Wimbledon 2012: Men’s quarterfinal preview
July 4, 2012 · Print This Article
by: Tom Cochrane
Day 8 saw defending champion Petra Kvitova join top seed Maria Sharapova on the sidelines after the Czech was defeated in straight sets by 4-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams.
Day 8 Recap
Riding an 11 match winning streak at the All England Club, Kvitova started well enough in a match played under the roof on another rain-interrupted day in London. But with her first serve working better than it has all tournament, Williams seemed to grow in confidence as the match wore on, and produced a sublime performance, finishing with 27 winners (including 13 aces) against just 10 unforced errors as she turned out a first-class 6-3 7-5 victory.
Williams will now play Victoria Azarenka for a spot in Saturday’s final after the second seed ousted Austria’s Tamira Paszek in straight sets, 6-3 7-6(4). While both Williams and Azarenka are Grand Slam champions, the other semi-final will produce a new Grand Slam finalist. Third seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who has threatened to be a Grand Slam contender for several years now, reached her first semi-final of a major by outlasting Russian glamour girl Maria Kirilenko in 3 sets.
Radwanska will now play Angelique Kerber after the eighth seed defeated fellow German Sabine Lisicki in 3 sets. In a topsy-turvy match, Lisicki saved multiple match points in the second set tiebreaker before failing to capitalise on a 5-3 lead in the deciding set, with Kerber taking the final 4 games of the match to claim the third set 7-5.
In the men’s tournament, David Ferrer and Andy Murray set up a rematch of their French Open quarter-final by recording classy straight sets victories. Ferrer nullified the power game of Juan Martin Del Potro, while Murray finished off his rain-delayed match against Marin Cilic. The winner of the Ferrer – Murray clash will face the winner of the quarter-final between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Philipp Kohlschreiber, after the Frenchman came back from a set down to beat Mardy Fish and the German put an end to Brian Baker’s dream run.
Match of the Day – Day 8
1. David Ferrer vs. Andy Murray
In Paris, a frustrated and injury-affected Andy Murray succumbed to the irrepressible David Ferrer in 4 sets. Facing a rematch against the Spaniard on a surface more favourable for the Scot, Murray will look to claim revenge. Nadal’s surprise exit has opened the door for Murray to make his first Wimbledon final, but the Scot has had a particularly tough draw – something I consider to be a blessing in disguise. The tough draw has forced Murray to focus on each match and not get too far ahead of himself. It has also made him very match-hardened.
Ferrer has been in great form all season, making his first French Open semi-final, winning his first grass-court tournament and then disposing Del Potro in the round of 16 with clinical efficiency. He will challenge Murray all the way in this encounter, but I think the grass-court surface will give Murray a slight edge. Murray in 4.
2. Florian Mayer vs. Novak Djokovic
Florian Mayer said it best himself when he declared that he would be out to irritate top seed Novak Djokovic in this quarter-final clash. The German, a surprise member of the final 8 of the tournament, has the ability to play a highly varied game – Mayer can hit with different types of slice and spin, can serve and volley, can flatten out his shots, and also possesses an effective drop shot.
Mayer will need to use all of the tricks in his kit, as enduring long rallies from the baseline against the defending champion and world number one is likely to end badly for the German. I think Mayer can pinch a set against Djokovic, but the Serb is likely to always be one step ahead of the German in this one. Djokovic in 4.
3. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Philipp Kohlschreiber
Philipp Kohlschreiber has one of the best one-handed backhands on the ATP Tour and the diminutive German has a game that is particularly well-suited to the grass-courts of the All England Club. The German upset Rafael Nadal at Halle in the lead-up to Wimbledon and has now been a beneficiary of the Spaniard’s shock second round loss in this tournament.
Tsonga enjoyed a tremendous Wimbledon last year, knocking out Roger Federer and challenging Djokovic in the semi-finals. With Nadal’s early exit, the Frenchman will also be looking to take advantage of an easier draw. Tsonga should have too much firepower for Kohlschreiber but this is a danger match for the fifth seed, as the German will be sure to make the most of any opportunities handed to him. Tsonga in 4.
4. Roger Federer vs. Mikhail Youzhny
Holding a commanding 13-0 career head to head record against his Russian opponent, Roger Federer’s biggest obstacle today is most likely to be his own body, rather than the player across the net. The Swiss master was suffering from a back ailment following his 5-set win over Julien Benneteau and confessed it had bothered him against Xavier Malisse during their fourth round clash.
Still, having had 2 days of rest and knowing his body very well, I think the third seed will be able to manage this problem as well as anyone could. Youzhny is a good all-court player but I think he lacks imagination in terms of how to actually go about beating Federer. Federer knows he has the wood over the Russian and will be eager to get through this match with a minimum of fuss. Federer in 3.
That’s it for today. Enjoy the tennis and I’ll be back with another serve tomorrow.