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Grass Season Ponderables

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Post by YvonneT Sun 07 Jun 2015, 21:46

Sorry Stan fans, but while you revel in his win, the rest of us move onto the grass, with Stuttgart and s-Hertogenbosch starting tomorrow.

Here's where the top 16 are playing in the 2 weeks leading up to Wimbledon.

1 Novak Djokovic - none entered
2 Roger Federer - Halle
3 Andy Murray - Queens
4 Stan Wawrinka - Queens
5 Kei Nishikori - Halle
6 Tomas Berdych - Halle
7 David Ferrer - Nottingham
8 Milos Raonic - Queens
9 Marin Cilic - Stuttgart, Queens
10 Rafael Nadal - Stuttgart, Queens
11 Grigor Dimitrov - Queens
12 Jo Wilfried Tsonga - Halle, Nottingham
13 Gilles Simon - Queens, Nottingham
14 Feliciano Lopez - Stuttgart, Queens, Nottingham
15 David Goffin - s-Hertogenbosch, Queens, Nottingham
16 Gael Monfils - Stuttgart, Halle

Djokovic, Federer & Murray will be seeded 1, 2 & 3 for Wimbledon given their current points and grass adjustments. The rest are still fluid depending on how Queens/Halle go, given that these are ATP500's now and the grass adjustment makes them in effect Masters in terms of Wimbledon seeds.  

So some questions to ponder:

1. Will this be Federer's last slam as number 2 seed?
He's got Halle W, Wimbledon F, Canada F, Cincy W to defend before the US Open - Murray does not have much, nor Wawrinka. Do you think Federer can stay out in front for long?  Or if overtaken, can he ever get back up there?  

2. Will Dimitrov spark back to life on grass?
Last July, he had finally arrived, was the future and the big 4 had to make way for him according the BBC. Well, he didn't do anything since to back up the Queen's title and Wimbledon SF, but maybe grass is a particularly good surface for him. Can he repeat this year?

3. Will Nadal manage a top 12 seed at Wimbledon?
If he does, that means not meeting seeds 1 to 4 until the QFs, if he's seeded 13 to 16, he's meeting them round 4. Not good for Nadal, but do Djokovic, Federer or Murray have anything to fear from meeting him early?  

4. How (and where) will Djokovic play following his ultimately unsuccessful RG campaign?
Both Halle and Queens have a wildcard for him - but will he want one?  

5. Will Serena remain on course for the CYGS?
Sneaky WTA question there. Who can beat her at Wimbledon?

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Sun 07 Jun 2015, 22:11

Have to be wary of Nadal even if he dropped outside the top 16. I cannot see him making the final of queens or in the last 4 at Wimbledon, he's lost the fluency in his game like Federer after 2008.

I dont see Serena losing.

Pretty sure Grigor will not go very far on grass this year.
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Post by Henman Bill Sun 07 Jun 2015, 22:26

thanks for the tournament breakdown.

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Post by kingraf Mon 08 Jun 2015, 05:56

What Nadal needs is a cakewalk until the second week, where the grass is scuffed up and plays a little bit slower. So he needs to somehow get that 1-8 seed. If Nadal is in the quarters, you best believe he's a threat. Serves much better on grass than anywhere else for some reason.
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Post by banbrotam Mon 08 Jun 2015, 09:15

Murray has to win Wimbledon if he's serious about more slams. Certainly if he doesn't win that or the US Open, then I think his chances of winning more will recede - simply because any aura as a slam winner will have gone


Last edited by banbrotam on Mon 08 Jun 2015, 09:29; edited 1 time in total

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Post by banbrotam Mon 08 Jun 2015, 09:17

kingraf wrote:What Nadal needs is a cakewalk until the second week, where the grass is scuffed up and plays a little bit slower. So he needs to somehow get that 1-8 seed. If Nadal is in the quarters, you best believe he's a threat. Serves much better on grass than anywhere else for some reason.


He needs a cool Wimbledon, i.e. like 2010. Last thing he wants is the warm one like 2013. Not seen any long term forecasts, but my gut (which counts for nothing of course) is that it could be warm. Often May and June have opposing weather patterns

This of course means it will be snowing for the entire fortnight Wink

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Post by Guest Mon 08 Jun 2015, 09:19

Josiah Maiestas wrote:Have to be wary of Nadal even if he dropped outside the top 16. I cannot see him making the final of queens or in the last 4 at Wimbledon, he's lost the fluency in his game like Federer after 2008.

