Murray v. Gasquet Highlights Promising Wimbledon Fourth Round
by Sean Randall | June 29th, 2008, 8:24 pm

Pretty nice line-up we have at Wimbledon on Monday with the entire fourth round – men’s and women’s – scheduled. If you could have only one single ticket in tennis you could make a case this is the day to have it. I’d take it. Of course this year with the upsets to Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Gael Monfils, Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic, some of the star power is clearly gone, but Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Lleyton Hewitt and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena are still hanging around and the matches we are left with do offer some promise. ADHEREL

The best match of the day for me is the Richard Gasquet v. Andy Murray tussle. With Tim Henman long retired, the weight of Britain falls entirely on Murray. Meanwhile for Gasquet, given the horrendous year he’s had, expectations couldn’t have been that high for a deep Wimbledon run. But surprisingly the Frenchman’s played really well last week and he’s beaten Murray in both of their previous meetings, and I think he’ll do it again here. The guy is simply more talented than Murray and even though he’s defending a ton of ranking points from last year I think he’s playing much more freely at the moment.

Nadal has no such luxury of playing freely, especially not against Mikhail Youzhny who led him by two sets at Wimbledon a year ago. And Youzhny does have four wins over Rafa including a thrashing in January, but tomorrow though I think Nadal feeds off Spain’s Euro Cup win and cruises here. Plus, Nadal really started to get his game into gear those last two sets against Nicolas Kiefer on Saturday, so I expect him to continue that form Monday.

Marcos Baghdatis is a much better all-around player than Feliciano Lopez, but Baggy hasn’t beaten anyone worth a lick this event. Then again, neither has Lopez. This is a real though pick and the match really could go either way. Lopez has a huge lefty serve. Marcos plays well at The W. The courts seem to be playing slower and I think that should help Marcos get through in the end.

As for the rest day, I think Federer wins three tight sets to get his 12th straight victory over Hewitt. I think Lleyton will put up a strong fight and may even get a set, but Roger’s too tough in the end. I’ll also take youngster Marin Cilic over Arnaud Clement and Janko Tipsarevic to beat Rainer Schuettler. (boy, what an opportunity for someone, an unseeded someone, in that Roddick quarter!)

Stan Wawrinka seems to have Marat Safin’s number (he’s 2-0 against Russian), so I’ll pick the Swiss and the Euro Cup win by Spain doesn’t help Fernando Verdasco, at least not against Mario Ancic.

All in all, I think we should be in for a great day of tennis with some really tight matches I hope. It’s interesting to see guys I thought were basically washed up like Schuettler, Clement and even a Safin have another real good look at getting back to a Slam Final Four. And even though I didn’t pick them to win I think I may very well root for them come Monday.

As for the women, with Jelena Jankovic hurt (what’s new?), like it or not it’s really looking like another Venus-Serena final. I think Venus gets there, but Serena could still get bounced by someone along the way. But I don’t think Bethanie Mattek is that someone.

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46 Comments for Murray v. Gasquet Highlights Promising Wimbledon Fourth Round

张奔斗 Says:

I have an eerie feeling that this year Hewitt might be able to do some damage to TMF. After all, he has Tony Roche by his side–would that make any difference? For some reason this harkens back to the 2005 AO semifinal, when TMF’s former coach sat by Safin’s side.

I sure hope Venus gets there and Serena gets bounced along the way. Venus has a soft spot for her little sister, while Serena clearly wouldn’t mind stepping over big sis to reach for the trophy. It’s Venus’s turn now after she let Serena have it over and over again.

Samprazzz Says:

Hewitt has looked razor sharp this tournament. He just doesn’t have the guns to beat Federer. However, if Federer has a bad day…
Federer in 4 is my guess.

JCF Says:

I don’t think Hewitt will win. He has a hip injury, and Roche was only ever a part time coach for Federer anyway. They only worked together during the slams.

Safin at his best is a better player than Hewitt at his best. But Safin rarely is at his best. Hewitt isn’t quite there either due to injuries, but even at his best I don’t see him beating Federer.

