LONDON, July 2, 2014: Top seed Novak Djokovic, defending champion Andy Murray and seven-time winner Roger Federer target Wimbledon semi-final places on Wednesday, fully aware of the pitfalls of a draw which have already claimed Rafael Nadal.
World number one Nadal saw his latest attempt to win a third All England Club title shattered by Australian 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios, the world number 144, in a stunning fourth round upset on Tuesday. The defeat was good news for Federer who was seeded to face old rival Nadal in the semi-finals.
On Wednesday, Federer tackles Swiss compatriot and close friend Stan Wawrinka for a place in the last four. Federer will start as overwhelming favourite having a 13-2 record over his 2008 Olympic Games gold medal partner who has reached the last-eight for the first time.
But Australian Open champion Wawrinka won their last encounter on clay at the Monte Carlo Masters final in April and the two have never met on grass. “On grass, especially when he has a big serve and a big first strike, I try to do the same. We’re not going to see that many rallies,” Federer predicted.
“But if we do, you just try to manage those points as well as you can, either with variation, with power, with high-risk tennis, or maybe not, depending on how well he’s playing or how well I am playing.
“But important is that you first focus on your own serve, and that’s it. The rest sort of takes care of itself.” Djokovic, the 2011 champion, faces Marin Cilic, the Croatian 26th seed. Cilic is the fourth Croatian man to make the quarter-finals at Wimbledon after Goran Ivanisevic (1994-1996, 1998 and 2001), Mario Ancic (2004, 2006 and 2008) and Ivo Karlovic (2009).
Cilic has a woeful 9-0 losing record against Djokovic. Third seeded Murray has yet to drop a set at the tournament this year and will be playing in his seventh successive quarter-final at the All England Club. He tackles Bulgarian 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov who has made this stage for the first time. Kyrgios’s reward for beating Nadal is a clash with eighth seed Milos Raonic, the first Canadian to reach the last eight in over a century.
The two remaining women’s quarter-finals take place on Wednesday with third seed Simona Halep, the French Open runner-up, facing Sabine Lisicki, the German 19th seed who was runner-up to Marion Bartoli last year. Canadian 13th seed Eugenie Bouchard, widely tipped as a potential champion after the early exits of Serena Williams, Li Na and Maria Sharapova, faces German ninth seed Angelique Kerber.