Anything can happen in week two at Wimbledon
It is the first milestone for any player at a tennis Grand Slam to get to the second week. It’s the second Monday. Three matches won and four more away from glory.
There is not a lot that can be said about the first week of Wimbledon that hasn't already been said. We have had upsets, epic encounters, tantrums, broken racquets, terrific atmosphere, sunshine, rain, strawberries, Pimms and even some trick shots from Andy Murray. Everything has been covered so far but it could be a case of expect the unexpected in the second week.
The top four male seeds are still in with a shout of finding each other in the last four. They have had their battles so far but have come out pretty much unscathed, apart from the racquet of Novak Djokovic which took a bit of a beating in the second set against Marcos Baghdatis. Is the pressure beginning to take its toll on the Serb?
He's massivley odds-on at 1/12 against Michael Llodra (6/1) in the next round and if successful could play young Australian qualifier Bernard Tomic in the quarter finals. Tomic, 100/1 to win the tournament, beat number five seed Robin Soderling in straight sets to set up a match against Xavier Malisse to decide who is in the quarter finals. He has momentum, confidence is high and is 6/4 to overcome Malisse. If he plays Djokovic he will give him a good game, no doubt about that but he is the dark horse this year.
The most comfortable looking of the four big guns, and 7/4 to win again, is Roger Federer. The Fed Express seems to be steaming ahead again and is right at the top of the market. He plays Mikhael Youzhny of Russia for a place in the quarter finals to play either, Spaniard, David Ferrer or the powerful Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tsonga, who lost out to Murray in the final at Queen’s is looking comfortable on grass but you can’t really look beyond Federer to make the last four from this company.
Britain’s 5/1 hope for a Wimbledon champion, Andy Murray, could well challenge if he makes it to the last four. He has got into the second week with some good, solid tennis, mixed with confidence and a bit of flair as he has shown with a replay of his ‘hot dog’ shot from Queen’s. The number four seed is 1/4 as he faces Richard Gasquet (11/4) in what can only be described as a ‘must watch’ match. They played back in 2008, where Murray came from two sets down to defeat Gasquet - we're 11/2 about a Murray 3-2 victory - and there promises to be more of the same as Gasquet has looked in great form beating Simone Bolelli in straight sets last time out.
The winner of that match will play Gael Monfils’ conqueror Lukasz Kubot or Feliciano Lopez of Spain. Both players have been solid in the first week. They do not quite have an X factor, so to speak, but they can cause any player any number of problems on any given day. It would not be a surprise to see this match go the full five sets. Favourite Lopez is 5/1 to win 3-2 while the same scoreline to Kubot is 6/1.
Arguably the toughest match that any of the big four have is Rafael Nadal. He is 1/5 to progress facing the big-serving Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro on Monday evening. The former US Open champion looked impressive defeating Giles Simon in straight sets to win the right to battle Nadal. The number one seed has, once again, looked brilliant but Del Potro can really cause some problems and is 10/3 to beat the Spaniard. Nadal had a tough game against Muller on Centre Court and he had to be patient but came through it with the help of two tie break victories in the first two sets. Del Potro will fancy his chances and another five setter on Centre Court could be on the cards, with Nadal just about edging it; Nadal to win 3-2 is 11/2.
The women’s draw is still very much wide open. Both Williams’ have had a few questions asked of them but they came through it. Maria Sharapova had a tough first set against Britain’s Laura Robson but again came back stronger. Seeds have fallen, including French Open champion Li Na.
Sabine Lisicki beat Li. She looks like a huge contender at 15/2 and has even be branded ‘the new Steffi Graf.’ It is a big ask for the German but she can really take it to the other women and cause some upsets in the process. If she wins her next round match, we're 2/9 that happens, she will play the winner of Bartoli and Serena Williams. It will be interesting to see if she can reproduce the same kind of performance against Serena as she did against Li. It is tough to back against Serena but Lisicki could possibly prove to be value.
Another potential Williams upset could be from Petra Kvitova, 5/1 to win. She has been outstanding in the first week and could face Venus in an epic quarter final match if they both win early in the week. The number six seed faces Yanina Wickmayer and the American plays the 32nd seed Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria.
Both draws are wide open and anything can happen. Tennis journalist, David Law said on Twitter on Sunday evening, “10 years ago today we had no idea Federer would beat Sampras, Henman would lose a 3-day match, and Ivanisevic would win it all.” If it is anything like that, it could be one of the best final weeks SW19 has ever seen.