Seeing Nole withdraw was a sad end to the match and one that Stan deserved better from. Having said that, I think it was also clear that Djokovic wasn’t right, so the boos were a little unfair. Stan was really rolling back the years, ripping the backhand, crunching the forehand and serving big. It had the feel of an upset. I am looking forward to this matchup with Daniil Medvedev next. The Russian just about kept the crowd at bay once again. Another dogged performance as he rode the Dominik Koepfer wave. The German has impressed me this last week. Medvedev is made of sterner stuff though and it’s remarkable how he keeps winning. You really feel he is using the crowd to his advantage to spur him on. I would imagine the support will be very pro-Stan in the last eight, so he will need to keep gaining strength from it.
Federer backed up his performance against Evans which made me feel a little better, as he ripped David Goffin a new one. 6/2 6/2 6/0 this time and that was after initially going a breakdown. It is effortless tennis to watch right now and it seems everything he is touching turns to gold after struggling against Nagal and Dzumhur in the opening sets. Still, a long way to go yet, so let’s see how the form holds up. He will face the ‘Baby Fed’ in the last eight as Grigor Dimitrov continued to make easy work of things. This time it was against Alex De Minaur. Disappointing stuff from the Aussie, who isn’t quite there in terms of backing up yet by the looks. The Bulgarian is in a very relaxed mood though and swinging from the hips.
It is always a concern when Serena goes over on her ankle. I was massively worried when it happened and I’m not sure we are out of the clear yet. Time will tell. I thought she played pretty well against Petra Martic, who has proven time and time again this year what a good player she is. The forehand and the backhand were working very nicely for Rena and purely based on the performance I was made up. I just wish the little twist hadn’t happened in the middle of the second set. Earlier in the day, Ash Barty had lost in straight sets to Qiang Wang. I didn’t see this one coming really but it was a fully deserved win. It is obviously good news as Williams fan but we don’t do taking games for granted and we are still talking a top 20 player.
Madison Keys was just having one of those days. It was infuriating to watch as Elina Svitolina did enough. The American more often than not made an unforced error somewhere along the line. The commentary were talking about the necessary changes she needs to make to her game and also how they have always been the same. It will be down to Key’s to do this or as it stands things won’t change drastically at the slams. Svitolina will play Brit Jo Konta in the quarters after she came from behind to oust Karolina Pliskova. I think the fact Svitolina holds a 4-0 head-to-head may actually work against her and I just have a feeling Jo might win this. I didn’t give her a fair chance at the start of the event but credit where its due.
Andy Del Potro