Wimbledon II: Men's Final Preview
In the biggest match in CWLand tennis history, it is East vs. West in the final of the The Championships at Wimbledon. In one corner is the eighth seed and East CWLand No. 1 Jefferson Drake who is by far the more credentialed player and a player who has appeared in more PTA Tour finals. In the other corner is a virtual unknown - 23rd seed Heath Davis is a fan favourite, but the casual fan has only been introduced to one of the top ranked doubles players in the world over the past week.
Both players were gifted straightforward first weeks. Drake was the only player to lose a set and neither player met a seeded opponent. Where they have come into their own, though, has been in the second week. Drake managed to live up to his ironman reputation with five-set wars against the #2 and #3 players in the world. Davis, meanwhile, came from a set down twice to beat top ten players who have had second week experience at Wimbledon.
For Davis, this final is deserved. After spending most of season I struggling with fitness and weight, he has finally shown his ability after slimming down and increasing his endurance. Despite having appeared in just one PTA Tour singles final, he is no stranger to finals day at Grand Slams with a record of 2-1 in doubles finals.
Drake, meanwhile, has appeared in nine PTA Tour finals - but this is no doubt his biggest. He too has appeared in a Grand Slam doubles final - against Davis - earlier this season.
While Davis' serve is no doubt his biggest weapon (he fired down the second most aces of any player this tournament), it would be wrong to suggest that is all he has. He's shown regularly this week some massive groundstrokes to the point that his forehand is arguably his most dangerous weapon.
Drake, meanwhile, is one of the best baseliners in the world but has shown a prodigious talent at the net. If he manages to draw Davis into longer rallies, there is little doubt he will be in a better position. The great thing about Drake is how aggressively he defends - he has some of the biggest shots in the game and hits it flat. He had troubles against Blanco's top spin on Friday, but he won't have that problem against Davis who hits a ball in a similar manner.
While the big names are missing from this final, stylistically this is set to be a ripper. The big question is how will Drake recover from his grueling week. He is the five-set king, and we think he will do enough to pick up the victory. Prediction: Jefferson Drake, Wimbledon champion, in five sets.
WHAT'S AT STAKE -
Winner: £1,100,000 and 2000 Season II PTA Ranking points
Runner-up: £550,000 and 1200 Season II PTA Ranking points
FINALS HISTORY -
Davis: Appearing in his 2nd PTA World Tour level final............He is 1-0 in finals
Drake: Appearing in his 10th PTA World Tour level final............He is 6-3 in finals
HOW THEY GOT HERE -
Davis: Davis started his fortnight with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 victory over wildcard Jordan Mutch. In the second round he beat Brazilian qualifier Flavio Augusto Martins 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. In the third round he beat #77 Randy Bruce 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. In the fourth round he beat #46 Tom Vollan 6-2, 6-4, 7-5. In the quarterfinals he beat #5 Jozsef Boros 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. In the semifinals he beat #10 Dwayne Murdoch 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, 7-6(5). SETS: 18-2 (20). GAMES: 120-71 (191). TIEBREAK SETS: 1-1.
Drake: Drake started his Championships with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 win over #90 Bogdan Maurer. In the second round, he beat #66 Petr Brozik 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-2. In the third round, he beat #115 Valter Cordiero 6-0, 6-2, 6-3. In the fourth round he beat #45 Javier Villaneuva 7-5, 6-2, 6-3. In the quarterfinals he beat #3 Radek Spidla 7-5, 6-7(0), 6-7(3), 6-1, 12-10. In the semifinals he beat #2 Daniel Paez Blanco 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-1. SETS: 18-5 (23). GAMES: 145-92 (237). TIEBREAK SETS: 2-3.
SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP HEAD 2 HEADS -
(23) Heath Davis (FRC) vs (8) Jefferson Drake (CDR) Drake leads 2-0
I Zagreb Hard QF Jefferson Drake 7-5, 6-1
II Queens Club (London) Grass QF Jefferson Drake 7-5, 6-3
*II Boodles Challenge (Buckinghamshire) Grass PO Jefferson Drake 5-7, 6-1, [10-3]