(June 30, 2014) WIMBLEDON -Top seed Novak Djokovic and third seed Andy Murray are getting closer to a semifinal clash as both men reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Monday at the All England Club.
Defending champion Murray reached his seventh straight Wimbledon quarterfinal after beating Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6) under a closed roof on Centre Court, after a rain delay in the second set forced the roof to be shut.
For the Scot Murray it’s his 17 straight match win at the All England club dating back to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
The Serb Djokovic beat France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for the 11th consecutive time with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (5) win.
“I was just happy that I won the match,” Murray said. “I was a bit disappointed with how I started under the roof. The beginning, like I said, I was a little bit tentative. Apart from that, that sort of three or four games when we came back out, I played well.
“I created many chances, gave him a few opportunities. That’s what you need to do on grass court tennis. You don’t always break. But if you keep putting them under enough pressure, you’re going to get through in the end.”
“I knew I was going to get tested, you know, at some stage,” the Scot added. “And, yeah, today I was pushed, especially in the middle part of that second set, then obviously later on in the third there were some tight moments.
“But I handled them fairly well. It was a good match.”
“I think he was moving great,” Anderson said of Murray’s play. “That’s a big part of his game. I think especially on the grass I think that’s a big contributor to why he’s had so much success on this surface.”
Murray will face No. 11. Grigor Dimitrov in his quarterfinal. Dimitrov defeated Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 7-6 (6), 6-2.
“It’s a step up because it’s one round further, and the guys that are in the quarterfinals are going to be playing top tennis,” Murray said about his encounter with the Bulgarian. “He obviously won Queen’s a couple weeks ago. He likes the grass courts.
“Yeah, it’s a big opportunity for him, as well, playing on the Centre Court, the courts at Wimbledon for the first time.
“Yeah, it’s a great opportunity for him. Hopefully we can play a good match.”
“I’m happy that I’m in the quarterfinal match,” Dimitrov said. “Just going to give credit to myself for that. But my job isn’t over yet.
“So I’m excited to get on the court tomorrow. Just go through my regular routines, through all the gears, you know, come on Wednesday.”
“I’m just going to play my game,” Dimitrov added. “I’m not going to step back. I just want to come out with my big game and play my aggressive tennis.”
“I was aware of his qualities, especially on this surface,” Djokvic said of his match with Tsonga. “He looked, before the match, very determined to play his best and very focused.
“I think I did really well from the start to the end, especially in the third set where I thought he elevated his level of game and he started serving very high percentage first serve, very strong, all angles.
“It was difficult to get the return back in play, but managed to save a couple break points, crucial ones, get myself in the tiebreak and wait for the opportunity to be presented.
“We both served very well in the tiebreak, and the only opportunity I had was on second serve on 6-5, and I used it. I went for the shot.
“Yeah, I’m just glad that I didn’t allow him to go into the fourth set, because he started to use obviously the crowd support. And, you know, I knew that he’s going to do that because he’s the kind of player that feeds off the energy, so it was very important for me to get this done in straight sets.”
Djokovic will play Marin Cilic for a place in the semifinals.
“I will try to stick to the kind of a game plan that I had against Marin in the previous occasions,” Djokovic said.
“I am aware of the fact, as well, that since he started working with Goran Ivanesevic that he has improved, especially in his service department, where for his height I thought that he didn’t use his full potential up to now work with Goran, where it’s evident that it works well for him.
“Especially on the grass it serves as a great weapon. He won here in straight sets against Chardy and Berdych and some very good players.
“So it says enough about his quality play in this tournament.”
Stan Wawrinka was finally able to complete his third round match on Monday. Rain on Saturday delayed his chance to play.
The No. 1 Swiss will face 19th seed Feliciano Lopez in the fourth round. Lopez dismissed the last American man in the singles draw, Ninth seed John Isner, 6-7 (8), 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), 7-5, despite the American hitting 52 aces.
“Tough match to play,” Lopez said.
“As I said before, I knew it’s going to be like this. I knew we going to play a lot of tiebreaks, so this is the match I was excepting to play.
“Luckily I made it. I’m very happy to went through. It was a very difficult one for me today.”
With Isner beaten and Madison Keys withdrawing from the tournament with an injury, it’s the first time since 1911 that no Americans have reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon.
Asked about this fact, Isner said, “Didn’t know that. Don’t really care either.”
Keys was forced to pull out of the tournament with a left adductor injury.
On the women’s side of the draw, the conqueror of Serena Williams has been knocked out of Wimbledon.
Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard, the 13th seed defeated Alize Cornet 7-6 (5), 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals.
“I think we played some good tennis today, “Bouchard said. “You know, we had some tough points. She has good wheels. So I had to really try and finish off the point.
“You know, I think it made for some really tough, physical points. So that’s definitely the most physical match I’ve played I think this tournament.
“But I’m proud that I really, really fought till the end. She’s a good fighter, too. We were really just battling.”
“This is what I’ve worked so hard for, to be in the quarters at Wimbledon,” Bouchard said. “But I want to go another step. I want to keep going.”
Bouchard will play the winner of the fourth round match between Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber.
Bouchard spoke briefly about playing both of these women:
“I think she’s a great player,” Bouchard said of Sharapova. “She, you know, tries to be aggressive like I try to be aggressive as well. So I think, you know, I’m going to go in and try to battle and go for my shots. We had a tough match recently at the French Open. But that’s the past. So it’s a new match. If I were to play her, I would just be very excited and really try to go for it.”
“Kerber I played at the French as well. I played both opponents recently. Of course with her she’s a lefty so you keep that in mind with tactics. I played well last time against her because I was really trying to go for it. Whenever I had an opening, I would really go for it. I would keep my basic game against both players.”
Three players from the Cazech Republic are among the women’s quarterfinalists – 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Lucie Safarova and unseeded Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.
Zahlavova Strycova, who beat No. 2 Li Na, defeated No. 16 Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 7-5 to reach her first Grand Slam quarterfinal. Back in April 2013, she completed serving a a six-month doping ban after testing positive for the stimulant sibutramine.
“I can’t believe it for right now,” Zahlavova Strycova sid about the win and reaching the quarterfinals. “It’s great. I mean, it was a tough match obviously, and I had to make a fifth match point.
“I’m really, really happy that I could win today.”
She spoke about the six month ban to press: “First of all, I didn’t wanted to play again because I felt like it’s a little bit unfair. Everything was kind of against.
“So first two months I didn’t want to come back. Then I missed it. I missed the feeling of working out, the feeling of winning matches, and being on tour.
“It was tough, but on the other hand, it also brings me some positive things. Like I say, I am seeing the sport a little bit different now.
“And here I am.”
Last year’s finalist Sabine Lisicki ousted 11th seed Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 to reach the fourth round in a match carried over from Saturday.