I dont see Serena losing.

Pretty sure Grigor will not go very far on grass this year.

But over a week ago you said this:


Post by Josiah Maiestas on Tue 26 May 2015, 9:26 pm
Grigor is still 1 of the favourites for Wimbledon, losing in 1st round at RG means nothing in the long run. Jack can be tough on any given day too, future top 10 player.

So what has changed?? Laugh

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Post by banbrotam Mon 08 Jun 2015, 09:28

legendkillarV2 wrote:
Josiah Maiestas wrote:Have to be wary of Nadal even if he dropped outside the top 16. I cannot see him making the final of queens or in the last 4 at Wimbledon, he's lost the fluency in his game like Federer after 2008.

I dont see Serena losing.

Pretty sure Grigor will not go very far on grass this year.

But over a week ago you said this:


Post by Josiah Maiestas on Tue 26 May 2015, 9:26 pm
Grigor is still 1 of the favourites for Wimbledon, losing in 1st round at RG means nothing in the long run. Jack can be tough on any given day too, future top 10 player.

So what has changed?? Laugh


He's slept since then Wink

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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon 08 Jun 2015, 09:34

banbrotam wrote:
legendkillarV2 wrote:
Josiah Maiestas wrote:Have to be wary of Nadal even if he dropped outside the top 16. I cannot see him making the final of queens or in the last 4 at Wimbledon, he's lost the fluency in his game like Federer after 2008.

I dont see Serena losing.

Pretty sure Grigor will not go very far on grass this year.

But over a week ago you said this:


Post by Josiah Maiestas on Tue 26 May 2015, 9:26 pm
Grigor is still 1 of the favourites for Wimbledon, losing in 1st round at RG means nothing in the long run. Jack can be tough on any given day too, future top 10 player.

So what has changed?? Laugh


He's slept since then Wink

Or he was asleep and dreaming when posting that comment. Wink
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Post by sirfredperry Mon 08 Jun 2015, 09:38

Don't discount Rafa (this from the forecaster who predicted Rafa would win the French !).
OK, he may not win Wimbledon, but he's only got 180 points to defend from SW19/USO this year. I can easily see him being in the top four at the end of the year.

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Post by Born Slippy Mon 08 Jun 2015, 10:20

banbrotam wrote:Murray has to win Wimbledon if he's serious about more slams. Certainly if he doesn't win that or the US Open, then I think his chances of winning more will recede - simply because any aura as a slam winner will have gone

That aura is of no use against Novak though who is the only player actually currently stopping him anyway. Agree though, if he can't find a way past Novak at SW19 (or worse still contrives to lose to someone else) then all the hard work this year will have come to nought. A big few weeks coming up for Andy.

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Post by Guest82 Mon 08 Jun 2015, 10:30

I make Murray favourite for Wimbledon. Think his match with Djokovic at RG was close enough for him to have more belief if it is on grass.

I'd say Murray slight favourite from Djokovic. Then Federer. Then Stan and Rafa. Everyone else after that.

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Post by banbrotam Mon 08 Jun 2015, 10:49

Born Slippy wrote:
banbrotam wrote:Murray has to win Wimbledon if he's serious about more slams. Certainly if he doesn't win that or the US Open, then I think his chances of winning more will recede - simply because any aura as a slam winner will have gone

That aura is of no use against Novak though who is the only player actually currently stopping him anyway. Agree though, if he can't find a way past Novak at SW19 (or worse still contrives to lose to someone else) then all the hard work this year will have come to nought. A big few weeks coming up for Andy.


I mean more in his general belief. He can justifiably tell himself that the slam failures since his Wimby win and up to the Aus Open, were because he was inhibited by the back, i.e. for me it was amazing he actually got to the Aus final - the mental meltdown was because he hadn't been in a slam final since his injury

Then we've seen more progress last week. There's no mental lock when he can fight Novak as well as he did, when you compare their strengths and weakness's on the dirt. Stan's showed defeats and head to heads can be meaningless, if you have the ability to play better than you did before then you've a chance. And Murray's form since March compared to last year or even 2013 is light years better

So now there's no excuses and it's correct the season will have a flat feeling if he doesn't win one of the next two slams

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 08 Jun 2015, 12:48

I'd say Andy is the favourite for Wimbledon.

