2009 Wimbledon – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Singles Quarterfinals

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!

Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Ivo Karlovic (CRO)

Federer extended his winning streak over Robin Soderling to 11, when he beat the Swede to reach the quarterfinals. He has now reached at least the quarterfinals in 21 consecutive Grand Slams and has been to the finals of 17 of the last 20 Grand Slams. He is looking for his sixth Wimbledon title and his record breaking 15th Grand Slam singles title.

Karlovic is into the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. His previous best result was the fourth round of Wimbledon in 2004.  He has knocked off two top-ten players in back-to-back rounds in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Fernando Verdasco and hasn’t faced a break point on his serve throughout the tournament.


Federer is 8-1 against Karlovic and has beaten him twice already this year. Karlovic did beat him on the hard courts in Cincinnati last year though in three sets. Karlovic came to the Academy for the month of December last year and we worked hard on his backhand and I tried to get him to hit over the ball more and slice it less (on surfaces other than grass). Karlovic’s serve has been the biggest weapon of the tournament so far and he is going to need to continue serving like that to have a chance in this match, because Federer’s serve is no slouch.

I look for Karlovic to serve to the backhand of Federer constantly and try to break it down. Federer never really has had trouble with the return of serve and if he returns well Karlovic will be in big trouble. Once the ball is in play, Federer will go after Karlovic’s backhand and will come in and try to attack it when possible. Federer is confident and hasn’t really been challenged yet, but Karlovic is definitely capable of pushing Federer. The longer this match goes the more confidence Karlovic is going to get and the more Federer is going to have to battle. I like Federer in this match, but don’t be surprised to see Dr. Ivo take it to him.

Nick’s Pick – Federer in 4 sets

Andy Roddick (USA) vs. Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)

Roddick continued his excellent play with a straight set win over Tomas Berdych in the fourth round. This is his fifth trip to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and he is looking to reach the finals for the third time (and first since 2005). Don’t count Roddick out, especially with how well he is playing.

Hewitt is enjoying his best performance at a Grand Slam since the 2006 US Open. He has already taken out one top-ten player in Juan Martin Del Potro and he certainly has the goods to take down another. He is a former Wimbledon champion and the crowd really gets behind him throughout his matches.


Hewitt is 6-5 against Roddick, but Andy has won the last four times they have played. They actually just met right before Wimbledon at Queen’s Club on grass and Roddick won in two tiebreak sets. This match is going to be a slugfest between two extremely competitive people. I’ve really been shocked at how well Hewitt is moving with the injuries he has sustained. It has been a big plus for him. Hewitt is also playing more aggressive, his serve looks to be improved and you know what kind of fighter he is. Roddick is going to need to continue serving extremely well because Hewitt has an excellent return of serve (you saw what he did to Del Potro). Roddick should serve into the body of Hewitt and try and jam him rather than going out wide all the time. This is an effective serve when hit correctly. Roddick is going to have to be patient in this match and not let Hewitt frustrate him. The longer this match goes the more it favors Hewitt because of how he fights. I look for Roddick to have the advantage in three or four sets, but if it goes give, watch out!

Nick’s Pick – Roddick in 4 sets

Tommy Haas (GER) vs. Novak Djokovic (SRB)

Before the tournament I told everyone that Mr. Haas was someone to watch out for. He came into Wimbledon full of confidence and ready to roll, and that is exactly how he has played. He fought through a very difficult third round match against Marin Cilic and then made short work of Igor Andreev in the fourth round. This is his first appearance in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon and he is looking to reach the semis of a Grand Slam for the fourth time in his career.

After dropping the very first set he played at this year’s tournament, Djokovic hasn’t lost one since. He beat unseeded Dudi Sela 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 in the fourth round and is looking to get back to the semis once again. Last time he reached the semifinals of Wimbledon (2007) he was forced to retire with back and foot problems. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again.


Djokovic is 2-1 against Haas, but the German just beat him in the finals of Halle on grass right before Wimbledon. Tommy has been with me for close to 20 years and he is like a son to me. He has had many ups and downs in his career, but right now he is playing some of the best tennis of his life. He is coming into the net more than ever and is really serving well. Against Andreev he came in 46 times and won 83% of those points and against Cilic he came in a remarkable 74 times. This is really putting pressure on his opponents and I like this aggressive style from Haas. He also has an excellent biting slice, which can change the pace and keep his opponent off-balance.

On the other side of the net, Djokovic can do a little bit of everything. He can hit it big, he can volley and he can change the pace. He has an excellent serve and also understands how to build and control points. In my opinion, Djokovic needs to find the fire that helped him win the Aussie Open last year. He seems a little too reserved and I think that is hurting him. He needs to let loose and play his game his way.

This match is going to be close. Of course I would love to see Haas win as he is one of my favorite students. On paper you would think that Djokovic has the edge, but with the way Haas is playing and with his confidence I am going to give him the advantage by the slightest of margins.

Nick’s Pick – Haas in 4 or 5 sets

Andy Murray (GBR) vs. Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP)

It was fitting that Andy Murray played the first ever complete match under the new roof at Wimbledon. His five set victory over Stan Wawrinka was extremely difficult and he will have to see how much it takes out of him. It was interesting to see how the ball was slower and the rallies were longer under the lights of the dome and having had this experience should help Murray.

Ferrero is another veteran, like Hewitt, who is enjoying a bit of a renaissance in this tournament. He hasn’t been to the quarters of a Grand Slam in two years and he hasn’t been past this point since the 2004 Australian Open! He’s a former world #1 and a former Grand Slam champion so I don’t think nerves will be a problem here. What he will have to overcome is the British fans!


Murray is 1-0 against Ferrero and that win came just a couple of weeks ago on grass in the semis of Queen’s Club. Ferrero has had a great career and no one can take that away from him. He moves exceptionally well and hits big from both wings. He is going to have to really go for it in this match with the way Murray is playing. The crowd will also play into this match as they will be rooting for their man, Murray, big time.

Murray’s match against Wawrinka was fantastic and it really demonstrated how far Murray has come physically. He has improved dramatically in this aspect of his game and this has in turn helped his serve and groundstrokes as well. He has also done a much better job of controlling his emotions and letting his game speak for him. I guarantee Murray’s team will not let him overlook this match and I can see Ferrero possibly winning on set, but the edge definitely goes to Murray.

Nick’s Pick – Murray in 3 sets


~ by Nick's Picks on June 30, 2009.

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