Rafale Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer won their respective round of 16 matches on Monday to qualify for the quarter-finals of Wimbledon Open 2019. With them the evergreen 30-above generation of men’s tennis looks threatening to take a stranglehold at the All England Club.
Third seed Nadal swept over Joao Sousa of Portugal to clinch an easy victory of 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 and made it to his seventh quarter-final of the Wimbledon. Roger federer beat Matteo Berrettini 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 to progress to his 17th quarter-final of the tournament. Djokovic also had the victory easily come to him as he defeated Ugo Humber 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
Nadal next plays Sam Querrey in what will be his 39th appearance in a Grand Slam quarter-final. The 33-year-old Spaniard is chasing his 19th title at the majors, which would put him just one behind the all-time record of 20 held by Roger Federer — his potential opponent in the semi-finals. For Federer, the 11-time Wimbledon Champion, Japanese Kei Nishikori stands in his way of making to the semi-final. The Serbian top seed will face David Goffin in what will be his 11th quarterfinal at the All England Club.
“It was a good, solid match. It’s true that the serve probably didn’t work as good as two days ago,” said Nadal, who had been equally ruthless in the third round against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga when he lost just seven games. A lot of positive things out there. To be back in the quarter-finals is great news for me,” he said. He continued, “Happy to be where I am and the body is holding well, playing some good tennis — and straight sets helps.”
Federer, the second seed, tackled Italy’s world number 20 Matteo Berrettini in what was also the Swiss great’s record 17th fourth round appearance at the All England Club. Djokovic, meanwhile, had insisted that, despite the easy draw he has been subjected to this year, he would not be complacent about his chances of reaching the final for the sixth time. The highest seed that the world number one can face before the final is number 15 Raonic. But first up for the defending champion and 16-time major winner is 21-year-old Ugo Humbert from France, who is playing in his first Wimbledon.
“There were a lot of top seeds that went out in early rounds in Wimbledon,” said Djokovic. “That’s why these kind of tournaments are regarded as the most important events where you always come out with your best game.” Until this year, world number 66 Humbert had never played a match on grass either as a junior or a professional,” he added.
(With PTI inputs)