A legend, a young star, a local hope, and a wildcard. The ladies semifinals are set.
Producing a fittingly eclectic quartet for this particularly chaotic time in the women’s game, Tuesday’s action offered plenty in the way of both quality and drama. Let’s hope the men can do the same.
Read on for a look at all the men’s quarterfinals action on day 9 of the championships.

Andy Murray (GBR) [1] vs Sam Querrey (USA) – 1st on Centre Court

Few players on tour have games as suited to the grass as Sam Querrey, and few players like ruining the days of such players quite as much as Andy Murray. Not that Querrey isn’t capable of pulling the upset off, but this is no longer the Murray of earlier 2017 who gave away matches, and the method to wrest it from him is naturally high-risk, high-reward. Simply put, if the American puts down anything less than 40 aces and an equal number of ruthlessly slapped forehand winners, Murray will wear him down, just as he’s done to countless heavy-hitters before, including Milos Raonic in the 2016 final. With Nadal gone, Murray is a commanding favourite to get there again, and should he dominate here, you have to like his chances of repeating.

Marin Cilic (CRO) [7] vs Gilles Muller (LUX) – 1st on No. 1 Court

The Benjamin Button of professional tennis, Muller’s taken his first two career titles – and now a grand slam quarterfinal – at age 34, so it’s only reasonable to expect Muller will have 20 majors by the time he’s 50. That said it’s unlikely to happen here, as Cilic is an entirely different bag of beans to previous opponent Rafael Nadal. He serves bigger, hits flatter and volleys sharper, and has already beat him once this season in Queens (albeit in three tight sets). Over five sets you would have to assume the weight of Cilic’s game will see him through, but hey, we thought the same thing about Nadal, and look how that turned out!

Roger Federer (SUI) [3] vs Milos Raonic (CAN) [6] – 2nd on Centre Court

A rematch of last year’s semifinal, the tables have turned remarkably in the interim. This time Federer is the one coming in with a full-bill of health and all the momentum, while Raonic has had injury concerns and a series of tough matches. Still, it’s a tough one to pick, as while Federer leads the head-to-head 9-3, Raonic has won their last two meetings and (when healthy) is a far-improved player from the one the Swiss used to roll circa 2015. On grass particularly, you can never count out the bomb-dropping capabilities of Raonic these days, but Federer will have the advantage from the back of the court on virtue of his ability to vary his angles of attack, and has proven in the past he can eventually key-in on the Canadian’s serve. Give Federer the edge, but there’s definitely the chance of another classic, filled with scintillating first-strike tennis.

Novak Djokovic (SRB) [2] vs Tomas Berdych (CZE) [11] – 2nd on No. 1 Court

There’s uphill battles, and then there’s the vertical cliff face that Tomas Berdych has to scale here. Possibly the most one-sided rivalry of this era, Djokovic leads their head-to-head 25-2, with Berdych’s last win coming four years ago on clay at the Rome Masters. Making things trickier at this point in his career is that Berdych is what he is, meaning it’s not really a question of whether the Czech can do anything different to overcome history, but whether the current iteration of Djokovic is diminished enough for his still-potent grass game to work. Having gone unchallenged through the draw, it’s hard to say just how dominant Djokovic can be, but it’s hard to see anything less than his C-game letting Berdych get the best of him.


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