Nadal And Federer – The Men To Beat

2010 Wimbledon Championships
By Hiland Doolittle, June 29th, 2010
Roger Federer against Australian Jurgen Melzer

Roger Federer against Australian Jurgen Melzer

Top seed Roger Federer started the day with a solid 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 triumph over longtime friend and junior opponent sixteen seed Austrian Jurgen Melzer. The win assures Federer his 25th consecutive appearance in the quarterfinal round of a Grand Slam.

Federer obviously benefited from an off weekend. Despite losing his opening service game, Federer matched Melzer’s intensity and easily maneuvered the Austrian around the court. After tough first and second round wins, Federer appeared over-rated. On Monday, the real Roger Federer showed up.

The Swiss will next face 12 seed Tomas Berdych who clawed his way to a tough 4-6, 7-6 (1), 7-5, 6-3 win over surprising German Daniel Brand. Federer enjoys an 8-2 career advantage over Berdych, but the Czech has been serving well of late and will present a larger test than did Melzer.

Second seed Rafa Nadal closed out the most exciting day in tennis with a smooth 6-4, 6-2,6-2 win over France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu. Nadal took charge of the match and never let go. The Spaniard never lost serve and seemed able to win every crucial point.
Nadal struck 36 winners and committed just 9 unforced errors while converting 5 of 15 break point opportunities. The Spaniard had eight aces. Rafael Nadal will face Sweden’s sixth seed Robin Soderling.

Soderling was severely tested by a very game David Ferrer in a three hour fifteen minute 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 win. Ferrer was the first player able to win a set off the big serving Swede. Soderling’s game has rounded into top form at the right time. Many analysts pick Soderling to pull off the upset of second seeded Nadal.

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Ferrer showed his persistent spirit by chasing down everything within reach. The ninth seed is the first Spaniard to reach the quarterfinals since Jonas Bjorkman in 2006.

Fourth seeded Andy Murray remains the only player in the draw who has not lost a set. With the return home of the English soccer team, the Scotsman has the attention of the home fans. Before the match, American Sam Querrey looked like he would give Murray all he could handle.

Murray capitalized on 35 unforced errors while limiting his own errors to 16. Murray’s ability to dominate Querrey’s second serve was the key to the match. Murray won 25 of Querrey’s 40 second serve points.

In the upset and match of the day, Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu finished off fifth seeded American Andy Roddick 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6(4), 6-7 (5), 9-7 in four hours 36 minutes. Lu showed great agility and a surprising serve to unseat the heavily favored Roddick.

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The American seemed distracted by his placement on the second court and has a difficult time getting into the match. Meanwhile, Lu played the match of his life. Just when it seemed he would crack in long points in the fifth set, Lu rose to the occasion. Roddick’s first serve was invincible as he cracked 39 aces. In the last game of the set, Lu guessed right on one first serve and then took advantage of three weak second serves to seal the match.

Lu will face third seed Novak Djokovic in the quarters. The Serb held off never-say-die Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Djokovic needed treatment for dehydration during the third set. The Serb will; be favored to advance against Lu, but of the underdog continues the same level of play, he will be a difficult out.

Tenth seed Jo Willy Tsonga will face Murray after a strii9ng win against countryman Julien Benneteau 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Tsonga is playing his most athletic tennis of the year.


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