The Top 4 Womens matches on Day 7
1. Kim Clijsters v Angelique Kerber
For tennis fans who follow the game all year round, I think there will be some surprise to see the match between Kim Clijsters and Angelique Kerber shunted out on court three. I think this has the potential to be a sensational match with Clijsters appearing in her final ever Wimbledon up against the breakthrough player of 2012. Clijsters has made serene progress through the draw and benefited from a retirement by Vera Zvonareva midway during their third round. Kerber too has been impressive and has yet to lose a set against three dangerous opponents. The two have never played before but with Clijsters’ attacking intent and Kerber’s superb defensive skills, I think it will be a great match and a tough one to call too…
Prediction – Kerber to beat Clijsters in 3 sets
2. Maria Sharapova v Sabine Lisicki
A rematch of last year’s Wimbledon semi-final will take to court one as the world number one, Maria Sharapova takes on the German firecracker, Sabine Lisicki. The semi-final between these two last year was not a classic with Sharapova winning in straight sets, but their last encounter at the start of the year at the Australian Open was much more competitive with Sharapova prevailing in three sets. Sharapova has looked in good form so far, overcoming her most dangerous obstacle in round two where she lost the middle set of her match with Tsvetana Pironkova before prevailing in three. Lisicki has fought hard to reach the last 16 as she snapped a five match losing streak in round one before winning two tough three setters against Bojana Jovanovski and Sloane Stephens. If Lisicki is to win this match, she has to really go for her shots. In Australia, she backed off in the final set and that was ultimately her undoing.
Prediction – Sharapova to beat Lisicki in 2 tight sets
3. Victoria Azarenka v Ana Ivanovic
The Centre Court match will surprise a few with the Australian Open champion, Victoria Azarenka taking on Ana Ivanovic. Azarenka has eased through the draw and has yet to play anyone in the top 75. Ivanovic has produced some gritty performances to make this stage winning a tough match against the serve-and-volleying, Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the first round round and then beating Julia Goerges in round three where she recovered well from losing the first set. The head-to-head is two all with Azarenka winning their last match in Madrid earlier this year. Ivanovic has run several of the top players close but has been unable to assert her authority at the key times… I expect more of the same here.
Prediction – Azarenka to beat Ivanovic in 3 sets
4. Francesca Schiavone v Petra Kvitova
The defending champion has been relegated out to court three in what should be another stunning 4th round ladies match. I love magic monday but when so many classy matches are relegated to lower courts it does beg the question whether play on a middle Sunday should be introduced! Petra Kvitova is looking back to her 2011 Wimbledon form as she demolished Varvara Lepchenko, 6-1 6-0 in the third round. Schiavone was equally impressive in dispatching the dangerous, Klara Zakopalova in straight sets. Kvitova has won both her matches with Schiavone this year in straight sets, but the Italian always offers up something different with her tricky slices and ability to do wonders at the net. I give the edge to Kvitova, but some Schiavone magic is certainly possible…
Prediction – Kvitova to beat Schiavone in 2 tight sets
The Top 4 Mens matches on Day 7
|Juan Martin Del Potro|
1. David Ferrer v Juan Martin Del Potro
Court no.1 has what I consider to be the most exciting on paper between David Ferrer and Juan Martin Del Potro. I run out of superlatives to describe Ferrer who has managed to draw so much out of his game through tireless hard work. He was at his best to fend off Andy Roddick in 4 sets in the third round. Del Potro is gathering pace once again as he extinguished the hopes of Kei Nishikori in straight sets. Two contrasting styles of play have made for two excellent matches in their most recent encounters; Ferrer won both of them including a 6-3 6-3 win in Miami, which was one of his most impressive performances of 2012 so far. On paper you would go for Del Potro with his thumping serve and groundstrokes, but write off Ferrer at your peril! I’m going for Del Potro, but would not be surprised at all to see Ferrer keep winning.
Prediction – Del Potro to beat Ferrer in 5 sets
2. Marin Cilic v Andy Murray
Andy Murray worked wonders to finish his third round match with Marcos Baghdatis before the 11pm curfew at Wimbledon last night; the match finished at 11.02 largely thanks to Baghdatis who collapsed in the fourth set. His opponent will be the Queens champion, Marin Cilic who came through an absolute epic against Sam Querrey. It was the second longest match in Wimbledon history with Cilic prevailing, 7-6 6-4 6-7 6-7 17-15. Cilic has a great game for the grass and will be another considerable test for Murray. I think Murray is playing well at the moment, but is still some way from his best, which he will need to be to have any chance of claiming his first Grand Slam title in one week’s time.
Prediction – Murray to beat Cilic in 4 sets
3. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Mardy Fish
When these two last faced off at the ATP World Tour Finals, they were two of the in-form players on the tour; however things have been tough for both in 2012. Mardy Fish had heart surgery earlier this year to cure a form of arrhythmia, which resulted in extreme heart palpitations that would wake him in the middle of the night. This has made his performances this week even more astonishing as he beat David Goffin in straight sets yesterday to make the second week. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga too has struggled with his form in 2012, but looks to be building up another big challenge on his favourite surface. This has all the makings for a classic match, but I think Fish’s fairytale run will end here…
Prediction – Tsonga to beat Fish in 4 sets
4. Novak Djokovic v Viktor Troicki
An all-Serbian clash between Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki will take to Centre Court on Magic Monday. Djokovic has probably been the least troubled of the big names so far as he was impressive in his second round match against Ryan Harrison and recovered well from the loss of the first set to defeat Radek Stepanek, 4-6 6-2 6-2 6-2 in the third round. Troicki has been completely off-the-radar for the last year, but has come through some tough matches to reach the second week. He has had some epic matches with his compatriot in recent years although their most recent ones have been predominantly one-sided. I cannot see Troicki giving Djokovic much of a scare in this one…
Prediction – Djokovic to beat Troicki in 3 sets
Best of the rest: womens
Serena Williams will be wary of the threat of Yaroslava Shvedova who produced an astonishing golden set on her way to a 6-0 6-4 win over Sara Errani. Agnieszka Radwanska too should not underestimate her opponent, Camila Giorgi who stunned both Flavia Pennetta and Nadia Petrova in straight sets this week. The final two matches will see Maria Kirilenko take on Peng Shuai, and Tamira Paszek play Roberta Vinci. The Paszek/Vinci match should be a great one with two contrasting styles on show.
WTA R4 Predictions
S Williams to beat Shvedova in 2 very tight sets
Radwanska to beat Giorgi in 3 sets
Kirilenko to beat Peng in 2 sets
Paszek to beat Vinci in 2 sets
Best of the rest: mens
Roger Federer is first up on Centre Court as he takes on Xavier Malisse. Philipp Kohlschreiber and Brian Baker will square off for an unexpected quarter-final place with Rafael Nadal‘s shock early exit. An interesting match will take to court three between Richard Gasquet and Florian Mayer, and finally Mikhail Youzhny will take on Denis Istomin with the winner most likely to face Federer in the quarter-finals.
ATP R4 Predictions
Federer to beat Malisse in 3 sets
Kohlschreiber to beat Baker in 4 sets
Gasquet to beat Mayer in 3 sets
Youzhny to beat Istomin in 5 sets
I have No.1 court tickets for tomorrow but i’m gutted to see the forecast… if i’m lucky I might get to see a little bit of Sharapova/Lisicki but I don’t have my hopes too high 😦