It’s been a historic month of July on the men’s tour! Wimbledon was epic, and set the stage of Roger Federer to climb back to the top of the men’s game. We’ve seen a couple players reach personal milestones this month, and others climbing the rankings again trying to resurrect their careers. And to top it off, the Olympics are underway at the hallowed grounds of the All-England Club. Let’s take a look at the top storylines from July 2012.
On the ATP side…
-This month, King Fed has reclaimed his throne as the top ranked player in the world after winning his 7th Wimbledon singles title and record 17th major singles title. He then proceeded to break Pete Sampras‘ record of 286 total weeks as the top ranked player in the world. Just another historic month for the Swiss all-time great. As the #1 player in the world and the defending champion of Wimbledon, he has to be the favorite going into the Olympics.
-We’ve seen yet another incredible resurgence from the 34 year old Tommy Haas. Once again, he’s recovered from injury and come back as strong as ever! In June of 2011, his ranking had plummeted into the 800s. A little more than a year later, he’s back up to #35 in the world. He’s had 2 top 5 wins this year, including a win over Federer in the finals of Halle for his first title since 2009. This month, he had two top 20 wins and reached the final in Hamburg before losing to red hot Juan Monaco. Can the veteran German continue his climb or will he get bit by the injury bug once again??
-Two guys reached personal milestones in their careers this month. Juan Monaco has had a career year, and after winning the ATP 500 title in Hamburg he’s climbed into the top 10 for the first time. Hot on his heels is German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who has climbed into the top 20 for the first time after reaching the final in Kitzbuhel last week and reaching the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. He’s currently at a career high ranking of #16. And, do you know who had the most aces in the men’s draw at Wimbledon? That’s right…5’10” Philipp Kohlschreiber, with 98 aces in five matches.
-Watch out for Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci! He’s only lost two matches this month, and both to top 10 players (Tipsarevic and Tsonga). However, he avenged his loss to Tipsarevic the very next week in the final of Gstaad to take the title, and his first round match against Tsonga at the Olympics might have been the best match of the first round. Tsonga served unbelievable and proved why he’s one of the best grass court players in the world, but Bellucci gave him a run for his money, losing 6-7 6-4 6-4. The lanky lefty clay-courter got a rough draw this week, but in the last month he’s gone from #80 in the world to #42. Look for the big hitting Brazilian to continue his hot play into the summer.
With only three weeks to recover between Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, the grass at the All-England Club is playing more like a classic grass court than the slower courts seen at Wimbledon in the past few years. The courts are playing lightning fast, balls are staying low and taking strange bounces, and footing is a struggle. Look for the veterans to handle the adversity the best over the next couple weeks, and look for some of the top players to get driven crazy with the tough conditions and get upset. My predictions? I expect to see a Roger Federer / Andy Murray rematch in the final.
Stay tuned for more pro blogs in the coming weeks! Thanks for reading!