Wimbledon Day 9 Preview: The Gentlemen’s Quarter-Finals - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 9 Preview: The Gentlemen’s Quarter-Finals

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Andy Murray (zimbio.com)

Following Gilles Muller’s upset of Rafael Nadal in the match of the tournament on Monday, we are left with three of the “big four” in the quarterfinals. One of these four have left the All England Club with The Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy in each of the last fourteen years. Let’s examine each of their chances to advance one step further as we take a close look at all four quarter-finals scheduled for Wednesday.

 

Andy Murray vs. Sam Querrey

The first match of the day on Centre Court will see Andy Murray, both the British and world number one, against world number 28 and American number three Sam Querrey. Murray is a two-time Wimbledon champion, while Sam Querrey’s second straight trip to the Wimbledon quarterfinals is only his second time advancing this far at any major. Murray leads their head-to-head 7-1, with Querrey’s only win coming seven years ago on a hard court in his home state of California. Querrey has also played two straight five-setters, while Murray has only dropped one set through four rounds. Obviously Murray is the favorite here, but if you’re Sam Querrey, here’s a few things to keep in mind. Murray is not 100% healthy: though we haven’t seen much evidence of it impacting his play, his hip will likely begin to hinder him the longer the match goes. Also remember if Sam is on and he keeps hitting big, he’s capable of defeating big names: just look at last year’s Wimbledon upset of Novak Djokovic and his defeat of Rafael Nadal in the Acapulco final earlier this year.

Marin Cilic vs. Gilles Muller

At the same time that match is taking place on Centre, two of 2017’s best grass court players will square off on No.1 Court. Muller played the match of his life in talking out Nadal over the course of almost five hours in the last round, but he can’t possibly have anything left physically or emotionally, can he? It’s hard to imagine he will, and his opponent has been in better form than any man in the field during this fortnight. Cilic has not dropped a set, and looks like a man on a mission coming off a heartbreaking loss to Roger Federer in last year’s quarter-finals, where he held match points. He also narrowly lost to Feliciano Lopez in a third set tiebreaker in the final at Queen’s Club just a few weeks ago. This is the fourth straight year Cilic has reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals, but has yet to reach his first semifinal. The hungry Croat will most likely end that streak on Wednesday.

Roger Federer vs. Milos Raonic

This is a rematch from last year’s Wimbledon semifinals, in which Raonic upset the seven-time champion in what would be Federer’s last match of 2016 due to a knee injury. But both men arrive at this year’s Championships in much different places. 2017 has seen Raonic the one dealing with injuries and a lack of confidence, while Federer has been healthy and only lost two matches this year. Raonic is coming off a tough five-set match against Alexander Zverev on Monday, while Federer is another man who has won every set he’s played in this tournament. Roger will find extra motivation on this day in his desire to avenge last year’s loss. This is Federer’s fifteenth Wimbledon quarterfinal, and there’s a strong chance we’ll see him in his twelfth Wimbledon semifinal on Friday.

Novak Djokovic vs. Tomas Berdych

Djokovic holds a 25-2 career record against Berdych, and has won their last twelve meetings. Normally I would be tempted to stop this match preview right there, but this may not be as straightforward as their head-to-head indicates. Djokovic spent over two hours on the court just yesterday in his fourth round match that was held over from Monday, and he appeared to be a bit lethargic and sore. The trainer visited Novak multiple times during his fourth round victory over Adrian Mannarino, getting his arm treated just as we saw at last year’s U.S. Open. Let’s also not forget Djokovic’s level of play has been well below his usual high standard over the past twelve months. Berdych’s only major final came on the lawns of the All England Club in 2010, and one of his two victories over Djokovic was in that year’s semifinals. Djokovic will still be favored against Berdych on Wednesday, though not as heavily as usual.

Order of play

Centre Court (1pm start)
Andy Murray v Sam Querrey

Roger Federer v Milos Raonic

Court 1 (1pm start)

Marin Cilic v Gilles Muller

Novak Djokovic v Tomas Berdych

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Fabio Fognini To Undergo Arthroscopic Surgery On Both Ankles

Fabio Fognini is to have surgery on both ankles as he aims to extend his tennis career when the ATP Tour returns.

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Fabio Fognini (@ASB_Classic - Twitter)

Fabio Fognini will undergo Arthroscopic surgery on both ankles in Italy today after re-injuring them in training. 

 

The Italian took to social media to announce that he will have the surgery on both his ankles immediately as he looks to take advantage of Tennis’ hiatus.

In the post Fognini revealed that this is not a new problem he has been suffering from, “I’ve been having a problem with my left ankle for three and a half years now, it’s an issue I’ve learned to cope with,” Fognini explained.