I also predict that Stan will disappoint.

I've never expected Novak to defend his title this year, so I'm not going to change my mind now. My hope is that if he makes the final, he plays his best. I don't want another string of lacklustre finals.

Federer, I'm unsure about. He's not started the year badly at all but I'm beginning to get the sense that the weight of time is beginning to bear down strongly. If he's at his best, he can win. It how often and for how long he can produce his best that is the big unknown.

Rafa - sorry, I don't see him as a contender. Hasn't been beyond the 4th round for 4 years and now he appears to be struggling for form even on clay.

As for dark horses, I'll wait to see the draw.

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Post by Guest82 Mon 08 Jun 2015, 13:38

To be honest anyone outside of Murray/Djokovic I would rate as unlikely.

Think Federer really needs the draw to be right for him. Murray and Djokovic in the opposite half - I'd give him a small chance against either in the final, but doubt he would beat them both.

Stan is capable, think a slower court suits him though. Could easily bomb out early too.

Rafa I am putting in there on reputation alone. There is a possibility it will all click for him at some point...given he's not knackered himself out this clay court season then maybe he has a better chance than previous years. I'd still say unlikely too.

Dark Horses - Kyrgios? Tsonga? Dimitrov? Could have good runs but highly unlikely to win the title.

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Post by greengoblin Mon 08 Jun 2015, 16:32

HM Murdoch wrote:I'd say Andy is the favourite for Wimbledon.

I also predict that Stan will disappoint.

I've never expected Novak to defend his title this year, so I'm not going to change my mind now. My hope is that if he makes the final, he plays his best. I don't want another string of lacklustre finals.

Federer, I'm unsure about. He's not started the year badly at all but I'm beginning to get the sense that the weight of time is beginning to bear down strongly. If he's at his best, he can win. It how often and for how long he can produce his best that is the big unknown.

Rafa - sorry, I don't see him as a contender. Hasn't been beyond the 4th round for 4 years and now he appears to be struggling for form even on clay.

As for dark horses, I'll wait to see the draw.

What is your opinion on Djoko's performance in the FO final? I think he executed his gameplan pretty well and would have beaten any of the top ten bar from Stan playing like he was. Wawrinka played good in the first set but just played one loose service game. That could have easily happened another 3 times for Novak to win. So I don't think Novak played badly, I just think he came in with the wrong game plan. He needed to do more counter attacking rather than pure defense. Might still have lost though.

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Post by Josiah Maiestas Mon 08 Jun 2015, 17:37

legendkillarV2 wrote:
Josiah Maiestas wrote:Have to be wary of Nadal even if he dropped outside the top 16. I cannot see him making the final of queens or in the last 4 at Wimbledon, he's lost the fluency in his game like Federer after 2008.

I dont see Serena losing.

Pretty sure Grigor will not go very far on grass this year.

But over a week ago you said this:


Post by Josiah Maiestas on Tue 26 May 2015, 9:26 pm
Grigor is still 1 of the favourites for Wimbledon, losing in 1st round at RG means nothing in the long run. Jack can be tough on any given day too, future top 10 player.

So what has changed?? Laugh
Because I was being optimistic, then reality hit me.

I may change my mind again if I get giddy Run
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Post by socal1976 Mon 08 Jun 2015, 18:44

I would also favor Murray over Djokovic on grass I think he is a more natural grass court player. I also am interested in seeing if Novak has an RG hangover from his loss. I think in past years he has let a loss at RG impact his form afterwards. I mean he has to have right perspective in that he lost a final after being on such a tear to a guy in the right form. Murray I think is very close to his best. I would not be surprised if he won the tournament. I would have being the marginal favorite then Djokovic, then Fed. Of the other guys Tsonga, Rafa, Dimi, and Stan round out the next tier of contenders.

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Post by HM Murdock Mon 08 Jun 2015, 20:47

greengoblin wrote:What is your opinion on Djoko's performance in the FO final? I think he executed his gameplan pretty well and would have beaten any of the top ten bar from Stan playing like he was. Wawrinka played good in the first set but just played one loose service game. That could have easily happened another 3 times for Novak to win. So I don't think Novak played badly, I just think he came in with the wrong game plan. He needed to do more counter attacking rather than pure defense. Might still have lost though.
I thought he was tentative.

