THE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013
Wimbledon Round Of 16 Preview: "No Favourite" In Djokovic vs Haas
by ATP Staff|
It’s business as usual in the top half of the draw, with four Top 10 players - Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin del Potro - playing for quarter-finals spots on Monday at Wimbledon.
“There's no clear favourite,” said Djokovic of facing Tommy Haas in the marquee match of the Round of 16.
While the top-seeded Serbian leads the FedEx ATP Head2Head 5-3, the pair has split their two meetings this season. More significantly, Haas won their two matches on grass in the 2009 Gerry Weber Open final and a few weeks later in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
“I think it's his most preferred surface,” said the World No. 1. “He loves playing on grass. He had a few great wins lately. He beat Roger [Federer] in the finals of Halle last year. He played again really well this season on grass. In general, this season he played great. I mean, he's 35 years old, and he's been playing very close to the best tennis of his life, in my opinion.”
Djokovic has also been sharp through the first week of The Championships. For the first time since his 2005 debut, he advanced to the fourth round without the loss of a set, including an impressive effort against Jeremy Chardy on Saturday in which he committed just three unforced errors.
The 26 year old is bidding to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for a fifth straight year and for a 17th straight time at a major. He is the only former Wimbledon champion remaining in the draw, following the losses of Federer, Rafael Nadal and Lleyton Hewitt in the first week.
Haas is one of five players aged 30 and over to reach the Round of 16 this week, joining David Ferrer, Jurgen Melzer, Lukasz Kubot and Mikhail Youzhny. He is the oldest player through to the Wimbledon fourth round since Jonas Bjorkman in 2007, and will look to become the oldest quarter-finalist since Tom Okker in 1979.
Spain’s David Ferrer will look to extend his streak of Grand Slam quarter-final appearances to seven when he takes on Ivan Dodig. While Ferrer will be appearing in the Wimbledon Round of 16 for a fourth consecutive year, this is the first time Dodig has reached this stage at a major.
World No. 4 Ferrer is attempting to become only the fourth Spaniard to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals multiple times, joining Rafael Nadal, Feliciano Lopez and Juan Carlos Ferrero. Following a rocky start to his 2013 grass-court campaign, when he fell in the first round of his title defence at the Topshelf Open (l. to Malisse), Ferrer posted four-sets wins over Martin Alund and Roberto Bautista Agut and rallied from a two-sets-to-one deficit against Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first three rounds of Wimbledon.
The 28-year-old Dodig became the fifth Croatian man to reach the Round of 16 at Wimbledon round after defeating Philipp Kohlschreiber, qualifier Denis Kudla and Igor Sijsling (Kohlschreiber and Sijsling both retired while down in their matches). Dodig has had success on grass in the past, reaching the Eastbourne semi-finals a couple weeks ago (l. to Lopez) and the ‘s-Hertogenbosch final in 2011 (l. to Tursunov).
Ferrer defeated Dodig in the Valencia Open semi-finals last year en route to the ATP World Tour 500 title. The 49th-ranked Dodig has a 3-8 record against Top 5 players.
Czech Tomas Berdych has a 10-3 record against Australian players, and has never lost to one outside of Australia - something Bernard Tomic will be eager to change when the two players meet for the first time on the No. 1 Court at the All England Club.
Two years ago as an 18-year-old qualifier, Tomic broke through to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final, where he fell to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in four sets. En route to the fourth round this week, Tomic defeated No. 21 seed Sam Querrey, James Blake and World No. 9 Richard Gasquet - snapping an 11-match losing streak against Top 10 players. He will need to post consecutive Top 10 victories for the first time in his career in order to earn a date with the Djokovic-Haas winner.
Like Tomic, Berdych also achieved his best Grand Slam results at Wimbledon. He finished runner-up to Nadal in 2010 after defeating Federer and Djokovic in the quarter-finals and semi-finals. The World No. 6 will be looking to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time since that run, having lost in the Round of 16 in 2011 (l. to Fish) and the first round in 2012 (l. to Gulbis).
Both players reached a grass-court quarter-final ahead of Wimbledon - Berdych at the Queen’s Club (l. to Cilic) and Tomic in Eastbourne (l. to Simon).
World No. 8 Juan Martin del Potro and Andreas Seppi face off at the All England Club for a second straight time. During the 2012 London Olympics, eventual bronze medallist del Potro won their Round of 32 match to improve to a 3-0 tour-level record against the Italian.
A victory over Seppi would allow the 2009 US Open champion to complete his set of Grand Slam quarter-final appearances and also become just the third Argentine quarter-finalist at Wimbledon, following in the footsteps of Guillermo Vilas (1975-76) and David Nalbandian (2002, 2005). Del Potro bowed out in the fourth round in 2011 (l. to Nadal) and in 2012 (l to Ferrer).
The 29th-ranked Seppi is also looking to become the third player from his country to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals, after Adriano Panatta (1979) and Davide Sanguinetti (1998), but has never reached that stage at a major in 33 previous appearances.
He advanced to the Round of 16 for the first time in his ninth Wimbledon appearance by upsetting 12th-seeded Kei Nishikori on Saturday. It was his seventh straight five-set victory of 2013 and his second of The Championships, having opened with a five-sets win over Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin.
Seppi won the grass-court title in 2011 at Eastbourne (d. Tipsarevic) and was a finalist in 2012 (l. to Roddick).