The defending champion Novak Djokovic played sublime tennis against the Australian Bernard Tomic on center court as he entered the round of 16 on Friday at Wimbledon where he was joined by the French Open Champion Stanislas Wawrinka who was equally impressive in his straight set demolition of the veteran Spanish left hander Fernando Verdasco. Djokovic, winner at the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon in 2011 & 2014, beat the 27th seeded Tomic 6-3,6-3,6-3 while Wawrinka defeated the unseeded Verdasco 6-4,6-3,6-4.
The seventh seeded Milos Raonic who missed the French Open due to a foot injury was knocked out by the Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios in four sets. Richard Gasquet added to the misery of the Bulgarian Grigor Dmitrov by inflicting a surprisingly easy straight sets defeat. Dmitrov who reached the semi-final last year losing to Djokovic, has been without a title in 2015 and slipped to 21-13 mark for the year.
Marin Cilic and John Isner will resume their battle on Saturday with the scores tied at 10-10 in the deciding set after the match was suspended for the day on court no. 1. Cilic served 34 aces while Isner fired 33 of his own as the duo split the first four sets in the 4 hour 16 minute third round match. It is not very surprising that Isner and Cilic are involved in a titanic struggle at Wimbledon. Isner, very famously, was involved in the longest GS match to be ever played – a first round match in 2010 against Nicolas Mahut which ended 70-68 in the fifth set. Cilic, similarly, has been involved in the second longest match at SW 19 – a match that ended 17-15 in the decider against American, Sam Querrey.
The American Denis Kudla overcame the Colombian Santiago Giraldo in five sets while there were straight set wins for the South African Kevin Anderson against the Argentine Leonardo Mayer and David Goffin of Belgium took out the fading Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus. Djokovic next plays Anderson who reached the Queen’s final loosing to Andy Murray, Wawrinka meets Goffin, Gasquet will play Kyrgios while Kudla awaits the winner of the match between Isner and Cilic.
Following is the list of matches to be played on Day 6 with my pick mentioned first :-
Roger Federer (2) v. Sam Groth
Roberto Bautista Agut(20) v. Nikoloz Bashilashvili
Giles Simon (12) v. Gael Monfils (18)
Tomas Berdych (6) v. Pablo Andujar
Andy Murray (3) v. Andreas Seppi (25)
Ivo Karlovic (23) v. Jo Wilfred Tsonga (13)
Victor Troicki (22) v. Dustin Brown
Vasek Pospisil v. James Ward
The five time champion Serena Williams rallied from the brink of elimination to keep her hopes of a calendar slam alive as she saved a match point at 4-5 in the third set against the gallant crowd favourite Heather Watson of England before coming through 6-2,4-6,7-5 on Center Court in 2 hours and 14 minutes. Serena trailed 0-3 in the decider with two breaks of serve and in the pivotal fourth game which went to deuce six times, the top seeded American broke back and went on to level the set at 3-3.
She was broken in the ninth game but for the umpteenth time in her career, managed to break back before clinching the set 7-5 with another break in the last game. That set up a mouth watering match up against her elder sibling Venus who also has won the event five times as she took out the Russian Aleksandra Krunic 6-3,6-2. The 2004 champion Maria Sharapova, former world number one Victoria Azarenka, Belinda Bencic, Zarina Diyas, the French Open finalist Lucie Safarova and the American Coco Vandeweghe also advanced to the last 16. Diyas upset the 14th seed Andrea Petkovic while Vandeweghe took out the 22nd seeded Australian Samantha Stosur.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: firstname.lastname@example.org]