There’s no day on the tennis calendar quite like it — Manic Monday 2018 is upon us.

Sixteen fourth round matches across six courts, no single day at any other tournament provides such a smorgasbord of tennis.

Especially this year, Monday’s matches have narrative coming out of their collective neck. Wide-eyed youngsters just happy to be here, vets desperate for another deep run, legends looking to continue their dominance, or Ernests Gulbis looking to fund his next party, everywhere you look, there’s excitement and intrigue.

If there’s any day where you simply sit on your couch and do nothing but watch tennis, make it this one, but in the unfortunate event you have to pick and choose, here’s your three to see for Monday:

Angelique Kerber (GER) [11] v Belinda Bencic (SUI) – First on No. 1 Court

It seems like we’ve been waiting forever for Belinda Bencic to return to prominence at a major, and indeed it’s been nearly four years since she made the quarters at the US Open. Now she gets a chance to match that feat, against a surprisingly beatable opponent in Angie Kerber. Playing excellent tennis of her own, you wouldn’t think Kerber would be that worried by a player of Bencic’s standing, but she’s yet to take a set off the Swiss in three career meetings (the first coming during Bencic’s USO run) and it’s very possible that trend continues here. If Kerber is to flip the script, she’ll need to do a much better job than she has previously of both attacking the Bencic serve and not allowing her to flatten out her forehand, otherwise she’ll be in for another long afternoon.

Gael Monfils (FRA) v Kevin Anderson (RSA) [8] – Second on No. 1 Court

Keeping alive the near-annual tradition of a solid grand-slam showing amidst the rest of his rollercoaster performances, Gael Monfils has managed to make the second week at Wimbledon for the first time in his career, and with Kevin Anderson on deck, might just go a bit further. Arguably the favourite despite coming in 36 rankings spots lower, Monfils has never lost to Anderson in five meetings, and just dispatched a similarly big serving, big hitting, big man in Sam Querrey in the previous round. That said, Anderson has looked excellent this tournament, and his 142 winners are a proof he possesses the ruthless efficiency to upend Monfils. Either way, expect a see-saw battle with plenty of eye-catching tennis.

John Isner (USA) [9] v Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) [31] – Third on No. 3 Court

At 33 and 19 respectively, John Isner and Stefanos Tsitsipas aren’t exactly at the same stage of their careers, and yet when they square off on Monday, it’ll be a first Wimbledon R16 for both of them. Their only previous meeting being a 7-6, 7-6 win for Isner in Shanghai last year, it’s hard to separate the two, as even if Isner has the advantage on serve (he has yet to be broken this week), Tsitsipas has played a brand of all-around attacking tennis that will constantly ask questions of the American off the ground. One for the grass court purists, packed with plenty of big serving and adventurous forays to net, you wouldn’t bet against this turning into a real nail biter, resolved only in a series of tiebreaks, or maybe even a lengthy fifth set.


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