Monday features all 16 pre-quarterfinals; Djokovic clashes with Haas; Berdych meets Tomic; Serena takes on Lisicki
Players took advantage of a late arrival of summer at The Championships on Sunday to work on light training or rest up for the second week of the Grand Slam.
The second Monday at the All England Club is often considered one of the best in the game, with all eight women’s and men’s fourth-round matches played on the day. With good weather expected for at least one more day, the onus will be on survivors at this upset-plagued edition will all be out to make more progress towards next weekend’s finals.
British hopes could not be riding higher, with second seed and 2012 finalist Andy Murray safely into the second week and facing his next challenge against Mikhail Youzhny, a winner over Viktor Troicki. Murray, who joined British Olympic athletes in the Royal Box on Saturday decked out in his sharpest suit, knows what home pressure feels like, as he’s dealt with it for years.
But at this edition, with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal surprise early victims, the Scot, who missed the French Open with a back injury, feels expectations building more than ever. “There’s a lot more pressure on me now with them being out,” said Murray, who tuned up for Wimbledon by winning the Queen’s club event.
“I don’t read the papers and stuff. But there are papers in the locker room, so you see some of the headlines and stuff. It’s not that helpful. But you need to be professional enough to not let that stuff bother you and just concentrate on each match.”
Murray has gone through his first three matches without losing a set as he and top seed Novak Djokovic head for what could be a final showdown next Sunday. The Scot actually had the weekend off after advancing on Friday.
“I haven’t played that many times on the Friday at Wimbledon, so it’s a little bit new for me. I’ll just try and stick to the same sort of schedule,” he said.
Top seed Novak Djokovic also advanced safely over Jeremy Chardy in straight sets to take on 35-year-old German evergreen Tommy Haas.
“He is playing the best tennis ever,” Djokovic said. “I beat him at the French Open in a tough match. I don’t see a clear favourite.”
Eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro faces Italian Andreas Seppi, who won his seventh straight five-set match of the season to get this far. Australian Bernard Tomic will be without his banned father-coach as the 2011 quarterfinalist begins the second week against Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych.
Tomic said that playing without his father in the stands is tough, but manageable.
“I’m trying as much as I can to push through it, to play these guys. I’m doing well at it,” he said.
“The main thing is I’m having fun, trying to relax as much as I can. In 2011, I had nothing to lose; I really stepped up and played really good. Now, I’m feeling very similar.”
Berdych is also on fire, but knows he faces a test of his mettle, saying, “This is a very tough and tricky opponent. He’s one of the best on grass. He can really, really be a danger.”
The women’s field is also depleted with second seed Victoria Azarenka withdrawing injured and third seed Maria Sharapova crashing out, seemingly giving top-ranked Serena Williams an easier ride en route to a title defence.
But the five-time winner faces a stern test in German Sabine Lisicki, who has been to the quarterfinals and semifinals in the past two years.
The 2012 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska takes on Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, sixth seed Li Na faces Roberta Vinci and 2011 champion Petra Kvitova plays Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro. Britain has second-week interest in women’s play for the first time since 1998 when teenager Laura Robson takes on dangerous Estonian Kaia Kanepi.
“It’s only my second time in the fourth round of a Slam. I’m looking forward to it.”