On ‘Manic Monday’ at Wimbledon, Roger Federer and Andy Murray strolled through to remain on course for a dream final after convincing wins.
Neither has dropped a set in the tournament so far. First, it was world No.3 Federer who eased to a straight sets win over American Steve Johnson, 6-2 6-3 7-5. The Swiss maestro had his forehand firing on all cylinders, finishing the 97-minute victory with 35 winners. Currently tied with Pete Sampras on seven Wimbledon titles, Federer hasn’t won a major for four years – but with Djokovic out of his half of the draw, all of a sudden there is renewed hope.
Federer on his win: “I was very happy how I played and didn’t think it was as easy as it maybe looked. Steve was coming into the match with a lot of confidence. I never thought that I would win the first four matches in straight sets.”
Federer next plays 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who had a similarly easy day at the office. The Croatian was leading 6-1 5-1 before injury-prone opponent Kei Nishikori retired with a rib problem.
World No.2 and new tournament favourite Andy Murray beat unpredictable Australian Nick Kyrgios 7-5 6-1 6-4 in a surprisingly easy match. The Scot was in vintage form with a ridiculous 36 winners to 6 unforced errors. It was easily his best performance of the tournament so far.
Murray now leads Kyrgios 5-0 in head-to-head meetings. Murray will take on Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals on Wednesday after his opponent, Richard Gasquet, retired with a back injury. It was a major bonus for Tsonga, who can now rest up after a marathon win over John Isner the day before.
Meanwhile, BBC commentator John McEnroe was highly critical of Kyrgios’ performance: “He’s got to look in the mirror if he wants to win slams now. You’re not going to make it to the top with that kind of effort.”
— BBC Tennis (@bbctennis) July 4, 2016
The Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, both advanced to the quarterfinals – and the two could meet in the final for the fifth time. Serena beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5 6-0 in a match interrupted by rain. The court was getting damp from a light drizzle and Serena slipped over when stretching for a volley in the ninth game. At 5-5, Serena wanted the roof closed and got her wish before steamrolling through the next eight games in a row in imperious fashion.
Elder sister Venus was down two breaks of serve early on to Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro but regained control. The eighth seed wound back the clock on her favourite surface, eventually securing a 7-6 6-4 win.
Simona Halep took advantage of an ailing Madison Keys to win 6-3 in the third. The American appeared to be handicapped by a leg injury, but for some reason never chose to call for a medical time out. Halep will play Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber in the pick of Tuesday’s quarterfinals.