Raducanu & Nozzer win plus roundup – Day 4 Wimbledon 2021.

It is always nice to see a Brit having an unexpected run at Wimbledon and Emma Raducanu making the third round on Saturday is a nice surprise. It is not that the 18-year-old hasn’t been talked about but with Anett Kontaveit in this section, it looked a big ask. The Estonian was put out by Marketa Vondrousova who didn’t follow that performance up and Raducanu was on hand to take advantage. The Brit showed a lot of composure here racing out to a 6/2 first set and coming from 0-3 down in the decider to take it 6/4. After she said “I am really just here enjoying myself and trying to stay here for as long as I can. I think that is the motivation for me and I just go out there with nothing to lose.” It looked like she would be playing Vika Azarenka but Sorana Cirstea has knocked her out. Vika served for the first set and lost it and after recovering by playing some aggressive baseline tennis in the second set she lead by 3-1 in the decider. The lower abdominal/thigh injury she had from last week apparently started to flair up and her serve was getting taken apart by the end. I read that her interview was cut after thirteen words. It seems Vika didn’t have much to say.

A couple of bigger names fell. Elina Svitolina the fifth seed is out to Magda Linette, once again this was supposed to be quite a negative display from her. It often gets said that when she loses it due to her waiting for her opponent to miss in the rally and they don’t. Linette possesses a bit of variation and this proved a bridge too far. I read Svitolina has not made it past the last 16 of a slam this season despite being seeded in the top five each time. I was surprised to see Maria Sakkari getting beat by Shelby Rogers. Despite the big-hitting, the American has never done that well on grass but Sakkari didn’t play well enough to move her on the surface. Disappointing effort and maybe I need to accept she has a long way to go herself on grass. Another of my tips down. Talking of which Coco Vendeweghe lost to Katerina Siniakova. This wasn’t a surprise as she was my outsider for the quarter. Siniakova is playing well and she weathered the onslaught here coming from a set down.

Jelena Ostapenko rode her luck against Daria Kasatkina, who served for it a couple of times. She somehow managed to get through. Angie Kerber huffed and puffed her way into the third round making very hard work of Sara Sorribes Tormo. Karolina Muchova edged out Camila Giorgi in a third and will play Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova next who cruised through once again, this time against Kristyna Pliskova. There were also straight-set wins for Ash Barty, Coco Gauff and Barbora Krejcikova over Anna Blinkova, Elena Vesnina, Andrea Petkovic respectively. Barty conceded after her performance there is a need to get out on the practice courts and fine-tune a few things. On a side note I do love listening to Coco she is so mature and humble. She often gives honest evaluations about herself too.

Roger Federer also won in straight sets, keeping up his dominance over Richard Gasquet. Having won a tight first set where Gasquet was giving as good as he got it became a lot more straightforward from that point. Gasquet couldn’t keep his previous level and Federer sauntered into the last 32. Fed will play Cam Norrie on Saturday. The Brit got off to a very slow on Court One against Alex Bolt and was 0-3 and deuce on serve. The consistency from that point on just drove Bolt into the ground and he only won 3 more games all match. Nozzer has reached the third round for the first time at Wimbledon now and replicated his performances in this years two other slams. Can he go one further? Normally on a grass court, you would think not against ‘The Fed Express’ but let’s just see what happens here. It would get very interesting should Norrie take the opening set. This should be on Centre surely?

Sascha Zverev is getting it done nice and efficiently in the men’s. The Gerrman is yet to drop a set, that isn’t unusual for a lot of the top seeds as we know in the early rounds but that is not usually in Sascha’s makeup. Tennys Sandgren was thoroughly outplayed despite giving it his best. Taylor Fritz is his next opponent and as Zverev says he expects each match to get harder now. Fritz, still fresh from surgery only three weeks ago put in another phenomenal effort under the circumstances. I did put the American up at the start as my ‘big’ price for the quarter at 150/1. It is difficult taking all the evidence into account seeing him beating Sascha but you just never know, he should be able to cause a few problems anyhow.

There were also wins for Daniil Medvedev (against Carlos Alcaraz), Matteo Berrettini (Botic Van De Zandschulp), Marin Cilic (Benjamin Bonzi) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (Mikael Ymer). Two points of note there, Medvedev started putting his ears to the crowd on Court One after winning the first set, it kind of takes you back to a very mini version of what he was like in New York. Daniil clearly wants some love and to feel appreciated. Felix AA was struggling against Ymer but the Swede took a nasty fall at one set all and didn’t really recover. Nick Kyrgios put in a very focused display against Gianluca Mager and he really is talking a different game at the moment. There were the odd antics including the usual underarm serves and asking a spectator where to serve on match point, which he promptly won but it is very disciplined. It is great to see a bit of fire in his belly again. One of my outside tips Sam Querrey lost in disappointing fashion to James Duckworth. I obviously didn’t see that one coming. Miomir Kecmanovic also fell out of my big prices but he gave Robert Bautista Agut a right match, coming from two set down to just fall short.
Grigor Dimitrov and Gael Monfils were two seeds to lose, Alexander Bublik producing an immense performance all around by the sounds of it to oust the Bulgarian in three and Monfils lost to Pedro Martinez. Things are still nowhere near right with the Frenchman.

Al Davies (Andy Del Potro).

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