5 days at Wimbledon: random thoughts


Okay, so that bloody Wednesday didn't really count. Make that 4 days of tennis (Monday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday). Smart enough not to repeat my Wednesday mistake and not go on Saturday.

Joachim Johansson - Saw his last two sets against Mardy Fish and then his last two sets against Bjorkman. This is probably the player that impressed me most (yeah I know he just lost to this Mayer guy. I have no clue what happened there).
First, his serve is amazing. The first serve is almost always into the 130s (reached 142), and his second serve routinely tops 110... Bjorkman, one of the best returners in the game, could do nothing. Actually, I don't think Pim-Pim lost his serve even once before playing Mayer.
Second, the guy has nerves of steel!! Against Fish, he got an early break in the fifth and I thought "Wow, he just needs to hold serve for the rest of the set... But he's gonna feel some pressure for sure, and this US crowd is going to make him feel the pressure!" It seems like he didn't! Kept serving the same way and I think served 3 aces in the last game. Funny little thing I noticed: at one changeover in the middle of that 5th set, some Fish fan shouted "Come on Mardy, it's only one break!" Joachim was sitting right in front of this guy, and he just turned his head and smiled at the fan. You could read "Haha, he'll never break me" on that playful little smirk...

Mario Ancic - Saw some of his match against Hrbaty and once again I have to say I'm quite unimpressed with this guy's game. His serve is pretty good and he came up with the goods when it mattered, but I can't understand how he made it that far. Nothing really stands out.

Thomas Enqvist - My man let me down once again! I thought if he could beat Schalken, then he'd have an easy way to the quarterfinals (I think he can handle Schuettler or Spadea at Wimbledon), but the Dutch hurdle was too high it seems. I saw all of Enqvist's 3 matches and was disappointed with his game (4 tight sets against Blanco on grass wtf?? and almost lost to Chela). His serve was OK, but his return games were horrible throughout. He had trouble threatening for a break, even on Blanco's serve. From the baseline and overall I think he wasn't aggressive enough, certainly far less aggressive than 3 or 4 years ago. It seems he's trying to be more consistent and miss less, but that means he loses his attacking edge in grasscourt rallies. IMO that proved crucial against Schalken: rarely did Enqvist gain the upperhand in baseline rallies, rarely did he step up his play when it mattered.

Igor Andreev - Saw his last two sets against van Lottum... He simply demolished the guy! Van Lottum actually tanked the closing stages of that match, out of sheer despair. Whatever he'd do, Andreev would reply with huge shots and eventually insane winners! This guy's power and topspin from the baseline is amazing. With all the ruthlessness of a hungry 19 (?) year old...

Flavio Saretta - Strange guy. Made some weird sounds during his doubles match against Karlovic and Thomas, like random hysterical laughter after points. I'd never see him behave like this before. Then I'd see him watching some match and Chela would bump into him and say "Hi" but Saretta wouldn't even acknowledge him at first, only shaking his hand after a few seconds, without making eye contact.

Feliciano Lopez - Unlucky draw, having to play Karlovic in round 3. It was a high quality encounter, with the first 3 sets seeing both players unbroken. Tiebreaks looked like a lottery more than ever.

This is it for now, just off the top of my head... It was definitely a worthwhile 4 days of tennis! (like every year)

Kevin Patrick

Hall of Fame
How good do you think Johansson can get? I've never seen him play but his results this year have been impressive. Does he move well for his size?


New User
For your information Mikael. Van Lottum was injured in his match against Andreev. He has big problems with his back for the whole year and it was even worse in this match.


Oooh, that explains a lot. Thanks for the info Richard. Mea culpa for jumping to conclusions. Even without the injury though I think Andreev's shotmaking was rattling van Lottum to a certain point.

Kevin: tough to tell how well Johansson moves because I didn't see him get involved in many rallies. On his serve his gameplan is to rip the 3rd shot, which works more often than not when the serve actually comes back... On his return games he takes a lot of risks. Somehow his shotmaking reminds me of Srichaphan's, with the risk taking, the relative flatness of his shots, and of course the great one handed backhand. In the 4 sets I saw him play I'd say the longest rally lasted for like 6 or 7 shots.
If he keeps performing at this level (doubtful at short term, I didn't see his match against Mayer but something must've gone wrong) then he can easily reach the top 15... Since he's so big there's also the risk of injuries. I'll be looking out for him in the US fast hardcourt season.