Rafa Wins, But In for Wet Monday?; Djokovic, Federer on Saturday at Wimbledon
by Jeremy Davis | July 7th, 2017, 5:21 pm
  • 44 Comments

Unseeded Benoit Paire on Friday defeated Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz 6-2, 7-6(3), 6-3.


Not the most exciting news, until you consider the explosive French up-and-comer next faces world No. 1 Andy Murray, who hasn’t exactly been lighting-up the Wimbledon lawns with confidence this week.

Murray for his part needed to come back and win the final five games against No. 28 seed Fabio Fognini to avoid a fifth set, eventually prevailing 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.

“The end of the match was tense,” said Murray, who had lost to Fognini in the first round this year at Rome, speaking to the BBC. “It was an up and down match. I didn’t feel like it was the best tennis at times but I managed to get through. It was getting dark towards the end and I was probably thinking a bit about that. We would have had to go off for the roof to go on, so that would have meant a change in conditions. I’m pleased to get off in four.”

The world No. 1 and Paire have met only one time, last year on clay at Monte Carlo where Murray needed to come from a set down for victory. That was clay, you say. Well, take a close look at the Wimbledon grass courts these days and you’ll see not a whole hell of a lot of difference.

Also into the round of 16 among Top 10 seeds Friday were No. 4 Rafael Nadal holding off a late surge from young Russian No. 30 seed Karen Khachanov 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(3), and No. 7 Marin Cilic likewise holding down No. 26 Steve Johnson in straight sets 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-4.

“For a set and a half I was playing fantastic, then a little bit worse,” said Nadal. “But in general terms, it went very well and I’m very happy. At the beginning of the third set, I had my chances. I should have got the break. It didn’t happen. Then, I had two tough games on my serve. That’s it. I think I played well in the important moments…It is always better when the sun is out there. The conditions become a little bit more drier, and the court is more firm…I hope the weather continues like this.”

It won’t. Rain is in the forecast for Sunday, and Monday when Rafa plays next.

Other seeded winners were No. 18 Roberto Bautista Agut upsetting No. 9 Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3, and No. 16 Gilles Muller dropping 19 aces on Brit Aljaz Bedene 7-6(4), 7-5, 6-4.

Muller will next meet Nadal, on the likely slicker, wetted lawns.

“He’s one of the toughest opponents possible on this surface, especially,” said Nadal. “Probably this is his best surface, without a doubt. He has a great serve and a great volley. He plays well from the baseline here. He’s a tough, tough opponent. At the same time we are in the round of 16. You cannot expect to have an easy opponent.”

Bautista Agut, who won a grasscourt title during the 2014 season, is in the round of 16 for the second time after taking out Nishikori.

“I couldn’t maintain my level high enough to beat Bautista today,” said Nishikori. “I think he served well in every set…I had many chance, but I think he played well on the important points.”

Big-serving unseeded South African Kevin Anderson was another winner, defeating Belgian Ruben Bemelmans 7-6(3), 6-4, 7-6(3).

Failing to finish before the darkness set in were Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Sam Querrey. When they resume, Tsonga will be serving in the fifth set at 2-6, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-1, 5-6.

Matches to look for on Saturday at Wimbledon are (2) Novak Djokovic vs. Ernests Gulbis, (3) Roger Federer vs. (27) Mischa Zverev, (10) Alexander Zverev vs. the surprising Austrian Sebastian Ofner, (13) Grigor Dimitro vs. Dudi Sela, and (11) Tomas Berdych vs. Davis Ferrer.


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44 Comments for Rafa Wins, But In for Wet Monday?; Djokovic, Federer on Saturday at Wimbledon

funches Says:

The old line, oft-repeated by Tennis-X writers, that the grass is not much different from clay is moronic. Are you completely clueless or just pretending to be?

Notice that Gilles Muller has been almost unbeatable on grass? He struggles to win matches on clay.

Just look at how few breaks there are in each match at Wimbledon compared to each match at Roland Garros. Yes, it is very hard to serve and volley on grass now, but big serves and flat strokes are rewarded on grass just as much as they’ve ever been.


skeezer Says:

Gulbis has been one of the surprises, will Novak put out this fire?


