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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The ESPN "Kiss of Death" Thread: Mal's QF Predictions. Watch out ARod, Federer fans!

This is grass. Mal can't get these wrong...can he? :eek:

WIMBLEDON, England -- For the third time this year at a major, the tournament is shaping up to be one of the most interesting. Of the eight players left in the tournament, none of the players have any Grand Slam final experience.

Jonas Bjorkman, Sweden, vs. Andy Roddick (5), United States
Jonas Bjorkman is having some kind of end-of-career resurgence. He has equaled his best-ever Grand Slam performance by taking advantage of opportunities that have presented themselves. The most glaring opportunity is the one that has not seen him play a single seed in the tournament. When Lleyton Hewitt went out in the first round to Ivo Karlovic, it was an opportunity for someone to come through the top part of the draw and Bjorkman has proved to be the steadiest.

He takes on Andy Roddick, who is having his best Wimbledon appearance. Credit the new coach Brad Gilbert for helping Andy with the right style he needs to be playing combined with a serve that's been on all tournament long. He finds himself in the quarterfinals with a great chance to reach his first semifinal. I've no doubt he'll beat Jonas Bjorkman in three, maybe four sets.
Pick: Roddick


Roger Federer (4), Switzerland, vs. Sjeng Schalken (8), The Netherlands
Roger Federer has finally decided to show up at a major in 2003. He had two disappointing losses at the first two majors and is primed to reach his first Wimbledon semifinal. He's already equaled his best Wimbledon and will not be happy with anything less than a semifinal, where he will meet Andy Roddick.

He plays last year's quarterfinalist Sjeng Schalken, who will be his toughest opponent yet. Schalken found himself in the quarterfinals last year up a break in the fifth set against Hewitt and could not close out the match. Schalken is a surprise quarterfinalist this year, just as he was last year.
Pick: Federer in four sets

Tim Henman (10), Britain, vs. Sebastien Grosjean (13), France
This match could be the most exciting match of the tournament and will surpass the excitement we saw with Philippoussis and Andre Agassi. It will be on Centre Court and Henman is reaching a point in his career where there are only so many chances he'll have to play for the Wimbledon title.

Going into the match, it will be a battle of a classic serve and volleyer and a classic groundstroker with a huge forehand, who has the ability to serve and volley if he has to. I've thought about this match for a long time, and it's going to come down to, not surprisingly, the serve of both players. Grosjean has great return of serve, so Henman will have to have a first serve percentage of at least 65 percent. Also, Grosjean will need a high percentage of first serves to prevent Henman from attacking his second serve. Henman's success is going to depend on how quickly he can get to the net. For Grosjean, he must control the points from the first shot, otherwise, Henman will be able to capitalize. This match is too close to call. If I had to put my money down, I wouldn't.
Pick: Too close to call


Alexander Popp, Morocco, vs. Mark Philippoussis, Australia
Philippoussis played a fourth-round match that I am sure that he will consider one of the biggest of his career. After three knee surgeries and doctors telling him that he might never play again he finds himself in quarterfinals of Wimbledon having beaten Andre Agassi.

If Philippoussis continues to serve the way he has he will be the favorite to come through the bottom half of the draw. He served 46 aces in beating Agassi. He can't lose when he serves like that. He is a huge favorite going in against Popp and anything short of a major letdown, should see him to move through to the semifinals.
Pick: Philippoussis
 

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Re: The ESPN "Kiss of Death" Thread: Mal's QF Predictions. Watch out ARod, Federer fans!

Schalken a surprise quarterfinalist?? Look at his results on grass you can't call that a surprise!!
 

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Re: The ESPN "Kiss of Death" Thread: Mal's QF Predictions. Watch out ARod, Federer fans!

Habsudovafan said:
Schalken a surprise quarterfinalist?? Look at his results on grass you can't call that a surprise!!
Exactly what I was going to say. Schalken was not a surprise this year - at least not to anybody who knows anything about him. In fact, he wasn't exactly a huge shock last year. It was more a matter of "it's about time" last year.
 

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Re: The ESPN "Kiss of Death" Thread: Mal's QF Predictions. Watch out ARod, Federer fans!

scud is already losing... 2 sets to 1 popp
 

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Re: The ESPN "Kiss of Death" Thread: Mal's QF Predictions. Watch out ARod, Federer fans!

So far he isn't doing badly...Roddick and Roger won...He didn't pick Grojean...And Mark is on serve in the fifth!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: The ESPN "Kiss of Death" Thread: Mal's QF Predictions. Watch out ARod, Federer fans!

This is supposed to be the "Kiss of Death" Thread, not the "Get'em Right" Thread :eek:
 

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Re: The ESPN "Kiss of Death" Thread: Mal's QF Predictions. Watch out ARod, Federer fans!

