It was sad to see Federer beat as comfortably as he was against Hubert Hurkacz. I thought that the Pole could give him plenty of uncomfortable moments but I didn’t think he would beat him as comprehensively as the 6/3 7/6 6/0 scoreline shows. Federer getting bageled! It sounds unthinkable. I mentioned coming into it that Hurkacz seeing Federer as his idol could work one of two ways and the one extreme certainly came into play. Where people say Serena has lost that aura, this is the same with Federer now. I personally don’t think when you consider surgery that this is that bad an effort at SW19. It just isn’t what people have come to expect. Hurkacz once again played really well, he served big and did likewise off the ground. No nerves were evident and to show that on this stage, against this opponent, is impressive. Is this the last time we see Federer is the main question? It will be an interesting week on that front. I hope not if I’m honest but it really depends how much he feels he can push himself. In his press conference, he said the plan all along has been to assess the situation after this event.
Matteo Berrettini will be his semi-final opponent. This was going well for him in the opening stages but his level dropped and Felix picked his up and levelled the match at one set all. The third set was absolutely key as Auger-Aliassime was on top and Berrettini’s serve was under constant pressure. There was always a big serve and forehand close by though from the Italian. When FAA lost his concentration at the end of the third, Berrettini won five straight games to take control of the match and see it through from there. It was a bit edgy at times but that isn’t a great surprise. The Italian’s confidence is high right now but there is no doubt in my mind how seriously he is going to need to take Hurkacz. The bookmakers have him around the 2/5 mark for their semi and I think it looks a tad short.
Novak is just sauntering through. He continues to operate at a different level. I was reading more comments that he just did the necessaries and was in energy-saving mode against Marton Fucsovics. It shows that he is virtually on autopilot right now and it is going to take a big effort to beat him. Either that or as i mentioned in Paris the weight of history. The latter is possible but that would not be something to rely on for all the Nole bashers out there. The signs as they were at the start of the fortnight look ominous.
Denis Shapovalov may require a slightly higher gear or two from Nole if he is to dispatch him in the other semi-final. I thought Shapovalov might beat Karen Khachanov with more ease coming into it. The Russian deserves credit for lifting his level but I have been impressed with the whole package from Shapo this fortnight. It all boils down to a players mentality ultimately and he has shown a lot of courage when push has come to shove. I think the cliche would be that he has kept a lid on his emotions well. It is a vast improvement from him and he can at least go into the semi with the attitude of being able to hit freely and see what happens.
Women’s Semi-Finals today, I am looking forward to seeing how the Barty v Kerber match unfolds in particular.
Andy Del Potro (Al Davies).