Danica Says:

Pleasently surprised with Ernie but will, of course, hoping my man Nole wins. This is worth getting up early on a Saturday morning :)


t4t Says:

Djokovic looks more like his old self. He will beat Ernie.


chrisford1 Says:

Gulbis has always been loaded with talent and has had big upsets before, like when he spanked out Roger in the round of 16 at the French Open.
This is the guy is putting off the end as long as possible before the suit and tie and rest of his life at The Firm My Dad made. Gulbis was the best at Pilic’s academy as a junior when Djokovic was there. Gulbis was in a sense, the guy Novak wanted to be s a teen. But towards the end, with hard work and focus, Djokovic became the better player.


Wog Boy Says:

Good on Agassi for confronting big mouth John very next day about what he said comparing Tiger Woods a Nole:

______
“I spoke to John directly about that,” revealed Agassi, who was speaking to Omnisport at the Wimbledon Queue, thanks to Lavazza.

“We all have the potential to say regretful things that come with unnecessary hurt to people. My hope is that he’ll show more judgment moving forward.”
________


gonzalowski Says:

very smart André on here.
Interesting matches today for Fed and Nole!


Nits Says:

Tsonga gone as expected not making semifinals as predicted.


Daniel Says:

Turn my TV right at the right time, Gulbis Double faulting to give Djoko the break back;-)


FedExpress Says:

Nole roaring and fist pumping on Gulbis DF. Never change mate, never change.


Daniel Says:

8th straight games by Djoko, totally in control now.


t4t Says:

I have a feeling this Djokovic is going to beat Federer in the semi final.


BBB Says:

I’ve just discovered that if I watch ESPN’s live stream of the Djokovic match, I don’t have to listen to Patrick McEnroe.


Van Persie Says:

t4t,

I would be glad, but Roger is not Gulbis :) Nole will have to work harder ;)
Have to admit, am pleased with today’s Nole.


Berghain Says:

This match is hurting my eyes. Gulbis should just retire at this rate.


Van Persie Says:

Yep, to many errors by Gulbis. I was a bit worried about today, because EG beat DelPo in 3 sets.


Van Persie Says:

Berghain,

Shut up! My guy needs a bit of practice on this court, in order to beat yours ;)


Berghain Says:

Haha VP, lets first see if they both get there.


Van Persie Says:

^^ True :)


Truth Says:

PhonyPat Mac talks about Djoker’s movement and how Agassi wishes he could’ve moved better & won more Wimbledons. Lol

Low ball bounce didn’t help Federer, PatriciaMc.
Otherwise, Patty’s head would’ve exploded again at the sight of Fed.
Wonder why Patty doesn’t say Djoker moved like a maestro and genius.

Next thing you’ll hear & read:
Fed, John And Pat McEnroe are the most logical and nicest people, and Roddick was the GOAT of humanity!
The lies stopped in 2008. Get withY the program, Fraud fanatics.


gonzalowski Says:

At the interview Nole apologizes by trash talk on 1st set


FedExpress Says:

Nole beating Fed atm is a dream. Fed is favourite. Riding a confidence wave and being a reigning GS and nole not has to play a part.


gonzalowski Says:

Fed playing well, Zverev doesn’t seem nervous at all


Margot Says:

Dunno why Zverev is so far behind the baseline, he is a S and V player. Wont beat Fed from there, not that he has much chance, kid bro might at some point.


t4t Says:

Ernie’s fitness wasn’t upto par. But this Djokovic looks very like the “old” Djokovic. He seems to have recovered his mojo. Even though he may not have a current GS, I think he has the advantage over Fed if he can serve well. Fed’s newly minted backhand won’t be much of a force against Djokovic. And the rest of his game is already known. Let us not forget that D is 6 years younger! And not having gone deep in earlier tournaments except two, he is even more fresh than Fed!


FedExpress Says:

WTF

fed having tissues on his chair. Does he have a cold or what?


Margot Says:

FedExpress: He had a heavy cold in interview yesterday and commies just confirmed this, picked up from one of his kids. Wow! Mischa has certainly stepped up now and moved up the court.


FedExpress Says:

Margot, should i be worried? His favourite GS and picks up a cold.


