After the upset of last year’s finalist Marin Cilic of Croatia, it was a somewhat predictable day as the eight time champion Roger Federer, fourth seeded Alexander Zverev, South African Kevin Anderson, American John Isner advanced on Friday. Federer, the top seed never faced break point on his serve and was only briefly challenged during the second set by the German Jan Lennard Struff who had played two five set matches going into the third round. The Swiss maestro won 6-3,7-5,6-2 on center court and extended his streak of consecutive sets won to 29 dating back to first round match last year.
The German sensation Alexander Zverev, who was trailing by two sets to one against the Americans Taylor Fritz, was in devastating form today as he won 6-4,5-7,6-7(0),6-1,6-2 on court number One. The Frenchman Gael Monfils accounted for the 11th seeded American Sam Querrey as he made it to the fourth round with a come from behind win in four sets, 5-7,6-4,6-4,6-2 in the first match of the day on center court.
Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece becomes the first player in Open Era to advance to the fourth round of a grand slam as the 31st seeded routed the Italian Thomas Fabbiano 6-2,6-1,6-4. Next up will be the ninth seeded American John Isner who easily beat Radu Albot of Macedonia 6-3,6-3,6-4. Another big server in the top half, eighth seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa easily beat the 25th seeded German Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-3,7-5,7-5.
Another American to join Isner into the second week is Mackenzie McDonald who beat the giant killer Guido Pella of Argentina 6-4,6-4,7-6(6). Pella had come from two sets down to record the biggest upset of the tournament beating the Queen’s Club champion Marin Cilic in the second round. McDonald now awaits the winner of the match between the 2016 finalist Milos Raonic of Canada and the little known Austrian Dennis Novak. The match was suspended with Raonic leading 6-5 in the third set on serve after the pair had split the first two sets. Raonic took the first set 7-6(5) in a tie-break but the Austrian fought back to take the second set 6-4.
Federer’s next opponent in the round of sixteen to be played on Monday after the traditional middle Sunday off at Wimbledon, will be the French left hander Adrian Mannarino who squandered a two sets lead against the GenNext star Daniil Medvedev of Russia before prevailing 6-4,6-3,4-6,5-7,6-3. The other fourth round match up in the top half is completed by Kevin Anderson who takes on Gael Monfils.
Following is the list of matches in the bottom half of the men’s draw to be played on Saturday with my pick mentioned first:-
Rafael Nadal (2) v. Alex de Minaur (-)
Jiri Vesley (-) v. Fabio Fognini (19)
Matthew Ebden (-) v. Giles Simon (-)
Juan Martin Del Potro (5) v. Benoit Paire (-)
Alexander Zverev (4) v. Ernests Gulbis (-)
Nick Kyrgios (15) v. Kei Nishikori (24)
Novak Djokovic (12) v. Kyle Edmund (21)
Frances Tiafoe (-) v. Karen Khachanov (-)
There were mixed results for the Williams sisters in the women’s section of the draw as seven time champion Serena Williams overcame a slow start to overcome the Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic 7-5,7-6(2). Serena reeled of four games from 3-5 down in the first set and in the tie-break ended the match in style with two aces to advance to the second week of Wimbledon. However, the elder sibling Venus, a five time champion fought bravely before going down to the Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 2-6,7-6(5),6-8. American Madison Keys also lost to the Russian Elina Rodina 5-7,7-5,4-6. Croatia’s Donna Vekic made up somewhat for the loss of male compatriot Marin Cilic as she beat Yenina Wickmayer of Belgium 7-6(2),6-1.
The Russian Ekaterina Makarova came from s set down to beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 4-6,6-4,6-1. The German Julia Goerges won the longest match of the day as she took out Barbara Strycova of the Czech Republic 7-6(3),3-6,10-8. The Italian Camilla Giorgi beat the little known Katerina Siniakova, also of the Czech Republic, rallying to win 3-6,7-6(8),6-2. However, the seventh seeded Katerina Pliskova did one ensure that Czech Republic player would advance after coming from behind to beat the Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 3-6,7-6(3),6-1.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: sportzcosmos@]