Manic Monday at Wimbledon had all the stars as advertised and they didn’t disappoint. What did were the one-sided matches.
Former champions and fan favorites Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic all cruised to victory with relative ease.
Federer opened play on Centre Court and after just 16 minutes, he was already up a set on Adrian Mannarino. Struggling with a groin, the Frenchman still managed to make a push, even holding break points on the Swiss, but Federer was too strong in the end in a 6-0, 7-5, 6-4.
“It was great to win that first set quickly. I always had that lead in the bag,” said Federer.
“It was important for me to keep focus. I knew that he was much better than the first set. I think he showed that and I was then able to put away a good Mannarino.”
Federer has now won 32 straight sets at Wimbledon and has held 81 straight times at his favorite event. Up next will be South African big man Kevin Anderson who advanced to his first Wimbledon quarterfinal by getting his first win over Gael Monfils 7-6(4), 7-6(2), 5-7, 7-6(4).
“I’ve played him a few times, and this was the first time I’ve ever beaten him,” Anderson said of facing the Swiss. “You just try to stay in the moment as much as possible, it’s one of most important things you can do.”
Anderson is 0-4 against Federer and has never won a set.
“All right, so obviously there’s not much explaining what needs to be done playing Federer, the greatest grass court player of all-time,” Anderson said.
“Right now I need to recover. It was a very long match for me, very gruelling. I’ll just enjoy getting through to the quarterfinals for the first time, recover tomorrow and then worry about playing Federer.”
Nadal was also on Centre and was supposed to be finally tested in the tournament by Jiri Vesely. But other than a grabbing a quick break in the third, Nadal rolled to a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.
“Of course it’s an important result for me,” said Nadal. “But when I came here, I came here thinking that I could produce a good result.”
Nadal awaits the winner of the Juan Martin del Potro-Gilles Simon match. Del Potro led two sets to one before play was called at about 8:45pm. The two had battled for over 3:15.
With a match with Rafa on Wednesday, the Spaniard will be thrilled the longer they play.
Three-time champ Djokovic against looked sharp, blowing past the talented Russian Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 to put him in his 10th Wimbledon quarterfinal. And he won just as the sun was going down.
“I’m very pleased,” Djokovic said. “He started off with a break of serve right away, he made couple of great shots. It wasn’t the best start for me, but I managed to re-break and just get back into the set. He’s got weapons, he’s got a big first serve, he’s got a big forehand, but I managed to get a lot of first serves back in play, make him play always an extra shot. I served well when I need to, accurately.
“It was really difficult conditions to play on. The last couple of games I couldn’t really see the ball very clearly, it was already getting very dark, and it was very windy throughout the entire match, so I just had to hang in there.”
The Serb has dropped just one set so far.
He moves on to meet Kei Nishikori. The Japanese completed his Slam quarterfinal set eliminating qualifier Ernests Gulbis 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(10), 6-1. Gulbis put up a good fight and had chances to take the set in the third, but once Nishikori got the lead Gulbis, who had won three straight five set matches last week, withered in the fourth.
Serving big men, John Isner and Milos Raonic will meet on Wednesday in a quarterfinal after comfortable wins on Monday. Isner overcame mini-break deficits in both breakers to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 7-6(8), 7-6(4).
“I’m very happy to be in the quarter-finals of a Slam. Not just Wimbledon. It’s been a while since I’ve been in the quarter-finals of any Grand Slam,” Isner commented.
Raonic dropped a set but got through former UCLA star Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2.
Tomorrow, the men have the day off with the exception of Delpo-Simon.
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