Wimbledon Day 7 + 8: Djokovic Increases Slam Quarterfinal Streak to 25

Djokovic increased his quarterfinal streak today thanks to Anderson’s mental fragility. Sure he showed his usual ability to get through tough matches but you had the feeling it was on Anderson’s racquet. Djokovic just isn’t at his most effective on faster surfaces. He doesn’t possess the power and weaponry to dominate like Federer for instance. He isn’t physically very strong in his upper body which is why he is vulnerable against the likes of Stan and other power players.

Anderson is such a player and he really should have won. He is just mentally extremely weak which isn’t uncommon at all under South African sports people. It’s like a disease here. All cricket fans know for instance that South Africa always choke in World Cups. Anderson had the right game plan and everything. He was serving big and playing aggressive tennis. He had Djokovic in all sorts of trouble but just didn’t have the balls to put him away. Djokovic started like he was half asleep.

He served a double fault in the first set tie-break at 6-6 to hand Anderson the mini-break which allowed him to win the first set. In the second set tie-break, he got careless again when he was leading 5-2 with two serves to come. He served a double fault on the first point which allowed Anderson to creep back in it and win it too. It looked like there was a massive upset in the making. Then Anderson’s level dropped somewhat and Djokovic took the next two sets and squared things up at 6-7(5), 6-7(6), 6-2, 6-4.

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That was yesterday at which point play was suspended due to bad light. This probably favored Anderson because Djokovic had the momentum. When they came back today Anderson started well and looked like he was taking the initiative and he was serving very well. He had Djokovic at 0-30 early on but couldn’t capitalize. He was dominating the play though and making Djokovic look extremely uncomfortable. Even from the baseline he was outhitting him. I thought Djokovic would lose unless there came a characteristic Anderson choke.

And sure enough it came at 5-5 and 15-15 in the fifth set when Anderson served two consecutive double faults. I thought this could finally be the time Anderson overcomes his nerves. He was looking the part all match. But he really has a bad case of the choking sickness. And, of course, the killer that Djokovic is he was not gonna let two consectuve double faults at such a crucial stage go unpunished. Anderson served out wide on his first serve in the deuce court and Djokovic made a devastating low return which Anderson couldn’t handle up at the net.

When serving for the match Djokovic still looked shaky and went down 0-30 but Anderson’s choking reared its ugly head again as he made a few disatrous returns and that was that. You gotta feel for the guy I guess, but I also hate choking. He has really made some of the most disgusting chokes tennis has ever seen. As for Djokovic, his vulnerability on grass was very apparent in this match and I’m not even sure anymore how he defeated Federer in the final last year.

  • Elsewhere in the Draw

That said, maybe this match will wake Djokovic up. It looked like he was underestimating Anderson in the first two sets and almost paid a dear price. Hopefully, he won’t be so careless in the coming rounds because if he is he will get slaughtered. He once again has a very challenging draw. He now plays Cilic who defeated Isner and almost defeated him last year as well. And as was the case at the French Open he now has to play three days in a row. It really is quite hard to understand why Wimbledon did not use center court yesterday to finish the match.

But maybe we will see an improved performance from him. If we don’t then there will be no Djokovic in this year’s Wimbledon semis. For the rest of the quarterfinals, it will be Stan vs Gasquet, Murray vs Pospisil, and Federer vs Simon. Stan defeated Goffin which was expected given Goffin’s lack of weapons. Our prediction match was Gasquet vs Kyrgios which Gasquet won in four sets. Kyrgios was back with some very poor attitude as he tanked the second set to go down two sets to love.

Then he all of a sudden started fighting again and won the third set on a tie-break, only to lose the fourth set and the match on a tie-break as well after a double fault. He recently said in an interview that he doesn’t love tennis so I guess his poor attitude shouldn’t be that surprising. He has loads of potential, but blatant tanking won’t help him fulfill it. That said, if he doesn’t love tennis then he doesn’t love it, which means his heart will never really be in it and he will never fulfill his vast potential.

