This year’s Wimbledon has given us just about everything we could ask for. We’ve seen some incredible tennis, some big upsets and plenty of drama on and off the court. Thankfully, the weather is yet to impact play too much and I’m sure we’re all hoping that continues as we approach the men’s quarter-finals and women’s semi-finals over the next few days.
Novak Djokovic vs. David Goffin
This is really a match up of two very similar styles.I’ve always seen David Goffin as a version of Novak Djokovic in terms of how he plays. He’s great on both sides, plays lovely ground strokes, moves really well across the court and has a solid serve.
Goffin is a very good player but unfortunately for him, Djokovic is on another level in almost every aspect of his game. Like most of Djokovic’s opponents, Goffin will be hoping the Serbian has one of his rare “off days”. If he does start slow, Goffin will have to make sure he can take advantage.
It’s no surprise to see Djokovic as a heavy favourite for this game. The only way I can see Goffin winning is if he explodes from the start. If he comes out and attacks and he gets a bit of luck, he could get the momentum he needs. However, that could also massively backfire and we could see a demolition with a couple of breaks in each set.
Guido Pelle vs. Roberto Bautista Agut
The only quarter-final that doesn’t contain one of the big three names in the men’s games looks like it’s going to be a marathon match.Guido Pelle is a lefty, and that always throws something else in the mix, especially on grass - you don’t know if the serve will slide through with side spin or kick up after the bounce.
In terms of the match up, it’s two solid baseliners who will look like they play a similar way but there are some important difference. Bautista Agut has got one of the flattest shots in the game. Everyone the tour is playing with so much spin nowadays, it’s interesting to see a player hit it hard and flat on both sides.
Guido Pelle doesn’t have any big weapons in his game and is more of a grinder. If he stays in the points and constantly keeps the pressure on his quarter-final opponent, he’ll give himself a chance of causing an upset.
Kei Nishikori vs. Roger Federer
On paper, Roger Federer is the clear favourite for this match.However, at the age of 37, you have to worry that maintaining his elite level of performance for every game of every match throughout a Grand Slam is becoming increasingly difficult for the eight-time Wimbledon champion.
Although there will be doubts over Federer, you can’t ignore the fact that he’s looked as good as ever throughout this tournament, and he simply comes alive on grass. He’s so good on this surface that his opponents have to play out of their skin to stand a chance.
Kei Nishikori will have been working hard on a game plan to try and beat Federer but it’s difficult to see how he can get the win. The obvious tactic is just to keep Federer in the rally and wear him down, but that’s a tried and tested method and Nishikori has had very little success in the past (he’s only won three of their ten ATP matches).
Sam Querry vs. Rafael Nadal
This could be a case of saving the best until last as far as the men’s quarter-finals are concerned. Most people had Djokovic, Federer and Nadal down as the likely winners of this year’s Wimbledon (in that order), and this is the first time I think one of them faces a real challenge.
Sam Querry has a huge serve and once he gets it right, it’s very difficult to do anything about it. Rafael Nadal looks like he is playing his best grass court tennis for a long while and would definitely be more confident were he not coming up against someone with the style make up of Querry.
When you add the fact that Querry has made it to a Wimbledon semi-final before and won’t be phased by the occasion, and it’s the surface he is most confident playing on, the reasons for a potential upset begin to stack up.
While the courts wearing away and turning brown will play to Nadal’s strength (higher bounce for Nadal’s top spin forehand), it’s also important to remember that this match is on court number one. This court has been recently developed at Wimbledon and seems to play faster than the other courts. The harder surface underneath the grass is causing the ball to shoot through which could actually work against Nadal.