I’m made up for Jay Clarke and Marcus Willis, a great win over the defending champions Herbert/Mahut in the doubles tonight. These are normal lads, not players who demand superstar status! Clarke has quickly become a player I have started to follow with great interest and really think we can expect some very good things from him. Marcus Willis has taken so much flack about his weight on social networking, who’s laughing now! Have any of these fools actually won matches at grand slam level?? These two were only denied main draw spots in the singles with last round defeats in qualies. Clarke lost in 5 to Sebastian Ofner and Willis lost to Marchenko. It was clear at the time that both should have been given a wildcard into the main draw. Home grown talent that excites the crowd, I certainly have a bit of ‘beef’ with the AELTC’s wildcards this year!
Elsewhere, it was comfortable wins for all the top lads. Raonic beat Ramos-Vinolas in straights and set up a clash with Sascha Zverev on Monday after the German beat Sebastian Ofner. Could Clarke have reached the third round had he beat Ofner? Unquestionably, he could have beat both Bellucci and Sock right now, I genuinely believe that! Dudi Sela retired at two sets down against Grigor Dimitrov 1/6 1/6, it sets up a Fed v Baby Fed last 16 encounter after the Fed-Express disposed of the big-serving German, Mischa Zverev!
Thiem and Berdych were both straight-sets winners against Jared Donaldson and David Ferrer. Thiem is only going to improve on this surface and in all honesty, I hope he beats Berdych to make the last 8. Adrian Mannarino caused the only upset of the day by beating fellow countryman Gael Monfils in 5 sets. Monfils was not impressed with his performance and suggested nothing seemed to go too well today!. Mannarino’s prize is a fourth round tie with Novak Djokovic, who outplayed Ernests Gulbis today. This was a potential banana skin for Nole and he upped it today, make no mistakes. Can he kick on next week? The jury is still out! He deserves respect for this performance today though!
Angie Kerber survived a huge scare against Shelby Rogers after trailing by a set and break, Rogers served for the match. She loves to find herself in a spot of bother does Angie. She will face Garbine Muguruza next after the Spaniard defeated Sorana Cirstea in comfortable straights. I just wonder how much the events of Thursdays match against Beth Mattek-Sands were still on her mind going into this. Aggie Radwanska came from a set down to beat Timea Bacsinszky and she will now face Svetlana Kuznetsova after the Russian wasted no time in beating Polana Hercog. Impressive from Kuzzy today. though Hercog did fade badly. I love watching Kuzzy, the complete game was evident today, she really has every shot at her disposal!
Magdalena Rybarikova ousted Lesia Tsurenko 6/2 6/1, backing up her performance against Karolina Pliskova (and the last month in fairness), she will take some beating if she can replicate this for another week. It’s Petra Martic next up after the Croat beat a tired Zarina Diyas. Martic also reached the fourth round at the French last month after returning from a back injury that kept her out of action for almost a year. Coco Vandeweghe had a bit of a wobble in the second set against Alison Riske but came through 6/2 6/4. Her last 16 encounter will be against Caroline Wozniacki who took out Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian was in total control of this at 6/3 5/4 (*30/0) and served for it again at 6/5, she couldn’t close it out though. She said after that she will learn from this and it has been an experience gained. Prior to the nerves, she was blitzing winners all over the place. Coco will be looking to do the same against the Dane on Super Monday.
Andy Del Potro