August 6, 2021

surprises and records on the quarter-finals menu

During the last “Manic Monday” – the second Monday of the fortnight, during which all eighths, male and female – in the history of the tournament are played (from 2022, Sunday will no longer be idle), the male posters offered some unexpected performances. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, they qualified for the quarter-finals on Wednesday July 7 without being worried.

  • A historic first for Canada

One nation stood out in the round of 16 on Monday: for the first time in its history, Canada placed two of its representatives in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. Among them, the seed nº 16, Félix Auger-Aliassime. The young player offered himself a prestigious victory over the German Alexander Zverev, yet seeded number 4, in five hanging sets and more than four hours of play. Against the Italian Matteo Berrettini, he will play, at only 20 years, the first Grand Slam quarter-final of his career. For his compatriot Denis Shapovalov, on the other hand, this will not be a novelty. The number 10 seed matches his best performance in Major (quarter-finalist at the 2020 US Open). Impressive mastery in his eighth, the 22-year-old Canadian will face Russian Karen Kachanov for a place in the semi-finals.

Besides Auger-Aliassime, two other players will take their first steps in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. First Hubert Hurkacz: the Pole won at the end of the suspense against world number 2 Daniil Medvedev, after an interruption due to the rain and a match spread over two days. July 7, 18e world player will have a lot to do to reach the semi-finals. He will be opposed to Roger Federer, a player who, according to him, embodies “An inspiration for so many people”. “The game is going to be fun. I hope to have some support from the public ”, added the 24-year-old Pole after his victory on Tuesday.

Marton Fucsovics was also distinguished on the turf of the All England Club. Led two sets to one by Andrey Rublev (seeded number 5), the Hungarian doubted, but without giving up. He finally won in five sets, to reach the quarterfinals in a Grand Slam tournament, for the first time in his career. The 48e World is even the first Hungarian in seventy-three years to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, since Jozsef Asboth in 1948. But if Fucsovics wants to emulate his elder, he will first have to face world number one, Novak Djokovic. And the march will be high against the Serbian, imperial since the start of his tournament.

After his coronation at Roland Garros, the world number one had little time to adapt to grass. He did not even play any preparation tournament in singles, preferring only to line up in doubles at the tournament in Mallorca (June 19 to 26), where he had to forfeit in the final, his partner being injured. But the Serbian obviously had no trouble adapting to the demanding surface that is the grass. Apart from the first set lost to Briton Jack Draper in the first round, Djokovic then outclassed all his opponents, leaving them nothing but crumbs. Only eight games abandoned against Christian Garin in the eighth (6-2, 6-4, 6-2), and the Serbian is back in the Grand Slam quarter-finals, his 12the at Wimbledon and its 50e in career.

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In London, the world number one targets a 6e title, including a 3e of rank. Which would bring his total Grand Slam success to 20, tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. And would allow him to dream a little more about the calendar Grand Slam (winning the four major tournaments in the same season), a feat that only Rod Laver managed to achieve for men in the Open era (in 1969).

  • Roger Federer confirms his return to form

Adrian Mannarino had come close to the crime of lese majesté in the first round on June 29, pushing Roger Federer to the fifth set. But, injured, the French gave up and allowed the Swiss to qualify, in pain, for the second round. Since then, the eight-time winner of Wimbledon has gradually gained momentum, thanks to convincing victories against another Frenchman, Richard Gasquet, and a Briton, Cameron Norrie.

In his eighth, the Swiss confirmed his good feelings on grass. With a controlled match and a victory in three sets (7-5, 6-4, 6-2) on the seed number 23, the promising young Italian Lorenzo Sonego, Roger Federer rallies his 18e quarter-final at Wimbledon in 22 appearances. At 39 years and eleven months, he even becomes the oldest player to reach a quarter-final at Wimbledon, the previous record being held by Australian Ken Rosewall (39 years and eight months during his quarterfinal in 1974). On Wednesday, the Swiss will have the opportunity to reach a 14e semi-final at the All England Club if he wins against Hubert Hurkacz.