Manic Monday certainly lived up to the billing, as Wimbledon champions Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber navigated past bullish opponents with straight-set wins on Centre Court while Ons Jabeur (#21) and unseeded Hungarian Marton Fucsovics provided surprise results to knock out Iga Swiatek (#7) and Andrey Rublev (#5) respectively. Afterwards, there was more drama…
Djokovic wins again, Rublev’s conqueror Fucsovics awaits
Chile’s Cristian Garin (#17) was understandably eager to test himself against the defending champion, but faced a determined Djokovic in imperious form as the Serbian eased to a 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 win to start the day’s action on Centre Court. He’s now into his 50th Grand Slam quarter-final.
Nine aces, 28 winners
92% 1st serve points won (36/39)
saved both break points, didn’t lose a service game throughout (13/13, 100%)
79% net points won (23/29)
There, he’ll play a potential banana skin in Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics on Wednesday, after the 29-year-old recovered from a 2-1 set deficit to rally past Russia’s Andrey Rublev (#5) – beating his second seeded opponent after a four-set win over Diego Schwartzman (#9) back in round three.
Khachanov-Shapovalov set, before Auger-Aliassime wins big
Rublev’s compatriot Karen Khachanov (#25) recovered from a set down and needed to hold his nerve before knocking out American debutant Sebastian Korda, winning 10-8 in the fifth set.
Khachanov coming up clutch
19 aces, 45 winners — Korda had six, 56 winners
43 UE — Korda had 51
69% of first serve points won (77/112)
8/17 break points saved, 10/15 converted
He’ll play Denis Shapovalov (#10) with a semi-final up for grabs next, after the talented Canadian breezed past a tough acid test in the form of Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut (#8).
The 22-year-old won comfortably in straight sets (6-1, 6-3, 7-5) with a whopping 52-14 winner differential, although he also had almost double the Spaniard’s unforced error count (41-22).
Having withdrawn from Roland Garros as a precaution after nursing a shoulder injury, he’s into his second Grand Slam quarter-final. Who will continue their career-best performance at SW19?
Speaking of career-best showings, Shapovalov’s compatriot and friend Felix Auger-Aliassime weathered a spirited Alexander Zverev comeback before ultimately winning in five sets against the error-prone German (6-4, 7-6, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4) in four hours seven minutes on No. 1 Court.
It was, quite frankly, a remarkable match packed with peaks and troughs for both – Zverev giving away multiple free points on serve with an eyewatering 20 double faults in total. Despite this, he was up a break in the first two sets before Felix stormed back into the ascendancy each time.
Zverev appeared to injure his knee as he overextended while trying to return a shot early in set three, and it briefly seemed like FAA would benefit from a second injury-induced retirement.
However, the no. 4 seed played without fear afterwards and won three straight games to propel himself back into proceedings before Felix asked him the serve it out question – holding to love.
Suddenly, the momentum had returned Zverev’s way against a player who has struggled in high-pressure situations before – and never beaten him in three previous H2H meetings.
Surely not another comeback? But alas, Auger-Aliassime crucially refocused at the start of set five and wrestled his way ahead after a tight exchange at 3-3. Zverev was broken again and despite saving one match point, couldn’t save another as the 20-year-old won the decider 6-4.
Federer fires past Sonego, makes more history
Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego (#23) acquitted himself well and came agonisingly close to winning the first set – saving seven break points – before losing it 7-5. Ultimately, he won just six further games as Roger Federer hit his stride after the rain delay, booking a 58th Grand Slam quarter-final.
He’ll play Daniil Medvedev (#2) or Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz (#14) in the quarters on Wednesday, after their R4 matchup was postponed until tomorrow due to rainfall meaning no further action on outside courts with the Russian leading two sets to one (6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 3-4).
They could’ve easily continued on Centre Court after Federer-Sonego’s conclusion and finished promptly before the 11pm curfew, but tournament organisers bizarrely decided against it.
Kerber ousts Gauff, into quarter-finals for first time since 2018
Coco Gauff said she would play freely with nothing to lose against Kerber, but would’ve been nonetheless disappointed by her inability to elevate her level once the biggest points arrived.
