The Wimbledon final: Novak Djokovic aims for No. 21

Novak Djokovic
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Novak Djokovic’s body is always ready but the question is about his head. At times, he can be foggy, and out of the balance, but gradually, he wakes up and then he knows exactly what to do.

In the Wimbledon quarters, very young Jannik Sinner was pounding the ball, smacking it down the line, or low and cross court. In the first two sets, he had it all.

But after that, the smart veteran Djokovic began to change. He knows that when he is down, he has to change the points. He also had to come closer to the baseline and swing very hard. Not many people can come back from a two-to-zero-set hole. Djokovic can and has shown how to do it over the years. He really believes that he can out smart his opponent.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion did exactly that, outlasted Sinner 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

“You approach these particular situations when you’re two sets down a bit more calmly, a bit more confident, with more self-belief. I always believed that I could turn the match around,” Djokovic said.

Yes he did, and the 20-year-old Italian started to slip and the errors came, point after point. He did look decent at times, but he did not know how to deal with the confident and motivated Serb.

In the semis, Djokovic defeated Cameron Norrie 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. In the first set, Norrie was pounding the ball. But, the tide turned. In the last three sets, Djokovic was almost perfect, targeting his gigantic first serve, his amazing, crosscourt backhand and his hard forehand. When he is on, players have to play a zero percent to beat him.

He had another goal, because he knows that in the famous grass, he has another opportunity with a chance to win his seventh Wimbledon title.

Going for his seventh and fourth consecutive title, he will have to face the Australian Nick Kyrgios, who is playing as well as he has at any Grand Slam. He is a huge hitter, and he is so confident.

Kyrgios has beaten Djokovic twice in 2017 at Acapulco and Indian Wells. But that was a long ago. The 20-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic believes that, in the three-out-of-five-set format, he can put him down.

“It’s going to be [Nick’s] first Grand Slam final, obviously he’s very excited and he doesn’t have much to lose and he’s always playing like that. He’s playing so freely, he has one of the biggest serves in the game,” Djokovic said. “Just big game overall, a lot of power in his shots. We haven’t played for some time, I never won a set off him so hopefully it can be different this time. It’s another final for me here in Wimbledon, the tournament I love so much, so hopefully the experience can work in my favor.”

Another factor is the withdrawal by Rafa Nadal, who defeated Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals but pulled out of the tournament before facing off with Kyrgios. Now, he will have to contend with not playing a semifinal. The extra-long rest may help the Australian’s body but will the extra time to think be a problem for his often volatile emotions?

Let Taylor play!

Taylor Fritz
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

When I was the Atlanta Open media director, one reporter who was new to tennis asked, “What’s a lucky loser? How can a loser be lucky?”

I explained tennis’ practice of letting qualifiers who lose in the final round of qualies move into the main draw if a main-draw player withdraws before play starts. The rule gives more players a chance to play and advance into the tournament. Plus, it gives the fans an extra match to watch.

So, why not do that with the main draw? Let’s let Taylor Fritz advance into the Wimbledon semifinals.

Rafael Nadal, who downed Fritz in the quarterfinals, announced today he would not play his next match. He was scheduled to face Nick Kyrgios on Friday in the semis.

But, there are no lucky losers in the main draw or in any tennis tournament. If a player withdraws, his/her upcoming opponent gets a walkover. No opponent, no match.

What is the alternative?

Just like the advantages to give a lucky loser a slot in the main draw, the advantages of moving a loser further in the tournament are the same.

  • The fans, especially those who spent a whole lot of English pounds at Wimbledon, will get to see two semifinals instead of one.
  • The losing player will be pleased to get another match and can continue in the tournament.
  • No opponent would have one less match than another. In the upcoming Wimbledon singles final, Kyrgios goes in having played only five matches while his opponent will play six matches.

Oddly enough, there is a rule that allows Fritz to advance. If Nadal had decided to retire during the match (as seemingly he was encouraged to do by his camp), then Fritz would have been the winner. So, to a certain degree, it was the timing when Nadal decided to stop that means a Wimbledon semifinal won’t be played. Explain that to the fans and TV networks.

As happens when a player pulls out of a Grand Slam before the first round, both players would get a payday. To make sure giving up the match was not too attractive, the player withdrawing could get a small slice of the money. How about 25 percent?

