In two men’s singles matches played on Monday, big-serving gentlemen from Croatia and South Africa created huge scare for British favorite Andy Murray and defending champion Novak Djokovic. While Murray overcame the challenge from Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, Kevin Anderson of South Africa is not done yet. In the earlier match played at the Center Court, Murray struggled against Karlovic’s towering service angled accurately and powerfully from his 6’ 11″ frame. The Briton somehow managed to take the first and second sets before losing the third. The fourth set proved to be a humdinger but Murray held his nerves to break Karlovic and went through to his eighth successive Wimbledon quarter-finals. In the other late evening match, big-serving South African Kevin Anderson pushed world no.1 Novak Djokovic on the back foot. The 6’ 8″ tall Anderson won the first two sets against the defending champion and looked like causing a huge upset. Djokovic somehow managed to stage a recovery and leveled the set scores. But the final set could not be played because of poor light. The unfinished match will be completed on Tuesday. 7-time champion Roger Federer had an easy passage into his 13th quarter-final at Wimbledon after defeating Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets. Federer’s compatriot Stan Wawrinka also entered the QF with a rather tough victory over Belgium’s David Goffin. Men’s sixth seed Tomas Berdych, however, lost his fourth round match to Frenchman Gilles Simon. Another Frenchman Richard Gasquet also entered the round-of-eight by defeating the obstinate Australian Nick Kyrgios. Among women, Serena beat her sister Venus and no.4 seed Maria Sharapova went through to the quarterfinal with straight sets victory over Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas. In a notable casualty of women’s draw, no.5 seed Caroline Wozniacki was upset by Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.
From the start of his match against Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, Britain’s Andy Murray felt the pressure of his opponent’s service that came to him fiercely at most times in the first set. Either there were aces or Murray had no answer to the blistering pace as the Croat kept firing powerfully. There were no break chances for the Scot and the set had to go to the tiebreak, when Murray held his nerve and won. Murray also won the second set after breaking Karlovic early but lost the third. Karlovic kept the momentum intact in the fourth set and made the Scotsman to fight for every point. A hawk-eye challenge on a line call helped Murray win the key break at 3-3 in the fourth set, before he wrapped up the match 7-6, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
In a nearly similar match on Court no.1, defending champion Novak Djokovic lost the first two sets against the big-serving Kevin Anderson of South Africa. Djokovic looked in too much trouble against Anderson’s service power and accurate delivery. The South African won first and second sets on tiebreaks. However, Djokovic rallied from there to take third and fourth sets 6-1, 6-4 before play was suspended.
Second seeded Roger Federer played immaculate tennis as he dismantled his Spanish opponent Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-2, 6-3. The Swiss will face Frenchman Gilles Simon next for the semi-final berth. Simon caused an upset by defeating no.6 seed Czech Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka fought a hard battle against Belgium’s David Goffin before emerging a 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 winner. In another interesting match, Richard Gasquet of France had to fight Nick Kyrgios and his unusual tantrums before beating the Australian 7-6, 6-1, 6-7, 7-6. Croat Marin Cilic also sailed into QF with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over American wild card Denis Kudla.
In women’s draw, the battle between the Williams sisters ended with Serena beating her elder sibling Venus 6-4, 6-3; Maria Sharapova powered her way in defeating Zarina Diyaz of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-4; Agnieszka Radawanska defeated Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 6-4 but Spain’s Garbine Muguruza caused an upset by defeating Denmark’s 6th seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-4.
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