Wimbledon 2017 Day 8 Preview: Federer vs. Dimitrov

published: Jul, 09, 2017

by: Ben Stevens

Depending on how you look at it, Wimbledon’s tradition of not playing on the middle Sunday is either one of the best or worst things about the tournament. Either you’re bummed to go a day without grand slam tennis, or you’re pumped for “manic Monday”, when there’s more big matches on than you could poke a racquet at.

In either case, that day is upon us, and as expected, there are some mouth-watering matches on tap. Read on for a look at three matches you can’t miss on a jam-packed day at SW19.

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) [14] vs Angelique Kerber (GER) [1] – 1st on No. 2 Court

Two Wimbledon finalists who need a kick-start to their season like Dan Evans needs clean urine, a win over the other could be just the trick. Both have exhibited some decent form in the first week, but Muguruza would have to be the favourite, leading the head-to-head 4-3 having taken four straight – although to be fair to Kerber, they haven’t played since 2015. If Kerber is to overturn the trend, she’s going to have to figure out how to hit away from the Muguruza forehand, and get the Spaniard moving laterally to stop her dictating from the baseline. Consistency will be key in this one – and seeing as neither can be counted on providing it, they could be there for awhile.

Caroline Garcia (FRA) [21] vs Johanna Konta (GBR) [6] – 1st on No. 1 Court

What would a British hopeful be without the ability to induce heart-attacks in the locals? Jo Konta’s already shown an aptitude for that this tournament, and against the in-form Caroline Garcia, it’s only going to get worse. Having split their previous encounters two apiece – the most recent a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 victory for Garcia this year at Indian Wells – it’s impossible to predict this match with any confidence, short of saying these two play some stupendous rallies, with Konta’s better shotmaking countered by Garcia’s better variety. If you’re near a Brit for this one, make sure you’ve got a defibrillator standing by.

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) [13] vs Roger Federer (SUI) [3] – 3rd on Centre Court

This is it. Baby Fed versus, well… Fed. Leading the head-to-head 5-0, Federer comes in the strong favourite, but as we saw in Melbourne, Dimitrov at his best is a test for anyone, and the two haven’t played since January 2016, so there is reason for an improved Grigor to hope. Of course, the problem with Dimitrov is “good Grigor” can never be counted on to show up, but if he makes an appearance, his younger legs will give him an edge in manoeuvring around the baseline and perhaps force Federer off the front foot. Regardless of who wins, this is sure to be a shotmaker’s delight, and certainly well worth your time.

Ben Stevens

Contributor to TennisConnected. Long time player, coach and fan. Still waiting on Mark Philippoussis to break through at a major.

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