What happens if Fritz is already on a plane to the U.S. when Nadal announces his withdrawal? Undoubtedly, he would return to London. But, what if this happens in a $25K low-level tournament and the player has arrived in the next city? Well, no penalty to the player if he/she decides not to play the match.

I’ve read criticism that allowing a loser to advance goes against the core of competitive tournament structure and it could contribute to intentional losing or, even worse, the temptation to have the player who would benefit influence the player withdrawing. All these are fair arguments.

There’s nothing wrong with questioning the tournament structure and making improvements.

Let’s discuss about how we can make tennis more attractive. If you have any thoughts on this rule change, please email me at

Wimbledon: Amanda Anisimova beats Coco Gauff

Amanda Anisimova
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Amanda Anisimova is still becoming more mature, on the court and off. Over the past few months, she began to think more clearly about her oncourt tactics. Both her forehand and her backhand are titanic, and while she isn’t incredibly fast, she can be pretty quick when chasing would-be winners. She stares at the ball and then she can decide to rally or leap on the lines. 

On Saturday, she beat Coco Gauff 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-1 to reach the fourth round. She was extremely excited.

“It was a super tough match today, but it was extremely special to get to play on Centre Court for the first time in my life,” Anisimova said. “It’s super exciting how many Americans are doing well and have advanced here so far. I think we have a ton of strong players. Even today playing against Coco, I think that’s extremely exciting and good for our country to play on Centre, both being American.”

She is the only American woman left in the tournament at Wimbledon. Jessica Pegula lost today, and a bunch of players lost in the first week. So now it is up to No. 25 Anisimova, to go further. 

“At the end of the day it’s about the consistency and how well you do at each tournament. It’s still something that I’m working on,” she said. “Just getting far into tournaments – I had a couple quarterfinals this year where I think I could have gone past it. I just try to take the experience. I’m just here for the journey so I’m building off of that.” 

It was a windy day, and the 18-year-old Gauff, who reached the final at Roland Garros, fell out in the last two sets. She could have been much more patient, but she just could not get it together. However, she said that Anisimova can go almost all the way. Oh, really? 

“I think she has got a good shot of pretty much going all the way to the final. If she plays like she did those last two sets against me, I think that’s some top-notch tennis right there,” Gauff said.

Anisimova will face the Frenchwoman Harmony Tan on Monday, who upset Serena Williams in the first round.

Swiatek’s streak ends

There was a wild upset when the No. 1 Iga Swiatek’s 37-match win streak finally ended. The 32-year-old veteran Alizé Cornet was very driven and she snapped winners all over the place. She can hit it short and soft with her second serves, but she is still very quick and she can blast her forehand. However, Cornet had not reached the quarters at Wimbledon. Earlier this year, at the Australian Open, she upset Simona Halep before Danielle Collins took her down in the quarters. 

But this time, Swiatek finally grew cold, and she lost, 6-4, 6-2 to Cornet. But, when she gets back on the hard courts, the Pole should be ready to punch it again.

Outside of Anisimova and Cornet, there are two players who are lurking, the former two-time champion Simona Halep, and the current No. 5, Paula Badosa. Halep won the 2019 Wimbledon, stunning  Serena in the final. Currently, she looks pretty good, but to get there, she has to hit it even harder. Last week, Anisimova punched Halep in Germany on the grass. The Romanian is always very steady, but she has to attack the net.

Badosa has had a strong year. But, she has yet to reach the semis at the Slams. The Spaniard picked it up last year, and she can be self-consistent, but once again, on grass, if she wants to go even further, she has to try and bang it down. Kick it, if you can.

Wimbledon, day 1: Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu win

Andy Murray

On a fun Monday, Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu were rewarded in front of the massive crowds. Both have said that in the famous first round, they were nervous at the start. But once they settled down, they locked in. They ran hard, they tried to hit the balls deeper, and also, they needed to mix it up, which they did.

Murray, who has won Wimbledon two times, believes that while he isn’t fast now because in the early 20s, the current No. 52 was quick enough and smooth. His hip surgery was serious enough for him to declare his retirement, but he has come storming back. Now he knows what to do, as long as he can stay health in the tough three out of five sets over the next 13 days. Murray will have to face the huge server John Isner in the second round.

“There’s always nerves and pressure. It’s great to get out here and get a win under my belt,” 35-year-old Murray said. “ I’m in a better place than I was last year when I played here.”

That is for sure.

