04 Aug 2012

Predictions from the press room


Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerClosed Roof on Centre Court

Nobody follows the world of tennis closer than the international journalists based at the Olympic Tennis Event this week, so who better to ask for their gold medal predictions...

Name: Rene Stauffer
Works for: Tages Anzeiger
Country: Switzerland

Unfortunately for Andy, Roger won’t let this unique chance of a lifetime pass. He kissed the Swiss cross on his shirt after the epic win against del Potro and wants to make his country proud. He has the mental edge against Murray after three wins in their Grand Slam finals and Murray must feel like in front of the Matterhorn. But I would still be very happy if Andy won. After all, he has gone through he deserves a really big one. 

Name: Christopher Clarey
Works for: International Herald Tribune
Country: USA 

It is difficult to pick against Serena when she has not come close to losing a set and has beaten Maria Sharapova in their last seven matches. She looks to have carried the momentum from Wimbledon straight into the Olympics. As for the men's final, I think we are in for another classic. The five-set format favours Federer but the crowd will be more strongly in Murray's favour than during the Wimbledon final. Federer's serve will be critical as will his ability to attack the net effectively on occasion. But I like Murray's chances better this time in a Davis Cup-style atmosphere.

Name: Greg Couch
Works for: Fox Sports
Country: USA

Murray - It’s Andy’s turn now, and the Brit media are not all over his every move. The focus in town is spread out throughout the Olympics, giving Murray a little room to breathe. It won’t be the same as winning Wimbledon, but it’s the next best thing, and Britain will always celebrate him for it.

Serena - She is simply too good right now. Sharapova and Williams would make for the best rivalry in women’s tennis, but they don’t play each other enough. I do think there is animosity between them, and certainly between their fans. But Wimbledon is like Serena’s second home. She is too comfortable here, and her serve is perfect on the grass.

Name: Jorg Allmeroth
Works for: DAPD
Country: Germany

Judging by today’s performances, Andy Murray has a great chance to capture gold, a greater chance than four weeks ago in the Wimbledon final against Federer. But the mighty Fed is unpredictable these days and magic on Centre Court. Okay: This time Murray in four sets. Serena Williams will win the women’s final without giving away more than seven games.

Name: Paul Newman
Works for: The Independent
Country: Great Britain

I think Murray will win the men’s final. I’ve never seen him as fired-up as he is this week. Even though Federer is clearly just as passionate about trying to win the gold for Switzerland, I think it will be Murray’s day.

I can’t see Serena losing the women’s final. She’s played as well as she ever has this week and she’s got the better of Sharapova in all their recent meetings. I expect Sharapova to push her harder than anyone else has so far, but I don’t think it will be enough.

Name: Ubaldo Scanagatta
Works for: Ubitennis
Country: Italy

Andy Murray will win this tournament because it is not a Slam final. And sooner or later has to win a really big final. Plus he is playing for United Kingdom, not just Scotland. The Olympic event is perfect for him to represent all different nations inside the United Kingdom. Plus he has to take revenge after the loss of three weeks ago. People without ties in the Royal Box (unless the Queen will come like in 1977 for Virginia Wade) will cheer him up with more young enthusiasm than normal. Some Mexican waves from the start will help to pump him up. And Federer has already won the first Swiss medal anyway.

Serena Williams will win the gold medal because she, like Murray, has to take revenge for that day in 2004 when the 17-year-old Maria upset her as the strong favourite and decided to talk on the phone to announce her victory. She will win also because she needs to show that she is the real No.1, plus she has lost only 16 games in five matches which is one less than the 17 lost by Federer in a set that he finally won against del Potro.

Name: Marco Keller
Works for: Sportinformation
Country: Switzerland

It will be yet another thrilling and fascinating match. After having struggled in his first major finals, Andy Murray was very close four weeks ago and would definitely be mentally ready to win his first huge title. Despite that, I believe Roger Federer will pull it off. He has shown in the epic semifinal versus Juan Martin del Potro how much he cares about the Olympics by fighting up to the very last drop. The once-in-a-lifetime occasion of not only winning his first singles gold medal but also to do a unrepeatable - by anybody - "double" at the site which he cares most about is the sort of storyline which inspires Federer more than anything else. He will show another huge match.

