July 2021 M T W T F S S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Today’s semifinals repeated last year’s matches at the same stage of the tournament with one significant difference – Jo-Wilfired Tsonga participated in them instead of Tomas Berdych; both players born in 1985, defeated Roger Federer in quarter-finals, Berdych in four sets, Tsonga in five.
(2)Novak Djokovic d. (12)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-7(9), 6-3 [3:06 h]
Just like four weeks ago in the Parisian semifinal, Djokovic was one win away from advancing to the No. 1 in the tennis world. Despite his extraordinary record this year (46-1), his win wasn’t certain because he had a tricky opponent, who had beaten him in 5 out of 7 meetings, moreover, Tsonga showed great potential this year overcoming on grass Nadal and Federer. And indeed, the initial phase of the match indicated on Tsonga, who broke Djokovic’s serve in the very first game. The Frenchman led 5:3, at 5:4 was two points away from winning the set (came back from 0/40), but made a double fault trying to get a point with a risky 2nd serve. In the tie-break decided the 6th point after Tsonga’s forehand error, which gave the Serb a 4:2 lead. He broke Tsonga twice in the 2nd set, also at the beginning of the 3rd, and the match seemed finished. However, Tsonga won three successive games from a 2:4 deficit. He lost his serve at 5 all, but broke back in the next game to “15”. In the tie-break he led 5:3, later on saved two match points (overhead at 5:6 & ace at 7:8) and used his bigger experience in long tie-breaks to win the set (11/9). Unfortunately, the end of that set cost him too much energy, and D’Joke won the first eight points of the 4th set. He focused on his own service games and seven games later celebrated (lying on back) the triumph, winning the third match point with a service winner. It’s his second main tour level victory with a set losing from a match point up #. “It feels amazing,” said Djokovic. “When I finished the match I didn’t know how to show my emotions. I was really happy. This is one of those moments where you can’t describe it with the words. You remember all your career, all your childhood, everything you worked for, that comes true now”. Stats of the match.
(1)Rafael Nadal d. (4)Andy Murray 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 [2:59 h]
Murray kicked off the match in a very good, offensive style, he kept it throughout the set and extended to the beginning of the following set. At 2:1* (30/15) for him in the 2nd set, there was a crucial moment of the encounter – Murray played a great return, Nadal only delivered a high ball onto Murray’s side, but the Brit made an awful forehand error which could have given him a double break point. Since that moment Murray lost his accuracy, concentration and seven consecutive games in the consequence, although he had not been forced to save a break point prior to that moment. Nadal once being ahead is amazing tough to catch up. There was a hope for the British fans as Murray had his chances to do it, losing 1:2 with a break down in the 4th set, but the Spaniard saved two ad-break points with an offensive attitude. Nadal improves his H2H record against Murray to 12-4 ##, having won their last four meetings (each of them in semi-finals). Murray, who has lost Wimbledon semi-final three years in succession, said: “[I’m going to] work harder than I ever did before. [I’ll] try and improve my game and get stronger. Be more professional. It’s a very tough era I think in tennis. Tennis right at the top of the game is exceptional. So not only to get level with those guys, but to push past them, you need to work harder than them.” Stats of the match
# Djokovic’s two wins with a match point-up losing sets:
US Open 2007, 4R: J.Monaco 7-5, 7-6(2), 6-7(6), 6-1 – 1 mp
Wimbledon 2011, SF: JW.Tsonga 7-6(4) 6-2, 6-7(9), 6-3 – 2 mp
## Grand Slam semi-finals between Murray and Nadal:
US Open, 2008: Murray d. Nadal 6-2, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4
Wimbledon, 2010: Nadal d. Murray 6-4, 7-6(6), 6-4
Roland Garros, 2011: Nadal d. Murray 6-4, 7-5, 6-4
Wimbledon, 2011: Nadal d. Murray 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4
