WIMBLEDON 2015 – My highlights: Day Nine
Gentlemen's quarter-finals took place on Wednesday.
Andy Murray and Vasek Pospisil met on the Centre Court to fight for a place in the semi-final. Pospisil played three 5 set matches to get to the quarters. Andy, on the other hand, had a smoother ride, losing only two sets to Karlovic and Seppi and spent considerably less time on court. Arguably his “freshness” could become an advantage in this particular encounter. Pospisil is known to hit a big serve and forehand but he had one of the best returners of the game on the opposite side of the net. Both men are about the same hight, an inch difference to be exact but Andy is much more athletic and can get back even some virtually unreturnable balls into play. Going into this match Andy had an advantage and Posposil faced a tough task of playing against a home favourite. Pospisil's opening game was a clear statement, he served big and won to love. Andy also served well and it was 1 all on the scoreboard. Andy made a good effort to brake Pospisil early for 2-1 lead. He quickly consolidated the break. But then it started raining quite heavily, play was suspended and the court covers were on. It's very impressive how quickly they cover the courts. It takes 16 people and approximately 30 seconds to cover the entire surface. The players returned a while later, and after 5 minute warm up play resumed, with Andy winning the 1st set 6:4. The second rain delay came in the middle of the 2nd set. The roof was closed and play resumed again after about 35 minutes, following a 5 minute warm up. Andy won that set 7:5. In the 3rd set Pospisil started to show some signs of fatigue and ultimately lost the match when Andy broke for a 5:4 lead and was given a chance to serve it out.
Celebrating along with Andy Murry were distinguished guests – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, tennis legend Billie Jean King and David Beckham with his son Romeo, to name just a few.
Novak Djokovic met with Marin Cilic in the second match of the day on Centre. Cilic was looking for a huge upset but Novak proved to strong for him. After his troubles in the match against Kevin Anderson Novak was determined to make a short work of his opponent and that exactly what happened. On serve Cilic awarded Novak 5 break points, and Novak took 3 of them giving him a comfortable 6:4 :6:4 6:4 win. The world no. 1 is still on course for yet another major and after losing in the final of the French Open looks even more determined to lift the trophy on Sunday.
Roger Federer and Gilles Simon met second on Centre. Simon had a nice run to the quarter-final, defeating Berdych and Monfils in the most recent rounds. During a press conference following his 4th round win, Roger admitted that Simon had given him a hard time in the past pushing matches to 5 sets. The stats that everyone has been talking about today - those 116 games that Roger won consecutively without being broken. Today that was finally stopped by Simon in the 2nd set of their match. That seemed to upset Roger very much and he broke straight back and held his next service game to win the set 7:5. In the 3rd he didn't give much of a chance to Simon to do anything and won it 6:2. Clinical stuff.
Match of the day: A clash between Stan Wawrinka, the 2015 French Open champ and Richard Gasquet who beat Kyrgios and Dimitrov in a very impressive style just days earlier. It's safe to say this match was a battle of beautiful one-handed backhands. Stan's is said to be the best ever but Gasquet is not far behind him surely. In the first set Wawrinka looked a bit all over the place mishitting forehands and backhands and it was his error that led Gasquet to take the opening set 6:4. In the second set Wawrinka started looking much better, confidence was back, his shots were much cleaner. 2 double faults form Gasquet and the set went to Wawrinka 6:4. When Stan won the 3rd set 6:3 and was 2-1 in sets he looked to be very much in control of the match. But Gasquet regrouped quickly and took the 4th set—it was Stan's first double fault of the match that handed that set to Gasquet 6:4. Terrible timing. It the 5th set Gasquet had a couple of chances to serve it out for a 6:3 win but was broken, Stan won his service game to level the set 5 all. From then on it was a very tight affair. Stan had a disadvantage of serving second and with a backhand error finally handed the win to Gasquet 11-9 in the final set. When Stan's backhand is on, it's ON! But in this particular match, it was on and off. No player can afford lots of unenforced errors against a player like Gasquet. He's shown a lot of patience and mental strength on court. He will now face the world no. 1 in his next match. Can he be a thereat to Novak's game and dream final? Only time will tell.
Gentlemen's semi-finals will be played on Friday.