Djokovic, Federer Heading Back To Final? Wimbledon QF Picks And Pans
by Sean Randall | July 6th, 2021, 5:25 pm
  • 34 Comments

After four rounds, old dogs Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are still the men to beat at Wimbledon. The two have combined to win 13 Wimbledon titles, and odds are that number is going to hit 14 on Sunday. That’s because Djokovic looks like he’s in full control of all of his mighty powers right now.

Matteo Berrettini, my pick for the final, is still the best guy to make a dent in Djokovic, but that’s a longshot and a few days away.

First, it’s men’s quarterfinal day on Wednesday.

Novak Djokovic v Marton Fucsovics
Aside from a few hiccups the first week (vs Jack Draper first set and Denis Kudla third set), Novak Djokovic has been in full flight thus far. The Serb is in a great serving rhythm and on the slick grass courts, his footwork and balance give him that much more of an edge.

Now, just nine sets from the finish line, I think he’s iron tough.

Fucsovics looks like he’s built out of iron. And the Hungarian No. 1 has taken sets off Djokovic before. He has a big enough ground attack and is adept at the net, but his serve isn’t as big as it should be for his size and strength and I think that’s where Djokovic does his damage.

As long as Djokovic keeps his serve going, he’s on easy street here.
The Pick: Djokovic in 3

Roger Federer v Hubert Hurkacz
Hubert Hurkacz has the game and the poise to beat Federer. Will he? I’m not sure.

Federer’s taken full advantage of an easy draw, benefitting from that first round retirement from Adrian Mannarino who had him against the wall, rolling past Richard Gasquet and Cameron Norrie and then getting help from the roof on Monday. So things are once again lining up for another deep run for the Swiss!

If Hurkacz plays aggressive, serves big and keeps coming in, I think he’ll have the chance to pull the upset. Hurkacz won Miami and today he closed out Daniil Medvedev in impressive fashion in five sets. He also got the bonus of stepping foot onto Centre Court and even playing under the roof. So tomorrow, the 24-year-old won’t be in complete shock.

The problem for Hurkacz will be Federer is smart enough to detect a plan and neutralize it. Roger will just have to execute. Unlike Federer’s prior opponents, Hurkacz does have some firepower. He’s 6-foot-5 and plays like it. Maybe his serve isn’t as formidable as perhaps it could be, but the game is there and he’s willing to take the net away.

If he gets Federer moving to corners it will be his match to win.

I think Hurkacz makes a push but Federer’s experience prevails. An upset here, though, wouldn’t surprise me.
The Pick: Federer in 5

Denis Shapovalov v Karen Khachanov
Normally I would put this match as pretty even. But the awful way Khachanov closed out Sebastian Korda on Monday gives me pause. For someone 6-foot-6 to get broken six times on a grass court is incomprehensible. And that grip on grass, to me, is a liability.

Meanwhile, Shapovalov has been on song, overcoming the nerves to beat Andy Murray, then blowing past 2019 semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets.

Shapovalov beat Khachanov a few years ago and I think he does it again here. The only problem is Shapovalov is now back on the radar after his last two wins. There are now expectations and pressure and that could rattle the lefty. But even if it does, Khachanov has shown he, too, can’t handle the nerves.

Shapovalov has too much game and variety in this one.
The Pick: Shapovalov in 4

Matteo Berrettini v Felix Auger-Aliassime
This might be the toughest match of the day. Berrettini has been serving bombs while Felix Auger Aliassime is finally living up to the hype.

But the Canadian is lucky to be here. Alexander Zverev tossed in 20 double faults in the fourth round Monday and blew lead after lead after lead. To his credit, Auger Aliassime took advantage of the German’s collapse to reach his first Grand Slam quarter.

Both played well last month with Berrettini blasting through Queen’s while Auger Aliassime upset Federer in Halle.

Berrettini has the bigger game, the bigger serve, beat Felix on the grass in the Stuttgart final two years, and I think his experience will get him through to a second Slam semifinal.
The Pick: Berrettini in 4


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34 Comments for Djokovic, Federer Heading Back To Final? Wimbledon QF Picks And Pans

Seth Says:

Fed in 5 is awful generous to Hurkacz. Fed in 4 at the most, probably in straights.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Wow, Novak. Another straight sets win! Is that 4 matches in a row?

