Del Potro 5-7 7-6 6-4 4-6 4-6 Nadal – the comebacks, the respect and of course the hug!

Arguably the match of the year.

Two of the tours most loved characters. Over the past year after a rough time with injury and poor form Rafael Nadal is playing some of his best ever tennis and his best tennis on grass for some time.

Juan Martin Del Potro is one of the most loved players on the tour. We thought it may not happen for him again following multiple surgeries. We hoped it would but realistically it looked glum and outside of Roger and Rafa he’s played the best tennis this year.

The match up between these two was absolutely fantastic and this photo below shows the respect each other have for the others performance but is definition of the phrase ‘you cannot give more’

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The hug between these two was incredible, the respect these top guys have for each other is outstanding. I cannot fault it!

These two pushed each other to their limits.

4 hours and 48 minutes they battled it out on centre court playing 341 points in total but the way they went about it was sublime and it is a shame that in tennis someone has to go home at the end of a match.

The forehands of both players are completely different but also equally brilliant. The power that Juan hits that inside out forehand was incredible to watch he hits with no regret in mind likewise with Rafa and his forehand which is one of the most aesthetically pleasing shots in tennis to watch but his backhand has also been sharp to.

The match will live on in memory for a long time and celebrates the progress these two have made after difficult times showing they are still the best on the tour and we all look forward to more of these sensational meetings!

 

 

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Wimbledon Ladies 🎾 Final – Serena Williams v Angie Kerber

Determination is not a strange word for these two ladies.

Serena Williams is back in a Wimbledon final, what an achievement this is. The former world number one has come through soo much in her career and less than a year after giving birth and in just her fourth tournament back since returning is back in the big time. Serena began Wimbledon ranked at 181 in the world and is now guaranteed on Monday to be No.28 in the world which is magnificent!

Angie Kerber is a player I admire greatly. In 2016 she won the Australian and US Open and also made a Wimbledon final appearance during a stellar year for the German. 2017 however was a write off she started the year as No.1 in the world and finished at No.21 but this year she is back and guaranteed to be top 7 on Monday.

Determination.

This will be the eighth meeting between the two players, their first encounter was back in 2007 and their last meeting was in 2016 at the Wimbledon final which Serena won. Saturday’s meeting will be there fourth straight final meeting as they fight for the big prize once again!

Kerber has been really impressive. I remember watching her in Eastbourne against Wozniacki and she was so frustrated during the match and felt like she wasted opportunities and let Caro back in.

An aspect of her game which let her down was her serve. Wozniacki was all over it but she has stood it up well this tournament and been effective however there is a big difference in this game serving against other opponents and serving against Serena who will set herself early to return especially if Kerber drops the serve short which she does.

For me this match will be won on those baseline rallies. Once we get a few shots in taking control will be key, if Kerber manages to gain the momentum and move Serena about it can be a difficult afternoon for the 23 time Grand Slam champion but if Serena plays with the intensity she did against Georges playing with that controlled aggression she can take full control.

I would love Serena to win this one, it’s been a hell of a journey here and this would be the icing on the cake!

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Wimbledon Semi-Final Showdown 🎾 – Novak v Rafa 🍿 & Kevin v John πŸ’ͺ🏻

Quarter finals day brought tears, shocks, upsets, hugs and a jump into the crowd via Rafael Nadal.

Now we are at the final four but who will progress to Sunday’s big final?

John Isner v Kevin Anderson

Before this week in 41 attempts John Isner had never been in a Grand Slam semi-final, Now that has happened!

Kevin made the US Open final last year but now in a Wimbledon semi-final is a credit to how he has improved and adapted his game to become a challenger, this is no fluke he has worked hard for this.

Both have similar strengths but I do feel like Kevin has the egde. Having the day off would be a massive bonus following his big win so I am intrigued to see who takes initiative first but I do hope for a Kevin Anderson win.

Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal

These two are no strangers to Grand Slam semi-finals or each other. This is the 52nd meeting between the two which is quite incredible.

The head to head currently stands at 26 to Novak and 25 to Rafa, it could not be closer! They last played each other at Wimbledon in 2011. Since the 2014 French Open final all matches (9) have been won in straight sets with Rafa winning their last two meetings but Djokovic from losing the Roland Garros final defeated Rafa 7 times on the bounce.