Eliding from economical arguments of the organizers, the Wimbledon quarterfinals are the toughest to follow among all four majors. I don’t see any problem that in contrary to other majors, quarterfinals in London are played within one day, but the problem is, they are held at the same time on two different courts; today Tsonga with Federer and Murray with Lopez were appointed to play on Centre Court, whilst matches Djokovic vs. Tomic and Nadal vs. Fish on Court No 1. Additional difficulty was connected today with the fact that during the first two quarter-finals, on Court No. 2, the Bryan brothers were continuing their third round encounter against S.Aspelin / P.Hanley suspended at 3:3 in the 5th set due to darkness (the Americans won that set 16-14, being two points away from defeat in two different games)…
(2)Novak Djokovic d. (q)Bernard Tomic 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 [2:31 h]
Djokovic was an overwhelming favorite before the match, but Tomic had his hopes because he beat Djokovic last year in an exhibition tournament at Kooyong, and had in his box the Wimbledon finalists 10 years backwards: Patrick Rafter and Goran Ivanisevic, who were sitting comfortably beside Tomic’s father – John. The young Australian hadn’t lost a service games in eight consecutive sets, but was broken as early as in the 1st game of the match. That game showed though, that Tomic would make an interesting match (a couple more than 20-stroke rallies). Tomic had two break points to lead 5:1 in the 2nd set, later on he led 3:1 in the 3rd set – since then D’Joke won seven straight games. In the 4th game of the 4th set, perhaps Tomic played his best game in the entire tournament and broke back to “love”. There was a prospect of a five-setter with Tomic leading 5:4 (30-0), but Djokovic’s maturity prevailed, the Serb made two winners (the second one clipping the line), and on break point in the following game, with a drop-shot he won an amazing 30-stroke rally, in which were around 10 slices! “He’s been playing really, really well today,” said Djokovic. “He’s been using the pace fantastically. You can see he feels really comfortable on the court. Obviously what he lacks a little bit more is that experience. But it comes with the time. I’m sure if he continues this way, he’s gonna be a top player very soon“.
(12)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. (3)Roger Federer 3-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 [2:48 h]
Federer broke Tsonga to “15” in the 2nd game of the match, and who would’ve expected that it had been the only break point opportunity for the Swiss in this five-setter? Tsonga produced a silly error to open the 2nd set tie-break, Federer a moment later led 5:0, and after taking the set, his potential loss was almost impossible: he had won 9 consecutive sets against Jo, and hadn’t lost a match leading 2-0 for six years #. But weird things happen, and the Frenchman made breaks at the beginning of each of the next three sets (to lead 2:1 in sets 3 & 4, to lead 1:0 in the decider) which allowed him to take the occurrences under his control. Tsonga’s serve was excellent, he won 18-17 in aces, having 70% of the 1st serve in. Federer was shaky, he couldn’t construct points on Tsonga’s 2nd serve, actually in the last three sets, Federer had a slight chance for a break only at 3:4 & 4:5 in the 3rd set, leading 30-0. If Federer won this match, he would make along with Djokovic the first pair to play matches in four consecutive majors. “For me it’s just amazing,” said Tsonga. “The feeling is like maybe beating [Rafael] Nadal in Roland Garros, so it’s just amazing. And for me it will be, for sure, one of the best memories in my career anyway.”
# Federer’s three defeats from 2-sets-to-0 lead:
Davis Cup 2003, SF: L.Hewitt 7-5, 6-2, 6-7(4), 5-7, 1-6
Shanghai 2005, F: D.Nalbandian 7-6(4), 7-6(11), 2-6, 1-6, 6-7(3)
Wimbledon 2011, QF: JW.Tsonga 6-3, 7-6(3), 4-6, 4-6, 4-6
5-set barometer: 18-15 Federer, 6-2 Tsonga
(4)Andy Murray d. Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 [2:01 h]
Murray served out his third consecutive advancement to the Wimbledon semifinal with three aces in a row (13 in total). It was one-sided match as most spectators would have expected. Lopez had only two break points in the entire match, it happened at 3:4 (40-15) in the 3rd set. A slice backhand of the Spaniard went long on the first chance, the second break point Murray erased with a service winner. Lopez is beaten in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the third time in career (previously in 2005 & 2008). “I thought it was good,” Murray said, “Feliciano looked a little tired and struggled a bit with his movement, but I thought I served well throughout the match. I’m playing well – you get pushed more and more as the rounds go on, and I’ll have to up my game.”