Well conserning the number of sets there were a few wrong answers ;)
 

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Re: The ESPN "Kiss of Death" Thread: Mal's QF Predictions. Watch out ARod, Federer fans!

I wasn't here to post during the weekend, so here is Mal's Semis picks...

Wednesday, July 9
Federer over Roddick
By MaliVai Washington
Special to ESPN.com


WIMBLEDON, England -- For the second major in a row, we will have a new Grand Slam champion. Of the four semifinalists today, only one has ever been in the final of a major, and that's Mark Philippoussis.

Mal's Picks

I think the winner of the tournament will be determined by the winner of Roger Federer vs. Andy Roddick. It's pretty eerie how similar their routes to the semifinals have been. They've both played just under nine hours of tennis, and they've both have lost only one set. They're both playing the best tennis they've ever played at a major.

This match is going to come down to the player who can convert on the big points. This match will only be determined by a handful of points, whether it be break points, or aces at the right time, or a player getting nervous at the wrong time.

These two players are on the verge of fulfilling potential that everyone has known they've had. Unfortunately, this isn't the final.

My pick: Federer in five sets.

Sebastien Grosjean and Philippoussis have logged more time on the court than the other two semifinalists, each having put in just under 14 hours on court. I keep wondering how much longer Philippoussis' body can hold up. He's had two five setters, two four setters and a three setter. He continues to say that his knee feels fine, but he's giving his knee a test that he hasn't had since his four surgeries. For his sake, I hope he can sustain his level.

If he can continue to serve the way he's been serving he'll be in the finals. He has more aces than anyone in the tournament, but he has seven more double faults than the other three semifinalists combined. He lives and dies by his serve. Yesterday, he served a 124- mph second serve on break point down in the fifth set. If he can continue to do that, he'll be in the final and win this tournament. But those are huge gambles to take, and it might catch up with him.

Grosjean will be hoping that Philippoussis has a first serve percentage in the mid-50s or lower. If Grosjean sees that many second serves, he'll be able to capitalize and win this match. Because of the power of Philippoussis, a lot of this match will be out of the hands of Grosjean. This match, too, will come down to only a handful of points. And it's more important for Grosjean to capitalize on those points than Philippoussis because Grosjean might only see a couple of break points.

I can't help but think back to the Australian Open 2001, when Grosjean was up two sets to love and a break and points for a second break against Arnaud Clement to reach the final and lost. He might have a little bit of luck on his side because four of the past five years, Tim Henman has lost to the eventual champion.

This match could come down to the player who has a net chord at the right time or a bad call at the wrong time.

My pick: Philippoussis in four.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Re: The ESPN "Kiss of Death" Thread: Mal's QF Predictions. Watch out ARod, Federer fans!

...And his Finals pick:

Wednesday, July 9
Philippoussis leaning on his serve
By MaliVai Washington
Special to ESPN.com


WIMBLEDON, England -- Sometimes players slip through and reach a major final not playing at their best level. That didn't happen here. Mark Philippoussis and Roger Federer are fittingly playing astounding tennis.


On Friday, Philippoussis showed few nerves in dismantling Sebastien Grosjean's game. If he continues to serve the way he does, he might not have his serve broken the whole final.

Mal's Picks

I can't help but look back on his match with Andre Agassi, where he served a record-tying 46 aces. No one has ever done that against Agassi. It amazes me that Philippoussis can continue to serve two first serves and it hasn't cost him yet. If he has the nerve and the guts to continue serving two first serves, it will put so much pressure on Federer to hold his own serve.

Federer played as good as a player can in his first semifinal of a major. The way he was so composed behind his own serve and in his ability to break Andy Roddick's serve was masterful. Roger Federer is one of only two, maybe three, players on tour who can and will win all four majors. [My note: Wonder who the other three are?]

Federer has the ability to hit every shot there is in tennis. In the semis, he showed every bit of superior execution that Pete Sampras showed in his championship runs. Federer's success in the final hinges on how he responds if he is not as masterful. If he happens to get down a set and a break, does he just fade away, or does he battle through the down period and recover to even the match?

Sunday's final will come down to the player who will not be overwhelmed by the enormous occasion. They both have to approach it as just another tennis match, knowing in the back of their minds, that it's the biggest match of their careers. Under the enormous pressure, so often players don't perform at their best, but the player who can control his emotions and thrive in the situation, will be the player who is triumphant.

My pick: Federer in four sets
 

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Re: The ESPN "Kiss of Death" Thread: Mal's QF Predictions. Watch out ARod, Federer fans!

Mal, this thread's no fun when you get them right :mad:
 

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Re: The ESPN "Kiss of Death" Thread: Mal's QF Predictions. Watch out ARod, Federer fans!

LOL well a few mistakes when it came to the number of sets. But I don't mind the outcome after all ;)
 
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