The other crowd-pleasing Britain player, Emma Raducanu, had a very decent day, winning in two sets. The 2021 US Open winner has been hurt physically and mentally. The 19-year-old was confused for months.

She recently arrived at Wimbledon. At Nottingham, she only play seven games on grass before retiring. But she did practice a little bit last week, so while she is not quite there yet, she can bend close to the ground and bring it back. Then day after day, she can find focus. She hopes.

“My preparation wasn’t necessarily the greatest,” Raducanu said. “But I know that when it comes to the matches, I feel like I really switch on. I don’t feel like I need a massive amount of preparation. Of course I do to build physically. I think a lot of it is mental and I definitely went out with the belief today. I know that I can compete with anyone on the other side of the court when I really go for it.”

TennisReporters’ Wimbledon predictions’ co-owners Matt Cronin and Ron Cioffi go on the record with their Wimbledon picks. Each one give their thoughts on which players are going into the second week and the semifinals.

Here are the 10 men and 10 women, who want to happily shake hands in the final.

Rafa Nadal
Mal Taam/MALT photo


Rafa Nadal
Once again, Nadal continues to battle and work on new strokes. He won Roland Garros, with an amazing show, along with the Australian Open. He has a shot at the calendar year Grand Slam. That’s a big ask for a player of his age. Nadal gets hurt a lot, but when he manages to go on court, he figures it out. He is just fine at Wimbledon, and if he is healthy, he can win it and have 23 Grand Slam majors. That would be something else.

Novak Djokovic
Over the past couple months, the Serb finally began to play much better, banking on his super confidence. His backhand is phenomenal, his returns is terrific, and his first serve is so patient. However, he is not perfect. If he looks very good in the second week, he can push it into the final. And then he has a very good shot at his 21st Slam.
Matteo Berrettini
The Italian can go very deep once again. Last year, he beat Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz reading the final, before Djokovic beat him. He just won two tournaments this month, so he is ready to finally win a Slam. He likes to go down really low to hit his shot, and he also can jump up for some huge shots. He is right there, but can he really rise to the Slam challenge?

Carlos Alcaraz
The young Spaniard has had a wild, wonderful year. When the 19-year-old is feeling very good, he can leap around the court and paint the lines. He can be a little bit erratic, but he tends to go for it, anyway. He really likes the clay, but this is on the grass. So next week, he must change it up ASAP and get a clear understanding on how to preserve at Wimbledon.

Andy Murray
We all know that the three-time Grand Slam champion almost retired due to a massive injury, but he did return, and it appears that he is playing better now. The 35-year-old is unseeded. But, he knows almost everything to do to succeed on court. Now he is a little bit slower than when he won his majors. In order to reach the second week, he has to go for it early. If he cracks a bunch of winners, then the fans might think that he can win it at SW19. That would be a blast.


Stefanos Tsitsipas
The big Greek has a big game and a long fluid backhand. He is in the top tier of the best young players who haven’t grabbed a major, along with Alexander Zverev (who is injured), Berrettini, Andrey Rublev (the Russian is banned) and Felix Auger-Aliassime. It’s easy to say that it’s just a matter of time (and the retirement of the Big Three) for them to win a Slam. But, Tsitsipas has a better chance among these players because of his variety and ability to blast first serves. But, he may have to power through the unpredictable Nick Kyrgios in the third round.

Felix Auger-Aliassime
The Canadian has had a consistent assentation to No. 9. At 21, he still has a lot of time to improve. In 2022 he won Rotterdam over Tsitsipas and reached the Marseille final. But, there are too many events where he stalled in the quarterfinals. That has allowed him to rise to a career-high without having any notable momentum going into Wimbledon.

Casper Ruud
A run to the Roland Garros final was the high point of the Norwegian’s career, propelling him to No. 5 and the third seed at Wimbledon. But, he played only one match on grass and lost to No. 180 Ryan Peniston. Ruud has the big game to make a real run into the second week, especially that the only other seed in his first three matches is Sebastian Baez.

Hubert Hurkacz
Hurkacz is on fire. He took down Daniil Medvedev, Kyrgios, Auger-Aliassime and Ugo Humbert to win Halle. That gives the seventh-seed a head start on grass compared to others. His first-round contest is against the dangerous Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. He could face American Tommy Paul in the third round. Others in the bracket are has-beens Fernando Verdasco, Adrian Mannarino and Jiri Vesely.

