“Novak has found his mojo again” Please! He never lost it!

On June 5th Novak Djokovic was defeated at Roland Garros by Marco Cecchinato 6-3 7-6 1-6 7-6 (13-11) The Serb had chances especially in that fourth set to send it to five against the Italian who was exceptional throughout his stay in Paris.

Following the match the press conference of the year took place and Djokovic was unfairly criticised and written off. He didn’t want to go into the big press room but decided to go in a small side room with just a few journalists who made up their mind quickly.

I was seeing things saying he’s lost it, lost his mojo and was quizzed on his grass court season immediately after and in the raw emotion said he doesn’t know what he will do and it was taken literally.

I wrote a piece about this and it was unfair to write Novak off and was a disrespect to him.

Crisis? Not a chance, just a blip!

Two things I wrote about it this piece was that his frustration showed two things;

1 – he cares

2 – he expects better

I said in my Wimbledon preview do not write this man off!

He made the final of Queens and holes were picked in his game and Novak’s always had a rough ride but I think he deserves total respect and to come and win Wimbledon is fantastic for him and for the tour because he is back.

It’s a weird one as he did miss majority of last season injured but that doesn’t get spoken about like it does with other players finding their form again.

Like with all comebacks we all have opinions on how comebacks have panned out and I thought from the off it was a mistake to play in Melbourne, he didn’t look fit but fought hard. He then took a couple of months off and had this elbow issue still with R1 exits in Miami and Indian Wells.

In Rome back in May was when I thought he was moving well but the comeback is about building it back up and I have said anyone expected these players to return and pull up trees immediately need a reality check.

Back at No.10 in the world having slipped to 22 and a Grand Slam title in his hands… watch out!

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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 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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Wimbledon 🎾 Day 6 – β€˜Unprofessional’ Halep out! 😢 Zverev falls πŸ‘ŽπŸ» Kerber arrives 😎 Kei topples Nick 🍿 No Brits left πŸ˜’

Halep out!

World number one Simona Halep is out. Hsieh Su-wei from Taiwan put on a display like no other as she frustrated the Roland Garros champion who will be bitterly disappointed to be out so early and describe her attitude as unprofessional following her three set defeat to the 32 year old.

Gulbis takes out Zverev

I wouldn’t say I am shocked that Alex Zverev is out despite what he has done in Masters events over the past year or so in Grand Slams he does seem to hide away. Ernests Gulbis is not an easy player to play against. Gulbis is really talented and has built his ranking back up well lately and he knows what it takes to be deep in a major having made semi-finals of Roland Garros a few years back and now has 18 top 10 wins following his victory over Zverev it was his first in over two years.

Angie Kerber has arrived…

Two time former Grand Slam champion Angie Kerber has announced herself at Wimbledon. The German has been impressive but her win against Naomi Osaka was pretty special and she dispatched the Japanese star with ease with just one unforced error in the first set she took 6-2 and then the second 6-4 to set up a fourth round meeting with Belinda Bencic.

Nishikori topples Kyrgios

Kei Nishikori coming into this match had a head to head lead of 3-0 against the Australian and with the two players’ form and uncertainty over how fit Nishikori is but the former US Open finalist was in great form as he dispatched Nick quite easily which I was surprised about as I was expecting more of a challenge by the Australian who has been super impressive throughout the grass court season.

No Brit’s left! 😦

The last Brit standing Kyle Edmund is out. The British number one took the first against Novak Djokovic but the Serb’s fight, grit and experience at this level was too much for Kyle and once he got locked in and broke for 5-3 in the second set you could sense the change in mood and atmosphere with the momentum completely switching his way advancing to the next round!

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Popcorn 🍿 matches you cannot miss on Saturday! πŸŽΎ

England may be in action at the World Cup but down at SW19 there is another cracking day of tennis in store with some sensational popcorn matches to treat us with !

Alex De Minaur v Rafael Nadal

The Australian who made a name for himself on the tour in Australia during January has continued to star on the tour breaking into the Top 100 and now at a major is attracting attention even a congratulations from Hugh Jackman on Twitter now has a date with Nadal at Wimbledon!

Alex is super talented, his personality is infectious in the way he plays tennis and is fearless which has seen him hit a number of Top 20 wins.

Rafael Nadal on grass isn’t as superior as clay and despite his good start a test like this will be interesting to watch with Lleyton Hewitt in his corner as well.

Novak Djokovic v Kyle Edmund

The last Brit standing takes on a former champion. This will be a big match for both, this will be Kyle’s biggest win on tour and for Novak I think people would take him as a more serious contender.

I’m surprised he isn’t being considered as one of the contenders following his form at Queens but everyone seems to discount that and still talks about that Roland Garros defeat to Cecchinato almost a month ago which is unfair!

The British crowd will be there for Kyle and beating top players is a step in the right direction but in a best of 5 scenario is completely different!

Kei Nishikori v Nick Kyrgios

Kei’s form is not one I would consider is good enough to win a Grand Slam right now. That elusive Grand Slam still awaits but we never know how he is feeling!

Nick looks in good shape, he has a good few weeks and I would consider him a danger. In the early rounds of majors he can sometimes labour through matches and pick it up later on and I expect the full fireworks from him against Nishikori.

If I were to compare the two players’ games then Nicks would be the one!

In all three matches I cannot just chose a winner, there are so many variables that could alter the outcome which will be exciting to see unfold!