Roddick, Djokovic, Cilic Trounced Out of Tournament
Three of the top five seeds lost in the round of sixteen at the AEGON Championships in England. Andy Roddick (4), Novak Djokovic (2), and Marin Cilic (5) couldn’t muster the energy or drive to push past their respective lower-ranked opponents. Roddick, last year’s Wimbledon finalist opposite Roger Federer, lost to Dudi Sela of Israel, 6-4, 7-6 (8). Meanwhile, Djokovic choked in the third set against Xavier Malisse, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, while Cilic succumbed to Michael Llodra (12), 7-6 (2), 2.
With poor results from these possible contenders for the upcoming Wimbledon, it looks like an even better draw for Federer and Rafael Nadal to rematch their excellent 2008 affair. If the competition doesn’t step up, it’d be a great surprise for anyone else to claim the title other than the number one and/or number two player in the world.
Despite being pushed to a third set against Denis Istomin, look for Nadal to receive the trophy at the tournament. No one should be able to effectively intercept his run, especially without the big-serving Roddick. If Nadal can get enough experience on grass before Wimbledon and feel completely comfortable with the transition, there’ll be no stopping him until Federer stands in his way. Even that might prove to be a lesser challenge than in previous years.