Wimbledon Lookahead: Federer back to work after 2 days off
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 04, 2016 10:50 AM
Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts after beating Daniel Evans of Britain in their men's singles match on day five of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Friday, July 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
AP Tennis Writer
LONDON (AP) — While every other man left in the Wimbledon draw was busy playing over the weekend, Roger Federer got a two-day break.
He'll get back to work on Monday.
Federer, whose record 17 Grand Slam titles include seven at the All England Club, faces 29th-ranked Steve Johnson of the U.S., as all 16 men's and women's fourth-round matches are on the Day 8 schedule. Thanks to putting matches on court on the middle Sunday for the first time since 2004, and fourth time ever, the tournament is finally back on track after a rainy Week 1.
Back on Friday, Federer was the first man to get through the third round, helped by getting to play each of his matches on Centre Court, Wimbledon's only arena with a retractable roof.
Nine others advanced Saturday.
And six more men had to win Sunday, including four — No. 7 Richard Gasquet, No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 15 Nick Kyrgios and No. 32 Lucas Pouille — whose matches began the day before. So that quartet will be in action for a third day in a row Monday.
Don't expect much sympathy from Federer for those who might be weary.
"Credit to myself for maybe winning as much as I did here in previous years that I do get put on either Centre Court or (No. 1 Court). Maybe (I've) got to go on Court 1 next week. Maybe have to play four days straight. Who knows?" Federer said. "Yeah, things have gone well for me in the first week. We'll see how they go in the second week."
First up is Johnson in what shapes up as quite a mismatch.
Federer is trying to reach his 48th Grand Slam quarterfinal, Johnson his first.
At 26, Johnson is 8 years younger than Federer, and is not shy about saying the Swiss star "was one of my idols growing up."
"It's going to be a great experience," Johnson said after playing Saturday. "I'm going to go out there thinking I'm going to be the winner. I have no fear out there. I'm going to go out there and try and play my best tennis, and hopefully my plan works."
He can take some inspiration from his pal and doubles partner, Sam Querrey, who ended No. 1 Novak Djokovic's 30-match Grand Slam winning streak on Saturday.
"Gives everybody confidence," Johnson said.
Here's what else to look for on Monday at Wimbledon:
QUERREY'S FOLLOW-UP: Querrey, an American seeded 28th, now faces a much less heralded opponent than Djokovic, 51st-ranked Nicolas Mahut. But consider this: Mahut, who has reached No. 1 in doubles, has won both previous matchups against Querrey, including last month on a grass court in the Netherlands.
FRENCH FOURSOME: Mahut joins Gasquet, Tsonga and Pouille in giving France four men in Wimbledon's round of 16 for the first time in 87 years. Gasquet and Tsonga face each other, while Pouille plays No. 19 Bernard Tomic of Australia.
GET YOUR POPCORN: Possibly the most entertaining men's match will be the day's last on Centre Court: No. 2 Andy Murray against No. 15 Nick Kyrgios. Murray is a two-time major champion from Britain who will hear plenty of home-crowd support. Kyrgios is as polarizing as they come, a 21-year-old Australian who will hit a flashy between-the-legs shot on one point, then scream something someone finds offensive on the next. They're pals, and Murray has been one of Kyrgios' staunchest defenders.
WOMEN'S MATCHES: The two oldest women left are 36-year-old Venus Williams and her 34-year-old sister Serena. They also have combined for 11 Wimbledon trophies — or 11 more than the other 14 players still in the draw put together. Fourth-rounders are No. 1 Serena vs. No. 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova; No. 8 Venus vs. No. 12 Carla Suarez Navarro; No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska vs. No. 19 Dominika Cibulkova; No. 4 Angelique Kerber vs. Misaki Doi; No. 5 Simona Halep vs. No. 9 Madison Keys; No. 21 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. No. 27 CoCo Vandeweghe; No. 28 Lucie Safarova vs. Yaroslava Shvedova; Ekaterina Makarova vs. Elena Vesnina.
Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich