Haters, dust off those crystal balls. Wimbledon begins on Monday, and it's time to enter the I Hate Tennis Wimbledon 2012 Cake Contest!
Fill out your brackets for the women's draw here, and the men's draw here. Do it multiple times. I'm going to fill out one with a highly likely scenario (e.g., a Djokovic-Nadal final) and a wildly unlikely scenario (e.g, Rafael Nadal doesn't make it to the quarterfinals, or something else that's the tennis equivalent of the sun not rising).
Here's one long-shot: Andy Murray, Wimbledon finalist. Have you seen his draw? BBC Sport detailed his possible path to the championship match, and it's filled with upset possibilities, starting with the first round against former world number 3 Nikolay Davydenko. After that, Murray could face Richard Gasquet, David Ferrer and Nadal.
Maria Sharapova has an easy go of it until the quarters, when she could find herself in a rematch of last year's semifinal against Sabine Lisicki. Sharapova won that, 6-4, 6-3, but it took her three sets to get the best of Lisicki in the Australian Open's Round of 16 last January. Who dares to pick Lisicki to beat Sharapova?
Other fun things to think about:
- How far will Andy Roddick get before he tanks? He's likely out against David Ferrer in the 3rd round, but who's willing to say he will blow up before then?
- What about Venus Williams? She's 32 and has an auto-immune disease. But she's reached the finals 8 times in the last 11 years, winning the championship five times.
- And Serena? She's won 4 times, most recently in 2010. She's Tennis.com writer Stephen Tignor's pick.
- Sara Errani was a dark horse in the French Open, in which she was the runner-up. Who are the dark horses here? How about Angelique Kerber, who's coming on strong, making her top 20 debut in February and her top 10 debut in May? Or, on the men's side, big server Milos Raonic? In his first appearance at Wimbledon last year, he retired in the second round against Gilles Muller because of a right hip injury. He's all better now.....
Such tempting scenarios. But even more tempting is the strawberries-and-cream CAKE I'll bake you if you win either the women's or men's brackets. Fill out your forms! And meet me back here regularly for updates.