Not constantly, because his he produced some good clutch play, but overall it didn't look like his game had much direction.

As much has gets derided as a grinder, he really isn't. At his best, he manoeuvres a rally well, looks to take the initiative early on and is good at making tactical adjustments. I didn't think he showed those qualities on Sunday.

A lot of that is down to Stan. He was launching such a barrage, Novak was inevitably on the back foot a lot.

But he's played in the same flat way against other opponents when he is tense too, so I think it wasn't all because of Stan.

Personally, I think Stan's level was so high that he would have been tough to beat even with Novak's best game. The disappointment to me is that if Novak had played his best, it might have been enough to put some doubts in Stan's mind, and then who knows what happens? Stan's a belligerent so-and-so when he's confident but he's prone to wobbles under pressure too.

All academic though. The better player on the day won.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 08 Jun 2015, 21:03

Will be interesting to see what Raonic will do on grass this year. Can he take it on a level because he's been not making fast enough progress for a while now? He needs to get a win against a top-10 player in the grass court season, and perhaps make the final of queens or semi or at least quarter at Wimbledon, if he's going to move forward.

I'm sure he will motor through 2 or 3 rounds on grass, probably in straight sets, but let's see what happens against someone good.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 08 Jun 2015, 21:15

Here's my predictions. The fact that my predictions in the past have had an accuracy only marginally better than the throw of a dice, and that time and again looking at past predictions shows how futile they are, I still like to do it for the fun.

1 Novak Djokovic - none entered
Djokovic will suffer a surprisingly early defeat at SW19 perhaps even snapping his quarter final streak.

2 Roger Federer - Halle
Will have a good Wimbledon, but will lose in the semi or final. (Might win it if lots of others suffer shock defeats and he doen't have to play other big 4.)

3 Andy Murray - Queens
Will either win Queens or lose to the winner. Will win Wimbledon.

4 Stan Wawrinka - Queens
Will lose early at Queens. Will lose somewhere in the middle rounds at Wimbledon.

5 Kei Nishikori - Halle
Will have a good grass court season, reaching the quarter final at Wimbledon for the first time.

6 Tomas Berdych - Halle
Will yawn through the early rounds at Wimbledon, before losing in R4, QF or SF as soon as he gets someone good.

7 David Ferrer - Nottingham
Will do well in Nottingham but lose in the middle rounds at Wimbledon.

8 Milos Raonic - Queens
Will get to the SF or F of queens (or even win it). Will also have a good run at Wimbledon, going to about SF, before putting up a spirited fight but losing to a higher ranked player.

9 Marin Cilic - Stuttgart, Queens
Will have a poor grass court season before regrouping for hard court season where he will do better.

10 Rafael Nadal - Stuttgart, Queens
Will go deep in one warm up tournament, and lose early in the other. Will do better than expected in the early rounds of Wimbledon, winning easily this time, but will lose in straight sets by around the QF or so.

11 Grigor Dimitrov - Queens
Will do OK at Queens reaching the latter stages but will crash out of Wimbledon in the first week to a lower ranked player.

12 Jo Wilfried Tsonga - Halle, Nottingham
Will have a good grass court season overall, and will at least reach a final of a minor tournament, or quarter final or semi final at Wimbledon.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 08 Jun 2015, 21:21

Also, I think Kyrgios is the real deal, I think at some point he is going to have a nice run through to a QF (again) or better. Maybe that will happen this year at Wimbledon.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Mon 08 Jun 2015, 21:26

Cilic's game works well on grass, so I expect him to do better than what you predicted. Raonic is coming back from foot injury, may be a bit short of match play or momentum, so he may not defend his SF points at Wimbledon.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 08 Jun 2015, 21:33

Yes, I am aware of Raonic injury, although I thought he was supposed to be OK for grass season. Some of my predictions are a bit random, it's just for a laugh.

The funny thing is Roger Federer, who famously did something like 23 slam semis in a row, since ending that streak has lost in every round you can lose in apart from round 1.

While Djokovic is on a streak of SF or better for his last 5 slams and QF or better for his last 24!! And SF or better for his last 5 Wimbledons.

Everyone seems to have an early round defeat at Wimbledon at some point. Nadal - had 2 or 3 Federer - Stavkovsky. Murray - Dimitrov (although it was in a QF so not that early). If it can happen to them, can it not happen to Djokovic. Or is he just Mr consistency?