Taylor Fritz
Fritz is seeded eleventh. That is fortunate as he has only reached one third-round match on the lawns ofWimbledon. It also doesn’t help that he is 0-2 on the grass in the two lead-up tournaments this year. His one claim to 2022 fame is downing Nadal at Indian Wells. So, why will Fritz go deep? He has the game to dominate on the grass. And, it just may be the right time for figure it out, if he can get by his possible third-round opponent: upstart Holger Rune of Denmark.


Iga Swiatek
Mal Taam/MALT photo


Iga Swiatek
She won Roland Garros, again, and the No. 1 hasn’t lost a match since early February. During each point, she goes for a winner quickly with her forehand and backhand, too. Obviously, she was a serious favorite on the clay, last year at Wimbledon, she lost in the fourth round. She certainly has been so much smarter now, and if that is the case, then she will continue to be brilliant.

Ons Jabeur
She has had a solid year, and gradually she has become more aggressive and better with her shot selection. On two clay court tournaments, she won in Madrid and reached the final in Rome. She just won Berlin on grass. However, she has yet to make much of an impact at Wimbledon. If she wants to achieve big-time success at Wimbledon, she has to bring a better game in the third set.

Maria Sakkari
No. 5 Greek Sakkari did have a very good last year, and this season, she did manage to reach the finals at Indian Wells. However, in the last three months, the fast hitter lost early at Roland Garros. She always loves to battle, and she rarely collapses. There is a good change that, if she reaches the final, she leap into heaven with the trophy?

Coco Gauff
She reached the final at RG. That was surprising, given that she is still very young. On the hard courts, she knows the right way to grind it, to take more time and to construct where to go. She is becoming better each months. While the grass can be odd, she will figure it out where to go.

Jelena Ostapenko
A few years ago, she won Roland Garros, crushing the ball. But, after that, she became so erratic. She is slower now, and she has not changed a few critical flaws. But now she is here again ready to crush her shots deep into the court. If she really wants to win a major again, she needs to find the motivation to hustle, really hustle.


Simona Halep
Remember 2019? Halep delivered a masterpiece with a crushing 6-2, 6-2 beatdown of Serena Williams. Sad to say she hasn’t played at Wimbledon since. As Halep has fought through injuries and questionable confidence, she still has the foot speed and consistency to battle all the top players. Getting into her way into the second week is Katrina Muchova in the first round and a possible clash with the resurgent Camila Giorgi in the third.

Petra Kvitova
I took a wild stab at predictions at the beginning of 2022 and said Kvitova would win another Slam. Which, obviously, has got to be on the fast grass of Wimbledon, where she prevailed in 2011 and 2014. She has the weapons and wide lefty serve to frustrate all comers, which showed in her straight-set defeat of Ostapenko in the Eastbourne final. She could face the fourth-seed Paula Badosa in the third round, which would be a challenge.

Karolina Pliskova
How can we do a Grand Slam prediction sheet without mentioning Pliskova. The “always a bridesmaid” label continues to stick. She can’t get deep without a possible meeting with Serena Williams. One of her two major finals was a year ago at Wimbledon. This year hasn’t been her best and she only advanced to the Roland Garros second round and lost to Gauff on grass in Berlin. She can get to the semis but holding the trophy might still elude her.

Paula Badosa
At the age of 24, Badosa doesn’t have much history at Wimbledon. She has only played twice and reached the fourth round last year. But, the Spaniard has the tools to bedevil most of the field, which is why she has risen to No. 4. She hasn’t played since Roland Garros, where she retired with a right calf injury. The lack of matches on grass could slow down her path to the second week. Still, she has the game to advance.

Serena Williams
What do you say about Serena? She still is a mighty force in women’s tennis. But, she has only played two doubles matches since her retirement in singles at 2021 Wimbledon. She is considered a threat to win her record-tying 24th Slam. But, she arrived in England out of shape. She will make all of her opponents worry. But, she could face Pliskova in the third round. So, we mention Serena in our top group but really have no idea how far she can go.


Matteo Berrettini: Will he take a big leap forward at Wimbledon?

Matteo Berrittini
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Italian Matteo Berrettini can really go very deep at Wimbledon next week. There are some notable players, like Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal, but the quick-footed Berrettini really likes to smash the ball on the grass.

