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The Championships, Wimbledon 2015 Gentlemen’s Preview and Winner

Event Name:   The Championships, Wimbledon 2015
Where: London, England
Dates: June 29- July 12
Surface: Grass
Tour: WTA & ATP
Defending Champ: Novak Djokovic
Runner-up:      Roger Federer

Roger Federer returns to the All-England Club one season after losing a heartbreaking fifth & final set to Novak Djokovic. It was the last time Fed was able to be in the final of a major. However, this is 2015 and the No. 2 seed has another opportunity to win his eighth title. Will this be his last chance to win a major? Hopefully not, I would love to see him finish his career like Pete Sampras did.

To see preview of the Ladies side you can click here.

Novak Djokovic comes into the tourney disappointed he could not claim a career grand slam at the French Open earlier this month. If there is a favorite to win the tile it must be Djok, right? He has been in both grand slam finals thus far this season and won one. Novak is also the defending champ.

People are writing off Rafael Nadal. Some have gone as far as saying that his career is over based on his horrible showing during the clay season. I would think that Rafa is allowed to have on bad year on clay. The guy has won nine French Opens and people think he can win another. It’s no secret that grass is not his favorite surface, but can he be called an underdog?

Stan Wawrinka proved all the haters wrong in Paris, as he was able to pick up his second major. He has the ability to push all of the other top players. He will be an interesting player to watch.

David Ferrer will not win because he can’t beat a player better than him. He doesn’t even pick up an occasional upset over the top players.

It appears once again that my favorite country, USA, will not be bringing home a major any time soon. John Isner is the best bet we have, but he is like Ferrer. It’s like he freezes against bigger named players.

Notable gentlemen in the field

Seed Players
1 Novak Djokovic
2 Roger Federer
3 Andy Murray
4 Stan Wawrinka
5 Kei Nishikori
6 Tomas Berdych
7 Milos Raonic
8 David Ferer
9 Marin Cilic
10 Rafael Nadal
11 Grigor Dimitrov
12 Gilles Simon
13 Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
14 Kevin Anderson
15 Feliciano Lopez
16 David Goffin
17 John Isner
18 Gael Monfils
19 Tommy Robredo
20 Roberto Bautista Agut
21 Richard Gasquet
22 Viktor Troicki
23 Ivo Karlovic
24 Leonardo Mayer
25 Andreas Seppi
26 Nick Kyrgios
27 Bernard Tomic
28 Pablo Cuevas
29 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
30 Fabio Fognini
31 Jack Sock
32 Dominic Thiem

After all of that it is time for my pick. Drum roll please…

I’m going with No. 3 seed Andy Murray to pick up the win. Shocker, I hope not. He is the equal to Djok, Federer, Wawrinka and every other player in the field. Amélie Mauresmo has been an outstanding coach for him. For those of us that had the chance to watch Amélie play, it is easy to compare her game and circumstance to Murray. It has not been easy for him to overcome the other top players en route to his two major victories. Mauresmo had to beat players like Serena Williams and Justine Henin.

Who do you have winning The Championships?

Other bloggers talking about Wimbledon:

Tennis Kibitzer

Nico Mahut Fans

Game Set Match

Moo’s Tennis Blog

Joel Orme Sports

Photo: CARL COURT / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

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The Championships, Wimbledon 2015 Ladies Preview and Winner

Event Name:   The Championships, Wimbledon 2015
Where: London, England
Dates: June 29- July 12
Surface: Grass
Tour: WTA & ATP
Defending Champ: Petra Kvitova
Runner-up:      Eugenie Bouchard

When I think of Wimbledon every year I think of strawberries and cream. It looks so good. I’ll have to try it whenever I go to London. However, that has nothing to do with The Championships this year.

Once again the favorite is Serena Williams. The only person that can possibly beat her is Serena Williams. Every opponent she may have in the tournament will have to play their A+++++ game and have Serena commit a lot of unforced errors. Williams is 69-8 against the current top 10 players in the world. Is that a form of intimidation or a lack of motivation for the other ladies? With a Wimbledon win Serena will:

  1. Complete her second Serena Slam (win all four majors consecutively, but not in the same year.
  2. Be one major shy of completing the season grand slam. This feat has been done three times (Maureen Connolly Brinker in 1953, Margaret Court in 1970, & Steffi Graf in 1988) Graf actually completed the Golden Slam that season. She won an Olympic Gold medal that season as well.
  3. Will only be one major behind Graf for the most all-time in the Open era.
  4. Pick up her 6th win at the All- England Club. She would then be three back of Martina Navratilova.