Rafa has looked so good on grass. The best he has looked for a long while, I really didn’t expect this and after the big test against Del Potro this is now a bigger test.

Novak has been so good to watch. I am so happy to see him playing well following that noise that followed his exit from Roland Garros, did people actually believe that he would not contend here? Please.

Winner…? Head says Novak, heart says Rafa…!

Wimbledon 🎾 Day 10 – Serena back in a Grand Slam final!πŸ˜† Kerber finding form at the right time! β°

We now have our finalists!

The remarkable Serena Williams is back in a Grand Slam final for the first time since giving birth less than a year ago with a super strong performance against Julia Georges in the semi-final as she will now play her tenth final at SW19.

Angie Kerber got her win against Jelena Ostapenko as the former finalist back in 2016 following her fourth straight set win in a row.

Serena Williams 6-2 6-4 Julia Georges

Back in a final.

The performance was something else. If I were to go through Serena’s performances over the course of the tournament this was so far her best. She was hitting winners, effective at the net and serving extremely well as she booked her place in the final.

It was close to begin with but once Serena found a gap she was gone and even when she led 5-3 in the second set and was broken to love it never felt like danger and she returned the favour breaking to love to win the match.

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Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-3 Jelena Ostapenko

Angie is on form. After a horrid 2017 she has turned it around big time and credit to her character and determination for that.

You don’t get a moments peace on the court against Angie which is something Osaka, Bencic, Kasatkina and Ostapenko have all found out in the last 8 days she has been relentless!

The tennis is just fantastic when she is confident and the mood stopping her is a challenge! She is super smart, Ostapenko hit 30 winners but Kerber hit 7 and she sat there like a brick wall and soaked up the pressure so well!

Wimbledon Day 9 – Federer stunned 😲 Rafa reigns πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸ‘‘Isner’s first πŸ₯‡ Novak favourite? πŸ†

Wow.

What a day that was! So, where else to begin…

Federer stunned by Anderson!

Roger Federer does not lose many matches from two sets to love up but Kevin Anderson from South Africa put on a performance of a lifetime as he took out the man who has won it eight times winning 2-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 13-11 against one of the best the sport has ever seen.

The talk will be on Roger being out but lets not forget the fearless performance Kevin put on. I said in my preview he needed to stick close early on and he didn’t but didn’t get himself down he just fought hard and the way he went toe to toe in rallies with deep returns was excellent!

Novak now favourite?

Novak Djokovic got his match done against Kei Nishikori without any major hiccup baring a set to the former US Open finalist. With Roger now out and Del Potro showing that you can push Nadal we know that Novak is a tough animal on the grass court as he is on any court on his day and over five sets for me he is favourite right now.

Rafa reigns!

A Wimbledon semi-final for Rafa. Rafa has played five semi-finals at SW19 in the past but has never lost one and it did look like being a tricky path as Del Potro took a two set to one lead before the Spaniard took a very close fourth set 6-4 followed by an even closer set 6-4 to claim the win. Commiserations for Del Potro but you feel he is at such a good level right now he can contend in Flushing Meadows in a couple of months time.

Isner creates history!

Wimbledon 2018 is John Isner’s 41st Grand Slam singles appearance. John made his first at the 2007 US Open at the age of 22 coming through college tennis now at 33 years old he has made his first semi-final appearance in a four match win against Milos Raonic who can take plenty of positives from the tournament but a match that came too soon for him.

Friday’s semi-finals will see Nadal take on Djokovic and Anderson take on Isner. Who will be in Sunday’s final? One thing we can guarantee a new finalist will be there!

Tomorrow is ladies semi-finals day as Serena Williams takes on Julia Georges and Jelena Ostapenko takes on Angelique Kerber for a place in Saturday afternoon’s final.

Wimbledon 🎾 Men’s Quarter Finals Preview πŸ†

128 down to 8 and by Wednesday night the draw will half again but who will make the semi-finals?

Novak Djokovic v Kei Nishikori

Who is this a bigger match for? We’re still waiting for Kei to go big at a major since US Open 2014 and bizarrely people still doubt Novak.

For me this is a no brainier! Novak is the favourite for me especially over a best of 5 scenario and he’s played a great tournament so far!

Kei can challenge but I just doubt a sustained one over 5 sets

Milos Raonic v John Isner

Competition time,

Who will hit more aces?

