2011 Wimbledon – Nick’s Picks – Men’s Singles Quarterfinals

Andy Murray (GBR) vs. Feliciano Lopez (ESP)

I certainly didn’t predict Lopez to be in this spot, but he has come up with the goods when needed and that is all that counts. In the fourth round, he came back from two sets down to be Kubot and get to his third Wimbledon quarterfinal. This is the only Grand Slam that he has been past the fourth round at and with that big serve and those monster groundstrokes it’s easy to understand why.

Murray is 4-0 against Lopez and is coming off a very good win over Gasquet in the fourth round. With every match, I feel he is playing better tennis and having the crowd behind him will only help (I hope) his cause. Lopez’s biggest weapon is his serve, and Murray has the ability to neutralize that with his incredible return of serve. He also moves around the court extremely well and his groundies are consistent. I’d like to see him play more aggressive at times, but I think he should be able to get past Lopez in three or four sets.

Nick’s Pick – Murray in 4 sets

Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Bernard Tomic (AUS)

I have picked against Tomic in two straight rounds, and he has proved me wrong both times. This is his first Grand Slam quarterfinal and he has really show the world just how good he can, and will, be. When he is playing, it looks like he is just going threw the motions and he is sleeping out there, but don’t let that fool you. He knows just what he is doing and this unorthodox style is what makes him so difficult to beat.

Djokovic has never faced Tomic professionally, but the two practice together and know each other well. With that being the case, Tomic won’t be able to sneak up on Djokovic like he did against Soderling and Malisse. Djokovic knows how to beat him and I think Djokovic is just going to be too consistent and tough for Tomic right now. Djokovic has the experience and the know-how and I look for him to advance. Regardless, this has been a great tournament for Bernard and I am expecting big things from him moving forward.

Nick’s Pick – Djokovic in 3 sets

Mardy Fish (USA) vs. Rafael Nadal (ESP)

What a great win for Mardy Fish to beat last year’s finalist, Tomas Berdych, in straight sets. He is the lone American left in either draw and if he could win this match it would certainly be the biggest of his career. This is his first appearance in the quarters of Wimbledon and it’s the first time he’s been to the quarters of any Grand Slam since the 2008 US Open. It’s great for American tennis that Fish is still playing and his story is definitely one that can inspire plenty of people.

Nadal has a 5-0 record against Fish, with two of those wins coming on grass. They haven’t met since 2008 though, and Fish is clearly a different player than he was 3 years ago. Nadal faced a very difficult test in Juan Martin Del Potro in the fourth round, and at times, I wasn’t sure if he was going to pull through. He fought threw a foot injury and was able to win the big points in the tiebreakers. The guy just is impossible to ever count out even when he looks like he is going down.

I could see Fish winning a set and making this interesting, but I don’t think he has enough to beat Nadal in a five-setter on grass. Nadal will get those extra balls back and will make Fish when every single point. As long as he is healthy and that foot doesn’t bother him, I look for Nadal to win.

Nick’s Pick – Nadal in 3 or 4 sets

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs. Roger Federer (SUI)

Tsonga took out David Ferrer in straight sets to reach the quarters of Wimbledon for the second straight year. He hasn’t been past this point at any Grand Slam since reaching the finals of the Aussie Open in 2008. He is a bit of a loose cannon out there, but when he is moving well and feeling good he is a very tough out. He certainly has the goods to beat Federer, but I just don’t know if he get it done on grass, where Federer is so comfortable.

Federer dropped the opening set in a tiebreaker to Mikhail Youzhny, but he bounced right back and was able to beat the Russian in four sets. I don’t think anyone has played better on the men’s side than Federer, and this is a great opportunity for him to capture another Grand Slam title. He is 4-1 against Tsonga and has beaten him twice already in 2011. With the way Federer is serving and his variety from the ground, I think he should be able to keep Tsonga off-balance and pinned back. I look for Federer in three sets, maybe four.

Nick’s Pick – Federer in 3 sets

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~ by Nick's Picks on June 28, 2011.

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