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London • Men’s Tennis Matches Go As Expected • Rafa • Federer • Novak • Ladies Provide The Drama At Wimbledon

By Ricky Dimon


Just by looking at Wimbledon’s 2019 “Manic Monday” lineup, you kind of knew what was going to happen. Wild scenes were going to take place on the women’s side, while the men’s round of 16 was not going to provide much intrigue.


For the most part, that’s exactly what happened.


The day’s first result was a loss by the WTA’s No. 1 player, as reigning French Open champion Ashleigh Barty went down to grass-court specialist Alison Riske 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. After triumphing at Roland Garros, Barty won the Birmingham title without dropping a set and she also did not lose a set during week-one action at the All-England Club.


“I’m so incredibly excited,” Riske assured. “The fact that it’s at Wimbledon, my favorite Grand Slam, the place that I had always dreamed to be in the last eight club of…. They can’t kick me out now; I’m here to stay. I am just over the moon; so happy. I’m looking to keep it going.”


It looked like fellow Czechs Karolina Pliskova and Karolina Muchova would go all the way to the first-ever final-set tiebreaker at 12-12 during their fourth-round contest. Instead, Muchova broke serve at 12-11 in the third to pull off a 4-6, 7-5, 13-11 upset. Pliskova saved two match points at 0-40 and 15-40 before her compatriot got it done with a return winner off the net cord.
Neither aforementioned result will make the most headlines. Coco Gauff’s Cinderella run came to end with a 6-3, 6-3 loss to Simona Halep, while the host nation still has hope in the form of Johanna Konta. The 18th-ranked Brit ousted two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Konta failed to serve out the match at 5-2 in the third, but he delivered a clutch hold at 5-4 to get across the finish line.

Cori Gauff of the USA in action against Simona Halep of Romania during their fourth round match for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 08 July 2019. EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO COMMERCIAL SALES

On the men’s side, meanwhile, it was mostly business as usual.


Novak Djokovic (d. Ugo Humbert), and Rafael Nadal (d. Joao Sousa) cruised into the quarterfinals. Roberto Bautista Agut improved to 9-0 lifetime against Benoit Paire, David Goffin (d. Fernando Verdasco) and Sam Querrey both won in four sets, and Roger Federer crushed Matteo Berrettini to end the Italian’s impressive grass-court summer. The one thriller saw Guido Pella scrape past Milos Raonic 9-7 in the fifth.


In his press conference, Nadal was asked if Barty vs. Riske should have been on Centre Court instead of his match–which lasted “under an hour and a half.”


“Can we predict the future or not?” the 18-time slam champion asked.


Well, in the case of this Manic Monday, yes. Other than Riske, Muchova, and Pella, it went exactly as we predicted.


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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