Berdych beat Djokovic the last time they played which was on the Rome clay in May. Djokovic won the previous 11. They have played just once on grass which was the Wimbledon semi final in 2010 which Berdych won in straight sets. That was just a few short months before Djokovic discovered the magic pills, oops I mean before he discovered that gluten was the thing preventing him becoming a superstar.
The Rome clay gave Berdych more time to get into position but it should be noted that Djokovic was a set and 5-2 up before having a problem with the crowd and sulking the match away.
We have seen more upsets this tournament than ever before at a Grand Slam event but Djokovic has said he is playing as well as he ever has.
One of Berdych’s strengths is his serve but against Tomic, a really poor returner, he was often in trouble on serve. He only gave the Aussie 7 break point chances of which just one was converted but a better returner like, say, Djokovic will punish those 0-30 chances.
Djokovic hasn’t lost a set yet although Tommy Haas almost stole the third set after Djokovic was broken serving for the match. The Serb finally took the match on a tie break.
I will be surprised if Berdych doesn’t manage a set but ideally we would like it to be the opening one. In their 15 previous matches Djokovic has taken the first set 10 times. In their matches from 2012 and 2013 Djokovic took the first set in 5 of their 6 meetings.
For Berdych to win he needs Djokovic to have a shocker of a match. Is that possible? Of course it is. Will we see it today? I really don’t think so.
Perhaps the only quarter final to be competitive sees David Ferrer take on Del Potro.
Ferrer leads the head to heads 6-2 and has won their last 4 matches. One of those was a straight sets win at Wimbledon last year. They have played twice on grass and Del Potro is yet to win a set.
Del Potro hyper extended his knee in his 3rd round match and it is giving him a fair amount of discomfort. It didn’t affect his performance too much against Seppi although its noticeable that his serve speed has dropped since the injury. Playing someone like Ferrer over a best of 5 set match isn’t something you want to be doing with impaired mobility.
Ferrer hasn’t been without his problems and has bad blisters on one of his feet. Blisters aren’t unusual at all with tennis players and whilst we are likely to see the trainer on court to treat them I don’t expect that to be a factor in deciding the winner.
Dolgopolov pushed Ferrer to 5 sets before he seemed to lose interest or just realised the Spaniard wasn’t going to lie down. Dodig took the opening set of their 4th round match in a tie break. He has been playing superbly recently and serving like
Raonic, Federer, Isner..……….never mind. He’s been serving well. Once Ferrer figured out how to deal with the serve he was in control.
I expect Ferrer to move Del Potro around to wear him down and will come through the match as the victor.
There is the possibility of Kubot being in the Wimbledon semi finals. That would be the end of civilisation as we know it. The only way he wins this is if Janowicz gets injured and I am talking amputation level injury.
Lets not take too much away from Kubot’s achievement in reaching a Slam quarter final. He beat Andreev in the first round. Andreev really can’t be far from retirement and if he had any self respect he would have done so already. Kubot beat Darcis in the second round. Oh hang on. Darcis withdrew before the match. That was lucky. He was also fortunate to catch Paire in a I-don’t-give-a-toss-about-this-match mood in the 3rd round and his serve was the only thing that allowed him to scrape past Mannarino 6-4 in the 5th set in round 4.
Janowicz has had his own good fortune. he drew a British player in the first round which is virtually a bye as long as it isn’t Murray. Stepanek retired in round 2 although Janowicz was about to take a 2 sets lead.
In the third round he made a slow start against Almagro and looked like losing the first set but fought back to take the match in straight sets. Only Melzer has tested him. The Austrian was playing with a great deal of freedom has just been enjoying his tennis for a change. The conditions levelled the playing field as both men were slipping and sliding around the court.
Kubot’s serve may get him a set but no more.
Has Verdasco discovered the benefits of the gluten free diet? Where has this form come from?
He and Murray haven’t played since 2009 which is mainly due to the fact that Verdasco’s form and ranking have both been in free fall. Murray leads the head to heads 8-2.
Murray hasn’t lost a set yet although Youzhny made him earn his money in the 4th round. You have to feel that if Youzhny can take advantage of a dip in intensity from the Scot then Verdasco will be able to do the same.
Verdasco himself has dropped just one set which was the opening set of his first round match with Malisse. Malisse took it in a tie break. He has beaten Gulbis, Benneteau and De Schepper in straight sets and has been serving like Dodig.
I don’t expect an upset here but expect Verdasco to take a set.