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He won’t be the first either. Gasquet himself is someone who admitted to not loving tennis I think, and we know Agassi hated tennis. It’s usually the talented ones. Guys like Rios, Safin, and Nalbandian never fulfilled their vast potential because they weren’t really passionate about the sport. That’s why Federer is so unique. He has both vast talent and passion. Gotta move on. Pospisil managed to make the quarterfinals by upsetting Troicki in five sets which seem like it comes out of nowhere.

He will play Murray who needed four sets to get by Karlovic. Karlovic received some instant karma for his double hit in the previous round when Murray challenged a volley after he hit the passing shot which was out. You should make the challenge before hitting the shot. The volley turned out to be out which gave Murray the crucial break in the fourth set. Then Simon absolutely obliterated Birdshit 6-3, 6-3, 6-2. Don’t ask me what happened there. I didn’t watch. Finally, Federer destroyed Bautista Agut as well which was totally expected.

  • The Quarterfinals

Ok, so we are all set for the business end of the tournament. And I am glad Djokovic survived because that makes things that much more interesting. He is quite unpredictable as well. He can struggle like he did last year at Wimbledon and then win the tournament. But for now I will just be happy if he somehow survives Cilic. Djokovic leads the head-to-head 12-0 which turn things probably even more in Cilic’s favor because eventually he is going to get that elusive win.

Then Stan plays Gasquet. You’d think Stan will win, but Gasquet can’t be underestimated. He’s made a Wimbledon semi-final before and Stan has had a cakewalk draw so far. If Gasquet gets into the match who knows. There are no guarantees in life or in tennis. Gasquet could win, which would considerably help Djokovic if he defeats Cilic. In the bottom half, Murray will play Pospisil which is probably the most certain outcome but again nothing is guaranteed. Murray could use a confident performance before a potential semi-final with Federer.

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Finally, Federer will play Simon and although Simon has beaten Federer twice and they have had some tough matches, they have never played on grass and Simon doesn’t possess any notable weapons to really trouble Federer. But I guess if he could destroy Berdych like that he can’t be playing too poorly. He is an annoying player who wins ugly and tries to drag you down to his level, but surely Federer is easily the favorite. On grass, it will be fairly easy to end points against Simon.

Lastly, I want to say that some of the more balanced Fedfans have made me realize that I am still a Fedfan after all and that it would be quite sweet if Roger can win a record eighth Wimbledon this year. It would be the fairytale ending and something very special. But like I said before, he has to deserve it. He is not entitled to another Wimbledon title in any way. He is only entitled to it if he wins it. I think that’s the message I wanted to get through in my last post because some Fedfans seem to think he deserves it already.

  • The Prediction Game

So yesterday I already updated the rankings on the predictions page and although I selected two matches for predictions people struggled. That’s because most people agreed with me that Kyrgios and Berdych would win. And yet Berdych got destroyed in straight sets and Kyrgios didn’t even push Gasquet to a deciding set. That’s tennis for you. Anyway, Nakul scored the most points because he chose Gasquet over Kyrgios and then predicted the number of sets correctly too.

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Nakul has been quite impressive so far I must say and didn’t play the first two games I think. He is now leading the rankings and will take some stopping. But the game is far from over. I will choose two more matches for tomorrow so again you will have a chance to score plenty of points. I am very tempted to go for Djokovic vs Cilic, but I think I’ll go for Wawrinka vs Gasquet and Federer vs Simon this time. It will be interesting to see what the hardcore Federer fans predict, or whether they will even take part in the game.

Don’t forget what happened in the last game. Upsets are always possible!

Happy predicting!

  • Highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUI9A36gHTM

  • Kyrgios Antics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4G7I5KsRD4

The is in your court.

Posted in Grand Slams, Wimbledon.

37 Comments

  1. Comment from Federer about the Kyrgios incident. Balanced and mature outlook as usual. I’m sure this would have helped Kyrgios if he read it.