Von Says:

Even at current form Hewitt is a huge step up for Federer based on whom he has played against thus far. With Tony Roche in the picture again, it will add a little sizzle to the match up. Federer has dominated Hewitt ever since he went on his domination tour (H2H 13-7). Last time they played at Wimbledon was in 2005 when Federer won in straight sets. But since then, Hewitt has moved up a couple of notches.

Of the last three matches the two have played, Hewitt has taken a set off at two of them and has taken Federer to three tie-breaks. Hewitt is better prepared to go toe to toe with Federer this time than at any other time barring any hip flareup problems.

Voicemale1 Says:

I think Federer’s 2nd Week here at Wimbledon will tell us a lot about the rest of his year. His normal MO here is to get to the Wimbledon Final and he might lose 1 set along the way in six matches. His week of potential match-ups is loaded with guys that could at least take a set: Hewitt, Ancic, Safin, Baghdatis, and even the Spaniards Verdasco & Lopez – given how well they have played in this tournament. If he can get through these next 3 matches in 9 Sets, then we ought to just hand him the trophy now. If he starts having to go deep into a 4th Set in any of these, then it would fit the pattern of the rest of his year so far. He’s had similar results in 2008 that he had in 2007, counting from post-Dubai to the French Open. The difference this year is that he’s had to work harder to get the same results from a year ago.

If Federer loses here this year, it’ll be interesting to see how the rest of his results go in 2008.

Fedex Says:

Trivia question:

How many top 10 guys has hewitt beaten since 2006 wimbledon?

Answer: 1 (davydenko at hamburg last year)

The days of hewitt beating Federer are long done. He just does not have enough pace of his own to beat federer. Infact you can safely pencil in Federer’s name for the final. If nadal does not make it to the final, you can hand the trophy over to Federer. (Safin as usual will be a perennial question mark, but I think he will suddenly start smelling grass in the next 2 matches.(the wimbledon type or the “more fun” type)

Anyway, Nadal is the only guy who can stop Federer in this mood. For everyone else it is good night and lights off. Hewitt would have made a tougher opponent for Nadal, because you can definitely sense Nadal being intimidated by hewitt every time they play.

On another note, how wacky was the nadal-kiefer match? Between the two of them they covered all possible types of OCD. They were worse than Jack Nicholson in As good as it gets.

Fedex Says:

“Even at current form Hewitt is a huge step up for Federer based on whom he has played against thus far.”

You must be kidding. Gicquel or Soderling (definitely) would have beaten hewitt if they were in his quarter. It is easy to write-off opponents because federer handled them with no qualms. Giquel is coming off a final in netherlands and soderling has been in good form coming into wimbledon. much better than last year where he almost took nadal out. The problem is Federer on Grass is just as scary as nadal on clay. Right from point 1 he will start probing your weakness like soderling’s movement or gicquel’s backhand. He took a little longer to find the gicquel backhand but he never let his guard waver against gicquel like he did against soderling.

The point is those two would have played any other player (including nadal) much better and maybe atleast managed a set. Against Federer on grass you just need to be playing out of your mind to win a set at wimbledon. He has lost what – 8 sets in 5 years? As I said, any player other than nadal has to be on a prayer to win a match against Federer at wimbledon.

JCF Says:

“How many top 10 guys has hewitt beaten since 2006 wimbledon?

Answer: 1 (davydenko at hamburg last year)”

Would be interesting to know how many he’s faced.

“Even at current form Hewitt is a huge step up for Federer based on whom he has played against thus far. With Tony Roche in the picture again, it will add a little sizzle to the match up. Federer has dominated Hewitt ever since he went on his domination tour (H2H 13-7). Last time they played at Wimbledon was in 2005 when Federer won in straight sets. But since then, Hewitt has moved up a couple of notches.”

Hewitt’s ranking has dropped though. I think he will make it three sets with two of them being tight sets. At the USO final in 2004, Fed made Hewitt look like a Junior. I’d almost say he made Hewitt look like Donald Young, but Donald would have been completely white washed (3 bagels instead of 2).

Tony Roche was spying for the Aussies! Says:

Remember why he isn’t working with Federer? He was saying some shits like doesn’t want to be away from home and all those shits. Now that he is coaching for Hewitt.