FedExpress Says:

t4t, how is nole more fresh than Fed? Explain please.


Van Persie Says:

Would be great, if Nole beats Fed in semies and Rafa in the final. Hehe


Margot Says:

Seems to be doing OK FedExpress. I wouldn’t worry…yet…;) Mischa is a good S and V player but Fed can do that too, if he wants.


t4t Says:

FedExpress, I thought my post was selfexplanatory? D hasn’t gone deep in any tournament except 2 so he hasn’t played much? Doesn’t that make him fresh and rested and raring to go if he has recovered his hunger?

VP: D is more likely to meet Murray in the final. I am not convinced N is gonna make it to the final. Let us see how he fares against Muller.


Daniel Says:

Federer in fine form and so is Djoko, hope they play in semis. Can’t see Djoko losing to Manarinno nor Berdych / Thiem in QF, although that match is more close.

Fed has Dimitrov, than Zverev or Raonic. Tricky but in this form he should prevail. Roanoke is coming back from injury and Zevrev will be his first Slam QF, and Fed just beat him handy in Halle.

Dimi is just Dimi. Can’t see him upsetting Federer, the game is there but the mind in the end will show.


Daniel Says:

Yeah, yesterday in his interview his voice was noisy. But as long as it doesn’t become a flu (fever) he should be fine by Monday.


Van Persie Says:

t4t,

I said, it would be great. Am not sure about it can happen :D
But it would be a huge achievement to win over Fed and Rafa, in a row, after both had such great achievements this year.


steve-o Says:

It’s unusual to see S&V tennis these days. Zverev played really well and so did Federer. Lots of chip and charge, S&V, lobs, slices, smart volleys, and clever returns. A fun match to watch. Great that Federer came through without dropping a set.


FedExpress Says:

t4t, you forget that Federer skipped the clay court season. He is fresher than fresh.


skeezer Says:

“Would be great, if Fed beats Novak in semies and Rafa in the final. Hehe”
Yep!


skeezer Says:

Maybe this is just me, but don’t like Fed’s form atm, his BH is nowhere near the monster that it was at AO, IW, & Miami. Ok, different surface. He doesn’t seem to be feeling it yet on his overall game imo, maybe it will pick up next week. Heard he has a cold too, so that could have some effect also. Oh well, we’ll see. Go Maestro!
Nole and Rafa are looking better and better. Gulbis I though today would be a tough out for Novak, but he played up to the task. Only issue he had was having to watch Agassi spread suntan lotion all over his face after the match in slo mo. Ugh!


gonzalowski Says:

lol it’d have been worse watching Pepe with the suntan


chrisford1 Says:

It could be even worse with Pepe not just with the suntan spray but sticking hearts on the head of Andre before the spray, then removing them to get sunburned “pink-red hearts of love” all over Andre’s head.


Truth Says:

Whatever Pepe and Marko did didn’t come close to the cakewalks that Djoker gave to Fedalray the last year.

Ask the genius McEnroe brothers.
Fedalray tards are so freaking psychotic when Djoker gives up his domination. They think Fedal are gods because Djoker is gone mentally. Their old age excuses suddenly disappeared.

If Djoker plays slightly well, Fed suddenly is slow, “sick” or injured.
After all, GOAT means propaganda & excuse making.
Fed couldn’t deal with 2 match points when Djoker was injured at the U.S. Open. Fed couldn’t win 2 U.S. Opens and a Wimbledon with 2 match points or 2 set leads.
Only Benneteau and Monfils would’ve tanked chances to destroy Fed.

If he cares, Djoker will still have 20+ chances to win Slams, even though he kisses Nadal or Murray and loses on purpose.
It takes a long time to stop his hugs, butt kissing & charity abomination.
Once he wants to insult the naysayers again, he will win Slams.
He is still stuck in the “who truly cares about winning” mode.


Willow Says:

I Think this just shows how much Delpo has declined, when he cant even get a set off Gulbis ….


Willow Says:

Doesnt make much difference, Gulbis / Delpo both players were only playing for the right to get their backsides kicked by Novak, whos playing much better, even a sub par Novak wouldve been found either player easy pickings ….

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