Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

Wimbledon quarter-finals: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on course for last four

Big Three back in action at the All England Club on Wednesday, with semi-final places up for grabs

Novak Djokovic is three wins away from successfully defending his Wimbledon title. Getty Images
Novak Djokovic is three wins away from successfully defending his Wimbledon title. Getty Images

Only eight men remain in the hunt for the 2019 Wimbledon Championships title. After Wednesday's quarter-final matches, that will be reduced to four.

Ahead of the action, we evaluate the match-ups and predict who will book their places in the semi-finals.

Novak Djokovic v David Goffin

Head to head: Djokovic 5-1 Goffin

Most recent meeting: 2017 Monte Carlo Masters - Goffin won 6-2, 3-6, 7-5

It has been largely smooth-sailing for the top seed and defending champion. After successive straight sets wins in the first two rounds, Novak Djokovic was pushed a little harder in the third by Poland's world No 48 Hubert Hurkacz, who won the second set before getting flattened. Djokovic, 32, then needed only an hour and 44 minutes to thrash Frenchman Ugo Humbert to reach the quarter-finals.

In typical Djokovic fashion, the 15-time grand slam champion is finding top form at just the right time, which spells bad news for quarter-final opponent David Goffin.

The Belgian 21st seed has built on his run to the Halle Open final with an impressive Wimbledon campaign. After routine wins in the first two rounds, he was then taken the distance in the third by Russian 11th seed Daniil Medvedev before emerging victorious 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Facing Fernando Verdasco in the fourth round, Goffin tamed the Spaniard's power to win 7-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

With the Wimbledon courts playing slower than any time in recent memory, 28-year-old Goffin will have the best conditions possible to land an upset against Djokovic. Based on the world No 1's Wimbledon form, though, it remains an unlikely outcome.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win 3-0

Roger Federer v Kei Nishikori

 Roger Federer aims to take a step closer to a record-extending ninth Wimbledon title. Reuters
 Roger Federer aims to take a step closer to a record-extending ninth Wimbledon title. Reuters

Head to head: Federer 7-3 Nishikori

Most recent meeting: 2018 ATP Finals - Nishikori won 7-6, 6-3

Roger Federer began his bid for a record-extending ninth Wimbledon title by losing his first set of the tournament in 28 minutes to world No 86 Lloyd Harris.

It provided the jolt Federer needed as the second seed has since embarked on a destructive run of form that culminated with a 74-minute masterclass over the in-form 17th seed Matteo Berrettini in the fourth round.

Standing between Federer and a place in the semi-finals is Nishikori, who himself has enjoyed a comfortable Wimbledon up to this point.

The Japanese No 1 reeled off three successive straight sets wins before facing a bit more resistance from Mikhail Kukushkin in the fourth round, defeating the world No 58 in four sets.

Nishikori will provide Federer his toughest test of the tournament so far, but the Swiss has found his groove and looks set for the semi-finals.

Prediction: Federer to win 3-0

Guido Pella v Roberto Bautista Agut

Roberto Bautista Agut is the only player remaining in the Wimbledon draw not to lose a set. Reuters
Roberto Bautista Agut is the only player remaining in the Wimbledon draw not to lose a set. Reuters

Head to head: Pella 0-2 Bautista Agut

Most recent meeting: 2019 Munich Open - Bautista Agut won 4-6, 6-4, 6-0

Guido Pella is enjoying a breakthrough season, although much of his success has been limited to the clay courts. Given his Wimbledon preparations consisted of two defeats, few would have expected the Argentine to be in the quarter-finals at the All England Club.

However, Pella has navigated his way through a minefield of a draw that has included wins over two big-serving former finalists Kevin Anderson and Milos Raonic, whom he beat over five sets in the fourth round.

Pella next faces the only player remaining who is yet to lose a set. Roberto Bautista Agut has made light work of his Wimbledon opponents, including the 10th seed Karen Khachanov in the third round.

This should be an intriguing encounter between two players in good form who have impressed on a surface on which their games are not traditionally suited.

Prediction: Bautista Agut to win 3-1

Rafael Nadal v Sam Querrey

Rafael Nadal is a two-time Wimbledon champion. EPA
Rafael Nadal is a two-time Wimbledon champion. EPA

Head to head: Nadal 4-1 Querrey

Most recent meeting: 2017 Acapulco Open - Querrey won 6-3, 7-6

After a five-year spell of ordinary Wimbledon results, Rafael Nadal looks to have rediscovered his fondness for the All England Club. Last year's run to the semi-finals is on the verge of being replicated by the Spaniard, who has been in scintillating form to reach the quarter-finals.

Barring a titanic duel with Nick Kyrgios in the second round - which Nadal won in four tight sets - the third seed has blown away all before him, most recently a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 win over Portugal's Joao Sousa.

Nadal, 32, faces his biggest test against former semi-finalist Sam Querrey, who began his Wimbledon campaign with a fine win over fifth seed Dominic Thiem.

The 31-year-old American has fired down 100 aces at the tournament so far, and his serve will once again be his primary weapon against Nadal.

However, with the slower courts and Nadal's superb returning skills, Querrey looks set for a tough encounter.

Prediction: Nadal to win 3-0

Updated: July 10, 2019 08:03 AM

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