Big Man Tennis: JMDP vs. Cilic & Berdych vs. Anderson

Big Man Bracket

We know that at least one of the eight quarterfinalists at the 2012 French Open will be at least 6’5″ or 196 cm tall.  Juan Martin del Potro faces Marin Cilic in the round of 32.  Both Delpo and Cilic are 6’6″ or 198 cm tall.  This looked like a promising rivalry after the 2009 US Open and 2010 Australian Open in which each man eliminated the other.  Delpo got hurt, and 2010 became a wash for him.  His solid 2011 results helped to re-establish Delpo as a threat on tour, and 2012 has continued his comeback story.  Cilic has been an enigma.  His game seems quite sound, but the second half of 2010 and all of 2011 were pretty mediocre for the Croatian.  Cilic has shown signs of life in 2012.  This rivalry has not become Wilt vs. Russell for tennis, but it still has potential to be good.  My guess is Delpo advances to the round of 16 with a four set win.  Juan Martin del Potro is one of the most mentally tough players on tour, and that should be enough to advance versus Cilic.

Kevin Anderson is 6’8″ or 203 cm tall.  He will face the diminutive 6’5″ 0r 195 cm Tomas Berdych.  Anderson has done quite well to reach the third round on a slow surface as he plays the most overtly aggressive style of tennis of these four big men.  Still, Berdych is playing maybe the fourth or fifth best clay court tennis in the world at the moment.  I expect Berdych will advances to face Delpo in a red rematch of their blue Madrid semifinal.

Based on form, Berdych will reach the quarterfinal round with a win over Juan Martin del Potro.  Still, I want to see their form in their round of 32 matches before giving a definitive pick for the round of 16.

While the big man takeover that some predicted after the 2009 US Open has never taken place, it is interesting to note that Anderson is the lowest ranked of this foursome as the world’s 34th best player.  John Isner has had some big Davis Cup moments in 2012.  Maybe the ideal height for tennis is shifting upward even if it has not done so in the dramatic fashion many expected after 2009.

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