Monday at Wimbledon features an action-packed lineup of past champions and future superstars. Here’s a preview of the 16 matches that will decide the Slam’s quarterfinalists.
ASHLEIGH BARTY vs. ALISON RISKE
Barty vs. Serena is the one everyone is waiting for, but the Aussie will have to go through another American first. To get here, Riske has won three straight three-setters, and she won her only meeting with Barty, at an ITF 50K event on grass in 2016. Both women are better now than they were then—especially Barty.
SERENA WILLIAMS vs. CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO
Seeing the Spaniard on the other side of the net will surely make Serena happy. They’ve played five times, and Suarez Navarro has never won more than three games in any set. This is their first meeting on grass, but if anything, that’s only going to make things worse for CSN.
ELISE MERTENS vs. BARBORA STRYCOVA
This is a minor surprise: Mertens is the No. 21 seed, and Strycova is unseeded. But the Czech all-courter often saves her best for Wimbledon, and she’s coming off a commanding upset win of No. 4 seed Kiki Bertens. Can she win the fabled Bertens-Mertens double? I’m thinking yes.
PETRA KVITOVA vs. JOHANNA KONTA
If there’s a blockbuster fourth-rounder on the women’s side, it’s this one, especially for the home folks. They should come prepared to support Konta with everything they’ve got, though, because Kvitova has won three of their previous four matches. More important, once she gets rolling at Wimbledon, she’s very tough to stop.
ELINA SVITOLINA vs. PETRA MARTIC
Svitolina is the higher-ranked player, and has a 3-1 record against Martic. But Martic is playing as if she doesn’t believe she can lose right now. After reaching the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, she has won three matches at Wimbledon 6-4 in the third set.
KAROLIA PLISKOVA vs. KAROLINA MUCHOVA
Pliskova said “nothing could be worse” than having to play her last opponent, the stealthily swashbuckling Su-Wei Hsieh. How about playing an opponent from your own country, with your own first name? The third-seeded Pliskova, who is 1-0 against Muchova, may feel like she has bigger fish to fry at Wimbledon. Which means this could turn into a tricky trap match.
SIMONA HALEP vs. COCO GAUFF
On paper, this is where Gauff’s Cinderella story should end. Halep will be the highest-ranked and most in-form player she’s faced, and she’ll make her do the most running. If the 15-year-old is going to pull off another miracle, she’ll need to serve lights out.
DAYANA YASTREMSKA vs. SHAUI ZHANG
Yastremska will take on Shuai Zhang in Manic Monday’s most under-the-radar affair, and one that will give these two unseeded players a rare chance at a Grand Slam quarterfinal. Yastremska won their only meeting, in two close sets on hard courts, last year.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC vs. UGO HUMBERT
Humbert is a flashy, lanky, lefty shot-maker from France, and a 21-year-old to watch. In the future, that is. On Monday, in his first meeting with Djokovic, he’ll probably get a lesson in the value of being steady rather than flashy.
DAVID GOFFIN vs. FERNANDO VERDASCO
The 28-year-old Goffin feels a little 2016, and the 34-year-old Verdasco feels kinda 2009. But here these veterans are on Manic Monday in 2019. The Belgian and the Spaniard have split their six meetings 3-3; whatever year it is, this feels like a five-setter waiting to happen.
MILOS RAONIC vs. GUIDO PELLA
Somehow, despite a decade on tour together, the 29-year-old Argentine and the 28-year-old Canadian have never faced each other. Their first meeting will come on the right surface for the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up.
BENOIT PAIRE vs. ROBERTO BAUTISTA AGUT
In the biggest head-to-head surprise of the day, the Spaniard is 8-0 against the Frenchman (counting qualifiers and ATP Challengers). Bautista Agut also hasn’t dropped a set at Wimbledon, and he nearly beat Federer a couple of weeks ago in Halle. Paire may be having his best season, but the numbers tilt, slightly, in RBA’s direction.
Winner: Bautista Agut
SAM QUERREY vs. TENNYS SANDGREN
Neither of these two Americans has had a career year so far. But Querrey, a 2017 Wimbledon semifinalist, should be favored in their first meeting. He reached the final in Eastbourne last week, hasn’t dropped a set so far at Wimbledon, and may already be dreaming of a quarterfinal against Rafael Nadal. If he is, Sandgren has a chance.
RAFAEL NADAL vs. JOAO SOUSA
Sousa took a set from Nadal in Madrid in 2016, no mean feat. But those were Nadal’s days of struggle; judging by his blowout win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Saturday, he’s not struggling right now.
KEI NISHIKORI vs. MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN
Like Yastemska vs. Shuai Zhang on the women’s side, there hasn’t been much talk about these two so far. Perhaps people are assuming that neither man is destined to go much farther in the draw. Nishikori, who is 9-0 against Kukushkin, is more likely to make it to the quarters.
ROGER FEDERER vs. MATTEO BERRETTINI
Who has had the better grass season so far? That’s probably not a question you thought you’d be asked about these two, but it’s a fair one. Federer is 7-0 with a title, but Berrettini is 10-1 with a title and a semifinal. That’s a promising sign for the muscular young Italian, but chances are he’ll be 10-2 after Monday.