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QF Preview: Nadal, Federer Striving For More Wimbledon History

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2019

QF Preview: Nadal, Federer Striving For More Wimbledon History

Querrey, Nishikori looking to stun the all-time greats and reach Wimbledon SF

The Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal collision course has been derailed at Grand Slams before, and Kei Nishikori and Sam Querrey will do their best at Wimbledon on Wednesday to keep fans waiting for Federer-Nadal XXXX.

[2] Roger Federer (SUI) v [8] Kei Nishikori (JPN)
FedEx ATP Head2Head: Federer leads 7-3

Federer and Nishikori kick off the bottom half’s quarter-finals on Centre Court as they renew what’s been a competitive FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry. The Japanese won their most recent contest, at the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals, and pushed Federer to five sets in their only Grand Slam meeting at the 2017 Australian Open.

Too often Nishikori has arrived at this stage of a Slam already exhausted. At the Australian Open, he fought through three five-set matches only to retire with a leg injury in the quarter-finals after 12 games against Novak Djokovic. At Roland Garros, Nishikori slogged through back-to-back five-setters and managed only five games against Rafael Nadal.

This fortnight, however, Nishikori hasn’t played a five-setter yet and all of his matches have ended before the three-hour mark.

I’m sure it’s going to be tough, but I feel like I am very confident this week, playing good tennis,” Nishikori said. “I’m happy to be playing Roger now because I think I’m in good shape… I know it’s not going to be easy, but I will enjoy for sure.”

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Time on court has never been a worry for Federer, and that’s remained the case at Wimbledon, where the eight-time champion has spent the least amount of time – six hours, 47 minutes – of all the quarter-finalists.

Federer lost his opening set of the fortnight but has rolled since, especially during his fourth-round match against MercedesCup champion Matteo Berrettini of Italy. The 37-year-old Federer advanced after 74 minutes, the shortest men’s match in the Round of 16 or later since at least 2002.

Obviously today was excellent. I was very happy. I was expecting a tough match and a close one with not many chances. It was actually quite the opposite, so that was great,” Federer said.

The Swiss, 99-12 at Wimbledon, is trying to become the first player to win 100 matches at a Grand Slam. But he knows better than to expect a breezy repeat of his fourth-round match against the veteran Nishikori, who is seeking his first Wimbledon semi-final.

It’d be easy to say Federer will roll into triple digits at The Championships as no one has come close to slowing him down thus far. But Nishikori has unexpectedly spoiled Big Three Grand Slam matchups before – see 2014 US Open, when the Japanese beat Novak Djokovic en route to his only Grand Slam final – and he has the all-court game to match that of Federer’s.

Additionally, Nishikori owns the best deciding-set record in the Open Era (132-45, 75%) and has won his past eight five-set matches. The last five-setter Nishikori lost was in Melbourne against Federer.

See Who’s Chasing Nishikori For Best Deciding-Set Record In Open Era

“He’s getting into the quarters with a lot of energy,” Federer said. “I remember some of the Slams recently he arrived into the later stages of Slams with maybe some tough matches going into it. So far it’s been really easy for him. I think he’s ready.”

[3] Rafael Nadal (ESP) v Sam Querrey (USA)
FedEx ATP Head2Head: Nadal leads 4-1

Nadal-Querrey might be the most intriguing of all the quarter-finals because of the contrast in styles that should delight the Court No. 1 crowd. Nadal brings an improved 1-2 serve-forehand combination but also the ability to play defence as long as needed, whereas Querrey will have one and only gameplan against the two-time Wimbledon champion: serve big.

It has worked in the past. Querrey upset Novak Djokovic in the 2016 third round and Andy Murray in the 2017 quarter-finals. The American was two sets away from reaching the 2017 title match after claiming the opening set versus Marin Cilic in their semi-final. The same strategy also worked for the 6’6” right-hander against Nadal during the 2017 Acapulco final, his lone FedEx ATP Head2Head win against the Spaniard.

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Querrey has hit 100 aces and landed 86 per cent of his first serves this fortnight. “I’m locked in on it. I have got a good rhythm. This is a tournament that rewards good servers. Everything feels right on my serve,” Querrey said.

But Nadal won’t be phased if the aces begin to tally up during their first FedEx ATP Head2Head Wimbledon meeting. The Spaniard didn’t see a break point against Aussie Nick Kyrgios during the final two sets yet advanced 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(3) to reach the third round.

