OK, so I am angst-ing so hard over this men's draw. The beginning stages involve some legit popcorn tennis, and I need to come up with some type of illness that can keep me out of work. Zika? Brex-regret? I don't know yet. I'll accept any ideas on that front.
We're gonna switch up the format a bit and just go into the matches to watch. For once, they are more important than what I think. (Just this one time. Don't go getting ideas.)
As you can see, I had some trouble filling this out, which has, like, never happened to me before. I thought I'd have some clarity after a good night's sleep, but nope. Not at all. (Wait until you see the bottom half.)
Jack Sock v. Ernests Gulbis: See what I mean? Some of these wouldn't be so difficult to call if it weren't Wimbledon. Here we have two solid servers with big ground games, and a resurgent but typically salty Gulbis, speaking his mind and playing well. The thing is that whoever wins this match can ride that pretty far, until they get to Milos Raonic. So yeah, no idea still.
Gael Monfils v. Jeremy Chardy: I went with Monfils here, but I think it'll be an interesting tussle. Monfils is coming back off an injury, and he doesn't normally do well here, so ...
Gilles Simon v. Janko Tipsaarevic: Simon, but this is fitting to be another grinder.
Borna Coric v. Ivo Karlovic: Again, this is almost impossible to pick because it's grass. If Karlovic wins this match, he has the potential to end up in the quarterfinals, just on his serve alone. Although Coric hasn't had the Grand Slam results yet, he shows a megaton of promise. If he gets out of this one, it could give him a chance to really make some noise at a major. Again, no idea here.
OK, I know what you're thinking. "Geez, Naf, this isn't rocket science, or even picking an outfit for work. Pull it together and pick something!" So here's the thing. Let's say Alexander Zverev advances as he should, and Tomas Berdych advances as he should? Who wins that third-round match? Whoever wins that match has to play Dominic Thiem in the fourth round. Who wins that?
Now that I'm looking at this in the morning, that's actually the biggest toss-up in the half. Sure, Stan Wawrinka can beat Fernando Verdasco and probably Thiem, Berdych or Zverev.
As far as Andy Murray goes, he could have his hands full with the likes of Nick Kyrgios, assuming he can get past Radek Stepanek in the first round. That's going to be hard. Murray's path to the semifinals is more complicated than Wawrinka's. Richard Gasquet's a problem. John Isner on grass is a problem. Either newlywed Fabio Fognini or Feliciano Lopez is a problem. Very complicated.
So what cream will rise to the top at this tournament? In the top half, you can't overlook Roger Federer. The only real question mark is the back problem. It caused him to pull out of a tournament last month. You might have heard of it -- the French Open? That's a big deal and so if he's still struggling, can he overcome Kei Nishikori in his quarter, or Novak Djokovic or Raonic in his half? And speaking of Raonic, he of the Koozi arm, I think he's a lot more dangerous now than he was before he started listening to John McEnroe. That's straight trouble with a capital 'T.'
I'm sitting here trying to press myself into committing into a Final Four. I can't. I've decided to call in with a low-grade fever and just enjoy the tournament. Also, these half-draws will probably be my most successful ever.