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Ricky’s Preview and Picks for the Wimbledon Quarterfinals: Djokovic, Federer, and More

Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his round of 16 match against Cristian Garin at the Wimbledon Championships, Britain 05 July 2021. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL



By Ricky Dimon

Only one of the top five seeds has advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals, and unsurprisingly it’s world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Still, there are some challengers for the title. Even at 39 years old, eight-time champion Roger Federer cannot be discounted. Matteo Berrettini is one of the best players on tour right now. Both Federer and Berrettini will headline Wednesday’s action at the All-England Club along with Djokovic.

Ricky previews the four matches and makes his predictions.

(1) Novak Djokovic vs. Marton Fucsovics: Even though Djokovic has won both of their previous encounters, Fucsovics will be encouraged by his efforts. The Hungarian snagged a set on both occasions, losing 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 at the 2018 U.S. Open (first round) prior to a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 setback two years ago in Doha. Needless to say, it will be an even tougher test on the quarterfinal stage with Djokovic having already won the first two slams in 2021. The world No. 1 has won 12 sets in a row since dropping his first of the fortnight to Jack Draper. Fucsovics, on the other hand, has needed at least four sets in three of his matches–including five against Andrey Rublev on Monday. Pick: Djokovic in 3


(25) Karen Khachanov vs. (10) Denis Shapovalov
: Khachanov has done well to reach the quarters, but he doesn’t inspire much confidence to go further. He dropped serve an utterly ridiculous six times in the fifth set against Sebastian Korda on Monday but still somehow managed to win it 8-6. The Russian will have to serve a lot better against Shapovalov, who has been on fire over the last two rounds. After destroying Andy Murray in straight sets, the Canadian gave the same treatment to Roberto Bautista Agut. Pick: Shapovalov in 3

(7) Matteo Berrettini vs. (16) Felix Auger-Aliassime: Berrettini has been in outstanding form this season and has only heated up on grass. Arguably looking like Djokovic’s biggest threat to the title, the ninth-ranked Italian won Queen’s Club and so far at Wimbledon has powered past Guido Pella, Botic Van de Zandschulp, Aljaz Bedene, and Ilya Ivashka. Berrettini has won 11 consecutive sets and 10 have been no closer than 6-4. This is the best result of Auger-Aliassime’s career. The 20-year-old Canadian is in a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time following victories over Thiago Monteiro, Mikael Ymer, Nick Kyrgios (via third-set retirement), and Alexander Zverev (in five sets). But Berrettini is at a different level right now. The seventh seed has been broken a grand total of two times through four rounds. Pick: Berrettini in 4

(6) Roger Federer vs. (14) Hubert Hurkacz: Hurkacz doesn’t have day off, because he had to finish his five-set win over Daniil Medvedev on Tuesday. A set and two game didn’t require much of a physical effort, but from a mental standpoint some rest would have been helpful. Whatever the case, the Pole is a significant underdog against Federer no matter what. The Swiss struggled earlier in his comeback, but grass–as expected–has been just what he doctor ordered. He looked especially good in Monday’s straight-set rout of Lorenzo Sonego. Pick: Federer in 4

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