Manic Monday: Gauff, Serena, Nadal, Federer, Djokovic all in action – Tennis Magazine


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.

Winner: 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.

Winner: Williams

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.

Winner: Strycova

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.

Winner: Kvitova

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.

Winner: Martic

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.

Winner: Pliskova

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.

Winner: Halep

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.

Winner: Yastremska

*****

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.

Winner: Djokovic

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.

Winner: Verdasco

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.

Winner: Raonic

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.

Winner: Querrey

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.

Winner: Nadal

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.

Winner: Nishikori

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.

Winner: Federer


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