Tony Roche was spying for the Aussies! Says:

Seriously, I don’t think Roche didn’t any help to Federer’s career. But now that, he is coaching Hewitt. Soon he will be coaching other Aussie players to help the Australian tennis.

Fedex Says:

There is the 1st set. Hewitt would have won that set against any other player remaining the draw. Not so against even a federer who was not playing in prime form.

The last 2 points were federer at his best. Totally in control of the return, daring his opponent to move in and a beautiful backhand pass down the line. (that is totally a thing of beauty) and the ace to close the set out. No player could pull that chip backhand return as routinely as Federer does. Just a work of Genius!

Great play by both champions. Federer still has to display the form that will help him beat nadal (like last year or the year before). His game is on the verge of greatness which he used to consistently surpass in past years. If he cant keep his game in the great level for extended periods of time, he wont be able to get past nadal in the final.

Admittedly, there is a lot more tennis before sunday. Let us hope these 2 champions will get there give us a great match like last year. In the meantime a bagel in the making? federer up 2 breaks. He has bagelled hewitt 5 times in the last 11 matches. To do that to someone who scraps for a point as well as anybody in tennis history, is just awe-inspiring.

Allez Federer!

Vulcan Says:

Federer up two sets to love against anybody else Id say the match is over…against Hewitt…Id say its just beginning ;)

Chris Says:

That’s crazy talk, Hewitt isn’t going to come back from two sets down against Federer with or without a bad hip.

Vulcan Says:

Hewitt will still be thinking about orchestrating a comeback when he is down two breaks in the third and its match point and Federer has an overhead put away and Hewitt is diving to retrieve the ball…only after he misses that shot will he stop thinking about a comeback;)..but yeah I think Federer has already factored that in since that match in OZ in 03.

Fedex Says:

Hewitt came back from 2sets down against federer, but federer is no more the no.2 guy in the world who played a tight doubles match while hewitt was resting the day before.

The party is over guys! see you ancic, on wednesday.

tenski Says:

NBC is sucking big time again. Verdasco and Ancic are playing a 10 -9 match in the 5th; Scheutter has a break on Tipsarovic …what do we see.. a stinkin taped match with Serena dominating Mattek

What a joke. NBC should not be allowed to show tennis.

Von Says:

Unfortunately, this will be the norm from NBC for the final week of wimby. They will be broadcasting for a few hours every day. Another unfortunate side effect of the NBC fiasco, is the non-participation of during NBC’s broadcast. We’re stuck between a rock and hard place, without any form of redemption. This is a pathetic example of monopoly/oligopoly here in the US. A very undemocratic situation indeed.

Alain Says:

NBC’s tennis coverage has sucked for so long I don’t expect anything good from it any more.

But is it too much to expect the Wimbledon site to at least give a summary of that (what seems to have been) amazing Ancic v Verdasco match? It’s now 20 minutes later and still nothing.

Anyone have links to tennis websites that are more current on matches not involving the mega-stars? Thanks

tenski Says:

The live scoring on has all of the live scores and stats for all ongoing matches.

Von Says:

A footnote to my previous post:
Today could have been a very exciting tennis day filled with mouth-watering matches, but unfortunately, the scheduling and NBC turned it into a mediocre viewing day for tennis fans. The excitement is watered down, along with the breathless anticipation. How can the USTA ignore what is happening to viewer satisfaction here in the US? I’m befuddled!

Alain Says:

Thanks, but I mean for more than mere scores and stats. Did Verdasco have any match points, how were the breakpoints won or lost, what was the overall quality of play, did either player lose his legs in the marathon 5th — that sort of thing.

andrea Says:

not to upset all the americans here, but that’s one of the reasons why i love the french open – most US players are gone by the second week and coverage can be far more equitable on the NBC’s of the world.

i thought youzhny would be putting up more than a fight than this.

and kuznetsova – what is up with her?

cy Says:

Just finished watching Nadal_Youzhny match. There is really nothing I can say about his prowess that has not been said already.
He is now my pick to win Wimbledon.
Federer will be ousted this time.

Dan Martin Says:

17 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals for Federer – amazing consistency. Nadal drops only 7 games. Ancic, the lawyer, pulls out a major comeback.

