Wimbledon 2011: 17th Ranked Player Richard Gasquet To Win This Year

Solomon RyanCorrespondent IIJune 22, 2011

LONDON - JUNE 28:  Richard Gasquet of France celebrate winning the men's singles round three match against Gilles Simon of France on day six of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

As of late Wimbledon has not been kind to underdogs.

Since 1993, there have only been six different players to win Wimbledon: Roger Federer six times, Rafael Nadal twice and Pete Sampras seven times. Goran Ivanisevic, Lleyton Hewitt, and Richard Krajicek won it one time.

With that being said, eventually in sports the favored doesn’t win. It just happened this when the Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat in the NBA finals. Or Na Li winning her first grand slam at the age of 29 this year at the French Open.

This year, in Wimbledon, look for the underdog to win.

Every year, the topic of conversation seems to center around three main players in tennis. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The critical question is, can anyone beat them? This year at the Wimbledon neither Federer, Nadal, Djokovic will win on the grass.

With the talent he possesses, and the year he is having so far, Richard Gasquet will win Wimbledon.

Gasquet has had a history of doing well in Wimbledon, making it to the semifinals in 2007, eventually losing to Roger Federer.

Gasquet has the type of game that is perfect for the Wimbledon grass. He is a great baseline player, so opponents are either forced to outhit him or come to net. When they come to net, Gasquet has no trouble passing them.

The draw for Gasquet is looking pretty good. He will face Stanislas Wawrinka in the third round. Wawrinka is a solid player, but the furthest he has gone in Wimbledon is the fourth round. Wawrinka can beat some good players here and there, but isn’t consistent. The only time he played Gasquet, he lost in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.

The toughest opponent Gasquet will have to up in to this point is Andy Murray in the fourth round. Murray has the slight edge over Gasquet, beating him four times and losing to him three. Gasquet has won the last two meetings, his last encounter coming in 2010, at the French Open, which he won in five sets.

Gasquet can beat Murray because they play similar baseline games. What it really comes down to is who hitting the ball better that particular day. In addition, Murray plays very nervous at Wimbledon because so much pressure is on him to win. In the first round of Wimbledon this year, he lost the first set because he wasn’t moving his feet and his arms weren’t extending on his backhand. He shortened up his swing, making him have no control.

If Gasquet beats Murray, he will likely play Gael Monfils or Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals. At age 28, and not playing in the French, Roddick is getting old and will be rusty. Gasquet won the last time they played in straight sets.

Monfils and Gasquet will be a great match. These two players are two of the most entertaining people to watch on tour, but Gasquet’s backhand will be too much for Monfils.

Gasquet’s next opponent will likely be Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin Del Potro in the semifinals. These are two of the elite players in the game. Del Potro will probably beat Nadal because he is one of the few players that isn’t bothered by Nadal’s spin.

Gasquet and Del Potro have only played three times, but all of the matches have been tight. Del Potro has won twice and lost once. The only question mark for Del Potro is his past experience at Wimbledon. He hasn’t been past the second round in his entire career. Gasquet will win in a close match.

If Gasquet makes it to the semi-finals he is going to pray the whole night that he faces Del Potro or someone else instead of Nadal. Nadal has beaten Gasquet eight times and has never lost. Maybe the ninth time's a charm. Gasquet just can’t handle Nadal’s spin.

In the finals Gasquet will play either Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer. They both have easy draws, so it is unlikely there will be an upset. Gasquet recently beat Federer on clay this year. Gasquet, like many other tennis players, is starting to realize Federer can be beat.

Djokovic beat Gasquet this year at the French Open in straight sets. The one flaw in Gasquet’s game is he tends to give up if he is down in matches. It is just maturity he has to work on, and sometimes it just takes one match for that to happen. If Gasquet to take the first set off Djokovic, he will win Wimbledon.