    [Reply]

    Albert Reply:

    I think it’s actually fairly common in the men’s game to try a little less hard on a return game in order to focus on holding serve, particularly during certain parts of a match. Sometimes when a player holds at love it’s partly because the opponent doesn’t want to expend too much energy on that return game. What seems to have gotten Kyrgios in trouble is the body language where he made it look like he was blatantly tanking. But I agree with Fed on this one, and so did the umpire, who apparently did not call him for lack of effort. I also remember one press conference where Fed said that when the opponent looks super frustrated and starts getting all mad at the umpire and playing badly, he has to be careful not to get tricked and have his own level dragged down as well. Sometimes tennis has a bunch of mind games as well.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    But he was blatantly tanking. I agree to a certain extent with Federer because Kyrgios didn’t tank the whole match. But he obviously didn’t care about the second set and in the end that cost him the match. At the pro level, you can’t afford to tank even one set or one game because the margins are so small. It can easily make the difference between winning and losing and it probably did. I still think it was extremely unprofessional and that he needs to fix that kind of behaviour asap. Sure Federer was also a hothead when he was young but I don’t remember him blatantly tanking like that at pro level. And he had to make a major attitude change or he would have been just a nother wasted talent.

    [Reply]

    Albert Reply:

    Yeah, I’m personally not a huge fan of Kyrgios, because I don’t really relate to that sort of personality. But I do think he’s good for pro tennis and I agree that he should not have been fined or penalized for this particular incident. I’ve always personally assumed that Kyrgios doesn’t really see himself being the next Federer, as Kyrgios seems to be the type who prefers rare flashes of brilliance along with an adventuresome life to sustained excellence. However, I also went 0 for 2 on the last round of predictions, so it’s entirely likely that Kyrgios will prove me wrong.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Look, one game is not that bad. But I didn’t see the rest of the second set and the scoreline suggest he didn’t care about that set. I tend to agree with you that he will never be the consummate professional. He doesn’t love the sport. He is like Safin and those guys. He is extremely talented but doesn’t really give a shit. He likes the girls and partying etc. He could win a couple of slams probably, but he’s never gonna fulfill his potential if he doesn’t change. And he won’t, because if you don’t love tennis you can’t make yourself love it.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    I saw the second set. Kyrgios was really upset with lots of line calls both with the umpire and the linesmen. There were a lot of shots which he felt were in, but were being called out. One time he even said ‘no way’, and challenged it only for hawkeye to confirm that it was indeed out. The guy was really frustrated both with himself and the line judges and umpire. That’s why he kept giving the umpire sarcastic thumbs up in a few instances.

    He definitely tanked ‘that’ game but not the entire second set. I saw him and he was really trying hard. Gasquet was really good throughout the match and Kyrgios was just getting frustrated with things not going his way in the second set.

    Personally I really like what Kyrgios brings to the sport, coz it’s different and it’s like he wears his emotions on his sleave which I think makes him an exciting player, especially when he backs up his emotions with actual tennis.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks for the report Alex.

    [Reply]

  2. It’s that attitude that had me say a few days ago that Kyrgios was the only one that doesn’t deserve to win. He’s an exciting player and packed with talent, but if he doesn’t radically change his attitude he’ll never have a chance of becoming a great champion like the big four, or three anyway. Fed doesn’t deserve anything yet either, but if he can come through and beat Murray, I will be fully rooting for him to become the oldest open era slam winner. No matter how much I respect djoko, and I do tremendously, and enjoy many others, watching Rogers game at Wimbledon is still something truly special.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Interesting Eric. If it’s a Djokerer final there will be no favoritism from my side. Whoever wins will have deserved it and I will be equally happy for either.

    [Reply]

  3. Based on the “eye test”, Roger is looking the best right now. I am actually very curious about the Simon match. Simon is somewhat similar in style to Murray and maybe even Djokovic but obviously with less weapons. He is a very nasty opponent. I suspect that Roger’s consecutive unbroken streak will end.

    Nonetheless, a comfortable win against Simon will make me believe that he can go all the way. If he struggles, I’d be more worried. I predict a 4 set victory for Roger but I would love a pleasant surprise and a straight set victory. Just please not another 5 setter. Roger can beat Murray here – I have little doubt but he has to come in fresh. The rest will take care of itself.

