While defending champion Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal remain on course for a much-anticipated rematch of their French Open quarter-final, there are ten players into the last-eight at SW19 for the first time across both draws, including Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz and Jannik Sinner, who extinguished Carlos Alcaraz’s aspirations in an entertaining four-set battle.
Awesome Anisimova too much for Tan
Anisimova  bt. Tan 6-2, 6-3
2019 French Open semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova backed up her recovery win over Coco Gauff  with a much easier afternoon’s work against France’s surprise package Harmony Tan.
The 20-year-old had been taken to three sets in successive rounds but it seemed time was of the essence for her here, needing 37 minutes per set to punch her passage into the quarters.
Although you can argue her opponent didn’t play poorly and a few games were tight, she didn’t look back after establishing an early double break. Tan did well to save three set points at 5-2, and another as Anisimova was asked the serve it out question, but the damage was long done.
After a long opening game to start set two, where she saved a break point, Tan was broken to love in the next one. She couldn’t live with the American’s aggressiveness (28 winners, to 9) and despite keeping the scoreline relatively honest, two big break point chances evaded her grasp.
She was up 40-15 on the 20th seed’s serve at 4-3 and perhaps things may have been different, had Serena Williams’ conqueror flipped the switch to increase her level when things got tight.
Instead, Anisimova recovered well and broke her again to complete the job without unnecessary fuss. That could prove key as she plays 2019 champion Simona Halep next, after the Romanian dismantled Paula Badosa for the loss of just three games (6-1, 6-2) minutes beforehand.
History has repeated itself for Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic as she’s into successive Wimbledon quarter-finals and will (quietly) fancy her chances more than she did twelve months ago having rallied from a set down to dismiss Iga Swiatek’s streak-snapper Alize Cornet 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
It took her two hours 35 minutes to get over the line and this was a contest with more unforced errors (66) than winners (56) between them, but the 29-year-old will be full of confidence after enduring a similarly topsy-turvy three-set match against Barbora Krejcikova in R3 last week.
This time last year, she lost to eventual champion Ashleigh Barty in the last-eight but faces an opponent for whom this stage is unfamiliar territory: heavy-hitting Kazakh Elena Rybakina. after the 23-year-old’s ball-striking proved too much for Croatia’s Petra Martic — winning 7-5, 6-3.
Berlin champion and third seed Ons Jabeur puts her winning streak – now at nine – up against Marie Bouzkova on Tuesday afternoon in an intriguing quarter-final, if their R4 victories over Caroline Garcia and Elise Mertens were anything to come by. Look at these remarkable rallies:
Djokovic-Sinner awaits as both record four-set victories
Sinner  bt. Alcaraz  6-1, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3
Jannik Sinner is another player into their first Wimbledon quarter-final and the 20-year-old Italian shone against Spain’s rising star Carlos Alcaraz in a pulsating battle between two prodigious talents destined for more entertaining battles atop the sport in the years to come.
Having experienced an emotional low after Heather Watson was beaten 6-2, 6-4 by Germany’s Jule Niemeier in the opener on Centre Court, the crowd wanted to see more high-quality tennis.
She’ll play compatriot Tatjana Maria for a semi-final berth after the 34-year-old saved two match points in set two and eventually came through 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 against Jelena Ostapenko.
This was earmarked by many as the match of the day, and potentially the tournament, so who could blame them when they were treated to some stupendous shots and rallies like these:
Alcaraz was punished for a slow start and found himself in an unenviable position to recover, much like his French Open defeat by Alexander Zverev on May 31. It proved too much.
However, the 19-year-old theoretically had nothing to lose down two sets to love on a surface nor he or Sinner enjoy. His level increased significantly in a closely-contested third set with no breaks of serve – making for compelling theatre as a tiebreak was needed to separate them.
