Well England’s summer finally arrived yesterday with temperatures in the 30’s and it looks like being the same again today. Its not often you can have breakfast in the garden at 7:30!
Murray meets Gasquet in a repeat of their 2008 Wimbledon encounter that saw Gasquet 2 sets up and in a tie break. I seem to remember Gasquet ran out of steam and Murray was able to take the tie break and won the 4th and 5th sets quite easily.
Gasquet has had a relatively easy draw to get to this stage but you can only beat the players put in front of you which he has done without losing a set. Murray has dropped a couple of sets in his 3 matches, one to Ljubicic and one to Gimeno-Traver in round 1. Murray hasn’t played with the same intensity as he did at Queens Club but has got the job done. Its often the case that the top players’ form peaks in the second week of Grand Slam events. Reading the Sunday papers they all seemed to be saying that Nadal had breezed through his last match and whilst it was in straight sets I wouldn’t say 2 tie breaks was breezing through. They do enough to get through.
Gasquet leads the head to heads 3-2 although one of Gasquet’s wins was due to a walkover. They have played twice in Grand Slam events and both times he was 2-0 up and Murray found a way to come back and win. In fact in every match they have played Gasquet has won the first set. The high temperatures on Centre Court won’t help the Scot and a lay of Murray from the start is a good option. This certainly won’t be over in straight sets.
Is Gasquet able to spoil the plan which sees Murray play Nadal in the semis? He showed in his win over Federer that he is mentally up for a fight with the top players. Murray entered this tournament with the best hope so far of winning it and I think it would be a shock if the Frenchman takes this match but not a shock worthy of a starting price of 1.32 .
Update: A very tight first set in which at times Gasquet looked the better player. Murray’s price only went as high as 1.60 though and he took the set on a tie break. Gasquet seemed a little demoralised in the second set although he made a fight of it. Despite that Murray won the set and went 2 sets up. In the third set Murray stepped up a gear and played some fantastic tennis. He broke to go 3-2 up. Having held his next serve to 0 Murray then broke to 15 for 5-2. He served out the match for a very impressive win. 7-6, 6-3, 5-2.
Fish v Berdych: This looks like a back the server game! Each player has given up very few break points in their three matches so far with Fish’s only set loss coming in a tie break to Haase. Berdych starts at 1.49 on Betfair but I would have expected them to be more even. Fish always seems to struggle in his first service game and in Berdych he has an opponent with huge groundstrokes so the Fish serve will need to remain as consistent as in the previous 3 rounds. Berdych has been more consistent recently and as he has a lot of points to defend from last year’s tournament he will be extra motivated.
Fish created a lot of break chances against Haase but failed to take them. He will get fewer chances today and can’t afford to waste any of them.
I see this being very very tight with Berdych scraping through in probably 4 sets.
Update: Berdych had chances to break in the first set but wasted them. The first set went to a tie break which Fish took. The second set lookde like it was going the same way but Fish won a late break and took a 2 set to love lead. Fish completed a straight sets win 7-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Nadal and Del Potro should have an interesting match. Nadal struggled to beak down Muller’s serve in the first 2 sets of their match and that could be good news for Del Potro. The Argentinian is another player who has done just enough to get to this stage. He has beaten Nadal three times in the past although always on his favourite hard courts.
Despite what the papers say Nadal isn’t in his best form and he is having to work very hard to get the job done. he suffered a minor groin strain in his last match bt claims that it isn’t anything which will affect his play.
I feel Nadal is worth laying at the start. His starting price is 1.24 on Betfair and he is as capable of having a slow start as anyone else. I expect Del Potro to take a set but Nadal will come through.
Update: Very tight match which Nadal won 7-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
In the womens tournament I think Cetkovska will have some serious problems getting to grips with Lisicki’s serve. The German has served well all last week and looks a certainty for the quarter finals.
Both Williams sisters are still in with Serena taking on French woman Bartoli. Bartoli has looked in real trouble in her last 2 matches and will need to improve her consistency to stay in touch with Serena. Bartoli has never won a set against Williams but this could be her best opportunity. I expected Williams to be out of the tournament by now though but she looks like she is getting a little stronger each round. Has to worth a lay on Serena though.
Sister Venus takes on Pironkova who has won their last 2 matches including when they played at Wimbledon last year. Williams had a scare when Date Krumm played one of the best sets that she has ever played in their 2nd round match and also pushed the American very close in the third set which ended 8-6. Pironkova has yet to lose a set and beat Zvonareva easily in the last round. Definitely a lay of Venus.