An historic first official/planned Middle Sunday and some truly explosive fireworks Saturday, it was a weekend to remember at SW19, we even had an Avengers Assemble style gathering of [most] the past greats to have triumphed on these hallowed lawns. Margaret Court’s presence didn’t dampen things too much thankfully.
Fiery Saturday sees favourites emerge
Where else to start but that Tsitsipas/Kyrgios battle, a throwback to the Johnny Mac years of absolute disregard for the rules and rule makers but crucially mixed with truly wonderous shot-making and serving prowess. Both men were sublime and both probably should have been disqualified. Not much else to that one really, but it was theatre of the highest calibre.
Nadal’s rare post match ‘discussion’ with Sonego aside, the rest of Saturday was focussed purely on the tennis and there were significant victories for players now emerging as favourites: Halep, Badosa [def. Kvitova] and Anisimova [def. Gauff] on the women’s side and for the men, de Minaur and Fritz have placed themselves firmly in the conversation.
The other big story of the day – for those casual viewers perhaps – was giant-killing Alize Cornet’s victory over Swiatek. The Pole’s incredible winning streak finally ended but on a surface she is hardly at home on and against a player who after her Oz Open QF is still clearly a contender anywhere,
Regal Sunday sees few surprises
Jelena Ostapenko’s defeat at the hands of veteran Tatjana Maria was the only true surprise of a comparatively calm Day 7. Djokovic was always going to proceed despite a small hiccup and loss of focus, Heather Watson was always going to run out of steam with such an ineffectual game and yes, Carlos Alcaraz – on this surface – was never going to defeat someone of Sinner’s quality and current form.
David Goffin’s victory over Tiafoe did raise eyebrows and Cam Norrie fans are justified in beginning to dream a little, even if the British number one has hardly met stellar opposition thus far.
Day 8 Match Picks
Nakashima vs Kyrgios [Time for the Aussie to back up the headlines with a winnable victory]
Badosa vs Halep [Can Simona find a way past the on-paper tournament favourite?]
Cornet vs Tomljanovic [Cornet to continue?]
Anisiomva vs Tan [Fairytale continues for Harmony?]