Friday, June 18, 2004

That Time Again: Bleach the whites, exercise your overbite, and polish your upperclass twit accent, it's Wimbledon! Taking a peek through the men's draw, things look wide open, baby. Federer is the defending champ, the top seed, and the likely favorite -- although round one makes the first two academic. Federer's quarter doesn't look too tough. He'll get a challenge from Marat Safin, and maybe Lleyton Hewitt can be bothered to show up for his matches. Goran Ivanisevic is limping in for one final bow, I see. And Henman gets his usual gift-seeding (#5 this year) despite a bare trophy shelf this year. (To his credit, he went further in the French on pure determination than any other volleyer.) Agassi is out with an injury, putting off his last hurrah until next year, when he will be 35. Andy Roddick has pulled off only a couple of minor wins this year, a big letdown after being the hot hand toward the end of last season. But he did win the Queen's Club tune up this year. Both Srichiphan and Grosjean, my perennial dark horses, made it to the quarters there. Either one could finally step up to take a slam trophy here.

On the ladies' side, Serena took the top seed, despite having a season characterized mainly by injury so far. Maybe this means that she's healthy. Who knows? Henin, too, has had trouble staying healthy this year, and she will miss the Championships because of it. (Perhaps that brings Serena up in the seeding somewhat, but first is still a stretch.) Anastasia Mysinka rides her Roland Garros win to the number two slot. I think iot's still a buyer's market for Russian futures; Mysinka is a good pick, as is Svetlana Kusnetsova. I've revealed my prejudice against Dementieva previously, and she's frustratingly inconsistent, but she's certainly got the raw talent to win here.

Surprises? Just guessing here: Martina makes a Conners-like run to the third round, spanking some spoiled girls half her age on the way; Hewitt beats a seeded player; at least one clay-courter ends up in the men's quarters (Ferrero maybe?); and McEnroe hypocritically clucks his tongue at poor sportsmanship no less than thrice.

Over to you, Razor.

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