Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have breezed through their fourth round match in straight sets and remain on course for a repeat of the greatest tennis match of all time played ten years ago when Nadal edged Federer 8-6 in the final set to capture his maiden Wimbledon final. Federer extended his consecutive sets win streak to 32, while Nadal, who last reached the quarter finals stage in 2011, has not dropped a set in four matches this year.
In the first match on center court, the eight time champion Federer bageled his French opponent Adrian Mannarino in only 16 minutes before the 22nd seed found some form. The Swiss maestro took advantage of a forehand errors by Mannarion to break in the eleventh game. In the third set Federer was within one point of dropping serve for the first time in four matches this year but saved them all and made the Frenchman pay dearly for not converting the break points by breaking him in the very next game to seal a 6-0,7-5,6-4 win. He is now 95-11 at Wimbledon and is only two sets behind equaling his sets won streak of 34, a feat he achieved during his title winning 2005-06 runs.
Rafael Nadal, the champion in 2008 and 2010, is into his eighth Wimbledon quarter final after a 6-3,6-3,6-4 win over the 93rd ranked Jiri Vesley of the Czech Republic. Nadal was dominant on his serve, losing only six points on serve in the first two sets and when Vesley broke serve in the fifth game it came against the run of play. Nadal broke back rightaway and in the next game Vesley played two poor points as Nadal forged ahead 4-3. Vesley did offer token resistance as he saved three match points before perishing inevitably against the World number One ranked player.
Federer’s next opponent in his 16th Wimbledon quarter final appearance will be the South African Kevin Anderson, seeded eighth, who came through after a closely contested 7-6(4),7-6(2),5-7,7-6(4) win against another Frenchman Gael Monfils. In a match lasting three hours and twenty nine minutes, Anderson served 20 aces and won 43 points at the net to become the first South African in 24 years to reach the last eight at Wimbledon. Wayne Ferreira reached the quarter finals in 1994.
Anderson, who reached the U.S. Open final last year in New York, trails Federer 0-4 in their career head to head, but is enjoying his career best season at age 32. Also advancing is the 2016 finalist Milos Raonic of Canada, who used his big serve to good effect to end the run of the young American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3,6-4,6-7(5),6-2 to make the Wimbledon quarter finals for the fourth time. He next plays another American, ninth seeded John Isner, aged 33, who reached his maiden quarter final at Wimbledon after a 6-4,7-6(8),7-6(4) win over the 31st seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, the first player from that country to enter the round of 16 at any of the four grand slams.
Meanwhile, Kei Nishikori of Japan, seeded 24th, becomes the first player from his country to reach the last eight at all four grand slams, and only the fourth man from Japan to enter the quarter finals at Wimbledon. The last player to do so was Shuzo Matsuoka in 1995. Nishikori saved two set points in a lengthy third set tie-break as he won in three hours and twenty nine minutes 4-6,7-6(5),7-6(10),6-0 against the 138th ranked Ernests Gulbis, a qualifier from Latvia once ranked in the top twenty in 2012.
For a while it looked like the three time former champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia may not get on the court on Monday if Anderson and Monfils match had gone the distance, but when he got on court he wasted very little time in dispatching the Russian Karen Khachanov 6-4,6-2,6-2. The 22 year old from Moscow, who resides in Dubai, looked fatigued after a come from behind two sets win against the American Frances Tiafoe and offered only token resistance to the Serb. Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina leads the Frenchman Giles Simon by two sets to one in the only match which was unfinished on a busy day. In three closely contested sets the fifth seed who reached the semi final in 2013, leads 7-6(1),7-6(5),5-7 against the former top ten player.
Following is the list of matches in the Men’s singles Quarter Finals to be played on Wednesday with my pick mentioned first :-
Roger Federer (1) v. Kevin Anderson (8); Federer leads 4-0
John Isner (9) v. Milos Raonic (13); Isner leads 3-1
Novak Djokovic (12) v. Kei Nishikori (24); Djokovic leads 13-2
Rafael Nadal (2) v. Juan Martin Del Potro (5)/Giles Simon (-); Nadal leads Del Potro 5-1, Nadal leads Simon 8-1.
In the women’s section of the draw, the seven time champion Serena Williams looks poised to equal Margaret Smith Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles after a 6-2,6-2 win over the Russian Evgeniya Rodina on center court. Former world number one Angelique Kerber of Germany beat Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 6-3,7-6(5). The 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 7-6(4),6-0. In the only upset of the day Kiki Berten’s of Netherlands upset the seventh seeded Katerina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-3,7-6(1). Another German Julia Goerges was a 6-2,6-3 winner over Donna Vekic of Croatia.
Also advancing to the last eight stage which will be played on Tuesday is the lone Italian left in the fray Camilla Giorgi who was a 6-3,6-4 winner over Ekaterina Makarova of Russia. Dominica Cibulkova of the Czech Republic was a 6-4,6-1 winner over the giant killer from Taiwan Su-Wei Hsieh who had upset the top seed and world number one Simona Halep of Romania on Saturday coming from 2-5 down in the third set and saving a match point in her own serve at 4-5 down in the decider which she won 7-5. The last remaining spot has been taken the Russian Daria Kasatkina who rallied from a set down to win 6-7(6),6-3,6-2 against Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium.
Following is the quarter final line up in the women’s section of the draw with my pick mentioned first :-
Angelique Kerber (11) v. Daria Kasatkina (14)
Serena Williams (25) v. Camila Giorgi (-)
Jelena Ostapenko (12) v. Dominika Cibulkova (-)
Julia Goerges (13) v. Kiki Bertens (20)
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy. You can reach him at the email: email@example.com]