Things got real interesting today at the water-logged Wimbledon event. Because of the unending rains, only a dozen or so matches were completed, including another Roger Federer rout. But what caught everyone’s attention was the two set hole world No. 1 Novak Djokovic finds himself in tonight against Sam Querrey.
Odds were slim for Querrey to do much of anything against Djokovic who had won eight of nine against the American. And Sam was fortunate to even be hanging around this stage considering he was down two sets himself in the opening round to Lukas Rosol.
But something looked terribly off for Novak this afternoon. From the start, Querrey came out blazing with his service and late in the first set he had three break points for 6-5 but he failed to convert.
Sam went up in the breaker 5-2, but again squandered more opportunities. But just when you thought Novak had seized control, Querrey incredibly came in off a Novak serve and took the opening set.
OK, well Novak would get back on track, right? Nope. Instead, it got worse. Much worse. Novak stopped moving, stopped bending, stopped caring and even stopped stopping on the changeover! It was surreal to see.
He never called for the trainer and wasn’t tugging at any injury, he just looked completely out of character. There was no joy.
Fortunately for Novak, just after dropping that second set the rains hit, otherwise I don’t think he’s in this tournament tonight. He just looked like something was really wrong.
An injury? The pressure? Was he caught off guard? I don’t know.
I do know tomorrow when they resume Djokovic will be serving to start the third, needing to win three straight sets to keep his calendar Slam dream alive. Just stunning.
Common thinking is Novak will make the corrections and Sam will lose his mind staying up and thinking about it all night. Ah, the fun over a sleepover!
As for Federer, he benefits once again from being a 7-time beloved champion as the Club put him indoors under the roof so he could blast Dan Evans 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 and wrap up what has been effectively a week of practice for the Swiss.
Let’s see. Guido Pella, Marcus Willis and now Evans? It doesn’t get much easier than that during the first three rounds at a Slam. And now, as if he needs it, he gets at least two days off before he returns Monday against either Steve Johnson or Grigor Dimitrov.
“I’m clearly very happy because the goal was to get to the second week somehow,” said Federer. “Now I’ve won nine straight sets, which is great. I’m happy with where I am now. I’ll rest a couple of days hopefully step it up a little bit more again on Monday.”
And in week two he’ll need to be well rested because he really didn’t look that great in week one. Maybe it was the level of competition, but he’ll need to play a lot better to keep going further.
The day began with the return of Juan Martin Del Potro. Or was it the end of Stan Wawrinka? Del Potro beat Stan for the fourth straight time doing it in four sets 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-3 to collect his biggest win in years.
“I feel alive,” Del Potro said. “It’s an amazing sensation for me. I was so happy on court, it doesn’t matter the score.
“This could be my second or third career after my surgeries,” he added. “It was really tough to come back to the sport after my third one. But now I’m enjoying tennis again. I don’t know if I can be in the top positions again, but if not, I will be happy just to be playing tennis again. If I’m still doing the good things, maybe I have chance to be better in the future, because I can play in the same level as the top guys in all surfaces. That means something good to me.”
Delpo still can’t really hit the backhand, but the rest of his game remains as ferocious as ever and that was enough to beat the Krajicek-backed Wawrinka who just can’t seem to get that big win of late.
“Especially on grass, second round, you’re still not completely free with your game,” Wawrinka said. “I’m still looking a little bit for my game. When you start to do one or two mistakes, easy forehand, easy attack, you start to then think what to do – maybe it was the wrong shot, maybe it was the right shot. When you think too much on grass, you start to do mistakes and not playing well enough.”
While you feel that Stan’s 15 minutes are up, Del Potro maybe really is starting another chapter, and that’d be great to see after how bleak the future looked for him a year ago.
Other matches that got done before the rains were John Isner who beat Matt Barton (who? Exactly). Isner now meets tomorrow JW Tsonga who cruised past Juan Monaco. I think the Frenchmen, a 2-time semifinalist, will ultimately have too much for Isner.
Nick Kyrgios knocked out Dustin Brown in a five set match that barely made two hours. Nick now faces Feliciano Lopez tomorrow with a shot at Andy Murray on Monday. Lopez will be tough but I like Nick there.
Another good match tomorrow pits Milos Raonic against Jack Sock. Milos has won seven straight over Jack and on grass I expect it to increase to eight.
And my pick to make the semifinals Alexander Zverev tries to win a fifth against Mikhail Youzhny.
Of course, all this is weather permitting as they say. More rain is expected and with the tournament still playing second round matches on the middle weekend, they have already elected to plan a Sunday day of play.
As for Saturday, it’s still a good one. Let’s see what Sam can do.
SATURDAY ORDER OF PLAY
CENTRE COURT – 1:00PM
1. Simona Halep (ROU)  v Kiki Bertens (NED) 
2. John Millman (AUS) v Andy Murray (GBR) 
3. Jack Sock (USA)  v Milos Raonic (CAN) 
NO.1 COURT – 12:00PM
1. Novak Djokovic (SRB)  v Sam Querrey (USA) 
2. Alize Cornet (FRA) v Madison Keys (USA) 
3. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)  v Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 
NO.2 COURT – 11:00AM
1. Carina Witthoeft (GER) v Angelique Kerber (GER) 
2. Petra Kvitova (CZE)  v Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)
3. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)  v Eugenie Bouchard (CAN)
4. John Isner (USA)  v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 
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