I never expected Raonic to reach the final at Stuttgart but he did and expectedly he lost to Federer in 2 sets. Raonic looks to be in top form at the moment , he didn’t drop a set on route to that final and I hope that form continues here.
Bhambri is another player who sticks to one surface and does really well on it even against better opponents but on other surfaces he’s pretty weak.
Bhambri has had a good year no doubt but everything about him ends on hard court, he can’t play on clay and stays away from it as much as possible and also grass courts where he has a career record of 8/10. I don’t see Bhambri getting past any decent grass court player and definitely not a Raonic who is in top form.
Belgium come into this match as the favorites ahead of England to win this group; and they have a real opportunity to stamp their authority in this game against lowly Panama. The Belgians come into his game with real good form beating Egypt 3-0 and Costa Rica 4-1 which will give them all the confidence that they can win against Panama quite easily. Their forwards Lukaku, Mertens and Hazard as well as their backup forward Batshuayi, all managed to find the back of the net in that encounter. Add to the strong midfield creativity from Kevin de Bruyne and the Belgians have all the makings of running riot against this Panama outfit. Defensively, Belgium have quite a bit of experience in their ranks with the likes of Alderweireld, Kompany, Vertonghen and Munier to start the game and should keep a clean sheet here much like they have in 5 out of their last 7 competitive games.
World Cup Group F
Germany are considered as one of the favourites to take the trophy home again, as they did in 2014. They are coming from a very easy qualification where they finished with 10-0-0 and 43-4 in goal difference, very impressive although it was a easy group. They didn’t impress that much in the build up before this tournament though, but they finally grabbed the win last time out after 2-1 vs Saudi Arabia.
Mexico qualified easily as well, and finished the qualification with 6-3-1 and 16-7 in goal difference. They participated in Confederations Cup last year, and finished 4th after losing against todays opponent Germany by 1-4. In the friendlies before the World Cup they lost 2-0 vs Denmark, won 1-0 vs Scotland & 0-0 vs Wales.
Not much explaining is needed when France are facing Australia. In this World Cup you can put France in same category as Germany, Spain, Brazil and those big, gigantic international sides that are going to be in the final stages in Russia.
France have so many good players that if you put some of the players that they left behind and didn’t even take in Russia, then create a list from those “unwanted” players, you could get a great squad for some other international side. They have great starters, great bench and backup, they’re basically covered on all positions more or less.
This time around Australia are nothing special for their part of the world, they were avearge in qualifiers and Syria played 1:1 in the first match and then second match went to extra time where Australia found the winning goal from Cahill as always, they barely made it through. Then they faced Honduras in last part of the qualifiers where job was much easier compared to Syria matches. First match in Honduras was a 0:0 draw and then Australia played better at home with 3:0 lead until the end when Honduras scored one consolation goal.
Spain come into this tournament as one of the favorites to lift the trophy on June 15th; but with lot of distractions off the pitch; it could prevent them from doing their job effectively on the pitch. Spain were already shown to be curtailed against Tunisia in their latest friendly, where they only scored the 1 goal to get a result. Spain will be starting with Diego Costa up front and that means they will try to play the style of football which will be conducive to his style which means crosses into the box to try and head in the ball into the box. Spain have some exciting players in the wide positions with Alba and Azpilicueta in the full back spots while Aspas and David Silva will be in the wider spots to create further chances. Spain come into this game averaging high corners in their counters which reads as follows: 6, 7, 1, 2, 3, 10, 7, 5, 11, 4, 11, 4, 5 – an average of 5.5 corners per game. On the defensive end they will look to keep the Portuguese at bay; and players like Ramos, Pique and Alba are used to playing the Portuguese talisman Ronaldo at club level; so they will look to keep the ball out of the box. They also have one of the best shot stoppers in the league with De Gea who will make every effort to keep the ball out of the box.
Krygios we all know spends more time off the court these days than he spends on it, although it’s no fault of his as you can’t actually prevent injuries in this sport so it really isn’t unexpected that he’s played just 15 matches this year.
He has won 11 of those 15 matches and despite not having played since April I see him winning this match in less than an hour.
Krygios has a career record of 22/10 on grass court, he hasn’t really done much on grass since 2014 where he won the Nottingham 2 challenger and reached round 16 of Wimbledon but he’s still heads and shoulders above Marterer’s level.
Marterer has a 21/14 record on all surface this year but how he lost s set to Galovic in his last match is beyond me. Although he has a career record of 3/5 on grass but Galovic had 1/1 before that match and with Galovic not having played in a while I would have expected a whitewash.
Womens World Cup Qual.
Wales W – Russia W
Without any fresh injury concerns, Wales could field the same starting XI against Russia on Tuesday as they did against Bosnia in Swansea. Sounds like miracle at Newport’s Spytty Park but Russia have to beat Wales to keep dream alive in their World Cup qualification hopes.
Wales’ World Cup dream is still in their own hands, knowing they will qualify automatically if they win their remaining two fixtures.
Wales Women have taken one step closer to securing chances of a first ever World Cup appearance after a 1-0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea.
France is on perfect run before heading to Russia. Everything will be better if they beat the United States in this match. France has a lot of advantages in the battle today, from strength to strength, quality players, coach etc. The Blues is considered one of the top candidates, current generation has so many prominent stars spreading across all three lines on a pitch.
United States did not qualify for CONCACAF World Cup 2018. After failing underwent a radical transformation. Coach Sarachan decided to skip a series of old filars to give the young players opportunities. However, these changes are not yet effective.
France is asked to send confirmation that is ready to Mundial, always scored at least twice in their last seven games so will hit again, since Yankees is in transition under the new coach even Americans does not belive yet, as we know they always speak positive about everything what’s belongs or represent their country.
Semi Final of the Roland Garros.
It’s still quite unbelievable we have Cecchinato still at this tournament, with the calibre of players he’s had to play I would have predicted he gets beaten against Carreno-Busta at the 3rd round, but he’s gone on to defeat both Goffin and Djokovic in 4 sets.
Cecchinato against Djokovic showed a totally different side of him, he was very aggressive and at some point with how Djokovic was playing I thought he’d cave in but he showed great mental strength in the 4th set to win 7:6.
Thiem has been amazing all year, he’s got a 23/5 record on clay but he hasn’t been untouchable. Thiem has lost a set in 7 of his last 10 matches, he’s already lost a set each to Berrettini, Nishikori and Tsitsipas at this tournament and how he didn’t loose a set to Zverez is beyond me.
There is this kind of players who are constructing their games behind huge serves and huge forehands. Despite Marin Cilic being a refined version of a big serving and big hitting guy, he has the same main weapons.
And there is this Juan Martin Del Potro who records great success against them, maybe even bigger than the guys in Big4 (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray). Maybe.
Fact is the argentine is serving as big as them, yet he’s way better in returning.
And the advantage these tall guys have against the pack, especially on french clay, the fact that after hitting the ground the ball is rising uncomfortably high, is not that much an advantage against a 1.98 m tall guy like Delpo.
For the past year he had a weak part on that post injury backhand, yet nowdays he is hitting the slice shot much rarely and he’s driving the backhand more often. Goodbye weak spot. With that kick serve out wide and the inside out huge forehand Isner would expose any BH weakness. He didn’t. Even more, as he usually does against the big serving + big hitting guys, Felpo won against Isner by breaking the best serve in the world in every set.