MANIC MONDAY • FEDERER • NADAL AND DJOKOVIC HAVE JUST ABOUT PERFECT DAYS ON THE LAWNS OF WIMBLEDON 2018

Written by: on 9th July 2018
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Wimbledon Championships
MANIC MONDAY • FEDERER • NADAL AND DJOKOVIC HAVE JUST ABOUT PERFECT DAYS ON THE LAWNS OF WIMBLEDON 2018

epa06876255 Rafael Nadal of Spain returns to Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic during their fourth round match at the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 09 July 2018. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO COMMERCIAL SALES  |
Rafael Nadal of Spain returns to Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic during their fourth round match at the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 09 July 2018.  EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Roger Federer continued his flawless trek through Wimbledon with a 6-0, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Adrian Mannarino during fourth-round action on the prestigious second Monday. Federer actually got pushed to deuce by Mannarino and even–gasp!–faced four break points, but he still has not yet been broken this fortnight.

 

The 36-year-old Swiss coasted into the quarterfinals after one hour and 45 minutes.

 

“In practice at the moment, I’m not working on anything specific,” Federer explained. “It’s really about being just solid. The goal is to win matches and not to be too creative right now. That’s going to happen naturally if I play well. I’m really just focused on that.”

 

“I was just trying to do as well as I could, but he was too good,” Mannarino admitted. “Against Federer you have to play really well from the beginning. The last time we played each other (in the 2017 Basel quarterfinals), I won the first set.

 

“The thing with Roger is that he is making you work all the time. He’s not giving you any points. He’s returning all the time unless if you’re really, really serving well, but he pushes you to serve the best you can do. You have to play well from the start of the match.”

 

Jiri Vesely and Karen Khachanov had to do the same against Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, but neither underdog came close to doing so.

Nadal won his fourth consecutive straight-set match without needing tiebreaker–or even being extended to 5-5 in any set–when he dismissed Vesely 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. The Spaniard endured one hiccup on serve in the third but otherwise sauntered past the finish line in one hour and 52 minutes. Nadal finished with a clean 37 winners to just 12 unforced errors.

 

“It is an important victory, with my first quarterfinal (at the All-England Club) since 2011,” the two-time Wimbledon champion said. “They have been a very positive four matches for me so far.”

 

Nadal’s quarterfinal opponent has not yet been determined, as Juan Martin Del Potro and Gilles Simon were the only players who did not complete their match on Monday. Del Potro won the first two sets in tiebreakers and lost the third 7-5 to the Frenchman before play was halted due to darkness.

 

Djokovic had no trouble defeating Khachanov 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 46 minutes. The former world No. 1 broke Khachanov seven times while striking 29 winners to just 12 errors.

 

“I’m really happy with the way I played tonight,” Djokovic assessed. “I managed to win in straight sets against a player in form. I was really pleased with my second and third set; really, really pleased. I made him play a lot. I served accurately, picking my spots, not really forcing the serve too much, (and) trying to get easier first shots in the rally. Just overall, I felt good in these difficult conditions.”

 

Next up Djokovic is Kei Nishikori, who fought past Ernests Gulbis 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(10), 6-1 in battle that saw both men struggle physically and call for medical timeouts. Nishikori showed signs of a recurring right-elbow problem during the second set before he recovered for his comeback win.

 

“I like my chances in the match against Nishikori,” Djokovic commented.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

 

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