The first week of the 2014 edition of the Wimbledon Championships was an exciting mixture of elite play from the top names and early departures from some of the tournament’s favorite stars, and the focus has now shifted to Week 2 and the schedule for Day 9.
The excitement for Wednesday’s men’s quarterfinals has both hardcore and casual tennis fans clamoring for the action, and the excitement surrounding the top seeds remaining in this tournament will make Day 9 unforgettable.
Whether you support Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray or one of the other stars still fighting for the Wimbledon trophy, the anticipation for Wednesday’s action is at fever pitch.
Here is the television schedule for Day 9 and the marquee matchup you can’t afford to miss.
Where: The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, England
When: Wednesday, July 2
Live Stream: WatchESPN.com
|Date||Time (ET)||Watch||Live Stream|
|July 2||8 a.m. - 3 p.m.||ESPN||Watch ESPN|
|July 2||8 a.m. - 4 p.m.||ESPN2||Watch ESPN|
Can’t Miss Matchup: No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. Marin Cilic
The focus Wednesday will be on which men’s stars advance to the semifinals, but most eyes will be on No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic as he squares off against Croatian star Marin Cilic.
Djokovic is coming off a loss in the finals of the 2014 French Open and is looking to bounce back on the grass courts of Wimbledon. The No. 1 seed defeated Andrey Golubev, Radek Stepanek and Gilles Simon in the first three rounds, but his best performance came in the fourth round against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Tsonga is one of the best grass players on tour, and his power makes him a serious threat. Despite the daunting challenge, Djokovic overcame his challenger’s strengths and withstood Tsonga’s offensive barrage to win in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, 6-6 (2-2).
Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times tweeted about how impressive Djokovic’s game point was against Tsonga:
Novak Djokovic finishes with an instant classic backhand return winner to beat Tsonga in straights. He gets Marin Cilic in QFs. #Wimbledon— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 30, 2014
After knocking off Tsonga in the fourth round, Djokovic talked about his performance and what aspects of his game he believes are working well for him, per ATPWorldTour.com:
[Tsonga's] a top player, and he loves the big stage. So to be able to win against him in straight sets on the surface that I feel suits him the most is a great result. I was very happy with [my] consistency today, mental consistency, and variety in my game. I played very well from back of the court. All in all, it was a very good match, and hopefully I can continue keeping the same level.
As Joe Fleming of USA Today shared on Twitter, though, there is legitimate concern about the shoulder that has continued to plague Djokovic since he landed awkwardly earlier in the tournament:
Djokovic clutched the left shoulder late in the third set, but he is through in straights (AFP) pic.twitter.com/kZiJyWALCI— Joe Fleming (@ByJoeFleming) June 30, 2014
Cilic deserves immense credit for making it to the quarterfinals of a major for the fourth time in his career, but it is his play on court during this event that will make him such a serious threat to Djokovic.
Will Novak Djokovic win the 2014 Wimbledon Men's Championship?
Djokovic knows how to handle the pressure, though.
As long as the shoulder issues don’t cause problems as the tournament progresses, Djokovic has the length and speed to use the grass surface to his advantage against any opponent.
Add his powerful serve and dangerous return game, and Djokovic will advance to the semifinals.
Predicted winner: Djokovic, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
Stats via Wimbledon.com.