Name: Alexandra Willis
Works for: Wimbledon.com
Country: Great Britain

Murray - He is more focused than he has ever been, and hugely motivated by the prospect of reversing the wrongs of the Wimbledon final exactly a month ago. Being the Olympics, the crowd should also be heavily weighted in his favour. 

Serena - She can do no wrong on a grass court, her astonishing serve the biggest weapon in women's tennis. Having beaten Sharapova the last seven times they've met, she has a huge psychological advantage too. 

Name: Vincenzo Martucci
Works for: la Gazzetta dello Sport
Country: Italy

Roger Federer and Serena Williams are my clear favourites for these finals, not only because they just won the Wimbledon Championships, but because they are the strongest, recently and over time, with more experience in big matches, and maybe more motivation. Both of them have won everything except the gold medal at the Olympics.

Name: Jonathan Overend
Works for: BBC Radio
Country: Great Britain

Women's: Serena has looked unstoppable so far and even though it's Sharapova on the other side, I've seen little to suggest the USA juggernaut is coming to a halt. What a final in prospect! The French Open champion versus the Wimbledon champion and the two most well-known female tennis players contesting the Olympic final. What could be better. She's never won singles gold but, 12 years after winning her first doubles gold, in Sydney, I see another hanging around her neck by the end of the day.

Men's: It feels slightly odd that after a best-of-three set tournament we should conclude with best-of-five. But it makes this the ultimate test, not just of skill but also mental strength and endurance. These are the best two players of the summer and it's fitting that we get a rematch of the Wimbledon final. Remember Murray made a startling start to that match and the intervention of the roof undoubtedly benefited Federer. If it stays open tomorrow, I see Murray - who has played almost faultlessly this week - exacting some revenge. He knows it's possible, in this greatest era, he may never win a Slam. If so this could be his crowning achievement.

Name: Adrian Ruch
Workd for: Berner Zeitung
Country: Switzerland

Women's final: Even though Maria Sharapova has beaten Serena Williams on the very same court in the past, I would be quite surprised if she could win. Serena is on a roll, her serve is almost unreturnable. I see the American winning in two sets.
Men's final: As a Swiss reporter I have to give the edge to Roger Federer - even more so, as he has had the better end in all the big finals against Murray. But I think experience will count for less than four weeks ago as Federer has never played for a singles gold and seemed to be a little bit more tense than usual in the semifinal. So there is some hope for Murray and the host nation. 

Name: Remi Bourrieres
Works for: Tennis Magazine France
Country: France

In the women’s single final, Serena is going to win because she’s simply unbeatable since the beginning of the tournament. Great match from Maria but Serena will win.

In the men’s final, I would say Murray because he has all the country pushing behind him and now has the experience of the Wimbledon final against the same player, so he will be able to cope well with the pressure. I think that he bounced back after that defeat in Wimbledon and I’m sure that he will play a fantastic match tomorrow. Furthermore, maybe Roger will be a little bit tired.

Name: Enrique Cano
Works for: Tenis Mundial
Country: Argentina

Men's final: I think that Roger Federer will be the winner as this is a very similar situation to the one a few weeks ago in the Wimbledon final. I don't think that it's going to be down to their tennis, both have proven to be the best players here, I think that it´s going to be a tense final because of the nervousness. Both are under pressure, but with different needs. Murray carries a whole nation on his shoulders and that's a heavy burden, difficult to handle.

Women's final: It seems that Serena wins whenever she feels that she wants it. Here she has made it clear that she's coming for gold, like a month ago in the Championships here.

Name: Steven Wine

Works for: Associated Press
Country: USA

Never bet against Roger Federer. He’ll win in four sets!