Thursday, July 1, 2004

Wimbledon Predictions

AP Photo

Mrs. Linklater went to bed already.  Her daughter was at Wimbledon on the first day of the matches and sent the program, a map, even the tickets they used, so her mom could feel like she was there this weekend. 

So with Mrs. L sound asleep, I'm going to borrow the program, read about the players and make the predictions. Hope she agrees with me.

I watched most of Serena Williams' and Amelie Mauresmo's match today and the middle set of Lindsay Davenport and Maria's Sharapova's match.  When Lindsay couldn't put the second set away and it went into a tiebreaker, she stopped running.  It didn't seem to be by choice, either.

Whoa -- this match is over I thought. And, it was. It didn't take a genius to predict that. She lost the third set 1-6.  I didn't watch the last set, but I'm sure her foot was bothering her. She couldn't run anymore. Even though she has had surgery to fix it. 

Two rain delays made the difference.  Injured body parts start smoking when they have to sit around too long.

She doesn't look heavy, but for tennis and her feet, I think she needs to be 15-20 pounds lighter And build some lean muscle.

Never a speedster, Lindsay's condor like wing span and long legs used to always get her where she had to go. Not very gracefully, but she got there.

But today she was out of position even when she could get close. And she was playing defense for the second half of the match.  Ripe for picking.  And she was.

Serena and Amelie were a closer match.  But I noticed that Serena's knee seem to give her some pain after one shot late in the match -- can't remember whether it was an overhead or a volley.  She ended up at midcourt with her knee bent almost to the ground.  She stood up, bent over and seemed to reach for it, but moved her hand away quickly.  Hm-m-m-m.  How does this bode for the finals if she wins the semis, I wondered. 

In the finals, Serena should take the first set easily because of her experience. She has it hands down over Maria's youth and susceptibility to nerves -- she lost the first set today to Lindsay, for instance.

Maria found her game in the second set and that could happen Saturday. Especially if it rains. Serena seems to have trouble staying in the match at times. However, she does have plenty of adrenaline to ramp up her game for the first set.  And to finish off an opponent in the third.

Today, you could see her drawing on something way down deep when she was serving with all her power at the end of her match with Amelie. She did not want that third set to go to a tiebreaker.

But if there is a rain delay, Maria will come out fresher because she's younger and seems to be injury free. Serena could have problems getting going if they are interrupted.  She could lose focus. Her knee could be a factor.

What about the knee?  She may have done something to it today.

So my prediction for the Women's Finals at Wimbledon is Serena in two sets. But Maria has the edge if it goes three.

The men's finals is a no brainer.  Federer.  In no more than four. 


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