Wimbledon 2015: Preview of the Men’s Quarterfinals

The defending champion Novak Djokovic needed just 44 minutes to claim the deciding fifth set 7-5 against the South African Kevin Anderson and booked a place in the quarter-finals as he completed a stupendous come from behind win at Wimbledon. The 14th seed Anderson served 40 aces in the match but Djokovic known for his return of serve held his nerve as he came back all the way after loosing the first two sets in a tie-break, the eventual scoreline was 6-7(6),6-7(6),6-1,6-4,7-5.

That sets up a clash against the reigning U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia who has never beaten the Serb in 12 previous attempts. The second seeded Swiss Roger Federer takes on the talented Frenchman Giles Simon who has taken him to the distance on their two previous meetings at grand slams. Federer beat him at Australian Open 2011 & then at French Open 2013 in five sets.

His fellow countryman French Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka takes on another Frenchman Richard Gasquet in what can be termed as a battle between two of the best single handed backhands in the game. The pair have split their two previous meetings with Wawrinka edging Gasquet in five sets at Roland Garros 2013. The last quarter-final pits the 2013 champion Andy Murray of Scotland against the unheralded Vasek Pospisil of Canada.

The quarter-final line up to be played on Day 9 in the men’s section is as under with the head to head records and my pick mentioned first :-
Novak Djokovic (1) v. Marin Cilic (9) ; Djokovic leads 12-0
Stanislas Wawrinka (4) v. Richard Gasquet (21) ; Tied 1-1
Andy Murray (3) v. Vasek Pospisil ; Murray leads 3-0
Roger Federer (2) v. Giles Simon (12) ; Federer leads 5-2

It was ladies quarter-final day on Day 8 and the five time champion Serena Williams kept her hopes of a calendar slam alive as she overcame a barrage of winners and the loss of the first set to win 3-6,6-2,6-3 against the former world number One Victoria Azarenka of Belarus. Serena who had to come back from the brink against Heather Watson of England in her third round match on Saturday, once again got off to a shaky start and staved off 7 of the 8 break points she faced in the match lasting 2 hours and 3 minutes on Center court.

She was preceeded by the 2004 champion Maria Sharapova of Russia who ended the gutsy run of the American Coco Vandeweghe 6-3,6-7(3),6-2 in the first match of the day that lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes. The unseeded American ranked 47th in the world hit 32 winners to Sharapova’s 20 that had the crowd engrossed in the match.

On Court No.1, the 20th seeded Garbine Muruguza of Spain defeated the in-form Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 7-5,6-3 and next faces the 13th seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland who beat the promising 20 year old American Madison Keys, seeded 21st, 7-6(3), 3-6,6-3.

Following is the semi-final line-up to be played on Day 10 in the women’s section with the head to head records and my pick mentioned first :-

Serena Williams (1) v. Maria Sharapova (4) ; Williams leads Sharapova 17-2
Agnieszka Radwanska (13) v. Garbine Muguruza (20) ; Tied at 2-2

It will be the third meeting at Wimbledon between Williams and Sharapova as the American has won the last 16 contest between the two. Sharapova beat Williams in the 2004 final to claim her maiden grand slam title and Willians returned the favour in the round of 16 in 2010. Williams also beat Sharapova in the Australian Open final this year in Melbourne. Muruguza has won the two matches she has played against Radwanska after loosing the first two meetings between the duo.

– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@gmail.com]

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