And WOW Shapovalov. What an incredible match. And he looked ready to go another five sets.

Great semi on the top side.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Fed with a perfect drop shot winner on the return of serve. Crazy.


jatin Says:

Fed has to somehow got this to a tiebreaker now.
He is just not getting free points in his serve anymore


jatin Says:

Seems like luck is not in favor of Fed in the tie breaker.


jatin Says:

Whatever the outcome. Fed showed up, Reached the quaters. That’s more than anyone expected of him.

I know he is going to fight until the end.


Madmax Says:

I am here Jatin, trying to stay hopeful, always, but now we are in a situation which we did not want. To win, he needs to win a 5setter. This will absolutely push him to the limit.

Quarter Finals, indeed. Amazing, but some silly errors at the start of this match.

Remember though, this is father and son playing and son has no fear.

Will always root for the Fed.


Madmax Says:

Great for the fans though Jatin. Imagine being on centre court at Wimbledon, which I have been, many times (it’s wonderful), to see the Grandmaster play.

Federer. For the ages, but H has nothing to lose and right now, Federer has to dig real deep Jatin. Real deep.


jatin Says:

Hey madmax,
Good to see you here.
I second you and also that unfortunate slip in the tiebreaker.


jatin Says:

Yeah Madmax, I agree.
And its all been a bonus anyway.
Its just a privlage to see him play at age 40.

Hurkacz really playing great though. Giving that extra ball to Fed.


Madmax Says:

I know Jatin,

We remain proud of our man, and have to accept now. This was an outside chance at wimbledon slam number 21.

No matter, we are proud. Always.

Take care Jatin, I think this is a long goodbye from our man.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Federer BAGELLED at Wimbledon. Never expected that! Crushing. Is that the signal?


Seth Says:

“Fed in 5 is awful generous to Hurkacz. Fed in 4 at the most, probably in straights.”

*ahem*

Guess I’ll be eating my words now.

Yikes. What a complete dismantling. Very sad.


jatin Says:

Amazing tournament by Fed overall.

He looked frustated by his own form in the last set. Hope we can see more of him.

Hurkacz played incredible to say the least. Well done to him.


Madmax Says:

TV,

We have to say what a brilliant display by the new kid on the block. He played amazingly well. I mean really.

However, Federer – oh my. It’s crushing as you said TV, but we look back at everything Fed has accomplished, and the only way is down from the top, right.

It’s okay.

The stature of Roger will live on. It does not matter for me as a fan TV, honestly, because at some point this was going to happen, and what can you say? Awful final set for him, gave away many points, but he was outplayed today TV, by a better player.


Daniel Says:

I hope Federer at least plays Wimbledon next uear as his last tourney. I mean his last set of tennis he ever plays at Wimbledon can’t be a bagle!


jatin Says:

And the thing here is that, He didn’t do all that rehab and all those surgeries just to retire soon.
He was improving his form day by day until today where both the opponent and the Wind dismanteled him.

Especially in that tie breaker which if he would have won, He would have been a different player in the 3rd set.

His game is good enough still to go deep in slams and I hope we will see only upward trend from here.


Madmax Says:

Jatin, Daniel,

What is more shocking and more stunning is this:

Defeat marked his FIRST STRAIGHT SET LOSS AT WIMBLEDON IN 19 YEARS.

19 YEARS.


Madmax Says:

Jatin,

Hang in there, but here we go.

Rest up Fed. You did incredibly well!

Updated at 6.34pm BST
FacebookTwitter
21m ago
18:28
“How likely is it that Federer quietly announces his retirement and goes away for good?” wonders Nikhil Ravi. “Or, is he going to hang in there for one last shot at glory?”

He didn’t leave like someone saying goodbye, and it seems unlikely that he’s put himself through whatever it’s taken to get back – I’m certain it’s beyond our comprehension – to turn it in after one defeat, however comprehensive. My guess is he goes away, works his arse off, and if something similar happens in New York, he takes a view. Though even then, he might want one more go at Wimbledon to say goodbye, or he might want to play as long as he can because he loves it. Some players do, others can’t be doing with not challenging for titles.

