Magic Monday is set it to be… well, pretty magical! Last year was disrupted by the rain but this year, we will have 16 fourth round matches to look forward to in what is arguably the best day of tennis. The final match of the day between Gael Monfils and Gilles Simon was moved from Court No.1 to the roof under Centre with Simon prevailing in a very entertaining five setter. While my women’s predictions have capitulated, my men’s are are still looking respectable. David Ferrer and Kei Nishikori both had to pull out through injury and Milos Raonic was upset by Nick Kyrgios (although not a massive upset). The top four are all still in. Here are my thoughts about the eight last 16 matches for the men on Monday.
Novak Djokovic v Kevin Anderson: Novak’s draw to the last 16 was heavily stated as being a toughie. You wouldn’t have guessed it looking at his results. The world number one hasn’t dropped more than four games in any of the nine sets he has played. Anderson, who reached the final of Queens, is a really solid grass courter and has been reliable at the Slams of late, reaching at least the third round at the last seven Slams. Djokovic has won their last four matches in straight sets and i’d predict the same outcome in this one.
Prediction: Djokovic d. Anderson in 3 sets
Marin Cilic v Denis Kudla: This has been a superb week for Kudla who got a wildcard into the draw after he made back-to-back Challenger finals in Surbiton and IIkley, winning the title at the latter. Cilic has been pushed to five sets in his last two matches against Ricardas Berankis (7-5 in the fifth) and John Isner (12-10 in the fifth). Cilic has not been at his best but both were excellent wins. I’d take Cilic, but I don’t think it will be straightforward.
Prediction: Cilic d. Kudla in 4 sets
Stan Wawrinka v David Goffin: Stan has breezed through the draw and is yet to drop a set. While many predicted he may suffer a letdown at Wimbledon, i’ve always felt he was destined to reach the semi-finals. Although he has never had his best results on the grass, he showed improvements last year where he reached the quarters. Goffin had a great win over Marcos Baghdatis in the third round, his first ever win over the Cypriot. Stan for the win though.
Prediction: Wawrinka d. Goffin in 3 sets
Richard Gasquet v Nick Kyrgios: This is my favourite of the fourth round matches and a repeat of the stunning second round match from last year with Kyrgios saved multiple match points to win. Gasquet won their last encounter on the clay in Estoril. Both enjoyed excellent wins on Friday to beat last year’s semi-finalists; Gasquet beat Dimitrov in straight sets, while Kyrgios came from a set down to beat Raonic in four sets. Gasquet is the more consistent player, but Kyrgios has this buzz and belief in his game. He could be the guy to really upset the applecart this fortnight.
Prediction: Kyrgios d. Gasquet in 4 sets
Viktor Troicki v Vasek Pospisil: In a Ferrer and Nadal-less section, this is the one that was always going to evoke some craziness. Pospisil beat James Ward in a five setter on Saturday to reach the last 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career. Troicki has been here before but it’s not a major surprise. He played some great ball in the warm-up tournaments and has continued that form into Wimbledon where he defeated Nadal’s conqueror, Dustin Brown in the third round. Pospisil’s serve could be key, but i’d have more faith in Troicki reaching a first Slam quarter.
Prediction: Troicki d. Pospisil in 5 sets
Andy Murray v Ivo Karlovic: In a battle of the medical time-outs, Murray prevailed in four sets against Andreas Seppi. Murray’s next match is against Karlovic, who defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four tight sets. There was controversy with a double hit from Karlovic on a set point for Tsonga but Dr Ivo is through and is always a mean opponent on the grass. Murray has won all five previous encounters but as you would expect, there have been plenty of tiebreaks. The big man could make this very tricky for Murray.
Prediction: Murray d. Karlovic in 4 sets
Tomas Berdych v Gilles Simon: Berdych lost a set to Pablo Andujar which was a surprise but he came back to win in four sets, 4-6 6-0 6-3 7-6(3). Simon edged Monfils in a frenetic five setter. Simon has reached back-to-back 4th rounds at Roland Garros and now Wimbledon. Simon leads the head-to-head, 6-4. Berdych won their last match in Rotterdam earlier this year, 6-2 6-1. Simon is highly capable, but i’d give a the very slightest of edges to Berdych. This should be a good one.
Prediction: Berdych d. Simon in 5 sets
Roger Federer v Roberto Bautista Agut: Federer lost his first set of the Championships to Sam Groth but never looked in trouble of losing in the third round, the same stage where he fell at the Australian Open earlier this year. Bautista Agut has had a sub-standard year (based on his 2014 season) but he’s done well with a favourable draw to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon, the first time he has been in the second week here. A good week for RBA but I don’t seen an upset alert.
Prediction: Federer d. Bautista Agut in 3 sets