Von Says:

The inadequacy and quality of broadcasting does not only pertain to NBC’s 2 hour time slots wherein a smidgen of it is dedicated to the American players, but it’s also pertinent to ESPN, which has yet to show, unless I’m mistaken, one full match in its entirety of any two players, American or non-American. The back and forth, ping pong ESPN coverage plus their neverending studio gathering discussions coupled with incessant filling in of every nano-second of senseless chatter is also a huge bone of contention; perhaps the biggest. It is apparent that tennis coverage has now taken on a new format — from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Youzhny has run true to form, as I expected he would have. His game has deteriorated significantly since his back issues began. He is not a huge threat anymore, but grass is not helping his cause; I don’t think he is able to play very well on it.

Vulcan Says:

Well its looking like Nadal is going to be facing Gasquet next. I dont think Gasquet’s game matches up very well with Rafa’s and I could see him going down in straight sets. If Rafa had to play 7 days in a row last year with 5 setters included before reaching the final whats he going be like this year potentially coming off of straight set victories and very well rested for the final. Also the number 1 ranking is still up for grabs though I doubt Ancic is nimble enough off the ground to bother Federer.

Von Says:

Tipsarevic is so predictable. He is one of those players who gives his all in the first 2 or 3 matches in a tournament, and then fades out, viz. he took out Roddick and Tursunov and now falls to Schuettler, who is not in the same league as as the prior two players. Tipsy is undeniably another Tommy Haas.

Safin is up one set against Wawrinka. Can he pull it off and turn around their H2H? I’m all for it!

Murray is not playing as was expected. He is allowing Gasquet to take a stronghold on their match. Too bad, I would have liked to see Murray go deeper.

Vulcan Says:

Did somebody not tell Marcos Baghdatis that all you have to do is chip and charge to Feliciano Lopez’s backhand to beat him? Lopez can’t hit a topspin backhand passing shot to save his life.
I guess Marcos is not able or willing to venture into the net. Major upset there.

Fedex Says:

No.1 up for grabs? sorry not until toronto. federer is in the quarters. Even if Nadal wins the whole thing Fed will retain the no.1. As he moves further, he will only give himself a better chance of being no.1 for a longer time.

Gasquet played some terrific tennis in the 1st 2 sets. He is going to have a great chance against nadal if he brings that game on wednesday. The sad truth is that if gasquet and murray play their best games, the shotmaker will win more times than the counterpuncher. Even if the lawns are slowed down as much as they have been. You saw that with hewitt and federer in the morning. Now with murray and gasquet. Murray definitely has more variety than hewitt but it pales in comparison to what a gasquet/federer/safin/djokovic/baghdatis can offer.

Vulcan Says:

No way Safin has as much variety in his game as Murray. Safin is basically a baseline bomber and big server. He doesnt slice his backhand or use the dropshot nearly as much as Murray.

Von Says:

Safin, Yes!! Great win for Safin! He has only once before made the QFs at wimbledon. God job Marat, keep the faith!!

blah Says:

I hate nbc’s tennis coverage. They ruin everything. I don’t want to see blowout matches involving high seeds over and over again. ugh.

blah Says:

God Murray and Gasquet’s match looks like (from the scorecard) it’s exciting as hell but I don’t even get to see it…

thestrangestick Says:

Murray won, what a cracking game. Shame that BBC isn’t broadcast for you Americans as that was the best game I’ve seen this year. Shame though, can’t honestly see Murray beating Nadal.

Bob Lewis Says:

It’s nice to see Radwanska on a roll and being tough. Serena will not have an easy time but will be playing a much smaller player.

Dementieva is always right there but can fold under pressure. She has been winning in straight sets and should do well. She’s another yelling grunter. If this sport is going to prosper, the grunting issue has to be addressed.

Steiner Says:

OMG, I am a super big fan of Arnaud Clement. But I havent seen him do anything for years. And now he’s in the quarter finals!!! At the age of 30.


If that were to happen… I would never live it down. And he could feasably get into the semis, since he’s playing Scheuttler. And from then on…who knows?