    Also, let’s not forget about Wawrinka – he may have been broken but he hasn’t stopped a set yet – a sign of his mental stability. He may even be more dangerous than Murray – he gave Roger a very tough one last year and I am actually glad that he’s on Djokovic’s side of the draw. He should really win his match comfortably tomorrow, but not too comfortably – maybe in 4.

    The only caveat for tomorrow – Roger is scheduled to play on Court 1 – a bit upset about that since there is chance of rain tomorrow but hopefully it will be ok.

    And we’ll see – Cilic could beat Nole but I am not counting on it. Wawrinka has to get to the semis though – no easy gimmes for Novak should he get past Cilic.. :-)

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Good comment, Hilda. Agree with your ” eye test” and that unbroken service streak maybe ending tonight. That extra one week has done wonders for his game. He looks devastating this year, so comfortable and the ufe counts – unbelievable! Have you guys seen them? Definitely think his form is better this year than last. In fact I didn’t think he could beat Novak last year so I wasn’t surprised at all when he lost. This year, if he plays like how he’s been playing, no. 18 is beckoning. However you can also say he’s yet to be tested as he has often looked good against lesser players. So we will see. If he sweeps Giles aside, which I think he should, eventhough Gile has always been a tough one, (but this is grass. Roger’s best and Giles’ worst), I’m liking him against Murray. Roger’s looking better than Djoker. Problem with Djoker though, the guy knows how to win! I never quite bought into Gasquet’s game. What’s he doing in quarter finals?! Ha! Stan will butcher him staying so far behind the baseline. Murray would be walking all over an exhausted Pospisil. It should be a Murray/Roger semi. Top half, anything can happen. Funny how the draws work out. Djoker was supposed to have the easiest and Murray the toughest. Come quarters, it is exactly the opposite now! Lesson learnt : never read too much into a draw. It would be interesting if rain interrupts play in court 1 tomorrow. It can be a major factor who wins and how fresh they are going into semis.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    I also hope you learned your lesson about the calendar slam Veronica. I wouldn’t be surprised if Djokovic wins only one slam this year.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    There you go again, Ru-an! What lesson? Just a small threat from Anderson and you are proclaiming end of the world for Djoker! Nope I haven’t learnt my lesson, I have more faith in Djoker than you although I’m no fan and I still believe Djoker has great chance to win calendar slam

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    =)) You are something else.

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Hehehe!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    ;-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You are Vily, aren’t you? :))

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Hilda’s English seems better than Vily’s, don’t you think?

    And Hilda was the first person I know about who called you Ru-an the Blasphemer!

    Would Vily ever say that (knowing that he was always on thin ice with you)?

    I think Hilda’s writing is feminine in some subtle ways, but it’s still an interesting question!

    :-??

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hmm yes you may have a point there. These fanatics are all the same. Sometimes difficult to tell them apart. Thanks for the input :-bd

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    Ru-an you are truly hilarious!!!

    As always, thanks for putting up with us, and great patience and forbearance!

    Only recently have I begun to think about how difficult it must be for someone who loves tennis – and knows tennis – as much as you do, to have a blog like this and have to address all sorts of opinions and interpretations.

    Maybe your article titles should be things like, “The Latest Remarkable Claim by a Blogger” instead of “Djokovic Increases Slam Quarterfinal Streak to 25” – third all time by the way, as I’m sure you know. He still has almost three years to go if he wants to catch Roger. He could do it!
    :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You don’t have to be so nice Joe. I like the internet because you don’t have to tolerate people the way you have to in real life if they are idiots. This is my space and I can do as I please. No one is under any obligation to read my blog or to comment.

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    I can’t help it Ru-an – you Effing Blasphemer! X-(

    :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Now you get the hang of it ;-)

    [Reply]

    Joe Reply:

    =))

    Good one!!!

    [Reply]

  4. Interesting comments about Rafa’s antiques to the umpire by Kyrgios in the clip “Kyrgios Antics”. Ru-an, did you notice that? :-??

