Just a day after controversial decision making saw Novak Djokovic fail to play on Manic Monday, he finds himself back on court 1 as the second of two matches on quarter finals day – leaving him possibly vulnerable to the same situation should rain strike as it did on Tuesday. He plays Tomas Berdych, hoping to make the semi finals in what would be his best slam result of the year.
It didn’t turn out to be as damaging as it could have been for him with the Serbian dealing with Adrian Mannarino as easy as expected, beating the Frenchman in straight sets. It’s hard to judge Djokovic so far on whether he will be at the level required to beat Murray and/or Federer given the relatively weak level of his opponents so far but the confidence from his winning streak is bound to be good for him. His only worry will be the shoulder which he had treatment on during the match. “We will see about the shoulder. It’s something I have been dragging around for a while but I am still able to play. I haven’t dropped a set in grass court events this year and I am very motivated to get as far as I can.” he said post-match.
Berdych’s reputation as a very good player who is probably never going to challenge the top players at the highest level on a regular basis is probably part of the reason that a 1 time Wimbledon finalist still has no buzz or spotlight on his run to the quarter finals so far. He won in a gritty 5 setter against Dominic Thiem in the previous round in a match many were expecting the Austrian to win. Despite going 5 sets, Berdych did not get broken once thanks to a strong serving performance that included 15 aces and an impressive 83% of points won on first serve.
Despite a 25-2 record against Berdych, Novak is taking nothing for granted and still believes the Czech is a big threat. ”
He beat me here in semis in 2010. It was I think his first Grand Slam final. Obviously he’s been around many years. He’s an established top-10 player, big game, flat shots, which are pretty good for this surface obviously where the ball bounces quite low.
Yeah, I mean, he’s someone that understands the occasion of playing big matches, big tournaments. He will not get overwhelmed by the stadium or whatever. He’s been there so many years. He’s got experience.” he said.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic in three sets