As far as men’s quarterfinals fields at Wimbledon go, they don’t get much better than this.

Juan Martin Del Potro, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Kevin Anderson, John Isner and – for the first time since 2011 – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. A grand slam titlist, three major finalists, the three greatest players of the millennium and, well… John Isner – it’s a murderers row if there ever was one.

No, they don’t all have an equal chance of winning this tournament, but neither are any of them just lucky to be here. Each of these men has earned their way with some scintillating grass court tennis, and each of them, on their day have the goods to keep winning. The only question is: whose day will today be?

Read on for a look at all four men’s quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Championships.

Novak Djokovic (SRB) [12] v Kei Nishikori (JPN) [24] – First on Centre

Perhaps it’s fitting, perhaps it’s a bit cruel, but in either case, the quest for a return to grand slam prominence for Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori requires them to go through each other. A particularly tall task on paper for Nishikori given Djokovic leads their head-to-head 13-2, the Japanese will need a combination of one of Djokovic’s “off days” and an almost-absolute refusal to cede position at the baseline if he wants to reverse the curse. Is it possible? Absolutely, but more likely is that Djokovic’s ability to continuously pressure Nishikori’s serve and force him into drawn-out rallies that will take its toll, eventually seeing the Serb back to the Wimby semifinals.

Roger Federer (SUI) [1] v Kevin Anderson (RSA) [8] – First on No. 1 Court

With all due respect to his previous opponents, there’s no denying Roger Federer has had a pretty easy run so far at Wimbledon, but maybe that ends here against Kevin Anderson. Maybe. Playing some very adept grass court tennis so far this week, Anderson has proven to be more than just a big serve, particularly on the forehand wing, but against Federer he’ll need to take things to an even greater level, and that’s a tough ask. Historically Federer has owned the South African, leading their head-to-head 4-0 with no sets dropped, so while you can’t completely discount a man with the zeroed-in arsenal of Anderson, expect the Swiss to do what he does best and gradually break him down.

Rafael Nadal (ESP) [2] v Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) [5] – Second on Centre

Yet to face a seed so far this tournament, Rafa Nadal’s Wimbledon is set to go from 0-100 real quick against Juan Martin Del Potro. Playing a relatively one-sided affair at Roland Garros a month ago, this time things should be a little different, as while it’s not the fastest grass ever Wimbledon’s provided, Del Potro should still have an easier time flattening out his massive groundstrokes in order to punch through Nadal’s defense. Still, it’s not like the Spaniard will be unready for such an onslaught, and as he has done so well in their other meetings (10-5 lifetime), expect him to cause all sorts of problems with his counterpunching. Really there’s no outcome to this match that’s off the table, but if you had to pick a most likely outcome, it would be Nadal taking a tight four-setter.

Milos Raonic (CAN) [13] v John Isner (USA) [9] – Second on No. 1 Court

Boy, if you like tiebreaks, this is the match for you. Seriously, of the nine sets Milos Raonic and John Isner have previously played, seven were decided in a tiebreak, making this not a question of whether they’ll play one here, but how many. Yet to be broken this tournament and with a 3-1 lead in the head-to-head, Isner comes in the favourite, but as a former Wimbledon finalist it’s impossible to discount Raonic either. Guaranteed to provide myriad first-strike points, simple execution will be a large factor, but don’t discount the positional battle either, with the question being whether Raonic can consistently finish at net, or the sheer weight of Isner’s groundies will stop him. Truly either man can win this, with it most likely coming down to a few key points… probably in a tiebreak.


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