CoachUp Previews: Wimbledon Weekend
by Mohini Vembu and Emily Qin
Wimbledon, one of the oldest and most famous Grand Slams in tennis, has reached its final stage. Roger Federer, Milos Raonic, Andy Murray, and Tomas Berdych all advanced to Gentlemen’s semifinals, while Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber will meet in Ladies’ final. So, in order to celebrate, CoachUp interns Mohini and Emily put down their analysis of the matches, capped off with predictions for the eventual title winners.
Women’s Final Preview
Serena Williams (1) v. Angelique Kerber (4)
As Kerber defeated Venus Williams (6-4, 6-4) Thursday morning, she stopped the famous sisters from meeting in the final for the fifth time. These two girls both have important reasons to chase for this title: Serena would tie Steffi Graf's Grand Slam record of 22, and, perhaps just as exciting, Kerber would have her second championship after defeating Serena in the Australian Open at the beginning of this year. Currently, Williams (1) has a 5-2 lead against Kerber on head-to-head stats, has 1,000 more points than her opponent on the World Tennis Association (WTA) rankings, and is still a legend even after all these years. If Serena can stay accurate and under control with her serves throughout the match, she should have a great shot at getting revenge against Kerber. However, Kerber just got her first Grand Slam at the Australian Open by beating Williams. Additionally, the German has lost weight and has improved her attack an incredible amount in recent memory. Furthermore, the Williams sisters will play their doubles semi-finals on Friday, which mean Serena will not get as much rest as Kerber. Overall, however, we're giving Williams the slight edge for victory at this time.
Prediction: Serena Williams
Men’s Semi-Finals Preview
Thus far, its been a surprising and eventful five rounds at the All-England Club, the men’s draw of 128 has been reduced to just 4. After Novak Djokovic, the World #1, was knocked out, it is truly anyone's tournament at this point. In fact, it would come as no surprise to see any of these final four come up with the victory. The matches to be played on Friday in London are as follows: Roger Federer (3) versus Milos Raonic (6) and then hometown favorite Andy Murray (2) versus Tomas Berdych (10).
Roger Federer (3) v. Milos Raonic (6)
On paper, the Federer-Raonic duel stands to be the most exciting match-up with an interesting clash of players. You can expect to see huge serves on both ends of the spectrum, as Raonic hits 'em hard and Federer succeeds with his pinpoint accuracy. Both players will be looking to be aggressive with their forehands and come to the net and, ultimately, the contest will be taken by the player that can withstand their rival's differentially play-style. Of course, that's simplifying it, but, against Federer, it may come down to that. However, after Federer’s epic comeback in the quarterfinals against Marin Cilic, you have to wonder if he still has enough left in the tank.
He’s had a difficult year with injuries and ailments, and, at his age, can he recover after the five-setter, both physically and mentally. To be fair, he brought out some truly vintage stuff against Cilic in the last three sets to prevail, a legend in his own element. Also, having just played a big hitter, he is more equipped to handle Raonic’s paralyzing service. Raonic has had his own drama after coming back from two sets to love against David Goffin in the fourth round and then edging out a tight match against Sam Querrey, who had the crowd cheering for him after his shock defeat of Djokovic. These matches will help immensely with his confidence and, after succumbing to this moment when he faced Federer on the same stage in 2014, he's sure to come with a stronger mindset this time.
Prediction: Roger Federer
Andy Murray (2) v. Tomas Berdych (10)
Unlike the previous match, this one stands to be more of a contrast of playing styles. Berdych, who is arguably one of the best players to have never raised a Grand Slam trophy, is going to jump out of the gates with an extremely offensive tactic, serving well and attacking off both wings. In contrast, Murray will be doing more counterpunching, playing with variety and using his athleticism to withstand the Berdych attack. In the past, each time these players have matched up, Murray’s patience and ability to force Berdych into unforced errors has helped him prevail every time.
However, in this tournament of seismic upsets, don’t pencil in Murray for Sunday just yet. If Berdych can nail his spots on while serving and be patiently aggressive with his groundstrokes, he can foil England’s plan of a hometown champion. Additionally, Murray hasn’t been hitting his second serves aggressively, so if he isn’t consistent with his first serve delivery and Berdych commits to attacking, the underdog can make an impact on the Englishman's serve. Ultimately, it's unlikely that Berdych will pose enough of a threat to Murray to derail his path to his goal, a second Wimbledon title.
Prediction: Andy Murray
Then, for us, we're taking Murray in Sunday's Final as a worn-down Federer may not have much left against the hometown hero. So that’s it for our Wimbledon analysis for Friday and Saturday! The men’s semifinals will take place tomorrow morning from Center Court in Wimbledon as Federer takes on Raonic with Murray and Berdych following. The ladies’ finals will be on Saturday as Williams and Kerber joust for a piece of tennis history. This tournament has surely been a fun one and we can’t wait to see how it ends!
Let us know your thoughts and predictions in the comments section below!