Serena Williams is out as things come to a head in London at the 2014 Wimbledon, but other stars and a fresh wave of young talent will make her and other fallen favorites such as Li Na and David Ferrer afterthoughts on Day 7.
Monday's action is ripe with elite talent set to partake in Round 4, which features a hobbled Novak Djokovic, a surging Maria Sharapova and plenty of sleeper contenders for good measure.
The slate even has room for some matches from Round 3 thanks to time-of-day postponements from Saturday, as Live Tennis notes:
So strap in, as things are about to get taken up a notch by the world's best with a spot in the quarterfinals up for grabs.
Day 7 Viewing Info
|Mon., June 30||7 a.m. - 11:30 a..m||ESPN|
|8 a.m. - 4 p.m.||ESPN2|
|11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.||ESPNEWS|
Day 7 Schedule
|Player 1||Player 2||Court||Predicted Winner|
|Novak Djokovic||vs.||Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||Novak Djokovic|
|Andy Murray||vs.||Kevin Anderson||Andy Murray|
|Tommy Robredo||vs.||Roger Federer||Roger Federer|
|Nick Kyrgios||vs.||Rafael Nadal||Rafael Nadal|
|Player 1||Player 2||Court||Predicted Winner|
|Alize Cornet||vs.||Eugenie Bouchard||Eugenie Bouchard|
|Angelique Kerber||vs.||Maria Sharapova||Maria Sharapova|
*For the full schedule, check out Wimbledon.com.
Matches to Watch
Novak Djokovic vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
With names like Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, among others, still in the running, it may seem the odds are stacked against Djokovic after he fell and sustained a shoulder issue in his most recent match.
Djokovic hit the turf hard in his third-round match with Gilles Simon, recovered through a 10-mintue medical pause and proceeding to destroy his opposition, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. After the fact, he sounded relieved to emerge relatively healthy:
“It was a scary fall and for a minute or two I thought my shoulder might have been dislocated,” he said, via Mick Cleary of The Telegraph. “In that split second it was not a pleasant feeling. It would have been the worst way to go out. But there is no damage. It will not affect my preparation.”
But the issue took place in the third set, so it is hard to know if the previously dominant Djokovic that disposed of Andrey Golubev (6-0, 6-1, 6-4) and Radek Stepanek (6-4 6-3 6-7 7-6) will remain to form.
This is especially the case against a more than game Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who suffered through two five-set affairs before getting to form and easily dispatching of Jimmy Wang, 6-2, 6-2, 7-5.
It's a bad time for a potentially hobbled Djokovic to encounter the booming forehands of Tsonga. That said, Djokovic holds a 12-5 head-to-head advantage, with the French star owning just one victory over him since 2011. It was a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 victory for Djokovic the last time they met, at Roland Garros this year.
Djokovic may not be at his best, and he has had some strange concentration lapses at time, but he'll be able to pull away as long as the shoulder does not inhibit him too much.
Prediction: Djokovic def. Tsonga, 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
Angelique Kerber vs. Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova knows a thing or two about failing in London. It has been a decade since she emerged the winner of the bracket and just 12 months since she left with her head down after a second-round defeat.
So no, Sharapova doesn't need to look at Serena Williams' third-round loss to Alize Cornet for a lesson on being complacent, but she should look at it as inspiration considering her path to the finals just got a whole lot easier.
Instead of a bout with Williams in the quarterfinals, she'll dance with one of Cornet or Eugenie Bouchard. But first things first—Angelique Kerber is no slouch. The No. 9 seed is behind in the head-to-head department against the Russian (4-1), but minus a few lapses, has looked relatively strong with wins over Urszula Radwanska (6-2, 6-4), Heather Watson (6-2, 5-7, 6-1) and Kirsten Flipkens (3-6, 6-3, 6-2).
But Sharapova's recent form has been nothing short of elite. Victories over Samantha Murray (6-1, 6-0) and Timea Bacsinszky (6-2, 6-1) embody this, and winning 11 games in a row after a quiet start to upend Alison Riske 6-3, 6-0 puts an exclamation point on her tournament thus far.
Journalist Nick McCarvel provides the final highlight to Sharapova's jarring performance so far:
End goal in hand with the likes of Li and Williams out of the running and a stellar form that reaches as far back as a triumph at the French Open, and it's hard to see Sharapova faltering against an opponent that has had plenty of hiccups to this point herself.
Prediction: Sharapova def. Kerber, 6-4, 6-3