Roger Federer can make it 100 wins at Wimbledon if he is victorious in his quarter-final on Wednesday afternoon. The second seed will play Kei Nishikori for a spot in the final four, where he can rekindle his Wimbledon rivalry with Rafael Nadal.
Nishikori has made the best of a weak draw, dropping just one set on his way to the quarter finals. That was against Mikhail Kukushkin on Monday, who he eventually went on to beat 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4. He was mostly solid on serve in the match, save for a wild opening to the fourth set where there were five straight breaks. The eighth seed has been a model of consistency this year, making the quarter finals now at all three slams so far.
There were plenty predicting that Federer would have a tough time on Monday evening, taking on one of the tour’s form players in Matteo Berrettini. As it was, the Italian was overwhelmed from the beginning and Federer needed just 75 minutes to demolish his opponent 6-1 6-2 6-2. “He didn’t have his best day. I know that, as well. I was dialed in. I was able to get a lot of balls back, I think because of the conditions as well. I think if it would have been faster, then again we would have seen the match that I was expecting with few chances here and there,” Federer said. “I was just able to maybe outmanoeuvre him with my slice. He couldn’t hurt me enough with his forehand, which I thought was going to be maybe tough to manage today. Everything seemed to go easier.
“I’m sure that I have to play good tennis to beat Roger, because he’s best player on the grass, I think he seems to be playing good this week, past two weeks, so… I’m sure it’s going to be tough. But I feel like I am very confident this week, playing good tennis.” Nishikori said. Nishikori did win their last match at the World Tour Finals in 2018 but has otherwise struggled, going 3-7 against the Swiss.
Federer is going to face a tougher test than he did on Monday but is still the heavy favourite to advance to yet another semi-final but the slower courts may even the stakes a little. Coming into the quarter finals, Federer’s overall ace count is rather low and he currently has even less aces than Nadal after four matches played.
Prediction – Roger Federer in four sets