Wimbledon 2016: Middle Sunday Review

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It was the first time in 12 years that they played on what is traditionally a rest day being the middle Sunday of the Championship. Barring a marathon five setter between the 12th seeded Frenchman Jo Wilfred Tsonga and the 18th seeded American John Isner which went up to 19-17 in Tsonga’s favour, most matches went as expected and it has restored normal scheduling heading into week 2.

The most eagerly anticipated clash of the day between the German sensation Alexander Zverev and the 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych on the center court failed to live up to the expectations as the 10th seeded Czech used his big serve and heavy forehand groundstrokes to tame the 19 year old 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. Berdych next faces countryman Jiri Vesley who followed up his upset win over eighth seeded Dominic Thiem with another minor upset, this time dismissing Joao Sousa of Portugal in routine fashion, 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 on Court no. 1.

The Australian Nick Kyrgios won his unfinished match against the Spaniard Feliciano Lopez which resumed at one set apiece, as he wrapped up two straight sets to record a 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4 win to enter the pre-quarter finals. He next takes on the second seeded Andy Murray, the favourite for the title after the sensational exit of Novak Djokovic at the hands of the American Sam Querrey.

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Lucas Pouille, the 32nd seeded Frenchman packed off the Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro winning the fourth set 6-1 after play was halted last evening with Pouille leading by two sets to one. Del Potro had, earlier, eliminated the 4th seeded Stan Wawrinka. To the disappointment of most tennis fans, the 2009 US  Open Champion could not continue his campaign further.

Two more French players will contest in a round of 16 match, with last year’s semi finalist Richard Gasquet playing the flamboyant Jo Wilfred Tsonga. Gasquet won the fourth set 6-3 against Albert Ramos Vinolas completing a 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-3 win. Tsonga on the other hand came back from all the way behind – a comeback that started yesterday, to win 6-7(3), 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 19-17 in a four hour twenty four minute marathon on Court no. 2.

The following is the line up for last 16 on the men’s side with my pick mentioned first:-

Sam Querrey (28) v. Nicolas Mahut
Milos Raonic (6) v. David Goffin (11)
Roger Federer (3) v. Steve Johnson
Marin Cilic (9) v. Kei Nishikori (5)
Jiri Vesley v. Tomas Berdych (10)
Bernard Tomic (19) v. Lucas Pouille (32)
Jo Wilfred Tsonga (12) v. Richard Gasquet (7)
Andy Murray (2) v. Nick Kyrgios (15)

Serena Williams, the top seeded American, who will tie Steffi Graf’s record of 22 grand slams with a win on Saturday, produced her best form of the tournament, so far, with a thumping 6-3, 6-0 win over the German Annika Beck. She will play the former French and U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia who took two hours and twenty eight minutes to end the run of the American Sloane Stephens in a thrilling 6-7(1), 6-2, 8-6 victory

Another Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova brushed aside the last remaining Swisswoman Timea Bacsinszky 6-3, 6-2 and next plays the American Coco Vandeweghe who upset the sixth seeded Italian Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-4.

Two more Russian ladies will face off against each other after doubles specialist Elina Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova completed straight sets win in their third round match. Makarova followed up her upset win over two time champion Petra Kvitova with a 6-4, 6-2 rout of Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic, while Vesnina accounted for the American Julia Boserup, ranked 225 in the world 7-5, 7-5.

The following is the line up for the round of 16 in the ladies singles with my pick mentioned first:-

Serena Williams (1) v. Svetlana Kuznetsova (13)
Coco Vandeweghe v. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Agnieska Radwanska (3) v. Dominica Cibulkova (19)
Ekaterina Makarova v. Elina Vesnina
Madison Keys (9) v. Simona Halep (5)
Angelique Kerber (4) v. Misaki Doing
Venus Williams (8) v. Carla Suarez Navarro (12)
Lucie Safarova (28) v. Yaroslava Shvedova

– 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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