Wimbledon 2017 Men’s Quarter-Finals Preview: Three to See

 

By Jake Davies

  • Roger Federer [3] vs Milos Raonic [6]
  • Novak Djokovic [2] vs Tomas Berdych [11]
  • Gilles Muller [16] vs Marin Cilic [7]
LONDON, UK – It is the Gentlemen’s quarter-finals and three of the Big Four still survive to go another round – who is in action where?

 

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Roger Federer [3] vs Milos Raonic [6] H2H: Federer 9-3

These two will compete against each other for the third time in four years at Wimbledon and over those four years we have seen significant changes in both player’s games. Roger Federer is experiencing a great resurgence in 2017, while the improvement that Milos Raonic has undertaken to become part of the conversation of winning majors, is something that cannot be sniffed at.

Federer and Raonic played the Wimbledon semi-finals last year, and it ended up being Federer’s last match of the 2016 season because of a knee injury, but I do think Federer is in the sort of form that will get him back into another Wimbledon final.

A lot will depend on Raonic’s first serve percentage and whether he can play at the level he expects and hopes for in a best-of-five match against one of Wimbledon’s greatest champions. The story of Federer’s Wimbledon campaign has seen him serve and volley perfectly, and his one-handed backhand is holding up under pressure, which will please him the most.

Prediction: Federer in four sets

 

Novak Djokovic [2] vs Tomas Berdych [11] H2H: Djokovic leads 25-2

On paper this looks like a very one-sided contest and the head-to-head suggests that, too. The World No.4 and three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic has won all of the last 13 sets against Tomas Berdych and has won the last 12 matches. It makes for ugly reading for the former Wimbledon 2010 finalist.

Their last match on grass was a memorable one for all the wrong reasons for Berdych. It was in 2013 at Wimbledon at the exact same stage, where Berdych lost an incredibly tight first set, which he should have won, then fell away in the next two sets. He cannot afford to do that in these big matches against the most rock solid players on tour, because they’ll exploit any weakness and make you pay for showing any vulnerability.

Why has Berdych struggled so much with Djokovic in the past? Djokovic is really forceful on Berdych’s serve. In the majority of matches that Berdych competes in, his serve does not get challenged as extremely as it does against the Serb. Djokovic forces double faults out of the Czech and he also focuses on finding unforced errors from Berdych’s forehand side. That is something to look out for when they meet in their third meeting at Wimbledon.

Berdych did beat Djokovic on his way to the Wimbledon final in 2010, but so much has changed in both players lives since that moment seven years ago.

Prediction: Djokovic in straight sets.

 

Gilles Muller [16] vs Marin Cilic [7] H2H: Cilic leads 2-0

The first-time quarter-finalist Gilles Muller must be emotionally and physically drained after beating No.4 seed Rafael Nadal in his greatest ever victory at any level. They played for almost five hours, where Muller was seeing the ball like a football, where every serve and volley was finding its targets. The whirlwind fortnight does not get easier for him, though, as he faces 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic.

Cilic has not dropped a set yet and a grass court does compliment his game very well, because of the aggressiveness of his serve and his forehand. I think the fact that the Croatian has been at this stage of a major and at this round of Wimbledon makes him the slight favourite, but I do think he will drop his first set of the tournament in this match-up.

Prediction: Cilic in four sets

The quarter-finals will start at 1pm BST on Centre Court and No. 1 Court.

 

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