She lost 6-4, 6-4 in 78 minutes on Centre Court, during an encounter rather emphasised by the break point number breakdown after squandering two break point chances at 3-4 in the second:
Gauff: break points saved – 1 of 5 (20%)
Kerber: break points saved – 4 of 6 (67%)
Kerber, involved in a thriller with Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo, has faced adversity already during the early rounds but was full of praise for the teenager during her on-court interview – saying she wouldn’t be surprised to see Coco win it all in future and believes the sky is the limit.
Up next is another intriguing matchup tomorrow, this time vs. Australian Open semi-finalist Karolina Muchova (#19), after the Czech won 7-6, 6-4 to knock out Spain’s Paula Badosa.
After early adversity, Jabeur surges past Swiatek
Both battled hard throughout but Ons Jabeur came out on top over 2020 Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek with a 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 victory, earning her second Grand Slam quarter-final.
Perhaps the margin of Jabeur’s winning scoreline – losing just two subsequent games – was flattering, but emphasises just how she came into her element after narrowly losing set one.
Tale of two matches
first set: Swiatek tallied 14 winners and 12 unforced errors, Jabeur had 7 and 11 UE
next two sets: Jabeur fired 23 winners, 12 UE and 5 BPs saved – Swiatek six winners, 15 UE
Her reward? A defiant Aryna Sabalenka (#2), who similarly had to fend off adversity from Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina before eventually winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 earlier on in the day.
Barty sends French Open champ Krejcikova out
World no. 1 Ashleigh Barty punched her ticket into the Wimbledon quarters for the first time, after a 7-5, 6-3 win over last month’s Roland Garros titlist Barbora Krejcikova (#14) in an hour 37 minutes on No. 1 Court earlier this afternoon. An all-Aussie affair awaits, with more on that later.
The first set could’ve gone either way, especially as she was down 4-2 early on against the Czech international before earning a set point opportunity at 5-4, which was quickly snuffed out. The next two games though? She didn’t drop another point to close it out emphatically.
They exchanged breaks of serve midway through set two, but the 25-year-old held her nerve (7/8 break points saved) as things got tight – just like late on against Katerina Siniakova on Saturday.
Tomljanovic absorbs raducanu pressure before retirement
There will be an Australian in Thursday’s semis against either Muchova/Kerber, after unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic ended British teenage wildcard Emma Raducanu‘s tournament – winning 6-4, 3-0 before the 18-year-old retired following a medical timeout that saw her unable to continue.
Tomljanovic, another first-time quarter-finalist at SW19 this year, produced an experienced showing in the day’s final action not too dissimilar to that of a boxer: lulling Raducanu into a false sense of security, forcing her to play multiple long rallies and extracting frequent errors.
Despite having five double faults and 17 unforced errors in little over an hour, she saved all five break point opportunities and was content playing the long game against the home favourite.
They combined for just ten winners and 42 unforced errors during an encounter which threatened plenty pre-match but ultimately petered out as it became clear Raducanu was struggling with her breathing and appeared tearful between points at the start of set two.
3-0 down in the second, she had some medical attention at the change of ends before departing court for a timeout – though it was still unclear whether she was ill, injured or having a panic attack. Even still, quite jarring scenes during the most important match of her young career.
Hopefully she feels better soon and doesn’t dwell on the manner of this exit after an impressive surge into the second week, but what a big opportunity now next for Tomljanovic – who will be a sizeable underdog against Barty, but should relish the Centre Court spot tomorrow.
Looking ahead to the rest of this week
Women’s Quarterfinals – Tuesday
Ashleigh Barty (#1) vs Alja Tomljanovic
Karolina Muchova (#19) vs Angelique Kerber (#25)
Karolina Pliskova (#8) vs Viktorija Golubic
Ons Jabeur (#21) vs Aryna Sabalenka (#2)
Men’s Quarterfinals – Wednesday
Novak Djokovic (#1) vs Marton Fucsovics
Karen Khachanov (#25) vs Denis Shapovalov (#10)
Matteo Berrettini (#7) vs Felix Auger-Aliassime (#16)
Roger Federer (#6) vs Daniil Medvedev or Hubert Hurkacz
Picture source: Getty Images