I was talking to a pal about Roberto Bautista Agut tonight. I mentioned that if the big three had produced the same results as him everyone would say they were playing well, which of course they are. My pal reminded me of the way Bautista hammered Khachanov on Friday and said that would be a result that if any of the other three had replicated against the Russian, people would take notice. It has been very good from him so far and he doesn’t look out of place in this last four lineup. The Spaniard was the only player going into today that had not dropped a set in the men’s singles, that has now changed. Guido Pella, as you would expect, would not lie down and ended up taking the third having given it a right go in the first two sets but come up short. Bautista is so solid though and I think he is striking the ball very cleanly. The flat strokes are working a treat on these courts. The Spaniard is not necessarily seen as a ‘fashionable’ player but he should be as the lad is quality.
This was another tip in my preview of the quarters and if you are that way inclined and read it, then I hope you did the right thing, hopefully with the Federer and Djokovic double too. That will do for self-promotion now. You have to enjoy it while it lasts though eh?
RBA has a crack at Novak in the semis. David Goffin started off so well today but it was always going to be a huge task to maintain that level and he clearly couldn’t. Once Nole gets into the groove you are going to struggle to get him out of it. His level rises where others drop, it makes for a huge rebase. It became very easy for him as he eased through. Nole has actually struggled against Bautista, he does hold a 7-3 head-to-head but has lost the last two and dropped sets in slams. Not in a semi-final of a slam admittedly. A squeak may be all RBA has but he does have that much going into Friday.
Federer overcame a very slow start that nearly cost him a double break, he got out of that game but couldn’t turn the set around against Nishikori. From there on in it was much better and he looked in control, he has been caught cold a few times here early on in matches. I don’t think he will want to give Rafa the same luxury. Nadal got past Sam Querrey in good time to set up the first meeting at Wimbledon between him and the Fed-Express since that classic in 2008. Incredible to think it has been that long. The very fact that people aren’t talking it up as much as usual possibly means it has more room to be a good contest. Rafa actually goes in as the bookmakers favourite (8/11 generally), which is in stark contrast to what we all thought pretournament.
MurRena is sadly no more, they lost a deciding set to top seeds Bruno Soares and Nicole Melichar. I think it has been a success for both involved and although I am sure they would have liked to have won it, I think they will both feel they got what they wanted out of it.
We switch back to the Ladies Semi-Finals tomorrow. Nerves.
Andy Del Potro