Yesterday was women’s quarterfinal day and we have a great line up of semifinals set for tomorrow. There was also one mens fourth round played yesterday because it wasn’t played yesterday. My feature match yesterday was the one men’s match played which was between Novak Djokovic and Adrian Mannarino.
In the feature match Novak Djokovic ended up prevailing 6-2, 7-6(7-5), 6-4 over Adrian Mannarino out on Centre Court. Djokovic was not playing his best at all and he probably should have got the job done a lot quicker against a physically hampered Mannarino. The first set went by very quickly because Mannarino was really struggling with his back and he was not able to move well at all as Djokovic broke him twice on the way to taking the opener. Mannarino’s movement was getting better and better as the match went on and despite going down an early break in the second set he managed to force a tiebreaker. The Frenchman was on the way to levelling the sets at 1-1 as he went out to a 4-2 lead in the breaker but Djokovic then won five of the next six points to go up by two sets. In the third set, a shoulder injury and the court conditions seemed to be bothering Djokovic but he still managed to get through the set after capturing a break to lead 2-1. Djokovic will really need to lift his game for the quarterfinals because this is the worst I have seen him play in this event so far.
One woman who won to make her second Wimbledon semifinal in the past three years was Garbine Muguruza as she moved past Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-4. Muguruza played a very good match especially at the net and it was a another situation where Kuznetsova wasn’t able to perform well when it got to the second week of a slam. Muguruza was playing well from the very start as she broke Kuznetsova’s serve early to lead 3-1 and she didn’t face a break point after that on the way to a very comfortable first set. Kuznetsova was able to get a bit of rhythm in the second but Muguruza was still too strong on serve for the Russian to be able to get into the match. The single break in the second set came when Muguruza smashed a forehand winner to go up 3-2. This is a very important win for the Spaniard because to ticks a lot of boxes by backing up a win over the world number one, reentering the top ten for the first time since the French Open and putting herself in a better position to qualify for the WTA Finals. She has Rybarikova for a spot in the semifinals and I think she should fancy her chances in that one.
The highlight of women’s quarterfinal day had to be when the home favourite Johanna Konta came through an extremely tight 6-7(2-7), 7-6(7-5), 6-4 over Simona Halep, who was playing for the world number one ranking. Halep came out firing her forehand and she easily captured an early break to get a 3-0 lead but once Konta got over early nerves it was back on serve and a tiebreaker was forced. Halep played a very sound tiebreaker and it was never in doubt as she bulldozed through it. There were nerves on both sides of the net in the second set and there were no breaks of serve on the way to the tiebreaker. It was even more nervy in the breaker and Halep finally caved at 5-5 as Konta forced a decider. In the disappointment of losing that second set Halep got broken midway through the decider to give Konta a 4-2 lead and she wasn’t able to come back from there as Konta didn’t drop serve again on the way to the win. Konta has handled the home crowd pressure very well and I don’t see why she won’t be able to carry that into her semifinal against Venus Williams.