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Wimbledon Semifinals Preview

History was made in this year’s Wimbledon quarterfinals, and for once Roger Federer did not find himself on the right side of proceedings. Federer’s loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be forever remembered as one of the most memorable defeats of his storied career, the first time in 178 occurrences he fell after leading two sets to zero. In the press conference afterwards Federer was casual in his acceptance of defeat. His reaction should not surprise anyone; Fed is not one to admit to struggle, or beat himself up publicly after a tough loss. Still, his assessment that he played well and Tsonga was simply the better man is not entirely accurate. During the ESPN broadcast Patrick McEnroe rightly criticized Federer’s lackluster return game and sluggish movement. It wasn’t a disastrous performance (he did win more points than his opponent) by any stretch, but it was far from his best. So onwards we move to the semifinals sans The Swiss Maestro. Let us now sing the praises of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tsonga followed the same blueprint used by Juan Martin del Potro and Tomas Berdych to knock Federer out of a Grand Slam, bombing serves and forehands and essentially slugging Fed off the court. It’s an all

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Wimbledon Quarterfinals Preview or: The Inevitable Triumph of Bernard Tomic

If you had any doubts that the men’s game is top heavy these days, look no further than the Grand Slams. Just like at last month’s French Open, tomorrow’s Wimbledon quarterfinal features the heavily favored Big Four of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray. So can the less heralded foursome of Fish, Lopez, Tsonga and Tomic derail yet another dream semifinal? Let’s take a look at the matches.   Rafael Nadal vs. Mardy Fish Defending champion Nadal has not enjoyed his usual easy path thorough the Wimbledon field this year. Cranky with the media and scowling on the court, Nadal looks like a man in need of an extended holiday. And his negative disposition is wearing on some: Patrick McEnroe went so far as to boldly imply that perhaps Nadal tends to make more of his various physical sufferings than is necessary. Still, it was a frightening moment for all tennis fans when Nadal hurt his foot in the last round against Juan Martin del Potro (and equally frightening to see del Potro go down with a hip injury). So it was good news to hear today that a MRI scan revealed no serious damage and Nadal is good to go against Mardy Fish. Mardy who,

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Wimbledon 2011 Preview

Visitors wishing to locate the grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the Wimbledon Championships are advised to get off the tube at Southfields, walk out the station and follow the scent of fresh strawberries in the air. In this writer’s experience a more reliable compass would be to follow the pungent whiff of booze in the summer breeze, but that’s not the point, is it? This is Wimbledon we’re talking about, and Wimbledon means nice, clean tradition: strawberries and cream, grass courts, players dressed in all white, the Royal Box, Tim Henman losing in the semifinals, and so on and so forth. Recent history at Wimbledon has been dominated by (who else?) two men, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. You have to go all the way back to Lleyton Hewitt in 2002 to find the last time neither Federer nor Nadal was the champion. Since then Federer has won six Wimbledons, Nadal two. With Federer and Nadal carving up the empire between them, there isn’t much Wimbledon pedigree to be found amongst the rest of the field. In fact, only four other current players have reached a final: Hewitt and David Nalbandian, whose best days are far behind them, Andy Roddick, a

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