WIMBLEDON — We are down to the quarter-final stage at Wimbledon, and the men’s draw is going relatively as expected.
Holger Rune and Andrey Rublev are the first obstacles they must overcome, with the semi-finals then taking place on Friday.
It all resumes on Tuesday, however, with the quarter-finals in the bottom half of the draw.
Carlos Alcaraz (1) vs Holger Rune(6) – Wednesday 12 July
A blockbuster match-up whereby plenty of the build-up will be focused around their age, with 20-year-old top seed Carlos Alcaraz facing another 20-year-old in Holger Rune, the No 6 seed, making it the first time two male players under 21 are playing in a grand slam quarter-final against one another in the Open era.
“That’s great,” Alcaraz added. “The young guys are reaching their dreams, coming here and playing the quarter-finals together – it’s great for tennis. We said when we were playing a lot of tournaments at 12 years old, passing all the categories. Playing a quarter-final against him I am going to enjoy. It’s something for the fans to enjoy as well.”
- Prediction: Alcaraz in four sets
Daniil Medvedev (3) vs Christopher Eubanks – Wednesday 12 July
No easy match to predict, with Daniil Medvedev finding his feet on grass and Christopher Eubanks thriving on it, recently winning the Mallorca Open and on Monday seeing off Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Eubanks has already beaten the No 12 and No 5 seeds at Wimbledon, so could another shock be in store? This one could go the distance.
- Prediction: Medvedev in five sets
- Alcaraz (1) vs Medvedev (3)
- Sinner (8) vs Djokovic (2)
Jannik Sinner (8) vs Roman Safiullin – Tuesday 11 July
It does not seem unfair to suggest that Jannik Sinner has been living a charmed life at Wimbledon this year, largely untroubled by the inclement weather thanks to a schedule that kept him under the roof of No 1 and Centre and yet to face a seed. His opponents two have largely been South American clay-courters, and even his quarter-final foe Roman Safiullin is a rookie at this stage.
he unseeded Russian had never even played in the main draw of Wimbledon before this year, or beyond the second round of any grand slam. It is hard to see Sinner slipping up.
- Prediction: Sinner in three sets
Andrey Rublev (7) vs Novak Djokovic (2) – Tuesday 11 July
These two have something significant in common: they can both be their own worst enemy. That is not unique in tennis, but Andrey Rublev has had to work particularly hard to be a little nicer to himself on the court and says he is getting better, but there is no greater mental test in tennis than a clash with Novak Djokovic.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion did have to go to four sets against Hubert Hurkacz, who dropped only three points on serve in the set he won and blew a 6-3 lead in the first set tie-break, but still feels as though he has gears to work through.
The head-to-head here is shocking too for Rublev, who has actually beaten Djokovic but on the clay in Belgrade. Last time they met in Australia earlier this year, Rublev won only seven games. It was also his seventh grand slam quarterfinal, and his seventh loss at that stage. In China, eight is a very lucky number. At Wimbledon, with Djokovic chasing his eighth title here, it may be much luckier for the Serbian.
- Prediction: Djokovic in three sets