Thursday, June 26, 2008

Getting Tipsy

My dark horse favorite to win Wimbledon, Andy Roddick, just lost his second round match with Janko "Tips" Tipsarevic.

Tipsarevic isn't exactly a household name, but you might remember that he provided a little scare to Roger Federer at this year's Aussie Open. You can see from the afore-linked live blog of that match that Federer was having a lot of trouble breaking Tips' serve, and the same was true for Andy Roddick, as the American failed to convert a single break in 4 sets.

That isn't to say that Tips' service games were especially dominating, as he only had 14 aces, and had a modest top serve of 131 mph (pretty fast, actually).

What carried through this match and against Roger was his excellent net play, something that is historically very effective on the grass, but isn't done as much in today's game. Tips went to net a total of 27 times in this match and won 21 of those points (78%), compared to 18 of 31 (58%) net conversions for Roddick, who has been trying to work a serve-and-volley aspect into his game for the last few years.

Coupled with the upset of James Blake earlier today, this win for Tips means two things. Firstly, Bobby Reynolds is the last American man standing and he has a tough match up against Feliciano Lopez coming up. Secondly, there is one semi-final spot that is pretty much up-for-grabs.

The top 3 seeds (Davydenko, Roddick, Blake) in the already weakest quarter of the draw have gone down, and what's left isn't too appealing. Tips actually might have a good chance of making it out alive, as Dmitry Turnosov and Rainer Schuettler aren't exactly headliners.