Stars continue to crash and burn in London at the 2014 Wimbledon, and the ever-crumbling list of top players is sure to see a reduction in size after Day 7.
Additions to the trash heap that is topped by the likes of Serena Williams are hard to discern, but with superstars such as Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova facing tough matchups on Monday in Round 4 action, the tournament known for seeing major names out early will retain its reputation.
That said, every player—including those Round 3 stragglers who had weather postponements—has Sunday off, which adds another level of intrigue to Monday's slate as all enter refreshed and armed with well-reasoned strategies with a spot to the quarterfinals on the line.
Let's take a look at the current slate and break down two of the top-flight duels.
Day 7 Schedule
|Third||No.5 Stan Wawrinka||vs.||Denis Istomin||No. 5 Stan Wawrinka|
|Third||No. 19 Feliciano Lopez||vs.||No. 9 John Isner||No. 9 John Isner|
|Third||Simone Bolelli||vs.||No. 10 Kei Nishikori||No. 10 Kei Nishikori|
|Round of 16||No. 1 Novak Djokovic||vs.||No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||No. 1 Novak Djokovic|
|Round of 16||Jeremy Chardy||vs.||Marin Cilic||Marin Cilic|
|Round of 16||No. 3 Andy Murray||vs.||No. 20 Kevin Anderson||No. 3 Andy Murray|
|Round of 16||No. 11 Grigor Dimitrov||vs.||Leonardo Mayer||Leonardo Mayer|
|Round of 16||No. 23 Tommy Robredo||vs.||No. 4 Roger Federer||No. 4 Roger Federer|
|Round of 16||No. 8 Milos Raonic||vs.||Bolelli/Nishikori||No. 8 Milos Raonic|
|Round of 16||Nick Kyrgios||vs.||No. 2 Rafael Nadal||No. 2 Rafael Nadal|
|Third Round||No. 11 Ana Ivanovic||vs.||No. 19 Sabine Lisicki||No. 19 Sabine Lisicki|
|Third Round||Madison Keys||vs.||Yaroslava Shvedova||Madison Keys|
|Round of 16||No. 25 Alize Cornet||vs.||No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard||No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard|
|Round of 16||No. 9 Angelique Kerber||vs.||No. 5 Maria Sharapova||No. 5 Maria Sharapova|
|Round of 16||No. 3 Simona Halep||vs.||Zarina Diyas||No. 3 Simona Halep|
|Round of 16||Tereza Smitkova||vs.||No. 23 Lucie Safarova||No. 23 Lucie Safarova|
|Round of 16||No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova||vs.||No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska||No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova|
|Round of 16||No. 6 Petra Kvitova||vs.||Shuai Peng||No. 6 Petra Kvitova|
|Round of 16||No. 16 Caroline Wozniacki||vs.||Barbora Zahlavova Strycova||No. 16 Caroline Wozniacki|
*For the full schedule, check out Wimbledon.com.
Matches to Watch
No. 3 Andy Murray vs. No. 20 Kevin Anderson
The defending champ has his work cut out for him on Monday on Centre Court against the 6'8" Kevin Anderson, known for his thunderous serves that have seen him through to the fourth round.
For Murray, the battle is perhaps more with himself than it is with Anderson. He has absolutely breezed through the first three rounds en route to a dominant first week that has given him the look of the favorite. But he seems aware of the letdown potential, as captured by Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian:
Sometimes I’ve had tough first weeks and gone on to do well and sometimes I’ve had easy first weeks and had equally good tournaments. I don’t think it makes a huge difference.
Last year I was coming to the tournament having not played at the French Open and missed quite a bit of tennis. Because of the grass it was important for me to get a good start in the tournament because maybe physically I wasn’t in my best shape. This year I don’t see that being a problem.
Victories over David Goffin (6-1, 6-4, 7-5), Blaz Rola (6-1, 6-1, 6-0) and Roberto Bautista Agut (6-2, 6-3, 6-2) suggest Murray is in top form and should have an easy go of it Monday.
This is especially the case when Anderson has seemingly struggled to overcome Aljaz Bedene (6-3, 7-5, 6-2), Edouard Roger-Vasselin (7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4) and Fabio Fognini (4-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1), the latter being the most recent and an erratic showing at best.
As Mitchell notes, Anderson enters hobbled with a back strain and an iffy knee after fighting through 556 minutes and 12 sets. “I just got a little stiff and it affected the serve right from warming up,” he said, per Sean Ingle of The Guardian. “So I was a little bit nervous. The more nervous I got the worse the back felt.”
That's a big issue and really throws out the fact the two have split their head-to-head encounters, 2-2. Anderson has a booming serve that can fell any opponent when at his best, but not even one day off can remove the shadow of nagging issues that has hardly seen him through to this point.
Prediction: Murray def. Anderson, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3
No. 25 Alize Cornet vs. No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard
Were it not for Alize Cornet's major 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Serena Williams in the third round, the No. 25 seed—who had previously never beaten a top-20 player at a Grand Slam—would not be the focal point of Monday's dance with Eugenie Bouchard.
After all, Bouchard is the No. 13 seed and at 20 years of age has the look of one of the sport's next big things after reaching the semifinals at both the Australian and French Opens this year. Her path has been nothing short of dominant with wins over Daniela Hantuchova (7-5, 7-5), Silvia Soler-Espinosa (7-5, 6-1) and Andrea Petkovic (6-3, 6-4).
But again, this isn't about Bouchard, even if most favor her or Sharapova to emerge the overall victor. This is about Cornet, who suddenly has a major win and a newfound confidence on grass, as noted by Ingle:
I cannot believe it. A few years ago I couldn’t play on grass but now I have beaten the world No1. It’s the biggest upset of the tournament. A dream. I cannot believe I did it myself – me! – but the tournament is not over for me. I know the next one is going to be very tough because Eugenie is playing incredible, but right now I want to enjoy my win.
Each of Cornet's three victories this bracket has gone to as many sets, with none being more important than the win over Williams after falling behind in such horrific fashion early. Furthermore, Cornet holds a 1-0 advantage over Bouchard, a three-set victory at the 2013 Internationaux de Strasbourg on clay.
Provided form and momentum hold, the result is anyone's guess and a must-see affair. As to pick whom to back, roll with the hot hand that simply refuses to go away.
Prediction: Cornet def. Bouchard, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4