Novak Djokovic vs. Roberto Bautista Agut
Djokovic is probably at his deadliest on slow hard courts. His record 7 Australian Open singles titles, and the dominating manner he has won those 7 titles, speak to his dominance. RBA has beaten Djokovic twice in 2019 on hard courts that historically play pretty slowly: Qatar and Miami. Do I think RBA will win? No.
Djokovic has 4 Wimbledon titles to his name. He is number 1 in the world and the defending champion while also flying a bit under the radar of Murray and Serena in mixed doubles, Federer and Nadal setting up a big rematch, Serena chasing Court, etc. I think Nole may like this. In his mind, he may be thinking all of that is fine, but the last image of Wimbledon 2019 is going to be me holding the trophy. I think Djokovic wins in 3 sets with one set being fairly close.
My Prediction: Novak Djokovic d. Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 7-5, 6-3
Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer
Wow. This one brings up a number of memories from over a decade ago. Federer’s flawless first set in the 2006 final to the weird final two sets of the 2007 final to the 2008 drama. Rafael Nadal snapped a 5-match losing streak against Roger Federer at last month’s French Open. I am not sure what their head-to-head will mean as their only recent meeting was on clay on a windy day. I think it helps Rafa that he won their most recent meeting, but I am not sure it hurts Federer that much. Federer has to use Ljubicic’s crowd Rafa strategy and has to serve well. Rafa gives very few windows of attack. Kyrgios, who is not the grass court player Federer is, won 1 set and lost two tiebreak sets vs. Rafa. Still, I think Rafa has gotten better with each round. Sam Querrey clobbered Rafa on a hard court in 2017. Querrey got rag dolled in the quarterfinal round. Tsonga looked totally overwhelmed in the round of 32. I don’t think that bodes well for Federer. When Rafa is humming (he won Rome and Roland Garros and 5 matches here), he seems like playing against a wall that also hits ridiculous winners. Federer has to attack while keeping his error count low. Rafa and Roger both know this. I am not sure Federer can execute that given Rafa’s level of play.
My Prediction: Rafael Nadal d. Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 7-5