(1)Rafael Nadal d. (10)Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 [2:53 h]
The first two sets were painful to watch. Fish – the top 10 player – who had lost his serve only once in four matches (to Istomin) prior to the last eight, was broken five times by Nadal in his first 10 service games! Nadal led 1:0 with a break in the 3rd set when Fish waken somehow to play his standard tennis. In the 12th game he risked backhand return, then forehand down the line and won the set. Unfortunately for him, Nadal made a vital break in the 3rd game of the 4th set and finished the match with a serve & volley action on his first match point. “I started the first two sets playing very well but made mistakes in third and lost my intensity,” the 25-year-old defending champion said. Fish, like Feliciano Lopez, has lost three major quarterfinals, three years ago in New York he lost the previous GS quarter-final to Nadal in four sets as well…
Wimbledon distinguishes itself from other majors, inter alia as the only event, in which the 4th round is played during one day, it happens due to day-off on the first Sunday of the tournament.
Amazing match, and very untypical for nowadays standards (serve and volley from both ends) on Court No. 3 won Feliciano Lopez , surviving a 5-set thriller with a qualifier Lukasz Kubot. The Pole  had a chance of his life to win this match in three different sets. In the 3rd set tie-break, Lopez’s challenge deprived Kubot a 4:1 lead. A couple minutes later Q-bot had a match point on serve at 6:5 and played a tentative backhand volley, Lopez passed him with a huge forehand. At 6:7 Lopez saved the second match point with a forehand winner at the net. In the 4th set Q-bot led 4:3 with a break, later on squandered three mini-match points at 5:5. Finally, in the 5th set Q-bot had a break point at 3:3 – Lopez served an ace (28 in total, Kubot 27 – personal best). The Spaniard converted his third match point after Kubot’s forehand error and advanced for the third time to the Wimbledon quarterfinals, for the fourth time winning a Wimbledon match from a match point down, which I suppose might be a specific record taking into account a Grand Slam tournament #.
Mardy Fish  adds to his resume Wimbledon as third different major quarter-final. The highest ranked American, despite a suitable game-style for grass, had never played even the fourth round at Wimbledon in his previous eight appearances. Today he ousted the last year’s finalist Tomas Berdych  7-6, 6-4, 6-4, thanks to brilliant service performance (22 aces, faced two break points). It was their first encounter, although they’ve been playing on the tour together for eight years!
Bernard Tomic dismissed Xavier Malisse  in straight sets (81 minutes) on Court No. 18, facing just two break points, and becomes the 7th player in the Open era to play in quarterfinals at Wimbledon ##. It’s incredibly promising stats for him because among those six guys, only Vijay Amritraj hasn’t won the Wimbledon title! Tomic hasn’t lost a service game in 8 consecutive sets, this streak will be extremely tough to keep in the next round where awaits Novak Djokovic  after a 3x ‘6-3’ win over Michael Llodra . After a set and a half there was a prospect that Llodra would give D’Joke a run for his money, but played a pathetic game at 3:3 (30-15): missed an easy overhead followed by simple volley-error, later on served two double faults in a row… “I never thought I’d be here the second week, especially in the quarter-finals. What a feeling and what a tournament it’s been for me. It’s an unbelievable achievement. I’ve learnt a lot. It’s a great honour to do it here in Wimbledon. I’m at a position now where I’ve never been happier. I’m looking forward to playing on Wednesday.” said Tomic, just the fourth qualifier to play in the Wimbledon quarter-finals ###.
Rafael Nadal  survived a 3-hour 52-minute scare against Juan Martin del Potro . At the end of the 1st set, the Spaniard needed a treatment to his sore left heel. When came back on court a few minutes later, Del Potro jumped quickly to a 3:0 lead in the tie-break. Nadal won the next two points after long rallies to hang out there, afterwards he fought off a set point on serve to win the set (8-6) and the match 7-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, consisted of only two breaks of serve. Also Roger Federer  needed four sets to beat Mikhail Youzhny  the 11th time in succession.