When [Querrey] plays well, he can be very, very dangerous in all surfaces. But, of course, in fast surfaces, when he serves with his aggressive game, maybe more,” Nadal said.

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The Spaniard has won two titles at SW19 and made five finals. He’s looking to make back-to-back Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time since 2010-11.

The World No. 2 arguably has had the toughest road of all of the Big Three, having to beat grass-court champion Yuichi Sugita, Kyrgios, two-time semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Portugal’s Joao Sousa to make his seventh quarter-final. Nadal is 6-0 in Wimbledon quarter-finals.

He’s been rolling through guys,” Querrey said. “I’m going to have to serve incredibly well, take my chances when I get them, hopefully I can have a good day out there.”


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Federer and Nadal look to set up first Wimbledon meeting for over a decade

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2019

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will try to tee up their first Wimbledon meeting since the epic 2008 final when they headline the men’s quarter-finals.

Eight-time champion Federer plays Japan’s eighth seed Kei Nishikori second on Centre Court on Wednesday.

Top seed Novak Djokovic opens on the main show court against Belgium’s 21st seed David Goffin at 13:00 BST.

Nadal faces American Sam Querrey on Court One after fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut takes on Guido Pella.

In the mixed doubles, Andy Murray and Serena Williams will be third on Court Two for their last-16 match against top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar.

Federer, who turns 38 next month, is the oldest player in a last-eight line-up featuring five players aged over 30, while Nishikori and Goffin are the youngest men left in the draw at the age of 28.

The Swiss great is the oldest men’s quarter-finalist at the All England Club since American Jimmy Connors in 1991.

The old guard continue to lead the way

How the men’s game will look when the power of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic eventually diminishes is something which has been discussed at length for a number of years now – and we are still no closer to knowing when that day will arrive.

The ‘big three’ have won the past 10 Grand Slams between them – Stan Wawrinka at the 2016 US Open was the last winner not from the trio – and few are looking past one of them lifting the Wimbledon trophy again on Sunday.

All three have sailed through the SW19 draw so far, dropping just one set apiece in reaching the quarter-finals.

Second seed Federer dropped just five games against young Italian Matteo Berretini, who was playing his first last-16 match at a Grand Slam.

Top seed Djokovic showed the gulf in class as he beat inexperienced Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-3 6-2 6-3, while third seed Nadal breezed past Portugal’s Joao Sousa in a 6-2 6-2 6-2 victory.

“I think the best guys now are fully engaged, they know exactly what to expect from the court and the conditions. That helps us to play better,” said Federer, who is bidding to reach his 13th Wimbledon semi-final.

“We haven’t dropped much energy in any way. It’s not like we’re coming in with an empty tank into the second week.

“All these little things help us to then really thrive in these conditions.”

Federer is aiming to earn his 100th win at the All England Club against Nishikori, and in doing so, will become the first player in singles history to do so at a single Grand Slam.

‘Playing Djokovic is like playing a spider’

Goffin has matched his best performance at a Grand Slam by reaching his first Wimbledon quarter-final, but trails 5-1 in his head-to-head record with four-time champion Djokovic.

The Belgian’s coach Thomas Johansson, who famously earned a shock Australian Open title in 2002, said it is “almost impossible” to find any weaknesses in Djokovic’s game.

“He doesn’t have a big serve but it is very, very accurate. From the baseline he’s a wall,” the Swede said.

“I remember hitting with him many years ago – it’s like hitting against a spider. It feels like everything is coming back.

“You really have to try to put him in uncomfortable positions on the court – otherwise he will kill you.”

In reaching the semi-finals, Djokovic would join Boris Becker, Arthur Gore and Herbert Lawford in third place on the all-time list for last-four appearances at the All England Club.

Victory would also mark his 70th match win at Wimbledon, and would make him only the fourth man in the open era to achieve the feat after Federer, Becker and Connors.

Querrey’s dangerous serve, Bautista Agut not dropped a set… don’t rule out the rest

Querrey will be playing his third Wimbledon quarter-final in four years and looking to cause another upset after beating Britain’s Andy Murray – who was injured and has not played in the singles at Wimbledon since – to reach his second semi-final in 2017.

The 32-year-old American is the only unseeded player in the men’s singles quarter-finals and has thumped down 100 aces so far at this year’s tournament, dropping just one service game and landing 86% of his first serves.