Sinner showed nerves of steel and did excellently to save three set points, before Alcaraz saved two match points in response immediately afterwards. The match’s momentum swung one way, then the next, as they headed for a fourth set. It would’ve been easy for Sinner’s head to drop.
Instead, he was energised by some Alcaraz errors and after a gutsy hold – saving two break points – to start set four with a slender scoreboard advantage, the Italian gradually chipped away at Carlos’ resolve by crunching winners (8-4) past him while picking up his first serve percentage.
Those two things proved decisive because despite saving three more match points on his own serve, Alcaraz was eventually undone by a fellow youngster who’d outplayed him early and built up enough of an advantage with the conviction of shots like this to lean on when things got tight:
He’ll play defending champion Novak Djokovic next in Tuesday’s marquee match, after the Serbian started purposefully but was put through his paces by big-serving Dutch wildcard Tim van Rijthoven before emerging 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, a mere 20 minutes from the 11pm curfew.
For half an hour or so, this match was intriguing to the neutral hoping for a potential upset – or at least Djokovic to sweat more than an ominous 6-2, 2-1 lead suggested this encounter would last.
From some gasp-inducing rallies, two of van Rijthoven’s blistering serves in clutch moments to Djokovic silencing the crowd, here are some of the match’s best (and most decisive) points:
Goffin, Garin and more progress into last-eight
David Goffin‘s resurgence continues, after the 31-year-old Belgian progressed into his first Major quarter-final for three years – second time in south London – but had to do it the hard way: recovering from 2-1 down to outlast America’s Frances Tiafoe  in a gruelling five-set clash.
News that match lasted four hours 37 minutes will suit Britain’s no. 1 Cameron Norrie just fine, after he charged ahead having broken Tiafoe’s compatriot Tommy Paul  early in all three sets en route to a 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 victory in just over half the time it took Goffin to progress (2h24).
Neimeier-Maria isn’t the only battle of unseeded players left in the draw, as Chile’s Cristian Garin will face Australia’s Nick Kyrgios on Wednesday afternoon after the pair endured contrasting five-set tussles with Alex de Minaur  and Brandon Nakashima respectively.
Garin was 2-6, 5-7 and 3-1 down in a third set tiebreak… but won six straight points to halve the deficit at two sets to one against de Minaur and never looked back from there. As if that’s not enough, the 26-year-old was also down 5-3 in the ten-point deciding set tiebreaker and won.
Did you know? This result means Garin has reached a first Grand Slam quarter-final of his career, becoming the eighth Chilean to achieve this feat – and fourth to do so at Wimbledon.
Meanwhile, Kyrgios – injured shoulder and all – clawed his way back from a set down to outlast promising young American Nakashima, but like Garin and Goffin, did it the hard way and needed a deciding set to settle the score. He elevated his level in the third set tiebreak, which proved key:
Botic van de Zandschulp improved late on, but he couldn’t stop 22-time Major champion Rafael Nadal from surging into a 16th straight Slam quarter-final — 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 the final score.
His next foe? Taylor Fritz, who contrastingly has finally got over the hump and is into his maiden Major QF after a 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 victory over another surprise success in Australia’s Jason Kubler. If that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite for their midweek clash, perhaps a reminder is in tow…
Remember this? Indian Wells ’22: Fritz extinguishes Nadal’s unbeaten run, wins M1000
Featured matches to watch on Day 9
Novak Djokovic  vs. Jannik Sinner 
Tatjana Maria vs. Jule Niemeier
David Goffin vs. Cameron Norrie 
Marie Bouzkova vs. Ons Jabeur 
Nicole Melichar-Martinez, Ellen Perez vs. Barbora Krejcikova, Katerina Siniakova
Matthew Ebden, Sam Stosur vs. Jonny O’Mara, Alicia Barnett
As promised, I’ll continue producing round-ups with the latest results, game reports and news at this year’s Wimbledon, so ensure you stay tuned to moandsports.com for the latest coverage.
Picture source: Getty Images