4 hours, 18 minutes – Feliciano Lopez d. Lukasz Kubot 3-6, 6-7(5), 7-6(7), 7-5, 7-5
28 – Feliciano Lopez, defeated Lukasz Kubot in five sets
13-8 Feliciano Lopez
8-5 Lukasz Kubot
# Lopez’s four Wimbledon wins from a match point down:
2002, 1R: K.Economidis 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(2), 11-9 – 1 mp
2002, 2R: G.Canas 4-6, 2-6, 7-6(7), 7-5, 10-8 – 6 mp
2008, 4R: M.Baghdatis 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(4), 8-6 – 3 mp
2011, 4R: L.Kubot 3-6, 6-7(5), 7-6(7), 7-5, 7-5 – 2 mp
## Teenagers to play quarterfinals (or better) at Wimbledon:
17 years 13 days, Bjorn Borg – 1973
17 years 7 months, Boris Becker – 1985
18 years 4 months, John McEnroe – 1977
18 years 8 months, Bernard Tomic – 2011
18 years 9 months, Goran Ivanisevic – 1990
19 years 1 month, Pat Cash – 1984
19 years 6 months, Vijay Amritraj – 1973
### Qualifiers who advanced to Wimbledon quarterfinals:
1977: John McEnroe (No. 270)
1984: Paul Annacone (No. 243)
1985: Ricardo Acuna (No. 130)
2000: Vladimir Voltchkov (No. 237)
2011: Bernard Tomic (No. 158)
* McEnroe and Voltchkov finished their journey in semifinals
Unfortunately rain again reminded itself on Friday, three second-round matches were concluded, but 5 out of 8 three-round encounters were suspended to Saturday…
Two youngest players on the tour, Ryan Harrison  and Bernard Tomic  played five-setters (2nd round) with a different outcome – Harrison lost on Friday two sets, Tomic won two. On the following day, Tomic made the biggest upset dismissing in straight sets Robin Soderling. I guess it’s interesting that Tomic hasn’t lost a service game in the last two days (two sets with Andreev, three with Soderling). The 18-year-old Australian hasn’t got spectacular game, but he has absolutely amazing timing, anticipation and clever strategy. Beside this he is tall, so we can expect some progress considering his 1st serve. Among young guns (born in the 90’s) who are already known, now then Raonic, Dimitrov, Harrison & Tomic, I expect the latter might have the most successful career. It should be a breakthrough tournament for him, especially that he now faces instable Xavier Malisse, thus chances of reaching the quarterfinals are high. “I really came in today giving myself a chance. I think I played really relaxed in the first set,” Tomic said, “I didn’t think I could win at the start. But the way I was playing, I was questioning myself. [And] after that first set, it opened up a lot of doors.”
Three players (Rafael Nadal, Juan Marin del Potro and Feliciano Lopez) won their matches in straight sets needing tie-breaks in the first two sets. Nadal was surprised by great service performance of Gilles Muller. The defending champion saved a double set point in the 1st set, was two points away from losing the 2nd set. Del Potro had some troubles in each set of his match with Gilles Simon, which won 7-6, 7-6, 7-5. ‘DelPo’ fought off two set points in the first tie-break, was *2:4 (30 all) down in the 2nd set and *4:5 (15-30) in the 3rd set. F.Lopez  avenged seven straight defeats to Andy Roddick. The Spaniard won both tie-breaks 7-2 thanks to three great passing shots, two from his weaker backhand side. He fired 28 aces (Roddick 23). Unexpectedly Lopez’s opponent in the next round will be Lukasz Kubot , who much more better dealt with a two-day encounter. His match with Gael Monfils was suspended at one set apiece and 3:3 (deuce) in the 3rd set; after the resumption Kubot got a break and notched a streak of six winning games! 4th round at Wimbledon is arguably the biggest success in career of ‘Q-bot’. The 28-year-old Pole a year ago played the 4th round at the Australian Open, but won only two matches then (walkover in the third round), this year in London he’s overcome six rounds (three in the qualifying tournament).
Roger Federer  and David Nalbandian  joined a relatively narrow group of 16 pairs # to play against each other in all major events. Federer missed an overhead from the easiest possible position on his first match point, but stayed cool and a couple minutes later converted his 4th match point to get an easy 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win.