“My serve feels really good. I’m kind of locked in on it. I have got a good rhythm,” he said.

“This is a tournament that rewards good servers. Everything feels right on my serve.”

While Djokovic, Federer and Nadal take all the plaudits, 32-year-old Bautista Agut is actually the only man left who has not dropped a set yet.

His meeting with Pella marks their first on grass, and he would become only the sixth Spanish man in history to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals.

Pella, meanwhile, would become the third Argentine man to do so, with both yet to experience a last-four tie at a Grand Slam.

Stats fans, listen up

  • For the fifth year in total, the ‘big three’ of Federer, Djokovic and Nadal are through to the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
  • On only one previous occasion, in 2007, have all three progressed to the semi-finals.
  • Federer, Djokovic and Nadal have won 53 Grand Slam titles between them. None of the other quarter-finalists have won one.
  • If Nadal and Bautista Agut both reach the semi-finals, it will mark the first time in history that multiple Spanish men have reached the last four at Wimbledon.
  • The quarter-final between Bautista Agut and Pella is the first Wimbledon men’s singles last four tie since 2013 not to feature a top 20 player.

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Roger-Vasselin/Mahut Oust Top Seeds Kubot/Melo

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2019

Roger-Vasselin/Mahut Oust Top Seeds Kubot/Melo

Cabal/Farah save five match points

One day after overcoming Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin eliminated 2017 titlists Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 7-6(3), 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3 on Tuesday to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

The 11th seeds advanced to the last four after three hours and five minutes on No. 1 Court, with Roger-Vasselin firing a forehand return winner to convert their third match point. Mahut and Vasselin will meet Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek for a place in the championship match. Dodig and Polasek, who reached the Antalya final last month (l. to Erlich/Sitak), beat Marcus Daniell and Wesley Koolhof 6-2, 7-6(1), 6-3 on Court 12.

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Eastbourne champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah were forced to save five match points to book their spot in the semi-finals. The Colombian duo, bidding to lift its first Grand Slam championship, overcame Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(8), 6-4, 11-9 after four hours and 32 minutes. Cabal and Farah saved 17 of 18 break points en route to victory and will meet Henri Kontinen and John Peers or Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus for a place in the final.

Kontinen and Peers put their names in the Wimbledon history books on Court 12, triumphing in the first 12-12 final-set tie-break at the tournament to beat Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 7-6(2), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 13-12(2) after four hours and 29 minutes.

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Johanna Konta loses to Barbora Strycova in Wimbledon quarter-finals

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2019
Wimbledon 2019 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 1-14 July
Coverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. Full details

Johanna Konta failed in her bid to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals after an error-strewn display in a straight-set defeat by Czech Barbora Strycova.

The British number one started strongly, racing to a 4-1 lead, before collapsing to lose 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.

Let down by her previously dominant serve and firing long when she had the whole court at her disposal, Konta could not find a way back.

Strycova will face 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in the semis.

“I think this was one of the best matches I have played,” Strycova, 33, said after reaching her maiden Grand Slam singles semi-final.

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Konta’s game deserts her

Konta came into the match boasting an incredible record of having lost just three of her 47 service games at these championships.

Despite the fact she got an early break, the warning signs that the 28-year-old’s biggest weapon might not be firing properly were there in the opening game when she had to save a break point.

The errors began to creep in at 4-2 when she sent two forehands wide and wild backhand long to allow Strycova to get the break back.

It became a theme as Konta went on to produce 22 unforced errors in that opening set, with the Czech increasing in confidence as she gave Konta a lesson in effective drop shots to take it to a tie-break.

There Konta could not find a rhythm, sending a forehand into the net to hand the set to the world number world number 54.

Konta is well versed in losing opening sets and winning in a third – with a record of 13 wins from 15 three-setters this year – but this time an early break in the second put a comeback out of reach.

The game was up for the Briton when she went long with a backhand – summing up everything that was wrong with this performance.

More to follow.

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For A Change, Nishikori Feeling Fresh Ahead Of Federer QF

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2019

For A Change, Nishikori Feeling Fresh Ahead Of Federer QF

Eighth seed looking to win two consecutive matches against the eight-time champ

Kei Nishikori has rarely made his life this easy at a Grand Slam. For only the fourth time in his career, the eighth-seeded Japanese has dropped only one set or less en route to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam.

