Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 May 2019

Wimbledon 2017: Federer, Nadal and Kerber take centre stage in five matches to watch on Day 7

Fourth-round matches are served at the All England Club on Monday.

Rafael Nadal during a training session on Day 6 of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Gareth Fuller / Press Association
Rafael Nadal during a training session on Day 6 of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Gareth Fuller / Press Association

Fourth-round action in the men's and women's singles begins on Monday. Here we pick the five best matches of the day. All times UAE (denotes seeding).

Grigor Dimitrov (13) v Roger Federer (3) - third on Centre Court So similar is Dimitrov's playing style to that of Federer that comparisons between the two have been unavoidable. The Bulgarian is a fan of the Swiss master, but he has found the media's oft-used moniker "Baby Fed" a little patronising. It has probably added to the pressure, too, given the great expectations tennis lovers have of the world No 11. Dimitrov has not beaten Federer in five meetings and the probability of breaking that sequence against the 17-time grand slam champion, who is chasing history on his favourite surface, is low. Dimitrov, though, has matured over the years and is at the top of his game. It will be fascinating to see whether he shows that level of maturity and backs himself against, perhaps, the greatest player of all time. In any case, one expects both players to serve a sumptuous tennis feast.

Head-to-head Dimitrov trails 5-0

Rafael Nadal (4) v Gilles Muller (16) - second on No 1 court (not before 4pm) Beyond the fact both these players are left-handed, their styles could not be more different. Nadal is a baseline player who relies on imparting spin on the ball and keeping it in play for a majority of his points. Muller is an old-fashioned serve and volley player who is more attacking on court. The man from Luxembourg is a seasoned campaigner who has beaten Nadal at Wimbledon once, in 2005, and the 14-time grand slam champion will be right to beware of his opponent. Nadal may have won Wimbledon twice and is fresh from a 10th title triumph at Roland Garros but his record at All England over the past five years has been below par. He is the favourite to win on Monday, but it will not be entirely surprising if Muller, a self-professed grass-court specialist, uses his experience and giant-killing ways to end the Spaniard's superb run at the majors this year.

Head-to-head Nadal leads 4-1

Dominic Thiem (8) v Tomas Berdych (11) - third on No 3 court (not before 2.30pm) Berdych is a veteran who loves playing on grass and has reached the Wimbledon final - in 2010. But he has also been one of the great disappointments of his generation. Blessed with immense ability, the 31-year-old Czech player has often buckled under sustained pressure when up against the 'Fab Four'. His form this season has been sketchy, too. Thiem, on the other hand, is eight years younger and one of the most promising players of his generation. He has enjoyed a good run in 2017, having reached the semi-finals of the French Open. However, the Austrian's game is better suited to clay than grass. While he seems to have adjusted his game, it will be interesting to see whether he has the game to beat the vastly more experienced Berdych.

Head-to-head Thiem trails 1-0

Angelique Kerber (1) v Garbine Muguruza (14) - first on No 2 Court (starts at 2.30pm) Both players have struggled to replicate their respective runs in 2016 when Kerber won the Australian Open and the US Open titles, rising to No 1 in the world, and Muguruza took home the French Open trophy. 2017, however, has been a different story for the German Kerber and the Spanish-Venezuelan Muguruza who have both crumbled under the weight of expectations - much like many women players before them. It is indeed a shame they are meeting in the fourth round, rather than deeper in the draw, but it is heartening to see them showing plenty of pluck at All England, with Kerber having come from behind to beat Shelby Rogers in the previous round. Add to that the fact they are both power hitters who have made it to the final - Kerber in 2016 and Muguruza the year before that - and this showdown is likely to be highly entertaining.

Head-to-head Kerber trails 4-3

Victoria Azarenka v Simona Halep (2) - second on No 2 Court The story of Azarenka, a former world No 1 making a comeback to top-level tennis after giving birth, has compelled people to sit up and watch her play. It is tempting to think she has enough quality to go all the way and win the title, especially given how open the women's draw is this season. However, she will be the underdog when she faces one of the form players in the draw on Monday. Halep disappointed not least herself after losing to little-known Jelena Ostapenko in the French Open final and will be eager to make amends. The Romanian, who seems to have rediscovered her mojo thanks in large part to her coach Darren Cahill, has also the added incentive of becoming world No 1 if she reaches the last four at All England. Having said that, she is up against a player who knows what it takes to win a major title - Azarenka has won the Australian Open twice - and who has a huge amount of self-belief. This match is unlikely to end without a fight.

Head-to-head Halep leads 2-1

Updated: July 10, 2017 08:21 AM



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