The line ups have been set for the quarter-finals at this week’s pre-Wimbledon warm up events at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany and at the Aegon Queen’s Club in London, England as the highest ranked players players in action on Thursday safely with straight set wins. The top seeded Andy Murray of Scotland took out the Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco 7-5,6-4 in London while the second seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan ended the hopes of the local favourite Dustin Brown of Germany 7-5,6-1 in Halle.
Nishikori will next play the 2013 Wimbledon semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz of Poland who eliminated last year’s runner up Alejandro Falla of Colombia 6-2,5-7,6-2. Falla was beaten by Federer in last years final and this year had to come through the qualifiers in the 32 player main draw.
In a battle of two thirty year old players the Italian Andreas Seppi overcame the loss of the second set in a tie-break to upset the fifth seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo 6-2,6-7(5),6-3 on his sixth match point. He next faces the mercurial Frenchman Gael Monfils who beat Mikhail Kukhushkin of Kazakhstan 7-6(1),6-4 in the final match of the day that was played with the roof closed at 3-3 in the first set just after Monfils slipped on the damp surface.
The line up in the Round of 8 in Halle with my picks mentioned first is as under :-
Roger Federer (1) v. Florian Mayer (-)
Tomas Berdych (3) v. Ivo Karlovic (8)
Gael Monfils (2) v. Andreas Seppi (-)
Kei Nishikori (2) v. Jersy Janowicz (-)
The line up in the round of eight in London with my picks mentioned first is as under :-
Andy Murray (1) v. Gilles Muller (-)
John Isner (-) v. Victor Troicki
Milos Raonic (3) v. Gilles Simon (7)
Kevin Anderson (-) v. Guillermo Garcia Lopez (-)
Murray next faces the left hander Gilles Muller of Luxembourg who upset the defending champion Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 7-6(5). Dimitrov’s miserable season continued as he slumped to his twelfth loss of the year without any titles winning only 19 matches in the process. As expected the American John Isner and Feliciano Lopez of Spain were involved in a serving duel as all the three sets were settled in a tie-break.
Neither player dropped serve in the entire match and while Isner fired 36 aces, Lopez came up with 29 of his own. The winning scoreline was 7-6(5),6-7(9),7-6(4). The match lasted 2 hours and 18 minutes. Isner’s 74% first serves proved decisive in the tie-break. Lopez won 92 points to Isner’s 91, while Isner won 121 points to Lopez’s 119. Lopez also served six double faults to Isner’s one.
In the final match of the day which was a repeat of last week’s semi-final in Stuttgart, the Serbian Victor Troicki once again upset the reigning U.S.Open Marin Cilic of Croatia despite dropping the first set in a tie-break 10-8. He took the next two sets convincingly as the Croat surprisingly faded. The scoreline was 6-7(8),6-3,6-2.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]