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    I heard that Jiten!! Loud and clear! :-)

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    So apart from the Fed fanatics, many in-house players are also not very impressed with Rafa’s antiques. Kyrgios is not the first one! 8->

    [Reply]

    Gordon Reply:

    Yea even someone like Azarenka is having a go at Rafa. poor Rafa :-)

    [Reply]

  5. Hi Ru-an, just thought I’d give you a quick overview of the Simon vs Berdych encounter. Gilles immediately managed to get Berdych engaged in longer rallies (making him play his way), moving him superbly round the court. Got an early break in every set, and Bedych was so poor that he fluffed a lot of rally shots. He has been in poor form throughout the tournament, so it was not a big surprise for me that he got dismantled like that. Federer has to just play his own game and he’ll be ok – at AO 2011 and RG 2013, he got dragged into Simon’s counter punching style, which cost him a couple of sets.

    [Reply]

    Krish Reply:

    Also: this could be a good prep for a possible match against Murray, who will be very tough.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks, Krish.

    [Reply]

  6. The semis are set.

    Djokovic vs Gasquet and Federer vs Murray.

    At first I was going to wine about the fact the Nole is basically getting a walkover into the final but I’m ok with it. Plus, historically speaking, the last time that Gasquet beat Novak was in 2007 at the Masters Cup, he also made the Wimbledon Semis. He’ll most likely lose on Friday but I can definitely see him getting a set. He’s playing with variety, and on grass, that gets rewarded.

    As far as Roger, he looked really good, especially considering the situation and the tough matches, he’s had with Simon. Yes, the unbroken streak is over but Roger still made a personal best of 116 service games without getting broken. Plus, even better, he answered by breaking right back. And after getting to 15:0 and the rain delay, he served like a champ and never faced another break point. He’s making good decisions on the court and is playing great tennis without overextending himself.

    Next is Murray, and I like that they are meeting in the semis. The reason is, because if Roger loses, then it certainly would be disappointing but not devastating (as compared to losing in a final). That being said, I feel confident that Roger will win. There are three things that I see as weaknesses in Murray.

    Murray is 1:13 vs Members of the Big 4 since his win at Wimbledon 2013.

    He got schooled by Roger the last time they met.

    His serve and especially his second serve are very attackable and he rarely moves forward to the net.

    If Roger just plays like he did against Bautista Agut and Simon, Murray will be beaten and quite comfortably – possibly in 4 sets.

    The crowd is a caveat. They’ll root for Murray but at least there’ll be no more pity from Roger should Murray be close to losing.

    Murray has been very consistent from the baseline and that can certainly pose problems to Djokovic, but Roger is a different animal. He’ll be looking to attack and put Murray on the back foot.

    I don’t want to sound cocky but the way Roger is playing right now reminds of how he is playing during the indoor season. He’s ruthless and is playing crisp, clean tennis.

    Djokovic will pose a threat, obviously but we’ll talk about that match when we get to it. First things, first – Murray.

    I just hope that Roger continues his form. If he does, he’ll be almost impossible to stop. I agree with Veronica about Number 18… Let’s hope it happens. Roger is certainly close.. And I agree that he’s playing better so far than last year. The quality of the opposition is also better but I like that. :-) ))

    [Reply]

  7. In a way Novak lucked out with the draw this time, getting Gasquet, who’s coming of a long five-setter, in the semis. But then again, Novak got really un-lucky with the draw at Roland Garros. Interestingly, the last time Fed won wimbledon, he beat Djoker and Murray back to back and Nadal had lost early. We are now in the same situation again, but probably with a more dominant Djokovic. Assuming Djoker gets to the final, I’m hoping for a re-match of last year’s Fed vs. Djoker final, mainly because we just had Djoker/Murray at the Australian open final this year. But this is shaping up to be an interesting end to the tournament.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, Djoker totally deserves this bit of luck with the draw after the impossible FO draw and after having to play three days in a row again. Justice.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    Thanks, hopefully this comment will jinx djokovic. gasguet ain’t no pushover this time around

    [Reply]

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