You can see the gentlemen’s preview here.

The matches are played on the court and not on paper and that’s why these people may have an outside chance of winning if Serena is unable to get the job done:

  • Petra Kvitova is the defending champion and has won two of these titles in the past four years. She will need to play strong in the early rounds to gain momentum. She does have tendencies to get upset early in majors.
  • Maria Sharapova would love more than to be the person to stop Serena as she has already accomplished this feat in 2004 to claim her first major. Sharapova also has the ability to get upset. She is my favorite is Serena goes out.
  • Caroline Wozniacki has been playing great since breaking up with Rory McIlroy last season. However, she still has yet to win a major. She has the ability to fly under the radar to win the title.
  • Venus Williams has won this championship on five separate occasions and may still have some magic left in the bottle. Sloane Stevens knocked her out in the first round of the French Open. Venus didn’t play bad in the match. Stephens outplayed the veteran.
  • Madison Keys is my dark horse pick. She has the power and pace needed to contend on this surface. Keys proved earlier this season at the Australian that she belongs in the conversation of players for the future.
  • Finally, there is a young woman named Vika. Victoria Azarenka is much better than her ranking. Reminder, it is because of her injuries last season. She has played great since coming and I expect that to resume.

Notable ladies in the field:

Seed Players
1 Serena Williams
2 Petra Kvitova
3 Simona Halep
4 Maria Sharapova
5 Caroline Wozniacki
6 Lucie Safarova
7 Ana Ivanovic
8 Ekaterina Makarova
9 Carla Suarez-Navarro
10 Angelique Kerber
11 Karolina Pliskova
12 Eugenie Bouchard
13 Aga Radwanska
14 Andrea Petkovic
15 Timea Bacsinszky
16 Venus Williams
17 Elina Svitolina
18 Sabine Lisicki
19 Sara Errani
20 Garbine Muguruza
21 Madison Keys
22 Sam Stosur
23 Victoria Azarenka
24 Flavia Pennetta
25 Alize Cornet
26 Svetlana Kuznetsova
27 Barbora Strycova
28 Jelena Jankovic
29 Irina-Camelia Begu
30 Belinda Bencic
31 Camila Giorgi
32 Caroline Garcia

After all of that it is time for my pick. Drum roll please…

Of course I’m going with Serena. She is playing out of her mind. As tennis players mature in age they are supposed to regress in skills (i.e. Roger Federer) but Williams has gotten stronger. She knows what a win this year means in respect to history and I do not expect any person to be able to prevent her from winning Wimbledon.

Who do you have winning The Championships?

Other bloggers talking about Wimbledon:

Iain’s Football and Tennis Blog

Tennis Kibitzer

Tennis Abides 

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Week 9 Preview, NFL, London, Storylines, Hot Seat, Love/Hate

by Regis Welch

Follow at @regisjwelch

Down the Line Sports

Normally, I write a positive lead, but for week 9 that task seems impossible. Last week, I seen some of the worst play I have ever seen in any sport. Jets quarterback, Geno Smith, played worse than Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez combined. Do you know how bad you have to play to do that? Before he was pulled for Michael Vick, Smith had already thrown three picks en route to a QBR less that 0.1. Watching this team seriously made my eyes hurt.

Two weeks ago the entire city of Chicago wanted to kill Jay Cutler, but he was not the reason they lost last week. Da Bears were trumped 51-23 in Boston. Their defense had no answers for Brady, Gronkowski, or LaFell. I really don’t understand this team. Chicago is way too good to be so bad.

I remember when the Oakland Raiders was a respected sports franchise. Now, they are possibly worse than President Obama’s approval rating on foxnews.com. I like Derek Carr and the receivers that he has, but that’s about it. The coaching is awful and the defense is miserable. Al Davis is rolling over in his grave and the people in the faithful black hole should consider giving up their season tickets for the foreseeable future.

