Wimbledon – Day 10 (QF)

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)…

1st quarterfinal:
(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“.

2nd quarterfinal:
(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

3rd quarterfinal:
(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.”

4th quarterfinal:
(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…

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