The Murray match was fantastic. Cant believe I missed the Ancic one though. Its great, some of my favourite players have come through this Wimbledon – Clement, Lopez, Safin, Ancic…

Kroll Says:

Interesting comment from Fed today for those who think wimby’s getting slower

Q. How have the courts changed here from when you won first in 2003 until today?

ROGER FEDERER: Nothing. I really don’t think so. It’s been the same pretty much through. People are talking this year is slower. I completely disagree with that.

jane Says:

YES – Murray showed some heart (and muscle) today! I have the match taped and have to watch it as soon as I get home (I had to go teach right when he was down a break in the third and assumed it was OVER). What a wonderful comeback.

And speaking comebacks, how about Super Mario and Sensational Safin?

I was rooting for Baggy but F-Lo pulled it out. A couple of surprise veterans -Clement & Scheuttler- are through too.

Exciting upredicatability right now…

jane Says:

Ack – have just read through your comments – please oh please tell me they showed Murray’s match on NBC? If not, let’s storm the Bastille!

andrea Says:

i’d love to see a fed-safin semi.

murray and nadal played a great 5 setter at the AO 07. nadal is playing cleaner but i don’t think it will be straight sets win for him. i’m thinking it may even go to 5. andy’s game matches up well against nadal’s on grass.

FoT Says:

Ok, I agree….NBC’s coverage was useless… showing taped matches while live matchers were going on. However, when ESPN took over the coverage, they came on with LIVE matches so ESPN get’s an A. NBC – an F.

However, thank god I subscribed to Wimbly Live so I got a chance to see all the matches I wanted to live and in color!!!!

Murray surprised me. But I don’t know what he’ll have left in him against Nadal. That was partly Youzhny’s problem (having to win 2 5-set matches before his match with Nadal).

Surprises? Clement and old Schuttler! Wow… who would have thought those 2 would be in the QFs of Wimbledon?!

Also, amazing consitency for Roger. I saw on one tape somewhere that before this tournanment started, Roger was something like 80-0 in his last 17 or 18 grand slams in mataches before the SF. That’s consistency!

Ra Says:

Murray v Gasquet definitely lived up to the hype. Murray has recently talked a lot about his improved conditioning, and he will be a great challenge for Nadal (whose leg I hope is OK) if he has truly developed his endurance to have enough left in his tank for Wednesday… Soon we gonna see, no?

trilby Says:

I too am appalled at the NBC approach of playing taped matches. Gave their slot a miss and had the live scoring box in the corner of my computer screen while I worked. Would have loved to have seen Ancic finally pull that 13-11 fifth set out. I too would have happily subscribed to Wimbledon Live and thus avoided all this spotty and sub-par coverage, the endless yacking over the top of vital action, the lame interviews, the eternal post-mortems. BUT Wimbledon Live is not available to Mac users for some reason and that’s really annoying. Grrrrr!

Daniel Says:

Now I really don’t know who will going to give more trouble to Fed in the final, a improved Nadal or a Murray with an entire crowd with him?! Fed never played wimbledon with the crowd agaisnt him, and he has some issues wiht Murray too. Either way will be a good matche.

Even if Nadal come to the final in straight sets victory after quarters and semis, I don’t know if it will be a 100 % sure win for him. This is grass and Fed is looking better and better, he is not going to give it away to Nadal, unless he developed a major mental problem after the French, which I think he doesn’t.

Fed still is the Wimbledon favourite regardless Nadal’s 23 (almost there) straigh victories!

D Roy Says:

Daniel Says:
Now I really don’t know who will going to give more trouble to Fed in the final, a improved Nadal or a Murray with an entire crowd with him?!

My answer: the second option- the crowd at Murray-Gasquet match was unbelievably partisan.

Yesterday, I was up till morning two am, watching the match. And the way, Murray was provoking the partisan crowd seemed to me as a nuetral observer, highly unsportsman-like,to say the least,and hence, calls for condemnation. The crowd behaviour was so atrocious that, in disgust, in middle of the match, I put the TV on mute and then watched the remaining match.

JCF is dreaming Says:

Shame on Federer! Despite, being a so-called grass expert. He was having so much troubles dealing with the grass amateur Nadal in 2007 and 2006.

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