Week 9 Storylines

  • Who really is better Peyton or Brady?
  • Can Tony Romo stay healthy for the duration of the season? We’ve talked so much about DeMarco Murray playing in all sixteen games, but no one has mentioned Romo. They cannot win without him, but they can lose with him.
  • Who are the Houston Texans? This week against Philly they will have an opportunity to play like the playoff team they should be.
  • What is Washington thinking? Do they ever think? Colt McCoy has won back-to-back games and they bench him. RG3 has garbage when he was healthy and Kirk Cousins played like a Jets quarterback. In the NFC East it is never too late for a team to make a come back and win the division. Expect Robert Griffin to come back to the trainer’s room within the next three weeks. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
  • Can Ben Roethlisberger repeat his record-breaking performance last week? Heinz Field is still on fire as Big Ben had his way with the Colts.

London

londonpub.com.au
londonpub.com.au

For the life of me I cant understand why the NFL wants to take over the London market and put a team there. This week we will have the Seattle Seahawks go against the London Monarchs. Who will want to travel all that way? How about putting an NFL team in LA, Portland (OR), Toronto, Mexico City, Maui, Vegas, or San Antonio. Remember NFL Europe, how did that end? The Beijing Communists, Australian Kangaroos, Egypt Pyramids, and the Rome Chicken Parmesans will be on the docket ten years from now.

Coaches on the Hot Seat

nydailynews.com
nydailynews.com
  • Rex Ryan- I like him, but he knows that he has been set up to fail this season. The Jets have way too much cap room not to bring in quality players. Last week, the Jets had a receiver playing cornerback. With all of that money they can’t get a mediocre cornerback or quarterback. Something seems off. I hope he get another head coaching job.
  • Marvin Lewis- This Bengals coach has had a great team since he’s been in Cincy, but he has not made a significant push in the post season. Nothing will change this year. The AFC will run through New England and Denver. Cincinnati will have no say so.
  • Tom Coughlin- This two-time SB champion has run out of luck. I predict that the G-Men will go 7-9 and miss the playoffs. Since Coughlin joined the team in 2004 they have missed the playoffs in five of his ten seasons.s

The team I am beginning to LOVE:

Arizona- This was the best team last season to not make the playoffs and they are now showing teams that they are for real. Carson Palmer is possibly playing the best ball that he has ever played and he is doing it by not passing to Larry Fitzgerald on every down. They are also +9 on turnovers. I do not, however, like the way Patrick Peterson is playing. He is a shadow of what he was last season. Quarterbacks are no longer afraid to go after him.

The team I am beginning to HATE:

San Diego- The Chargers started the off hot, but they are starting to simmer off. Phillip Rivers is a great QB, but there is only so much he can do on the offensive side of the ball. Brandon Oliver has done an okay job in starting in the place of Ryan Matthews, but they need more. Especially since Denver is starting to pull away in the AFC West.

Dummy of the Week:

This award was made for Lamar Houston. His Bears were being blown out. Houston got a sack on the Patriots backup QB before he decided to celebrate. In which this happened.

lamear.0

Last Week:    9-6

Total:             79-41-1

Percentage:   .653

Byes: Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Tennessee 

CAROLINA over New Orleans

CLEVELAND over Tampa Bay

Arizona over DALLAS

KANSAS CITY over New York (A)

MINNESOTA over Washington

CINCINNATI over Jacksonville

Philadelphia over HOUSTON

MIAMI over San Diego

SAN FRANCISCO over St. Louis

SEATTLE over Oakland

Baltimore over PITTSBURGH

Indianapolis over NEW YORK (N)

Week 8 NFL, Picks, Storylines, Michael Sam, Mettenberger, Da Bears, and whole lot more

Wait for it. Wait for it. How ‘bout dem Cowboys? That is only the second time that phrase has been used here on Down the Line Sports and possibly not the last. The team is on fire and my pick for MVP, DeMarco Murray, is playing like is possessed. The entire offense is clicking on all cylinders and the defense is containing the opposing offenses. I expect the ‘Boys to get their next loss on November 23. They would be 9-1 going into that week 11 matchup with the New York Football Giants. By the way it has been a long time since I’ve heard a good Tony Romo joke.

