On paper this looks like a formality for the Fed Express, but looking a little deeper into that statistics gives a glimmer of hope for fans of the veteran Belgian.
At 31, Malisse is a year older than Federer, and has a worrying 1-9 win loss record against him. Their last meeting in a Slam was the 2011 Australian open where Malisse was handed a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 hammering.
With the roof on centre court likely to be closed we should also look at their indoor match up and that also includes 2 straight set victories for Federer.
Fans of the Belgian will be clinging onto the fact that Grass is Malisse’s favourite surface, and the only time the pair have met before on grass was the 2001 Wimbledon Championships in which Federer eventually prevailed 6-3, 7-5, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3.
It was the following year in 2002 that Malisse had his best Wimbledon performance in which he reached the semi-finals. Playing sublime tennis the X Man was two sets to love up against Nalbandian when heart palpitations issues resulted in him unable to maintain his level, going down in 5 sets.
Fitness is unlikely to be an issue for either man as both come off 5 set victories in the prior round and have had the weekend to recover.
Malisse has arguably underperformed in his career with only 3 titles to his name, and Federer will be doing his level best to ensure the X Man maintains that status.
This match is ultimately in the hands of Federer. If he plays around 90% of his capabilities it should see him through into the ¼ finals unscathed, but anything less could see this turning into a difficult match of the Swiss master.
Victory would see Federer achieve 33 straight grand slam quarter-finals, and set up last-eight date with Youzhny or Istomin, neither of whom has ever beaten him.
It’s looking increasingly likely that we will see a mouth watering Djokovic vs Federer clash in the semi finals in the top half of the draw. The Bottom half looks more open with Murray hoping he can realise his seeded position in the 3rd quarter with stiff opposition from Ferrer, Del Potro, and Cilic (He plays Cilic today on Court 1).
American focus will be on the last quarter, which includes Mardy Fish who is coming back from heart surgery only 6 weeks ago, and also Bryan Baker the ultimate comeback kid and one-time US hopeful whose early career was ruined by injuries and is now making an astonishing comeback after five bouts of surgery.
Join the Stevegtennis.com tennis club for free. Just enter your email below for...
- Tennis news updates once a week.
- Special offers on tennis gear.
- Unsubscribe at any time.
- We will never share your email.