Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Andy Murray Advance

Wimbledon 2011
By Hiland Doolittle, June 28th, 2011

Top seed and defending champion Rafael Nadal received a stern test from underrated Juan Martin Del Potro in a heavyweight three hour fifty-two minute duel to the finish. Both players played lame as Nadal suffered and ankle injury in the first set and Del Potro went down on his hip in the pivotal third set.

This high profile match was a test of wills as well as skills between top seed Nadal and a soon to be top five player Del Potro. The matched played and felt like a semifinal or final match rather than a round of 16 prelim to the quarterfinals. Nadal’s 7-6(6), 3-6, 7-6 (4) 6-4. In the last two sets, Del Potro seemed to be in tougher shape than Nadal who continued to move around his backhand to hit impressive winners.

There were two breaks in the match. Del Potro converted 1 of 3 break opportunities while Nadal converted 1 of five chances. Nadal will next face the last American standing in either draw, Mardy Fish. Fish upset last year’s finalist Tomaz Berdych, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4. For the tournament, Fish has won 64 of 65 service games. Fish had 23 aces and 42 winners against the 6 seed. Fish will need to keep up those kind of numbers to overcome Nadal who has won all five of their previous matches. Berdych only managed two break point chances and came up short in both. This marks Fish’s first entrée into a Grand Slam quarterfinals and he has replaced Andy Roddick as the top ranked American.

Homestanding Andy Murray gave a royal performance for the royal newlyweds in downing France’s Richard Gasquet, 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2. Murray broke three times in the match as Gasquet failed in two break opportunities. Murray next faces Spain’s Feliciano Lopez, who faced two match points and was two sets down before he got untracked. The four hour plus marathon ended when Loopez registered his third career comeback from two sets down. Polish qualifier Kubot held third set leads of 6-5 and 7-6 in the tiebreaker. Lopez rescued victory from the jaws of defeat in the midday thriller. Against Lopez, Murray holds a 4-0 record.

In the bottom brackets, 3rd seed Roger Federer overcame Mikhail Youzny, but lost his first set of the tournament 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. The win marked Federer’s 100th grass court triumph. Lleyton Hewitt is the only active player to have more grass court wins with 104. After dropping the first set, Federer put his line in the sand and got back on track. In the fourth set, he raced to a 5-0 lead before giving a break back.

Federer will next face a very hot Jo Willy Tsonga who ousted 7th seed David Ferrer in three sets. The 12 seed put his serve to good use and outpaced Ferrer, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (1) in a rare straight set loss. Federer will be favored in Wednesday’s match but Tsonga is dangerous.

Novak Djokovic made fast work of an overmatched Michael Llorda, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. Djokovic may be thinking ahead to Federer but he will have to get past the youngest player in the field in Australia’s Bernard Tomic. The Aussie bounced Xavier Malisse 6-1, 7-5, 6-4. Tomic and Djoko should be a terrific match as the Australian appears quite comfortable in the underdog role.

From here, the big four look ready to resume rivalries after Wednesday’s quarterfinals.


No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.