Last year at Wimbledon he beat Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarters and then he defeated Hubert Hurkacz in the semifinals. In the final, Djokovic was super steady and he beat Berrettini in four sets.

However, the dogged Italian likes to go down really low, and he also can jump with some huge shots. He just returned to playing after wrist surgery this year, that sidelined him for three months.

Last week, he won Stuttgart, beating the three-time Grand Slam Andy Murray in three sets. And then, exactly one year ago Berrettini won Queen’s, beating Cameron Norrie in the final.

But he can be irritable on court.

“Sometimes in order to flip the match around or the energy level and your mindset, you have to scream. You have to do something that gets into your body, into your mental mindset in that moment,” Berrettini said. “I don’t feel comfortable throwing rackets or throwing balls, it’s not something I like to do. But sometimes screaming at yourself helps.”

Now he is ranked No. 11, and the 26-year-old is an inferno, finding the lines and corking it up.

“There are so many emotions,” Berrettini said. “The last thing I expected was to come back from surgery and win two titles in a row, defend my title here at one of the most prestigious tournaments we have. I don’t want to cry. Most of the job is thanks to my team and my family. I just can’t believe it.”

He has won seven titles, which is pretty good, but it was a bit odd that he has yet to win a hard court event. However, at the 2022 Australian Open, he reached into the semis, when he pushed back Gael Monfils in five sets. But, Nadal hit him into the wall. The 6’5” guy still has to improve before next week, because the Slam winners are ready to win another title. It is up to Berrettini to leap forward.

Murray has improved the year in the singles, but in the three-out-of-five, he might not be able to go in the distance. He has won Wimbledon two times, but we all know that he almost retired due to his injuries. He has always been a grinder, but he needs to shorten the points. If he does not, he has no chance to win it again …

Ig Reilly Opelka is hurt, then maybe he eil pull out of Wimbledon. In April, he won Houston, when the tall man was playing super ball. But after that, he has gone two wins and seven losses. Is it mental, or something else? …

In Eastbourne, there are a number of the American players. There were three wins today by Brandon Nakashima, Tommy Paul and Maxime Cressy. Ousted were Opelka, Sebastian Korda (who just pulled out at Wimbledon), Frances Tiafoe and Jenson Brooksby. Tiafoe will be seeded at the Big W. But, he has lost many matches this year. He has to go to the net more on the slick grass …

The two top men cannot play at Wimbledon: the No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. (Wimbledon banned Russians and Belarussian players due to the war.), and Alexander Zverev (who is injured). Other than Djokovic and Nadal, there are a few very good players who can rush into the second week.

Here are 10 more: Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Carlos Alcaraz, Auger-Aliassime, Hurkacz, Berrettini, Cameron Norrie, Jannik Sinner , Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov, Alex De Minaur and Nick Kyrgios. But of you want another one, throw in John Isner. Yes, he is aging, but his first serve is still called “Mr. Ace.”

Serena Williams, 40, returns to singles at Wimbledon

Serena Williams
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Serena Williams will return next week, but the 23-time Grand Slam champion has not played in a year.

She gave birth to her daughter in 2017 and wanted to be around all the time, just like other people. Obviously, there are also other people who do not really care, so they can continue to work away from their kids a lot. 

During 2021 Wimbledon, Serena had to retire with her leg a leg injury in the first round. She has rarely done that, so it was a shook. But, why push it? Now Williams has to be 100 percent to compete with the best on tour.

Serena has always been very thoughtful, but it took her years to trust people, on court, and off court, too. She quickly became one of the best players when she was only a teenager. And then after that, she became a dominate player, with her amazing first serve, locked-in return, gigantic forehand and backhand. She would just crack the ball on any line. She started at the WTA in 1998, and next week, when she start in Eastbourne, she is 40 year old.

Williams will play with Ons Jabeur in the doubles at Eastbourne, but not singles. Serena has won 14 Grand Slams doubles titles, along with — of course — her older sister Venus.

Is Serena lurking? Does she really believe she can grab another singles title at Wimbledon, where she has won seven times? That would be very surpriseing. Five years ago, Serena still looked like that when she was on it, she can find the solution. But the other excellent people became smarter and driven, especially Iga Swiatek, the current No. 1, who hasn’t lost a match since early February.

In 2016, Serena won it at Wimbledon over Angie Kerber. In the 2018 final, the German got her. Once again, at 2019 Wimbledon, she was in the final, but the intense Simona Halep stoned her.