“Then my right ankle started playing up in the past two years as well. I had hoped the various issues would go away during my two months break from the game because of the lockdown but, when I resumed training they were still there. 

“After medical examination and a long discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery on both ankles. I believe it is the right thing to do while the tour is on this enforced break.”

This is big news for the Italian, who is now 33 years-old and with his time on the tour running out this is a big risk but a risk worth taking in order to increase his longevity.

The timing couldn’t have been better for the world number 11 as he looks to take advantage of the hiatus in the tennis calendar and get himself fully ready for the 2021 season.

Since turning pro 16 years ago, Fognini has won 9 ATP singles titles and been a grand slam champion in doubles with his flamboyant style remaining consistent over the years and will look to continue this form after surgery.

Meanwhile a decision on the US Open is expected to be made in the next couple of weeks as the tournament organisers are hoping to still hold the tournament on the 31st of August.

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Australian Tennis Great Passes Away Aged 83

Ashley Cooper is one of only 11 men in history to have won three grand slam titles within the same year.

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Women’s world No.1 Ash Barty has led tributes to multiple grand slam champion Ashley Cooper, who passed away on Friday.

 

Cooper was one of the sports best players in the years leading up to the birth of the Open Era. He was declared the world’s best amateur player in 1957 and 1958. It was during 1958 where he really stood out by winning three out of the four major tournaments within the same season. Something only 10 other players in the history of men’s tennis have been able to achieve. Cooper also achieved success in the doubles by winning another four grand slam titles. In the Davis Cup he led Australia to a 3-2 victory over America in the 1957 final.

Whilst his achievements occurred during the 1950s, Cooper did sort of have a taste of what it was like to place in a major event during the Open Era after featuring in the main draw of the 1968 French Open. He progressed to the second round after his opponent retired before withdrawing from the tournament without playing a single point.

After retiring from the sport, he maintained his links with tennis. Working alongside Tennis Queensland with their player development and was on the Board of Directors for Tennis Australia.

“Ashley was a giant of the game both as a brilliant player and an astute administrator and he will be greatly missed,” said Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley.
“His contribution to the sport went far beyond his exploits on the tennis court. His rich legacy includes the magnificent Queensland Tennis Centre, a project he was passionate about, nurturing the development from the very beginning, and resulting in the return of world-class international tennis to Brisbane.”
“Ashley was also the most humble of champions and a great family man. Our hearts go out to his wife Helen and his family, along with his wide and international circle of friends, including so many of our tennis family.”

Paying her own tribute, French Open champion Barty took to Twitter to send her sympathy to Cooper’s family. Last year she was presented with the Ashley Cooper Medal at the Queensland Tennis Awards. The highest individual honour that can be issued by the organisation named in after the tennis great.

Rod Laver, who is one of Australia’s greatest tennis players of all time, described Cooper as a ‘wonderful champion’ in his tribute.

“So sad to hear of Ashley’s passing. He was a wonderful champion, on and off the court. And what a backhand! So many cherished memories. Farewell my friend. My thoughts are with Ashley’s wife, Helen, and his family.” Laver wrote on Twitter.

The have been no details released on the exact cause of Cooper’s death, but it has been reported that he has been battling ‘a long illness.’ He was 83-years-old.

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Novak Djokovic aims at breaking Federer and Nadal Grand Slam records

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Novak Djokovic told US program In Depth presented by Graham Bensinger that he wants to break all Grand Slam records and play for many years. The Serbian player is the third best ever player with 17 Major titles behid Roger Federer (20) and Rafael Nadal (19).

 

“I believe that the journey chooses you and not the other way around and I know that I still have things to do in sport. At the same time, they are not the only things that motivate me, what really feeds me is the desire to keep growing. I can achieve all feats and become the greatest in history maintaining on the courts”, said Djokovic.

The Serbian legend said that he does not set set any limits. He was still unbeaten before the suspension of the season due to the coronavirus pandemic. His winning streak includes a record of 18 consecutive match wins and a 21-match win streak dating back dating back to the Davis Cup Finals last November. He beat Roger Federer in the semifinal and Dominic Thiem in the final to clinch his 8th Australian Open title. He became the third man to win 8 titles at a Grand Slam tournament. Last February he saved three match points against Gael Monfils in the semifinal before beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final in Dubai.

 “I don’t believe in limits. I think limits are just illusions of your ago or your mind. I definitely want to go on for a long time but I know that at the same time I have to maintain the right principles and the routine to maintain the health and well being of my body, mind and soul”, said Djokovic.

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