Wimbledon 2013: Round of 16 Preview

June 30, 2013 · Print This Article

by: Tom Cochrane

Novak Djokovic issued a warning to Andy Murray and his other main rivals on Day 6, crushing Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in just 80 minutes to book a place in the fourth round of the tournament.

Day 6 Recap

Djokovic was at his ruthless best against Chardy, the seeded Frenchman having no answer to a sublime serving display from the Serbian top seed and having his own serve thoroughly dismantled by the 2011 Wimbledon champion. Djokovic remains on course for a quarter-final showdown with Tomas Berdych, who overcame back problems and some inconsistent play to wear down Kevin Anderson in 4 sets.

Berdych will next face young gun Bernard Tomic, who edged past ninth seed Richard Gasquet in a tight 4-setter on Centre Court. Fourth seed David Ferrer was pushed to the brink of elimination by Alexandr Dolgopolov before escaping with a 5 set win, whilst there were also wins on Day 6 for Fernando Verdasco, Tommy Haas and Mikhail Youzhny. Joining the growing list of seeds on the sidelines however, were Frenchman Benoit Paire and Argentina’s Juan Monaco.

On the women’s side, top seed Serena Williams made short work of Kimiko Date-Krumm, dropping just 2 games against the Japanese veteran. Williams next faces big serving German Sabine Lisicki, who came from behind to oust Aussie Sam Stosur in 3 sets. Also progressing courtesy of a fighting 3 set win was former champion Petra Kvitova, rising British star Laura Robson, last year’s finalist Agnieszka Radwanska (who held off a determined Madison Keys) and Chinese superstar Li Na, who downed Klara Zakopalova 8-6 in the decider.

Matches of the Day – Day 7

1. Novak Djokovic vs. Tommy Haas

Despite having been faced with some tricky opponents in his early matches, world number one Novak Djokovic has barely raised a sweat in progressing to the round of 16. This promises to be a sterner test for the top seed, however, as Haas is an accomplished grass-court player and has already beaten the Serbian once this year, on hard-courts in Miami.

Haas started poorly against another good grass-courter in Feliciano Lopez yesterday, but raised his level to progress in 4 sets. If the German can get his backhand down the line firing against Djokovic and get a high percentage of first serves into play, then the former world number 2 could trouble the former champion. But based on Djokovic’s stellar performance against Chardy, I’m not betting against the Serb. Djokovic in 4.

2. Bernard Tomic  vs. Tomas Berdych

Seventh seed Tomas Berdych will need to enter this match armed with plenty of patience, for young Aussie Bernard Tomic is one of the most frustrating players to play against, as ninth seed Richard Gasquet found out on Day 6. Not only does the Aussie, a quarter-finalist at the All England Club in 2011, give his opponent no ability to get into a rhythm in rallies, he also plays points extremely quickly and has a knack of lifting his game in the crucial moments, such as in tiebreakers or the last few games of a set, often after looking almost disinterested in his opponent’s service games early on in a set.

This match should be appealing to tennis fans, as it pits the craftiness and variety of the Tomic game against the raw power and aggression of the Berdych game. If the Czech star is focused and doesn’t allow himself to become distracted by Tomic’s style of game, he could completely overwhelm the 20 year old. Having said that, Tomic is deceptively challenging to beat, especially on grass, so don’t rule him out entirely in this one. Berdych in 4.

3. Serena Williams vs. Sabine Lisicki

Sabine Lisicki’s love affair with the All England Club has continued in 2013, the big-serving and big-hitting German through to another second week of Wimbledon. It’s hard to know, however, just how Lisicki will fare against the world number one Serena Williams in this clash. On one hand, Lisicki is one of the few players who can match Williams in the power stakes, and Lisicki has shown her ability to beat big names at Wimbledon in the past, taking down Maria Sharapova at SW19 last year.

On the other hand, it’s often players who play a different game to Williams who trouble the American the most; players who feed the top seed with the sort of power that she can harness can get themselves into a lot of trouble very quickly against Williams. Just ask Maria Sharapova, who hasn’t beaten the American since 2004. I’ll back Lisicki to cause some fireworks on Centre Court in this one but back Williams to ultimately prevail. Williams in 3.

4. Andy Murray vs. Mikhail Youzhny

Andy Murray couldn’t have asked for a better first week at SW19, the Scot easing through his opening round matches without too much trouble and seeing the two biggest challengers in his half of the draw, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, fall by the wayside. The second seed will be looking to lift his game to the next level in the second week of the tournament and he will need to be focused in this match against the very capable Mikhail Youzhny.

Youzhny enjoyed a good win over the dangerous Serbian Viktor Troicki in round 3, and the veteran Russian knows his way around a grass-court, having reached the Halle final in the lead-up to Wimbledon, only to lose in a very close match with Roger Federer. I think Murray will have too much variety and overall class for Youzhny, but he needs to stay away from the Russian’s dangerous backhand wing. Murray in 4.

5. Andreas Seppi vs. Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro scored a relatively straightforward straight sets win over Grega Zemlja in round 3, the Slovenian no doubt still feeling the effects of his gruelling 5 set win over Grigor Dimitrov in the second round. But the Argentine has both knee and ankle concerns, which is a worry going into the second week of the tournament.

If Del Potro is fit, then I think the former US Open champion will have too much firepower for the Italian counterpuncher Seppi, who is a very solid, but not spectacular, player. But if Del Potro, like so many other players at this tournament, is affected by injury, then the door could open for Seppi to advance. At this stage, I’ll take Del Potro. Del Potro in 4.

That’s it for today. Today is the traditional middle Sunday rest day at the tournament, but Monday sees the start of week 2 of the tournament. In the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter: @satelliteserve.

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