FacebookTwitter
24m ago
18:25
“Let’s face it,” emails James W, “Roger at almost 40 after a year out and two knee surgeries with a lack of matches this year did bloody well to get to the quarter finals at all! He should have lost in the first round when slippery grass intervened. Incredible the level he has shown at Wimbledon over the years but this was always gonna happen as he got into his late 30s and kept playing. As Jon Wertheim often says, we should never discount the undefeated head-to-head record of father time.”

Yes, that’s the question isn’t it? Though I think he’d have beaten Mannarino, is is lack of fitness and match sharpness, or is he finished as a force at this level? I don’t think we can be sure, though I do think we can be sure that he’s not winning another major.


FedExpress Says:

Chin up, Fed. Many good moments ahead.

Why tf so many demand a retirement everytime he loses? He reached a 4th and QF of two Gs.


Madmax Says:

FedEx!

Is this the new you! Glad to read this. I know, I know, it’s always the same, but to be expected I guess. He has said this though:

Man, the guy is great. He is great FedEx.

‘I don’t know. I really don’t know,’ said Federer when asked if he will play at Wimbledon next year. ‘I got to regroup. My goal was always for the last year and more to always try to play another Wimbledon. The initial goal, like you know, was to play last year. That was anyway never going to happen. Plus the pandemic hit.

‘I was able to make it this year, which I’m really happy about. Like I said, with everything that comes after Wimbledon, we were always going to sit down and talk about it because clearly now Wimbledon is over. I got to take a few days.

‘Obviously we’re going to speak a little bit tonight, depending on how I feel, then the next couple of days as well. Then we go from there. Just see, Okay, what do I need to do to get in better shape so I can be more competitive.

‘I’m actually very happy I made it as far as I did here and I actually was able to play Wimbledon at the level that I did after everything I went through. Of course I would like to play it again, but at my age you’re just never sure what’s around the corner.

‘I can’t tell you anything more than that. I will sit down and hopefully make an announcement rather sooner than later, of course, also for me and everybody, my family and team, so forth.’

Hurkacz, who knocked out second seed Daniil Medvedev in the fourth round, deserves great credit for the manner of his display – sweeping Federer aside in an hour and 49 minutes – but Federer was bitterly disappointing.

Still, given he has had two rounds of knee surgery since his last appearance at the All England Club and is approaching his 40th birthday, a run to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam is not a complete disaster.

And Federer, 39, took positives from the ‘tough’ loss.

‘I felt very disappointed in the moment itself. I still am,’ said Federer. At the same time there’s always a weight that falls off your shoulders when a tournament is over, when a huge goal is made or missed.

‘It doesn’t matter actually. You feel the weight is gone and you’re exhausted. I feel horribly exhausted. I could go for a nap right now. That’s how I feel.

‘It’s a funny feeling to have, to be honest. You put everything on the line, and when it’s all over you could just go sleep because you’re so exhausted from the mental, pushing yourself forward, and trying everything.

‘The last 18 months have been long and hard. Then again, if I take the perspective, I’m always very happy about a lot of things that happened the last few weeks, the last few months.

‘I know will be upbeat again shortly. I know how I am in these situations. I feel like I go maybe very hard on myself, I get very sad, and then go by a few hours, I mean, maybe even a few days, who knows, I don’t think so, then I’ll be totally fine again and be my old self.’


FedExpress Says:

Madmax, i am an emotional wrack during matches. Hence i didnt comment much here during his matches. I say things which are heat of the moment stuff and regret afterwards.

I cant get the retirment questions. Journos, so called fans, haters. All demanding it. Its his life and choice.


J-Kath Says:

Re. Federer – I don’t know guys….he’s nearly 40 yrs. old. I think he deserves time to think. But, there’s loads of new talent out there…..and it’s really only Novak who still has a real chances of winning Grand Slams.


Madmax Says:

J-Kath,

We know. No one is saying there is not a lot of new talent out there. I am ecstatic for that because it keeps the game moving forwards, as it should.

No. I disagree with you about Novak. I think there are plenty of guys who can win a slam. Plenty, and good luck to all, this is their chosen career and may they be as successful as Federer.

Any news on Murray yet J-Kath and his decisions? You would be the first to know, I am sure.

