The field at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships has already been significantly narrowed as we enter the round of 16 on Monday.
Plenty of the world's top-ranked players have made unfortunate early exits from the tournament, and due to the increased level of competition on Day 7, we can expect more to follow suit.
Centre Court will see a bevy of attention on Monday, as top-seeded Novak Djokovic and defending champion Andy Murray will attempt to continue their runs deep into the tournament.
Will both advance, or will one fall?
To ensure not a single serve is missed, let's take a look at the day's full schedule, followed by predicting how a few of Monday's most prominent matches will shake out.
|Date||Time (ET)||Event||TV Info|
|Mon, June 30||7 a.m.-11:30 a.m.||Round of 16||ESPN|
|8 a.m.-4 p.m.||Centre Court||ESPN2|
|11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.||Round of 16||ESPNEWS|
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Order of Play: Wimbledon.com
Day 7 Predictions
(3) Andy Murray vs. (20) Kevin Anderson
Murray's bid at a successful title defense has looked great to this point. He has yet to drop a single set over his first three matches at Wimbledon.
Although, the No. 3 seed is in for a difficult test on Monday, as he faces the strong-serving Anderson.
Live Tennis tweeted the question on everyone's mind:
Andy Murray faces a giant test against 6'8" Kevin Anderson on Monday. Could Anderson serve Murray out of Wimbledon? http://t.co/X0HwQPrznY— Live Tennis (@livetennis) June 29, 2014
He doesn't serve as big as [John] Isner or [Ivo] Karlovic but he is probably better from the back of the court. He has a better return game too. There might be more chances to break but equally he will return better and make more balls when you are serving.
I would also say he is more mobile than Karlovic. Isner and Kevin both move well on the hard courts and I have played them both. But most of the big guys who play from the back of the court are pretty good movers.
Murray and Anderson have only met twice before, and they share a 1-1 record. However, the pair has not faced off since Anderson defeated Murray in 2011.
While Anderson will prove to be a formidable opponent, the one-man wrecking crew known as Murray will flourish in the end.
Prediction: Murray in four sets
(5) Maria Sharapova vs. (9) Angelique Kerber
Sharapova dominated the field at Roland Garros, earning the 2014 French Open title. Well, she's at it again in London.
Through three matches, not only has the No. 5 seed won each in consecutive sets, but she's only dropped a total of seven games.
Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times commented on Sharapova's great run in her third match to close it out:
From 1-3 down, Maria Sharapova reels off 11 straight games to beat Alison Riske 6-3, 6-0. Advances to R16 vs Kerber or Flipkens. #Wimbledon— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 28, 2014
While Sharapova has flourished, many of the women's top contenders have faltered. With Serena Williams and Na Li exiting the tournament early, the Russian appears to be the favorite at Wimbledon.
She will face a big challenge on Monday in the form of Kerber.
Kerber has looked good so far; however, she's been pushed to three sets in each of her last two matches. She was asked about facing Sharapova during a press conference, via William Denny of Wimbledon.com:
"I think it will be a nice match. You know, I have nothing to lose, I think. I will go out there, try to enjoy the match, and try to focus just on myself."
It will be a nice match, indeed. Although, Sharapova is simply a monster right now and doesn't appear to be exiting the tournament any time soon.
Prediction: Sharapova in two sets
(1) Novak Djokovic vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
The question surrounding Djokovic entering his round-of-16 match against Tsonga is the status of his left shoulder.
During his third-round match against Gilles Simon, Djokovic hit the ground awkwardly during the third set, rolling around and clutching his shoulder in obvious pain.
He was able to complete the match—an impressive three-set win—but his shoulder was still a concern.
According to Rothenberg, the latest report looks good for the No. 1 seed:
Djokovic checked with the doctor, and they found that there is "no major damage." #Wimbledon— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 27, 2014
There may be no major damage, but this could certainly hinder his performance against a very talented Tsonga who started the tournament slowly but recently defeated Jimmy Wang in three sets in the third round.
Still, Djokovic is familiar with his opponent and spoke of the upcoming match with ATPWorldTour.com:
"I know what threat he can cause on this surface. I expect him to serve well. I think that's his advantage. Obviously the serve in any corner. Coming to the net, he's a very aggressive player. If he's on, if he feels good on the certain day, he can beat anybody really."
Expect Tsonga to give Djokovic a run, causing the Serb to drop just his second set of the tournament. However, he won't have enough in his arsenal to defeat the No. 1 seed.
Prediction: Djokovic in four sets