No sur­prises

Fed­erer, Djokovic, Nadal, Mur­ray head to Week 2 at Wim­ble­don

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY HOWARD FENDRICH

As usual, Roger Fed­erer, No­vak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Mur­ray are play­ing well at Wim­ble­don, lead­ing the way into Week 2.

“It’s their turf,” said Ernests Gulbis, who stood in Djokovic’s way in the third round but failed to present much of an ob­sta­cle. “It’s their home court.” In­deed, it is.

Not since Lley­ton He­witt won the cham­pi­onship 15 years ago has some­one other than Fed­erer (a record-ty­ing seven ti­tles in that span), Djokovic (three), Nadal (two) or Mur­ray (two) left Wim­ble­don with the men’s sin­gles ti­tle. In ad­di­tion, the so-called Big 4 ac­counts for eight run­ner-up fin­ishes dur­ing the stretch.

Count Fed­erer among those shrug­ging at the quar­tet’s suc­cess so far, with only one set dropped among the lot.

“I thought that ev­ery­body this week was go­ing to find their form, es­pe­cially speak­ing about Andy and No­vak . ... With me, I hoped I was go­ing to be there. Whereas with Rafa’s con­fi­dence, I thought he was also go­ing to be there,” said Fed­erer, who has a cold. “So I’m not that sur­prised. But it’s great.”

The men’s fourth-round matchups on the top half of the draw Mon­day are Mur­ray vs. Benoit Paire, Nadal vs. No. 16 Gilles Muller, No. 7 Marin Cilic vs. No. 18 Roberto Bautista Agut, and No. 24 Sam Querrey vs. Kevin An­der­son. On the bot­tom half, it’s Djokovic vs. Adrian Man­nar­ino, Fed­erer vs. No. 13 Grigor Dim­itrov, 2016 run­ner-up Mi­los Raonic vs. No. 10 Alexan­der Zverev; and 2010 run­ner-up To­mas Berdych vs. No. 8 Do­minic Thiem.

Wim­ble­don is the lone Grand Slam tour­na­ment that sched­ules all 16 re­main­ing sin­gles matches on the same day.

The top-half women’s fourth-rounders: No. 1 An­gelique Ker­ber vs. No. 14 Gar­bine Mugu­ruza in a meet­ing of the past two run­ners-up, two-time ma­jor cham­pion Svet­lana Kuznetsova vs. 2012 run­ner-up Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska, No. 5 Caro­line Woz­ni­acki vs. No. 24 CoCo Van­deweghe, and Mag­dalena Ry­barikova vs. Pe­tra Mar­tic.

In the bot­tom half, it’s five­time cham­pion Venus Wil­liams vs. No. 27 Ana Kon­juh, No. 2 Si­mona Halep vs. two-time Aus­tralian Open cham­pion Vic­to­ria Azarenka, French Open cham­pion Je­lena Ostapenko vs. No. 4 Elina Svi­tolina, and No. 6 Jo­hanna Konta vs. No. 21 Caro­line Gar­cia.

At 37, Wil­liams is the old­est woman left. At 19, Kon­juh is the youngest.

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