The Roar
The Roar

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Wimbledon 2015: The story so far

Can anyone stop Novak Djokovic? (AAP Image/Barbara Walton)
Roar Guru
5th July, 2015
2

As we enter the second week at Wimbledon, let’s take a look back at what has shaped this year’s Championships and preview the second week of the tournament.

The first week saw most of the big names go through without any difficulty, however there were some notable casualties including two-time men’s champion Rafael Nadal and defending women’s champion Petra Kvitova.

Nadal’s Wimbledon woes continued in the second round when he went down to 102nd-ranked Dustin Brown in four sets. It was the fourth year in succession where the Spaniard has lost in an early round to an opponent ranked outside the top 100.

His defeat not only continues his recent poor record at the All England Club, it also continued a poor season overall for the 14-time Grand Slam champion which has seen him lose his French Open invincibility and drop to tenth in the world rankings.

But there were no such problems for the other big names, including defending champion Novak Djokovic and former champions Roger Federer and Andy Murray, all of whom, as expected, have made it through to week two.

Djokovic remains on track to successfully retain his title after crushing Bernard Tomic in straight sets on Friday. His next opponent will be 14th seed Kevin Anderson after the South African defeated Leonardo Mayer in straight sets.

Also going through to the second week in the men’s top half are reigning US Open champion Marin Cilic, French Open winner Stan Wawrinka, former semi-finalist Richard Gasquet and the always entertaining Nick Kyrgios.

Cilic, who achieved his best result at Wimbledon last year in reaching the quarter-finals, completed an epic five-set victory over American 17th seed John Isner to reach the fourth round. His next opponent will be another American, Denis Kudla.

Wawrinka, who also reached the quarter-finals at the All England Club for the first time last year, continued his bid for a maiden Wimbledon crown with a straight-sets victory over Fernando Verdasco, to reach the fourth round for just the fourth time.

Advertisement
Advertisement

It was his third straight-sets victory so far this tournament and sets him up well for a likely run to the semi-finals, where his victim in the French Open final, Novak Djokovic, could await. If they do meet at this stage, then they will have met at least once at each of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

In the bottom half, Roger Federer and Andy Murray remain on track to meet in the semi-finals after both overcame determined opposition to take their places in the second week of the tournament.

Federer was barely threatened on serve in his four-set win over Australian Sam Groth, while Andy Murray overcame the loss of the third set and a shoulder injury in the fourth to dispose of Italian veteran Andreas Seppi, also in four sets.

While the Swiss should start favourite to defeat Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut, Murray will have his hands full in trying to contain Croatian serving machine Ivo Karlovic, who defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets.

Both those matches will follow the Williams sisters showdown which will kick off the Centre Court schedule on Monday, with Federer second followed by Murray.

Switching focus to the women now and defending champion Petra Kvitova has crashed out after going down to Serbian veteran Jelena Jankovic in three sets, the Czech’s third-round exit marking the worst Wimbledon title defence by any woman since Venus Williams also lost to Jankovic in the third round in 2006.

Kvitova joined Simona Halep, Eugenie Bouchard and Ana Ivanovic among the many high-profile casualties in the first week, and opens up the bottom half of the draw for a potential surprise finalist.

2012 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska is not only now the odds-on favourite to return to the championship match, she is the only player in this half of the draw that has gone this far at the All England Club, let alone reached the quarter-finals.

Advertisement
Advertisement

This means there will be at least three first-time Wimbledon quarter-finalists, with Radwanska’s opponent on Monday, Jelena Jankovic, also having never gone past the fourth round at SW19, so there could be four players who will enter unchartered territory at the All England Club.

Only Caroline Wozniacki (fifth) is higher-ranked than Radwanska in this half of the draw. The Dane should start favourite to defeat rising Spaniard Garbine Muguruza, who edged out Angelique Kerber in a three-set epic on Saturday.

Timea Bacsinszky continued her impressive 2015 season by knocking out former finalist Sabine Lisicki, while Madison Keys moved into the second week by virtue of a straight-sets victory over German Tatjana Maria.

Other matches to watch include the showdown between the Williams sisters, which will be the first at the All England Club since Serena defeated Venus to win the third of her five titles in 2009, and that between former world number one Victoria Azarenka and rising Swiss star Belinda Bencic.

Former champion Maria Sharapova and recent French Open finalist Lucie Safarova should set up a rematch of their fourth-round match from Roland Garros, which saw the Czech dethrone the Russian as defending champion en route to the final, in the quarter-finals, given they defeat Zarina Diyas and CoCo Vandeweghe respectively.

Those are just some of the matches in the men’s and women’s draws to watch on Monday. Who will win the battle of the Williams sisters to kick off Centre Court action on Monday? Can Novak Djokovic continue his march to a fourth final? And who, out of Roger Federer and Andy Murray, could face the Djoker in the final?

All those questions are set to be answered when Wimbledon resumes on Monday night (AEST).

Matches to watch on Manic Monday

Advertisement
Advertisement

The men
Novak Djokovic (1) versus Kevin Anderson (14)
Marin Cilic (9) versus Denis Kudla
Stan Wawrinka (4) versus David Goffin (16)
Richard Gasquet (21) versus Nick Kyrgios (26)
Vasek Pospisil versus Viktor Troicki (28)
Ivo Karlovic (23) versus Andy Murray (3)
Tomas Berdych (6) versus Gilles Simon (12)
Roberto Bautista-Agut (20) versus Roger Federer (2)

The women
Serena Williams (1) versus Venus Williams (16)
Victoria Azarenka (23) versus Belinda Bencic (30)
Maria Sharapova (4) versus Zarina Diyas
CoCo Vandeweghe versus Lucie Safarova (6)
Caroline Wozniacki (5) versus Garbine Muguruza (20)
Timea Bacsinszky (15) versus Monica Niculescu
Olga Govortsova versus Madison Keys (21)
Agnieszka Radwanska (13) versus Jelena Jankovic (28)