It may have had a queer start, but 2013 Wimbledon is going down to the wire nonetheless.
The men’s quarter-finals between Murray and Verdasco nearly made everyone chew their nails off and come off the edge of their seats while the women’s semifinal action saw some first-rate tennis being pulled over in the shortest and longest of match durations.
Such have been the vagaries occurring that the buzz of excitement surrounding the men’s semifinal seems to have heightened even further. There has been no room for predictions though as each player faces nothing short of a gauntlet to get past to that one last match, transforming a dream into a hard-won reality.
Barely had Del Potro’s quarter-final against David Ferrer started when the Argentine took a mighty tumble over – stretching his already-taped knee. Del Potro’s grimaces didn’t really inject optimism even as the trainer was summoned to minister his apparently weather-worn knee.
When he finally picked up his racquet to play, one wondered how long he could endure the pain and Ferrer’s barrage of shots from one corner of the court to another.
What enfolded over the course of two hours after Del Potro’s medical time-out can only be described as his finest tennis at Wimbledon. Without over-exerting himself, he made Ferrer’s game look absolutely nondescript.
He punished everything that came his way, holding each game with sway while Ferrer was made to work out for each single point.
And perhaps this is why Nole would need to be cautious against the Argentine in their semifinal. His brand of tennis was firmly imposed in the minds of Wimbledon fans across the world as he brushed away Berdych in three straight sets.
But fact still remains that he hasn’t been required to unleash his lethality to get past his opponents. Against Del Potro who seems to be in an equally dominating form and who defeated Nole the last time they met at the same venue – 2012 London Olympics Bronze Medal match – Nole would need to draw out the Argentine to play bigger shots and thus force him to make mistakes.
He will to keep Del Potro on a short leash, making it difficult for him to anticipate and return his shots so as to maintain a tighter hold on the match proceedings. Capitalising on Del Potro’s serve and utilising the same to his advantage is yet another aspect that Nole would need to exploit of his opponent.
Match Prediction: Novak Djokovic def. Juan Martin Del Potro in four sets