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Post by Silver Tue 09 Jun 2015, 14:03

It's going to be a really interesting grass court season. I agree that Murray shades Novak to be favourite, but matchups are a funny thing when combined with changing surfaces. The draw is still so important, though not as crucial as at Roland Garros this year.

It will be very difficult for any of the top three to go through the other two to win this thing. Murray is not going to want to hit through Novak only to face an in-form Federer in the final, and likewise the other two really want to avoid the dreaded Andy SF.

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Post by YvonneT Fri 12 Jun 2015, 23:33

Nicolas Mahut is into the SF in s-Hertogenbosch. He's 15th alternative for Wimbledon, but has climbed to top 80 since the cut-off. A good case for a wildcard? He's had one before in similar circumstances. He deserves one every year not for losing the longest match ever, but for being to stand through a long presentation if I recall) straight after.

Someone who faces a much bigger potential drop after Wimbledon than Dimitrov is Genie Bouchard. She's gone 3-10 since the Australian Open and lost her first match on grass this week after being 4-0 up in the 3rd set - certainly sounds like a mental issue there. She'd be down to around mid twenties in the rankings if she doesn't defend her points.

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 15 Jun 2015, 12:25

Murray has to be the big favourite at Wimbledon for the following reasons:

Grass is his favourite surface
Very few players are particularly strong on the surface which means a bit less competition
Has the crowd support which is a huge factor for any player
Has experience of winning it already, that was a huge weight off his shoulders
Djokovic's weakest surface (though admittedly he has won it twice!)
Nadal has been Murray's biggest nemesis at Wimbledon and he is pretty low on confidence
Murray has been the form player this year (2nd only to Novak)
Wawrinka is the other form player going in to Wimbledon but he his prone to a shocker !


I believe the above puts Murray as firm favourite to win Wimbledon. Nothing really to suggest otherwise, the only potential issue would be Nadal playing inspired tennis and catching Murray out in an earlier round than usual. The other being an inspired Djokovic who is on a great winning run against Murray (8 wins in a row including 3 slam meetings in the past 12 months), that could play on Murray's mind but that being said, Murray won their grass meetings and he prefers the surface.

Murray defo my pick

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Post by slashermcguirk Mon 15 Jun 2015, 14:28

Murray has to be the big favourite at Wimbledon for the following reasons:

Grass is his favourite surface
Very few players are particularly strong on the surface which means a bit less competition
Has the crowd support which is a huge factor for any player
Has experience of winning it already, that was a huge weight off his shoulders
Djokovic's weakest surface (though admittedly he has won it twice!)
Nadal has been Murray's biggest nemesis at Wimbledon and he is pretty low on confidence
Murray has been the form player this year (2nd only to Novak)
Wawrinka is the other form player going in to Wimbledon but he his prone to a shocker !


I believe the above puts Murray as firm favourite to win Wimbledon. Nothing really to suggest otherwise, the only potential issue would be Nadal playing inspired tennis and catching Murray out in an earlier round than usual. The other being an inspired Djokovic who is on a great winning run against Murray (8 wins in a row including 3 slam meetings in the past 12 months), that could play on Murray's mind but that being said, Murray won their grass meetings and he prefers the surface.

Murray defo my pick

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Post by Guest82 Mon 15 Jun 2015, 14:37

Djokovic favourite with the bookies. 6/4
Murray 7/2
Fed 15/2
Rafa 14/1
Stan 18/1

I agree and make Murray favourite. Still think Djokovic has been far and away the best player this year though, one loss to an on-fire Stan shouldn't make us lose sight of this.

I'd be very surprised if anyone outside of Murray/Djokovic wins Wimbledon.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 15 Jun 2015, 14:47

I am not surprised that Djokovic is favourite with the bookies. At the moment you would make him favourite for every tournament this year and next year.

However I am surprised he is favourite by such a clear margin. Murray is my pick to win as well as his odds look attractive, Fed's odds might be worth a punt as well.

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Post by Guest82 Mon 15 Jun 2015, 14:57

If Murray and Djokovic are drawn in the same half you could make a case for Fed. Could even have Rafa in that half too...

Fed would probably fancy his chances in a one off match against Djokovic or Murray, especially if they've played a long semi-final.

Still he would be a long shot.

Rafa could suddenly find his form, in which case he's a contender. Stan could blow everyone away again....both unlikely to me.

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