This will be decided on who takes risks and with these two big serves taking risks is something I don’t think we will see too much of as they can get picked off. Despite having to pull out of Queens in the buildup Raonic has looked sharp and likewise has Isner who has nullified his opponents weapons this week.

Tough one to call, is Raonic at a level to contend yet?

Roger Federer v Kevin Anderson

Roger hasn’t really been tested yet. Kevin will want to do this and the surface will help his serve and he has to look to mix it up and stay strong on serve. I like Kevin’s game, he has moved away from that big guy, big serve image and has improved his baseline and net game.

He will have to play with conviction. He can at times go into the net without conviction and be picked off so hanging in and getting to tiebreak will be key!

Juan Martin Del Potro v Rafael Nadal

Fireworks time πŸ‘ŒπŸ»

Not too sure what the expect from this one! Rafa is in his first QF at Wimbledon since 2011 and Del Potro is in great form on a whole this season!

Del Po has looked solid but hasn’t blown anyone away yet and I’m a big fan of his but if he is to beat Nadal the level does need to be better.

Nadal is playing well but I feel like everyone is waiting for him to slip up as it is grass. This is the first big test so the pressure is on for both!

Wimbledon 🎾 Day 7 – Business as usual on Manic Monday! πŸ‘πŸ»

It may have been Manic Monday at Wimbledon today but it was pretty much plain sailing for the majority of players out there.

Juan Martin Del Potro up two sets to one against Gilles Simon however did not get his match over the line in time so will have to return tomorrow afternoon to do so.

Karolina Pliskova was the only surprise of the day as Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands put on a stunning performance to down the highest seed left in the competition 6-3 7-6.

That was pretty much where the manic stopped!

Serena, Roger, Rafa, Novak and Kei got through unscathed.

Kasatkina and Anderson had big fights on their hands and the runs of Donna Vekic and Ekaterina Makarova who both beat top ten seeds earlier on in the week had come to an end.

The drama of the day was around lunch time on Court 18 after a bad piece of sportsmanship by Dominika Cibulkova.

Cibulkova hit a shot which was called out, Hsieh however hit the ball which was close to the line and kept it in. Hawkeye showed that the ball was in and at 4-5 0-30 the point was wrongly given to Cibulkova giving her three set points.

Hsieh was rightly fuming as she got a play on the ball and kept the rally going which in the rules means the point should be replayed but the umpire admitted she couldn’t remember Hsieh playing the ball. Hsieh called on the referee but she couldn’t help, the referee then went to speak to Cibulkova who said she won the point and should be 0-40 and after ten minutes or so the umpire made the decision to replay the point.

With the QF’s almost set tomorrow is ladies day!

Daria Kasatkina v Angelique Kerber

Big match. Two of the top seeds left in this tournament. Angie is the highest ranked left and she has looked really impressive. Having won a couple of majors before she knows what it takes but has the ability to take it one game at a time and not get ahead of herself.

Kasatkina is an interesting one, she can at times go for broke and her weapons are her forehand and backhand but sometimes too much time is her enemy as she just lets loose but at times with less accuracy so keeping some speed and momentum will help.

Serena Williams v Camila Giorgi

Serena in a Wimbledon QF for a 13th time against Giorgi. Camila is a player who likes to go big from the baseline and dominate. Consistency has always been a big issues for her on the tour and she can be hard on herself and I just feel she will come into this fearless and will want to go toe to toe with Serena that is in her character but we all know how good Serena is in these situations.

Kiki Bertens v Julia Georges

The smile on her face said it all. Relief from Kiki after getting over the line v Karolina and she deserved it her game was beautiful to watch the way she painted those lines was exceptional.

I haven’t seen much of Julia throughout the tournament. I did see her in Birmingham and I think I described her as flat but on highlights she has looked sharp and at home.

A tough one to call…

Dominika Cibulkova v Jelena Ostapenko

This has the potential to kick off big time. Dominika is the pocket rocket who usually does find form at this time of the year when she is confident and has that spring in her footwork the flatness of the backhand and the accuracy of the forehand is undefendable as she works her way up the court.

Jelena is a character on the tour. I don’t doubt she will be at the top 10 for years to come but I still feel like something else is missing. She can have these periods where she dominates and plays faultless tennis but then those performances full of faults creep in.

Another tough one to call!

If I had to predict the semi-finals…

I’d go with;

Kerber v Cibulkova

Serena v Bertens

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