Enough kissing up to Dallas! Congrats to Peyton Manning on overtaking Brett Favre as the all-time touchdown passer. Have a look at how many people he has thrown TD passes to.

Courtesy of ESPN.

By the way, that’s Peyton Manning not Gary Payton. Payton played in the NBA for the Seattle SuperSonics.

Week 8 Storylines

  • Who are the Bengals and Bears? These two teams are pit-i-ful. Cincy has a great excuse A.J. Green has been injured and there really is no one that can take his place. The Bears need Jesus or whomever they collectively believe in.
  • Will the real Atlanta Falcons please stand-up?
  • Can Aaron Rodgers continue his hot streak against a pathetic New Orleans secondary?
  • To the Cleveland Browns, please please please know that you are the Cleveland Browns. Why go for a first down last in the first half when you have the lead against the sorry Jags. Oh, and don’t be stupid. Brian Hoyer has been phenomenal quarterback for this team. Normally, the Brown would be 0-6, but because of him they are 3-3. Johnny Manziel has a comfortable seat on the bench don’t move him.
  • Then, there are the Raiders.. Who cares??

Percy Harvin

Last week, Percy Harvin was traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the New York J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS. Reports are still coming out as to why he was traded. Some are saying that he was disagreeable and he did not get along with Russell Wilson. Harvin will now pay for his sins. Would I rather Russell Wilson pass me the ball or Geno Smith? Whatever idiot just said Geno please excuse yourself from this conversation.

The Jets got the better of the deal. They only gave up a mid-round pick to rent Harvin for the rest of the season. If you are gonna miss the playoffs at least do it with a Pro Bowl receiver.

Zach Mettenberger

0303

Remember before the season started I said Zach Mettenberger would be the Offensive Rookie of the Year. He will get the opportunity to prove me right on Sunday. This will be his first NFL start. The sorry Titans are giving up on their backup Charlie Whitehurst. Tennessee has young talent and they need some sort of spark and Mettenberger can add said spark. Will they win the AFC South, hell no, but they can possibly make a run at a wild card spot.

Jay Cutler

Cutler may now be the most hated guy in Chicago. Earlier in the week teammates and the media have talked about Cutler. Brandon Marshall, star wide out, said that the way Da Bears is playing is “unacceptable”. He’s right. I don’t know if it’s the QB’s fault, but he is the maestro of the offense and they are not performing as well as they should, especially at home. Chicago is 0-3 at Soldier Field including losses to Buffalo, Green Bay, and Miami. However, if they don’t think Cutler is the guy, please name someone else who could be better.

To read more on this click here for information.

Michael Sam

The Dallas Cowboys released Sam earlier this week. He had been on the practice squad since the season started. The team picked him up because they had a lack of health on the defensive line. Now that the defenders are healthy it really makes no sense to keep him around. Before the season started we knew it would be hard for him to make a team. I’m sure it really wasn’t from a lack of skill and I’m also sure it wasn’t because he gay. Let’s be real. There is a reason this story has not made a lot of noise. Simply put, he’s not that good, but I hope he gets another chance.

What a return to great we had last week! Nobody expected the Rams or the Dolphins to win last week, so we didn’t lose that much ground. I really can’t complain. Considering now that I have a .700 winning percentage. Any who to the picks…

Last Week: 11-4

Total: 70-35-1

Byes: San Francisco & New York (N)

DENVER over San Diego

ATLANTA over Detroit   Game in London. Kickoff is at 8:30 AM Eastern.

Buffalo over NEW YORK (A)

Baltimore over CINCINNATI

NEW ENGLAND over Chicago

Miami over JACKSONVILLE

Minnesota over TAMPA BAY

Seattle over CAROLINA

TENNESSEE over Houston

KANSAS CITY over St. Louis

ARIZONA over Philadelphia

CLEVELAND over Oakland    If you watch this game you should be committed!

Indianapolis over PITTSBURGH

Green Bay over NEW ORLEANS

DALLAS over Washington

Please comment, as I value all opinions.

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Have a great week!