Nishikori has become synonymous with marathon battles at majors. He’s reached the quarter-finals of a Slam on 12 occasions, but often becomes tangled in five-setters en route to the last eight, zapping him of energy before the crux of the major.

There’s been no drama this fortnight, though. The 29-year-old has dropped only one set through four rounds and has spent less than nine hours on the court (8:31).

It’s a stark contrast to his campaigns this year at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. He weathered three five-set matches in Melbourne and back-to-back five-setters in Paris. By the time he got to the quarter-finals, there was nothing left in the tank. An exhausted Nishikori retired with a right leg injury against Novak Djokovic in Melbourne and won only five games against Rafael Nadal in Paris.

I think I have to keep trying to work to finish [in] straight sets, but that means I’m maybe not good enough tennis-wise and also mentally. So I just keep working,” Nishikori said after his loss to Nadal. “That’s going to be the next step because I’m always stuck in the quarter-finals in Grand Slams. I think the next goal is to be in the semi-finals or final. I know it’s not going to be easy because I’ve probably got to beat someone from the top three [in the ATP Rankings] and I think they are dominating still.”

Nishikori Reaching A Grand Slam QF

Grand Slam

Sets Lost En Route To QF

QF Result

2019 Roland Garros


l. to Nadal

2019 Australian Open


Ret. vs Djokovic

2018 US Open


d. Cilic

2018 Wimbledon


l. to Djokovic

2017 Roland Garros


l. to Murray

2016 US Open


d. Murray

2016 Australian Open


l. to Djokovic

2015 Roland Garros


l. to Tsonga

2015 Australian Open


l. to Wawrinka

2014 US Open


d. Wawrinka

2012 Australian Open


l. to Murray

Nishikori will again face a member of the Big Three on Wednesday when he stares across the net at eight-time champion Roger Federer for a place in the semi-finals. The Swiss leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 7-3, although Nishikori won their last meeting at the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals.

I’m sure it’s going to be tough, but I feel like I am very confident this week, playing good tennis,” Nishikori said on Monday after beating Mikhail Kukushkin.

The 2014 US Open finalist has played efficiently all tournament, shortening points and conserving energy. Nishikori has made 111 trips to net and won 85 of them (76%). He’s also increased the pace on his shots, ripping 132 winners to 101 errors. Nishikori has hit more winners than errors in all of his matches so far at The Championships.

Coming to net more often has been a focal point for Nishikori and his team. “We’ve been working on that for years. Sometimes he does it more than others, sometimes he has chances to do it more than others,” coach Dante Bottini told “I like it when he comes forward… He has great volleys, great touch.”

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Former World No. 2 Michael Chang, Nishikori’s other coach, said his pupil’s all-court game, including his net play, might be his best asset.

What’s great about Kei’s game is that he can play from anywhere on the court now,” Chang told “Obviously he’s known for hitting great forehands and backhands. He’s got a very good serve, obviously that can still be improved. He wins a lot of points at net. He’s a great volleyer. He’s a great transitional player from defence to offence or offence to defence.”

Nishikori has reached the quarter-finals of every Grand Slam, but is 3-8 when he gets there and has cleared that hurdle only at the US Open. It takes a top player to beat him, though. Six of his eight Grand Slam quarter-final defeats have come to Djokovic, Nadal or Andy Murray.

Read More: Clutch Kei Reigning Again In 2019

For Nishikori to get over the hump more often, Chang said, his pupil should try showing more emotion.

I know it’s not necessarily in his nature to do that, but if you look at players who maybe on the outset, maybe their personalities aren’t necessarily like that, but when it comes right down to it, and the moments are there, it comes out. Tennis just does that to you. There’s no question,” Chang said.

“If you look at Kei’s big matches he has won in the past, it’s been there… I think having a little bit of that can certainly only help him.”

Federer and Nishikori have met at a Grand Slam only once, in the fourth round of the 2017 Australian Open. The Swiss won in five sets, a rare blow to Nishikori’s all-time best deciding-set record. The Japanese has won 75 per cent (132-45) of his deciding sets, best in the Open Era, according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone.

See Who’s Chasing Nishikori For All-Time Best Deciding Set Record

I’m happy to be playing Roger now because I think I’m in good shape now,” Nishikori said. “I know it’s not going to be easy, but I will enjoy for sure.”


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