Is it possible that the aging Serena can be brilliant again? Roger Federer, who won 20 majors, but he also is 40 year sold, and he hasn’t won a Slam since 2018, at the Australian Open. And just like Serena, his body broke down and now he cannot play until next year.

We all know that Serena can play some incredible points. But not every point, just like she did when she won four Grand Slams in a row. That was amazing. Now, Serena will need to excel over the long haul. It takes seven pressure-packed victories to win a major. A rusty, but still masterful Serena will have great moments at Wimbledon. But raising the Venus Rosewater Dish will probably not be one of them.

Wimbledon, Day 8: The round of 16’s old favorites, new surprises

Karolina Pliskova

The famous Round of 16 match is on Monday. It is very crowded. Th fans must decide: Where will they go? Good luck, and hopefully, there will be some dramatic matches.

A few days ago I wrote an article about Sebastian Korda, Madison Keys, Denis Shapovalov, Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur.

Here, there are 13 matches coming upon Monday:

Karolina Pliskova vs Liudmila Samsonova
The Czech has reached the second half at the Slams, so many times. She is vast hitter, but she can collapse. Samsonova is brand new and just emerging now. All of a sudden, she is a darn good player. It is her time, but she has to handle the big stage if she wants to advance.

Novak Djokovic vs Cristian Garin
The Serbian is steady of the rock, while Garin likes to move the round the box. Djokovic will be sharp with his backhand, and he will trick him a lot.

Angie Kerber vs Cori Gauff
The German is finally good again and she has won Wimbledon before, so she really likes to grind it. The American has improved a lot this year, but it will take her a while to really understand how tricking the grass is.

Roger Federer vs Lorenzo Sonego
The Swiss is getting better every day, but he is not perfect yet. The Italian is creative, and ambitious, but Roger will nail his forehand and his returns.

Ash Barty vs Barbora Krejcikova
The Aussie is still so-so. But the No. 1 really wants to minimize her errors, which is unusual. The Czech is rising, finally, and she can hit very hard, but at times she checks out mentally.

Alexander Zverev vs Felix Auger-Aliassime
The German badly wants to win a Grand Slam this year, and in the first week, he was more thoughtful and patient. The Canadian really hustles, and he can smack the ball, but Zverev returns better and bangs a bigger first serve.

Emma Raducanu vs Ajla Tomljanovic
Who would have foreseen that these two have won three matches? On Monday, they will be thrilled to be on the court. Maybe the nerves will kick in. It is a tossup, but if the veteran Tomljanovic strikes early, she will win it and celebrate, with a big smile.

Andrey Rublev vs Marton Fucsovics
The Russian is under control, and he can blast his forehand and backhand. Eventually he will win a major, but maybe not this Wiml\bledon, Fucsovics is pretty robust, and he must hit more with slice. Rublev will dominate him.

Daniil Medvedev vs Hubert Hurkacz
The other Russian was down 0-2 and it looked like he might fold against Cilic, but he stayed in there and came back by being steadier, with more penetrating shots. Medvedev can win Wimbledon, but Hurkacz is very neat, another man who will reach the top 10. Bang, bang. But this can go five sets.

Aryna Sabalenka vs Elena Rybakina
At times, Sabalenka can be angry, but this year, outside of the Grand Slams, she is pretty brilliant. She has so much potential. Rybakina is also gaining ground. She is showing real court understanding. This will be a three-setter.

Matteo Berrettini vs Ilya Ivashka
The Italian likes to rally a lot. He can attack when he has the opportunity and knock it on the lines. Ivashka has been around for a long time, and few people know him, but he reached the Round of 16, so he must be pretty fit.

Karen Khachanov vs Sebastian Korda
The Russian is a big banger, and the American is also young with a lot of variety. This should be a great match. Of course, they will go into the fifth set. Whomever will win will do it with a lot of aces and thev crisp returns. This will be all about who can keep their cool in the third set.

Karolina Muchova vs Paula Badosa
Another young player of note is Muchova, who can show grea potential. But, Badosa is even younger and is showing real steadiness. But, also, will Muchova climbing up the hill.

Wimbledon, Day 6: Korda and Keys: ‘It’s crazy’

Madison Keys

Also: Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov, Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur and more

Sebastian Korda is already streaking. He has a lot of variety, he is fast, he is powerful and he can meld it up. The young American took down Daniel Evans 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 at Wimbledon.