3 hours, 30 minutes – David Ferrer d. Ryan Harrison 6-7(6), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
28 – Feliciano Lopez, defeated Andy Roddick in three sets
14-9 David Ferrer
6-9 Igor Andreev
0-2 Ryan Harrison
1-1 Bernard Tomic
# Pairs of players who have faced each other at all four majors (in parantheses – years between they did it; in brackets – their H2H records in majors):
(1985-1987) H.Leconte vs. A.Mansdorf [4-0]
(1980-1989) I.Lendl vs. J.McEnroe [7-3]
(1983-1989) M.Wilander vs. J.McEnroe [3-2]
(1991-1993) J.Courier vs. S.Edberg [4-2]
(1991-1994) P.Sampras vs. J.Courier [6-2]
(1989-1995) P.Sampras vs. M.Chang [4-1]
(1990-1995) P.Sampras vs. A.Agassi [6-3]
(1992-1996) P.Sampras vs. T.Martin [6-1]
(1994-2000) P.Sampras vs. M.Tillstrom [5-0]
(1995-2000) P.Sampras vs. M.Philippoussis [5-2]
(2004-2006) R.Federer vs. N.Kiefer [4-0]
(2002-2006) M.Safin vs. O.Rochus [3-1]
(2005-2007) D.Tursunov vs. T.Henman [3-1]
(2001-2009) L.Hewitt vs. A.Roddick [3-2]
(2007-2009) R.Federer vs. JM.Del Potro [3-1]
(2007-2011) R.Nadal vs. A.Murray [4-2]
(2003-2011) R.Federer vs. D.Nalbandian [4-2]
Rain interrupted matches a couple times. One of the rain-breaks helped Jo-Wilfried Tsonga  to avoid a 5-set match against Grigor Dimitrov . When the match was resumed in the 4th set, Tsonga saved a break point at 0:3 and the momentum totally swung in his favor. He led 5:3* (30-15), in the following game had two match points (double fault and Dimitrov’s passing-shot), but the young Bulgarian managed to make another swing and a few minutes later had a double set point. In the tie-break, Tsonga led 4:2, then Dimitrov saved three match points. At 8:8 Tsonga won the point with an awkward volley falling on the grass. On the sixth match point, Dimitrov dived, but couldn’t control his volley and Tsonga celebrated spectacular win (6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6) jumping over the net. Dimitrov was smiling in the end picked up by Tsonga from the court, happy with a good performance on a big stage (Court No. 2); he is the youngest player in the Top 100, but his idol Federer, ten years ago exactly at the same age, ousted Sampras on Centre Court at Wimbledon in five grueling sets… A two-day meeting of Juan Martin del Potro  with Olivier Rochus  had two completely different phases. Yesterday evening, Del Potro had problems with his movement on a slippery court, lost a tie-break wasting one set point and visibly disconsolate threw away his shoes into the crowd. Today he was pleased throwing wristbands into the crowd after a quick demolition his 30 cm shorter opponent. Del Potro sealed a 6-7, 6-1, 6-0, 6-4 win with 30th ace – his personal record. John Isner  obtained amazing experience in winning service games on Court No. 18 last year, during the extraordinary marathon against Mahut. Today he came back on that court to play against Nicolas Almagro , and won 18 consecutive games on serve, but it was enough only to win one out of three tie-break sets. At the beginning of the 4th set Almagro (23 aces) broke Isner’s serve (28 aces) the only time in the match to post a 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 victory just before the darkness (the match would’ve been probably suspended if Almagro had not won the 9th game). I haven’t noticed particular changes in Robin Soderling‘s  game in the last few years. The Swede has added to his repertoire better slice, but he serves, hits ground-strokes and plays average volleys as always. What distinguishes Soderling as a No. 20-50 in years 2004-2008 from Soderling as a strong Top 5 player in the last two years… his mentality. He confirmed it today on Centre Court playing against the former champion Lleyton Hewitt . Being 2-sets-to-0 down, Soderling won four points in a row at 3:3 (0-30) and an hour later, broke back immediately at the beginning of the 5th set. His almost 4-hour win over the most experienced 5-set active player, Soderling celebrated on the knees. “I tried not to think about the scoreline. Instead, I tried to keep looking forward. I know I was playing pretty well. I served well. And if I could just start to move a little bit better, start to return a little bit better than the first two sets, I knew I had a good chance.” ‘Toad’ assessed.
Three matches have been suspended at 9 p.m. (each of them in the 4th set) due to darkness: Harrison vs. Ferrer (2-1, 2:4), Melzer vs. Tursunov (2-1, 1:1) & Andreev vs. Tomic (2-1, 0:0).
3 hours, 54 minutes – Robin Soderling d. Lleyton Hewitt 6-7(5), 3-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-4
30 – Juan Martin del Potro, defeated Olivier Rochus in 4 sets
30-17 Lleyton Hewitt
8-9 Robin Soderling
This gallery contains 2 photos.
There was an amazing doubles battle on court No. 6 where Colombians, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah faced so-called “Indo-Pak express”, consisted of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (seeded No. 4). The Colombians served 15 times to stay in … Continue reading