+190)
Murray is 34-6 this season with a win at Brisbane and runner-ups at Miami and Dubai. He lost in the semifinals at the Australian Open and the quarterfinals at the French.
Murray, 25 from Scotland, has the unfortunate distinction of being the fourth best player in an era with 3 of the best players in history. He has never won a major title but has made the semifinals at Wimbledon the last 4 years including this year. He has made it to the finals of the Australian and US Opens but has never played in the final at Wimbledon. No man from the United Kingdom has won Wimbledon since 1936, a streak Murray would love to see end as would the rabid British fans.
Murray has wins over Nikolay Davydenko, Ivo Karlovic, Marcos Baghdatis, #16 Marin Cilic, and #7 David Ferrer at Wimbledon this year. He dropped sets to Karlovic, Baghdatis, and Ferrer. The quarterfinal match against Ferrer was hard fought. Ferrer had knocked Murray out in the quarters of the French Open, and Murray returned the favor at Wimbledon with a 6-7 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) win.
Tsonga is 34-12 this season with a title at Doha. He lost in the fourth round at the Australian Open and in the quarters of the French Open.
Tsonga, 27 from France, has never won a grand slam title. He made to the semifinals at Wimbledon for the first time last year. He lost in the final of the 2008 Australian Open to Djokovic.
Tsonga has wins over Lleyton Hewitt, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Lukas Lacko, #10 Mardy Fish, and #27 Philipp Kohlschreiber to get to the semifinals. Tsonga dropped sets against Garcia-Lopez, Fish and Kohlschreiber in the quarters. Tsonga beat Kohlschreiber 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2.
Murray leads the series against Tsonga 5-1. The only win for Tsonga against Murray came in the first round of the 2008 Australian Open. A then unknown Tsonga made a Cinderella run to the final of that event. Murray has won 3 straight against Tsonga including in the quarters of Wimbledon in 2010. Their last meeting was in 2011 in the finals of the London / Queen’s Club event, a traditional tune-up for Wimbledon. You would think that two highly ranked players would have played more than 6 times, but they haven’t.
The crowd will certainly be behind Murray, but with that support comes added pressure. Both players certainly benefited from Nadal’s shocking early exit, as it split this half of the draw wide open. The winner of this will be a heavy underdog against either Djokovic or Federer. Neither Murray or Tsonga has ever made to the final at Wimbledon. Murray missed some time earlier this season with back spasms. The way he has struggled so far, I don’t know if he is completely healthy. Granted he had a tough section of the draw, but as the #4 seed he is supposed to have a tougher road than the top 3 seeds. I think Tsonga keeps it close but Murray wins in 5 sets.
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