Serena got it done 6/2 6/2. I keep saying it but one match at a time. I wouldn’t say this was anywhere near vintage Serena today against Rodina but it was more than enough and that is all that matters. I thought she served pretty well again so long may that continue. She will play Camila Giorgi next, this could potentially be very tricky. The Italian beat Ekaterina Makarova, also in straights. She is playing well and doesn’t hold back with her own shots. Rena will be looking to get the first blow in here. As a fan, you always get more nervous as semis and finals get within sight. There are a fair few people in England knowing what I mean here at the moment. It’s coming home. However, there is no doubt we don’t want to take this one lightly against Giorgi.
Julia Goerges has made her way through to her first quarter-final at a slam. She was pretty clinical in beating Donna Vekic 6/2 6/3. Having had a marathon against Strycova she will be pleased to get this done in two against a dangerous opponent. I haven’t done that great in predicting the men’s draw but i have done a little better in the ladies. It could all go south tomorrow though. Goerges is a toss of a coin against Kiki Bertens who continued her fine form, carrying on from victory over Venus, she has now taken the last remaining top ten seed out in the draw. She powered her way past Karolina Pliskova today 6/3 7/6. She did get broken back in the second but stayed on it. Mentally, she held it together very well today. Pliskova has been well below par at times since last Monday and could have gone sooner.
Angie Kerber played well in beating Belinda Bencic. I said yesterday that this could be nasty and it nearly was. Bencic served for the second set in the end but Angie dug in and took it in the tie-breaker. She has upped her level since that tight victory over Claire Liu. She will need to maintain that when facing Daria Kasatkina. The Russian came from a set down against Alison Van Uytvanck who apparently ran out of steam in the decider.
Dominika Cibulkova got the better of Su-Wei Hsieh 6/4 6/1. She is certainly on one of those rolls that gather momentum and will only go in as a slight underdog against Jelena Ostapenko, who recovered from a slow start and a 2/5 deficit to beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich 7/6 6/1. The Latvian has basically said she is reaping the rewards of having the pressure off her. Unlike what she had in Paris this year as defending champion. Expect some punchy rallies in this match. There won’t be too much holding back from either.
Roger Federer looked to be sauntering through to the last 8 against Adrian Mannarino. The Frenchman was feeling in a generous mood as he gave Federer a set advantage, losing the first set 6/0 in about 16 minutes I think. He did start to play then and could have easily won the third set. Never any real danger for the Fed-Express after the opening set though. Kevin Anderson will take him on next after beating Gael Monfils in four sets. This was the first time he had beaten Monfils and there were several breaks here, 7 I think I read. There were also three breakers (all going the way of the South African).
Milos Raonic and John Isner will square off for a place in the last four having beaten Mackenzie McDonald and Stefanos Tsitsipas respectively. Raonic got it done in four but Isner was impeccable once again against Tsitspias. I think he has to like his chances bigtime here now having got a good head to head against the Canadian. Neither was broke yesterday, Isner still hasn’t lost his serve all tournament. With the heat and the courts being a massive boost for the Americans delivery. As if it needed it. On another note, what a top player Stefanos is going to be, he didn’t play badly today.
Djokovic is starting to play a bit again, there is no doubt about that. The signs are there now. To beat Karen Khachanov with such ease 6/4 6/2 6/2 is impressive. He has been very good with the exception of the early blip against Edmund. The Serb will face Kei Nishikori who has made his first quarter-finals here. He took out my 100/1 tip for the quarter Ernests Gulbis, he needed a bit of luck in fairness. First, it was Nishikori who was physically struggling (elbow), then it was Gulbis who took a fall in the third and did his knee pretty badly. The Latvian certainly had chances here but after the fall he was finished in the fourth. Good effort from Ernests this week and Nishikori to be fair.
And finally, Rafa Nadal is refusing to budge on his decent form. It wasn’t immaculate yesterday but it was still very good. Vesely did make a fight off it in the third and actually nicked a break but relinquished that immediately. It is 7 years since Rafa last made this stage here but you wouldn’t have thought it. He will be getting ready for what looks like Delpo in the next round. The Argentine has a two sets to one lead over Gilles Simon, having just dropped the third set before play was suspended last night. There is a possible injury concern for Delpo I think. This is one of those bad matchups I think for Del Potro on the surface, Simon is also playing well. I’ve got nothing against Gilles but I do want to see Delpo v Rafa.
Andy Del Potro