Men’s top seeds reach Wimbledon quarter-finals
In the men’s game at Wimbledon, top seeds Raphael Nadal and Roger Federer have both safely reached the quarter-finals. Simona Halep’s defeat in the women’s game means Serena Williams is the favourite to win her eighth Wimbledon title.
Second seed Raphael Nadal marched into the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, winning in straight sets against world number 93 Czech Republic’s Jiri Vesely, 6-3 6-3 6-4. The 17 time Grand Slam champion is on track to meet the world number two, Roger Federer, in the finals on what will be the tenth anniversary of their classic 2008 final. A final that tennis legend John McEnroe described as “the greatest match ever played”.
The world number one has not dropped a single set on his quest so far and will now face either Gilles Simon or Juan Martin Del Porto. Argentine Del Porto, who is seeded sixth and was leading 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 over the Frenchman before the officials decided to stop play due to bad lighting. The thirty-two-year-old has just won his eleventh French Open and will be looking to win his third Wimbledon after he clinched the 2008 and 2010 editions of the competition.
The defending champion, Roger Federer, stormed into the quarter-finals with a commanding 6-0 7-5 6-4 win against the world number 26 Adrian Mannarino who is seeded 22nd.
The Swiss international now faces South Africa’s Kevin Anderson. Anderson beat Frenchman Gael Monfils to reach the quarter-finals for the first time on his tenth attempt. In doing so he became the first player from his nation to achieve the feat since Wayne Ferreira in 1994. The number eight seed won three tiebreaks 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-2) 5-7 7-6 (7-4) to win the match after four sets.
Anderson now faces an uphill task against the eight time champion as he is yet to win a set in the last four appearances against the Swiss maestro. The South African has however improved his game a lot since the pair last met. His serving in particular has been clinical and in this tournament he has already hit 96 aces in four rounds. Anderson made it to the US Open final this year, losing to top seed Raphael Nadal.
Novak Djokovic, the three-time Wimbledon champion, also made his way into the quarters for the tenth time in his career with a straight sets victory of 6-4 6-2 6-2 against Russian Karen Khachanov. The World number 21 from Serbia will now face Japan’s 12th seeded Kei Nishikori.
Top seeds struggling in the women’s game
Whilst the top seeds in the men’s are going strong, it’s a different story in the women’s game.
Serena Williams had to fight hard to come from behind to beat Italian Camila Giorgi 3-6 6-3 6-4 to reach the semi-finals of the Wimbledon tournament. With world number one Simona Halep out, Serena stands as the favourite. The 36-year-old is two games closer to clinching her twenty-fourth Grand Slam and her eighth title at the England club. This was her 18th straight match win in the tournament and continues her impressive record of being without a loss since winning the 2015 and 2016 editions of Wimbledon.
Angelique Kerber, who is the highest ranked seed (11) still in the competition, qualified for the semi-finals with a 6-3 7-5 win over Russian Daria Kasatkina. The two-time grand slam winner will now face Latvian Jelena Ostapenko on Thursday after the twelfth-seed beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovak 7-5 6-4.
Ostapenko, who is currently ranked 12th, has one Grand Slam title to her name. She was the winner in the French Open where she beat Simona Halep to clinch the trophy.
Many had expected Halep to claim this year’s Wimbledon title but the world number one was knocked out in the third round. The Romanian took an early lead in the first set 6-3 but lost the next two sets 4-6 5-7. This shock defeat at the hands of Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan has for many been the surprise of the tournament.