Sunday, July 03, 2016

Wimbledon Day 7: History is Alive Today

Hey, all. Galileo here.

Only three or four times in history have we had to play on the middle Sunday. Today was one of those days. Let’s just have a look at the matches, shall we.

...Berdych survives the future by winning 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1. The Czech himself declared his opponent would win slams in the future. And who are we not to believe the world number ten, anyway? It was a match where cannonballs and bombs were the currency. Physical and intriguing in the right measure, Zverev showed steel in his refusal to go away. But Berdman slowly broke the 19 year old’s spirit. It was an incredible effort to just take it to four sets. For nearly two and three quarter hours the pair entertained the sold-out stadium. The backhand rallies in particular were engaging. But while they both hit 34 errors, Berdych hit 44 winners to the German’s 24. It was factors like that, where Berdie had the edge. He managed to break six times, too. Of course, his young opponent did capitulate in the last set but even then Zverev hung around as long as possible. Now Berdych gets to play Vesely, most likely. No, scratch that...Vesely just won. Talk about another battle betwixt the past and future, but this time the winner can rightfully be declared the Czech number one. Vesely will be rising 15 spots to 49 so he really is starting to catch up the Berd.
...Kyrgios had a horror draw, but in the end he has come through with aplomb. He only dropped a set to Stepsy and edged Brown in five. Now he has beaten Lopez in four and looked fairly mature through all of it. When the umpire called him on match point for taking too long to serve he was very gracious. He didn’t rant. He didn’t rave. He was calm and accepted it though it was a horrible decision; Kyrgios is one of the most rapid servers out there. Kyrgios won 6-3, 6-7[2], 6-3, 6-4 in some three hours spread across two days. The crowd was under a spell throughout the whole thing. Nick won the aces battle 27-11. Isner has 114 aces and leads the aces count but Kyrgios is in joint second with 79. He is ahead of Querrey, but level with Raonic. The key number here is that Lopez only got 53 per cent of his first serves in. If that number is 15 per cent higher this match goes five. Kyrgios was 72 per cent in that area and he will neEd to stay at that level against Murray. He may even need to raise his level against the Scot. Considering this BACKSPINNER has butchered every other prediction, maybe the prediction that the Aussie will upset the Scot might come true. Wouldn’t it be good if I could prove I wasn’t totally useless?
...Now a top 50 player, Vesely he should be dismissing Sousa on this surface. The future top-tenner [hardly a bold prediction, for once] was calm and controlled as he rolled through 6-2, 6-2, 7-5. It took the lefty just 100 minutes to come through to the fourth round. If he beats Berdych he will crack the top forty. He even survived the third set fightback from his experienced opponent. Hitting 32 winners, including 12 aces, and breaking five times to none, he played the perfect match. And doing that against a seed at Wimbledon is very tricky indeed. He also won 82 per cent of his serving points. Sure, Berdych is 7 and a half steps up from Sousa but the Czech number one should still be a little nervous. He is about to be tested.
...6-7[3], 3-6, 7-6[5], 6-2, 19-17. That was the scoreline. Just four breaks. Isner hit 53 errors and 101 winners but somehow only 38 aces. Four hours and 24 minutes. Isner won 18 per cent of return points, his opponent just 27 per cent. Tsonga hit an incredible 88 winners to 20 errors. This was a match of incredible quality but also one where most rallies were really short. Honestly, it would be impossible to do this match justice unless you were there. So this BACKSPINNER suggests you go find someone who saw it and quiz them on this match. Because raw numbers do nothing to describe this bizarre and long battle. Tsonga’s victory prize will be a fourth round clash against Gasquet and that is most likely a bridge too far for the talented Frenchie.
...What a good day Gasquet has had. He gets past the Spaniard at a canter and his next opponent plays a marathon. Yes, the Frenchie won 2-6, 7-6[5], 6-2, 6-3. Seeded 7th, Gasquet has passed every test at this year’s Wimbledon. This match was only ever competitive as long as Gasquet couldn’t figure out the Spaniard’s game. Once he got to grips with it his opponent was in trouble. In the last set Gasquet started to really cook and even won the match on a massive forehand winner. Yes, correct, not a backhand, a forehand. Imagine that! He is starting to exude confidence, and with Tsonga likely to be 10 per cent less than usual he has a great shot to make a second semi-final in a row here. It would be his fourth slam semi but first he must deal with some tricky opponents. Even tired Tsonga will test him and so will Murray or Kyrgios. Berdych is likely to be waiting beyond that, too. He hit 47 winners against the Spaniard. He also showed more uncharacteristic mettle. Can he keep it up?
...Hard-working, unheralded Pouille has come through against the giant giant-killer. And it’s strange that Del Potro should so tamely fall to a Frenchman with seemingly little but a big serve. The Frenchie won 6-7[4], 7-6[6],7-5, 6-1. The match was effectively won in that second set. Once he leveled it at a set-all he had the momentum and he rode it all the way through. Also, his opponent somehow out hit him in the winners department by 73-36. That’s double and also not the Delpo that we know and love. The Argentine still rose 30 spots to 139. A few decent results over the summer and he will be able to enter events automatically. The Olympics may be beyond him, however. Pouille rises 4 places to 26 but he won’t beat Tomic. The Aussie has found momentum and form. He will see the fourth round clash as too good an opportunity to miss. There is a possibility of a Kyrgios versus Tomic semi-finals. Let us hope it happens.

Kiki and Garcia edged through a nervy encounter against Peng/Zhang 0-6, 6-3, 6-4. Their opponents broke more times [5-4] and won more points [84-82] but still lost out in the hour and forty-five minute contest. But they managed just one winner. So now our Frenchies go through. They may have to play seeds next, though their opponents have yet to be determined.

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