Wimbledon 2018: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber

  • Posted: Jul 09, 2018
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs and the BBC Sport website and app; Live Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra commentary; Text commentary online.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal remain on course to meet on Sunday, while Serena Williams serenely moved into the last eight.

Meanwhile, Federer suggested that Sunday’s likely clash between the finals of the men’s singles and the World Cup should worry football, not tennis – and Andy Murray announced he has a new job.

Here are five things from day seven at Wimbledon.

It’s been a while, Rafa

It’s been seven years since Nadal last featured in a final at Wimbledon.

The two-time champion made five finals between 2006 and 2011 – only missing out in 2009, when an injury kept him out of the competition.

Yet since 2011, Nadal has failed to go beyond the fourth round – until now.

The world number one looked impressive in overcoming Jiri Vesely 6-3 6-3 6-4. He remains a strong favourite – alongside rival Federer – to go all the way to Sunday’s final.

That could mean a repeat of the 2008 final – which many consider to be the greatest match of all time – when Nadal was victorious in a fixating battle with the Swiss top seed.

Federer at 32 and counting

Federer produced another near-faultless performance on Centre Court, outclassing France’s Adrian Mannarino 6-0 7-5 6-4 to reach the last eight.

He has won 32 sets in a row at Wimbledon – two short of his personal best streak, between 2005’s third round and the 2006 final.

According to Gracenote, he is five behind Nadal’s 37 sets in succession at the French Open – a sequence that ran from 2016 until the opening set of his quarter-final against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in June.

The men’s Grand Slam record is held by Bjorn Borg, who won 41 sets in a row at Roland Garros between 1979 and 1981.

Federer could match that record with straight-set victories in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. A big if, admittedly.

He will play South African eighth seed Kevin Anderson on Wednesday as he bids for a ninth Wimbledon singles title to draw level with record holder Martina Navratilova.

New faces break through in women’s singles

Seventh seed Karolina Pliskova’s defeat by Kiki Bertens means that for the first time in the Open era, there will not be a top 10 women’s seed in the last eight of a Grand Slam.

But who are the new and the newish faces?

Bertens, who ousted Pliskova and Venus Williams in the first round, reached the French Open semi-finals in 2016. A former world number 15, she talked about retiring last year, saying that tennis “just wasn’t fun” any more and that her main goal in 2018 was to feel good.

Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko is only 21 but is already a Grand Slam champion, having won the French Open last year, and she credits ballroom dancing for helping with her footwork.

Camila Giorgi, who has beaten eight top 10 players during her career, is into her first Slam quarter-final, while Dominika Cibulkova reached the Australian Open final in 2014.

German Julia Gorges dropped out of the top 100 four years ago but is now ranked 13th in the world. She has gone past the first round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2012.

Daria Kasatkina is one of the emerging talents of the WTA Tour. The Russian, 21, won her first title last year and reached the French Open quarter-finals last month.

Angelique Kerber is not exactly a new face. She won the Australian Open and US Open in 2016 – becoming the first German to win a Slam since Steffi Graf in 1999 – and reached the Wimbledon final that year. She is also a former world number one.

As for Serena Williams? Well, you might know a thing or two about her…

Wimbledon more important than the World Cup?

England’s footballers play in their first World Cup semi-final since 1990 when they face Croatia on Wednesday, and supporters will be at fever pitch if they win to reach their first final since 1966.

That match kicks off at 16:00 BST on Sunday and the men’s singles finalists will walk out on Centre Court two hours earlier. The chance of it being over by the time the football starts is fairly slim.

If England get there, then surely even the biggest tennis supporter would face a dilemma?

Well, not according to Federer.

“I’m more concerned the World Cup final will have issues because the Wimbledon final is going on,” said the Swiss.

“They’ll hear every point, Wow, Love-15, 15-30. The players are going to look up in the crowd and not understand what’s going on at Wimbledon.

“That’s how important Wimbledon is to me and to us over here. Maybe you should ask the questions over in Russia, how they’re going to feel about Wimbledon being played at the same time.”

All England Club chief executive Richard Lewis, meanwhile, says Wimbledon organisers will not alter the schedule to accommodate a potential England final appearance.

“We are a sold-out event and there’s massive interest. There are absolutely no plans to change anything,” he explained.

“We didn’t have one single complaint of anybody here feeling that the football interfered with their enjoyment of Wimbledon. We have free public wi-fi in many areas, so if people want to watch quietly on their phone or tablet, they are able to do so.”

Murray back at Wimbledon after all

Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was not fit enough to compete in this year’s championships but can’t get away from the SW19 buzz.

Murray will be joining BBC’s TV coverage of Wimbledon this week.

He’ll be putting his punditry to the test on Tuesday – joining Tim Henman in the studio – before showing John McEnroe how it’s done on the mic during commentary on Wednesday.

Murray added on Facebook: “What could possibly go wrong?”

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