He is already consistent, and he started when he was born, as his father, Petr, and his mother, Regina, played on the tour. They pushed him a little bit, and they really talked to him. Oh, by the way, his two sisters play pro golf, Nelly rose to No. 1 last weekend by winning the PGA Championship and Jessica is No. 13.

“My dad won a Grand Slam, my sister just won her first major and is world No. 1 golfer in the world, so it’s super inspiring. It’s crazy,” Sebastian Korda said.

Yes it was.

He is not fantastic yet, but he is learning, and according to the ESPN broadcaster, Darren Cahill, who said: “I think he’s easy top five in a couple of years, two or three years, if he continues on this plane.”
The former champion Andy Murray won two matches, and then he folded on Friday, and he lost 6-4 6-2 6-2 against Denis Shapovalov. Murray is trying to come back during when he is playing, but he is still a little bit slow, his serve is so-so, and his forehand can be erratic. He has a jumbo way to go.

Shapovalov looked pretty good, the lefty, which some fine strokes, hard and deep. His serve is medicare a lot, and he is not great at the net, but he does focus at times, and he can swing away. He is already in the top 12, and after the tournament ends, he could be around No. 10. He is ready to outbreak.
Madison Keys won over Elise Mertens, and the American was absorbed. She is rugged, and she can crush the ball, but she can be hurt a lot. However, she looked happy and intense, and she has gone very deep at the US Open, and with the Australian Open, and Roland Garros. At Wimbledon, she has to commit what she has to do, on court. She has to learn even further.

Two weeks ago, Iga Swiatek didn’t like on the grass. Then, this week, she found it, and the one-time Grand Slam champion found it. She crushed Irina-Camelia 6-1 6-0 and now she is locked in. She does have a chance to go way deep next week. She is such a potent player.

The best match between the women on Friday was when Ons Jabeur jumped on against Garbine Muguruza. Jabeur is so robust , and she pushed herself in third set. She won it, 57 63 62. She is over the top. “To be able to pass the quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, like it’s something that I should do,” said Jabuer. “It is [the best day of my tennis career], seriously. This is my favorite centre court.”

Wimbledon, Day 6: Djokovic and Gauff look very comfortable

Coco Gauff

Novak Djokovic is setting his Grand Slam sights on Wimbledon. The Serbian has won it five times on the slippery grass. He is sharp on the hard courts and is more patient on clay. In London, he goes for it early, because the points are fast and and the ball stays low. He has to nail it, or go for drop shots that float it right over on the net softly

On Friday, he downed long-time American, Denis Kudla. Kudla can be very patient, but he can also go down quickly, as he doesn’t push himself enough. But, in a straight-set loss to Djokovic, Kudla proved more than a worthy opponent, stretching the No. 1 in a 64 63 76(7) battle. The American is the type of journeyman who can pop up with a strong showing every few tournaments or years. In this contest, Kudla’s best couldn’t dent the two-time defending champ’s more oppressive game.

Right now, Andrey Rublev is more than comfortable. Not only can he shatter the balls, he can also find his mark. Rublev was able to overcome a slight downturn at 1-1 in sets to exert his more consistent power and focus over Fabio Fognini.

Saturday matches
The No.1 Ashleigh Barty is still a little bit hurt, and why it will be tough to win the 2021 Wimbledon. It she just pushes herself, she can go deep. She did that on Thursday when she beat Anna Blinkova. She was not great, but good enough.

“I try to bring my game style and play my game style as often as possible, knowing what their strengths and weaknesses,” Barty said. “I go to work with Tyz [coach Craig Tyzzer]. We work on a few things. There’s nothing drastic that changes. I think for me it was just trying to get a rhythm on the court. I made a lot of unforced errors today, more than I’m used to. I think when I needed to step in, I did.”

Yes she did.

The No.20 Coco Gauff keeps going higher, as she beat veteran Elena Vesnina. Every event, she looks like not only can she belt the ball, but she is thinking all the time. The teenager will face another youngster, the 20-year-old Slovenian Kaja Juvan, who has had decent wins this year, but at the All-England Club, Gauff wants to reach the second week. She really might, and then, the fans will know who the 18-year-old is ready to do a winner’s dance.

Nice to see Vesnina competing after two-and-a-half years on the sidelines. Another mom is proving that significant victories continue to come after becoming a parent.