Jatin, FedEx, I hear ya guys, and no worries. This is Fed’s time to think, as J-Kath said, and wow.

Almost 40 years old! Another amazing feat for Fed, showing the way up until today!

Huge respect for him.

FedEx, straight from the horse’s mouth:

Asked if there was any possibility that he might walk away from the sport, Federer said: “I just got to talk to the team, take my time, not feel rushed by you guys or anybody else. I got to … take the right decision, the one decision I want to take and where I feel most comfortable.

“But no,” he added, “I hope not that that’s going to happen. The goal is to play, of course.”


chrisford1 Says:

Madmax – “Defeat marked his FIRST STRAIGHT SET LOSS AT WIMBLEDON IN 19 YEARS.”
Federer has been a very consistent player over the years. A player, as with Rafa and Novak, was highly unlikely to encounter a day when Fed was a cruddy, diffident opponent.
The Canadians had a great Wimbledon and it’s not done yet.
For the USO, and Toronto and Cincy a lot depends on vaccinations and the Delta, Delta+ variants. Thanks to vaccinations, New England has something like herd immunity at present, with New York State, New Jersey, California following. But Delta will challenge that.
The good news of Indian Wells, the best tennis venue of all in N America, returning in October should not be stopped by the Pandemic this time aroun d.
I think tennis will happen in N America, but it is a good thing the tennis events are not happening in the mask and vaccination-rejecting US South.
For some reason , the anti-Maskers and anti-Vaxxers have moved into the Trump Base and are not helping the image of (we conservatives) Republicans as being as well educated and intelligent as Democrats.


Madmax Says:

CF!

It’s great to see you here and for being so positive, especially with the descriptions, ‘cruddy, diffident’ (Fed is certainly not shy CF, do you mean something else here?).

And as all good things must come to an end, greater things move on, and get better CF, they get better and better. That is what I wish for and I hope for, but as FedEx said, this is good thinking time.

I prefer to stay on the positive side myself, and certainly good luck to all Canadians, to everyone in the tournament, Wimbledon is the creme de la creme, for sure.

FedEx, for you: great article written in the Guardian, do read:

Despite the severity of his defeat, Federer still departs after a strong week given all the context of his presence. Two knee surgeries are extremely difficult to quickly bounce back from, let alone a month shy of his 40th birthday and after so many years of wear and tear. Just over three weeks ago, he was struggling not only with his game but also his confidence and attitude as he was snuffed out early in Halle.

Federer had started the tournament in similarly indifferent form, nearly being at risk of a first-round defeat to a spirited Adrian Mannarino before the Frenchman was forced to retire. How he recovered from that first round, breezing through three matches and taking out two seeded players in Cameron Norrie and Lorenzo Sonego to reach the quarter-finals was impressive and admirable in itself.

How long will that be enough? It is hard to imagine that even he knows now, but – CF, for you (Federer is **still only five tournaments into his return after a 14-month injury lay‑off.** )

Despite how he exploded back into the tour after his previous knee surgery, winning the 2017 Australian Open in his first official tournament back, recovering form after injury often takes time.

With more time on the court there is still room for him to improve and to gain rhythm. But time is also, of course, his greatest foe. It will be fascinating to see how, and for how long, Federer tries.

Allez Fed!


chrisford1 Says:

J-Kath,
Lots of talent coming. On both the men and woman’s side.
But we are for sure in the year of realization that Andy, Serena, Fed are no longer able to compete at the highest level. I think.
Rafa is fading a little too, I think. But fading in the sense he is no longer the young man that could in 2012 defeat Verdasco in a war of a 5-setter and then play that gladiatorial classic 5-setter with Djokovic. He is not “done”.

But odds are with 3 aged icons, 4 if you count Venus Williams, you are facing some huge retirement announcements in 2021 and maybe ear;y 2022. .


J-Kath Says:

Madmax: Andy’s plans are to continue playing – for me he looked great to begin with – but he lost his “mojo” in his last performance – I believe he will continue to improve – but perhaps he should stick with 3-set matches. He loves tennis – and I expect he will continue…..makes me think Federer might do something similar?????


skeezer Says:

IMO Fed overachieved and am happy he got this far. Age and multiple recent surgeries, not enough match play, each on their own could have caused an early exit. But he hung in there and actually for a moment looked like he was getting back into form once again. Still awesome and entertaining to watch him dance on the court.
Congrats to Hurkacz, must have been a thrill to win on center court against the Maestro, even at almost 40.


jatin Says:

The best part about Fed’s interview was he said he will sort out with his team on “What should he do to be more competitive and match fit “.
This shows how much he is still willing to be fitter and be more competitive.

He is going to be fine.

It was a great tournament in the end.


Madmax Says:

J-Kath Says:
Madmax: Andy’s plans are to continue playing – for me he looked great to begin with – but he lost his “mojo” in his last performance – I believe he will continue to improve – but perhaps he should stick with 3-set matches. He loves tennis – and I expect he will continue…..makes me think Federer might do something similar?????

July 7th, 2021 at 6:51 pm

J-Kath, I am so happy for Andy to continue playing. The last I heard – I meant, read – was that he was thinking of leaving the game. Got to say, I absolutely enjoyed his last match, 5 setter – Oh my goodness – J-Kath, I was screaming, ‘Come on Andy!’ I just wanted him to go further and further. I have so much respect for him, moreso now, than ever before, after his hip operation. Cannot imagine what he has gone through recovery wise (I had no idea he had had another daughter too, 1 year, so now he has 4 children!). I was only at number 2!

Good luck to him.

I also think that he has been very realistic, listening to his third round press conference. He said his game is not fresh or physically ‘spot on’. He has said pretty much the same things as Fed, Andy said if he is putting that much effort in, he wants to achieve more – showing he is still optimistic J-Kath, he still wants to continue – why should he settle for less? He has got through the week of a slam WITHOUT getting injured he said in his press conference.

Fed is not there yet with his reflection. Going straight into the press conference and I hope, with his team and family, he comes to a place which is a good place for him to be in.

He seems (Fed) to be focusing on the mind somewhat, rather than physically. He said his body felt okay, though now, I can imagine with the offload of losing and the devastation of this, which comes later, I just hope he continues J-Kath.

I hope they both continue, Andy and Fed – too young! Too young!

They both need matches to compete at the highest level, and the ranking too – this impacts the player. It is easy to say that you play the person who is opposite, of course, but may be now it is a mental thing.

Always I wish people would stop talking about retirement, and that goes for Andy and for Fed.

Motivation and focusing on the strengths I think is important. The intrinsic motivation.

Let’s see.

Good luck J-Kath!


chrisford1 Says:

Tennis Vagabond Says:
Federer BAGELLED at Wimbledon. Never expected that! Crushing. Is that the signal?
===============
Rafa BAGELLED Djokovic 1st set in last years French Open. Was that a clear sign Novak was done as a player? The signal?
Not IMO.


kriket Says:

Folks, I really do feel for Federer even though I root for Novak by default, I still like to see Roger play and even moreso in those epic Federer-Djokovic finals, especially at Wimbledon. Granted, I do feel that Roger is the safest bet for Novak to win the final match since he has done it so many times in the past and I don’t mean to take anything away from Roger, it’s just a matter of fact, I do love to watch them compete. Also it’s so boring to read about Feds “retirement” subject after each loss. Why can’t they just leave it alone and let the man play without him having to answer the same old questions about the retirement. I swear I would consider retiring just to stop having to talk about it every time. He’s such a great player and forcing him to talk retirement day in day out by the press is kind of insulting. Don’t they have anything better to talk about with him? It’s just tiresome.
I already miss the days of the “Big 3” or even 4 as I do like Murray as well. It might just be nostalgia for the good old days but I really do miss those. With only Novak remaining it’s just not the same. I wish the dummies like Giles could comprehend that once all of them are gone, we will be building all of them in clay (it’s a Serbian saying about people we don’t appreciate enough while they’re still around how we will miss them once they’re gone – thus we will be building their image in the mud/clay smth like that).
I do hope both Roger and Rafa return to form asap, so we can enjoy their epic encounters once again. It might be wishful thinking but I do really hope for that. Cheers to all you tennis fans except for Giles who’s just a sad troll.


kriket Says:

It’s a pleasure to read your thoughts on tennis subjects it really is. :)

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