Fourth seed David Ferrer squared off against World no. 49 Croat Ivan Dodig in the last 16 at Wimbledon today. Ferrer was the more active of the players in the closely fought opening set, always ready to move the ball around the court to outsmart his rival. Unseeded Dodig, who made his debut appearance in fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament, faced eight break points in that part of the match, but somehow always managed to get out of trouble. On the other hand, the Spaniard held the last two service games in the build-up of the tie-break to love and looked like a slight favorite to grab the set. However, his challenger performed masterfully in the thirteenth game and put away the second of the four break points he had prepared.
The level of play remained high in the second set as the adversaries threw in some delightful rallies to entertain the crowd at No. 2 Court. Ferrer had to save a few break balls in the beginning to stay in front, whilst the flawless Croat kept catching up with ease, not dropping a single point in the first five service games. He then conceded a double fault and fell 15-30 behind at 5-6, but eventually forced the second tie-break by hitting an ace and a service winner. It seemed as he would dominate a breaker again, yet the hard working Spaniard rose to the occasion and prepared his first set point of the match after an unstoppable forehand return. He only converted the second one though as Dodig failed to send a backhand volley over the net – it was one set a piece.
The complexion of the clash changed drastically after that with the favorite fully controlling the third set, whilst his opponent could not find any foothold at that point. He suffered three losses of serve and ended up giving away the set in merely twenty-six minutes. The set four saw Ferrer staying in a commanding position and escaping to 3-0 before letting Dodig get on the board. He added another break later on to serve for a quarterfinal ticket and finished off the disheartened Croat with a well placed down-the-line forehand. While Dodig served more aces than the Spaniard (14-7), the latter made it through the final two sets without producing any unforced errors. Final score: 6-7 (3), 7-6 (6), 6-1, 6-1 after two hours and fifty-two minutes of tennis.
The Spaniard’s quarterfinal opponent Juan Martin Del Potro progressed in straight sets and without dropping a serve against Andreas Seppi of Italy, seed number twenty-three. The eighth-seeded Argentine generated eleven break points over the course of the match and tucked away two of them to take the first and the final set. In addition, he also prevailed in the second set tie-break to complete a 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-3 victory in two hours and twenty-five minutes. Delpo, who never made it that far at Wimbledon, is trailing 6-2 in head-to-head clashes versus Ferrer.
Tomas Berdych needed to be on his toes in a fourth round encounter with unseeded Australian Bernard Tomic. All of the serves were held in the opening two sets with the sixth-seeded Czech going one set ahead after the first tie-break and Tomic leveling the terms after the second one. Tomic had to negotiate nine break points in the third set and rescued all but two of them, thus allowing the rival consolidating his second break to eventually restore the one set lead. Things were now going from bad to worse for the Australian as he gave away another serve in the beginning of the fourth set and enabled the seeded player to wrap the proceedings up with 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4, setting up a quarterfinal match against top seed Novak Djokovic whom he has beaten only twice in fifteen matches.
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