Andy Murray, Roger Federer Make Wimbledon Quarterfinals

AP Photo
The Associated Press

LONDON—The men’s quarterfinals are not quite set since defending champion Novak Djokovic needs to finish his match against Kevin Anderson. But Andy Murray remains on fire along with Roger Federer and Marin Čilič. Vasek Pospisil and Gilles Simon also moved on to the quarterfinals.

The 6’11” Croation Ivo Karlovic gave Murray a few heart attacks during their four-set match. A few times it appeared Karlovic would take the first set, but the British number one once again found a way to win after he released a few f-bombs in anger. That small break in the tiebreak pushed him over the edge.

With renewed confidence, Murray dominated the second set. He faced just one break-point and broke Karlovic one time to capture the set. He appeared more nimble as he charged the net. Karlovic won the third set, but Murray charged back in the fourth set to the delight of fans at Centre Court. More aces, better first serves, and only three unforced errors for the 2013 Wimbledon champion and he moves on to the quarterfinals to face Vasek Pospisil.

“I was expecting nothing different to what I got today,” he said. “I expected it to be a very difficult match. I expected a lot of the sets to come down to one or two points, and that was the case. I’m happy that I got that match under my belt, managed to win it, because it could easily have gone the other way. Often he comes out on top in matches like that.”

Pospisil came back from two sets down to beat 22-seed Viktor Troicki in five sets. The men played incredibly close tennis throughout the match, with Troicki popping up every once in awhile to keep Pospisil on his toes. Pospisil shot better serves, scored more first-serve points, and demolished four of Troicki’s serves. He only gave up one serve to Troicki, and that occurred in the first set. Troicki never even gained a break point in the last three sets. Pospisil talked about the match after he and his doubles partner Jack Sock were eliminated:

I mean, it was tough. I had maybe, you know, didn’t have the start I wanted to have, and then I had chances—well, you know, I got unlucky a little bit in the breaker there. You know, I made a couple of good adjustments on my return games.

And even being down two sets, it didn’t faze me. I feel I’m pretty tough that way. Even if I’m down, I’m always finding ways to come back and trying to. So I did a good job. I was serving well and I made the right adjustments tactically on the return.

Played well the rest of the way.

Richard Gasquet also advanced to the quarterfinals after a nail-biting match with Nick Kyrgios. The Aussie hit 23 aces, but Gasquet scored 67 winners and received more first-serve points. It was close in the first, but Gasquet broke Kyrgios and took the first set. The second set was mind boggling because it was all Gasquet. Kyrgios was non-existent. But after a few match points, Kyrgios roared back and appeared to want a repeat of 2014 when he defeated the Frenchman. He stopped two match points in the third to force a fourth set. But Gasquet was not going to meltdown this time. He challenged a shot on his third match point, prayed to the heavens, and advanced.

“I’m playing great,” exclaimed Gasquet. “I beat [Grigor] Dimitrov third round on Centre Court. Winning Nick today, last year I lost. I’m very happy to be back in quarterfinals. I lost many times in a Grand Slam in a fourth round. It’s very good for me to be here in quarterfinal. Now we will see what will happen. I am feeling good.”

Up next for Gasquet is French Open champion Stan Wawrinka, who has yet to drop a set. David Goffin came close to upsetting the Swiss, but Stan came back when he needed to the most. Stan slammed 13 aces, which allowed him to capture the majority of the first serve points. It was so close in the first two sets. Goffin had many opportunities to break down the Swiss, but could not finish the job. The two tiebreak sets wore out Goffin. Wawrinka broke him twice and served perfectly. Overall, not pretty, but he advanced.

“Yeah, was tough one,” said Stan. “Really happy with the victory, especially in three sets. I wasn’t moving great, I was a little bit soft in general. But I’m happy to get through. It’s an important victory for me.”

Roger Federer is one step closer to a historic eighth Wimbledon title with an easy win over Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets. Bautista Agut injured his ankle on one play, but continued to play with vigor. It was not enough as Federer never once faced a break point while he broke Bautista Agut six time. No player has broken Federer since the first round of Halle, which is over 100 games ago. Unfortunately, he plays Gilles Simon next round.

“Just focusing,” he said. “That thing we were talking about, point per point. Especially on grass, that’s what it takes. I did a good job. Then again, I look at my next‑round opponent. Gilles Simon is one of the best return players we have in the game. I would think I’ll be tested a lot. So that streak’s maybe coming to an end, in my opinion.”

Simon shocked sixth-seed Tomas Berdych in three easy sets. Berdych had 10 aces, but he could not always protect his serve. Federer is right about Simon. He is an excellent returner and had 13 opportunities to break Berdych. He only broke him five times, but that is all he needed.

“Really good,” he said. “This is not what I expected. The last match was going the other way. I had a good feeling, I mean, from the start. I felt he was struggling also to put his game in place, and I was really good on keeping him in this gray area. I felt he didn’t know what to do anymore on the court, and for me, it was really clear. So I was just so happy that it last all the match.”

US Open champion Marin Čilič ended wildcard Denis Kudla’s Cinderella run, but not without a fight. The young American won the second set and almost pushed a tiebreak in the fourth. But Kudla’s 14 double faults and weaker serve was not enough to beat the Croatian.

“I think Denis was playing really well,” said Čilič. “He was not missing much and a little bit different game, and this court plays a bit faster than the other ones. So it was not easy. Especially he had, you know, a few good wins. Throughout the match I was looking for some opportunities and the right ways to play. Towards the end of the third set I managed to find the proper way to play, and I was feeling better also on my serves.”

Čilič will play Novak Djokovic or Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals. Officials called their fourth round match due to darkness and will finish on Tuesday. Anderson shocked the world when he won the first two sets, but Djokovic came back to force a fifth set.