Wimbledon 2012: matches to watch, day eight

Today's highlights include Serena Williams v Petra Kvitova, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Mardy Fish and the conclusion of Andy Murray v Marin Cilic

Andy Murray (GBR)(4) v Marin Cilic (CRO)(16) – 2nd on No.1 Court

Advertisement

Murray resumes his fourth round match with a 7-5 3-1 lead after rain interrupted yesterday’s play. Bad news for the home nation as his opponent, Marin Cilic, has another night to recover from Saturday’s 5-set thriller against Sam Querrey – the second longest match ever played at Wimbledon. A weary Cilic will be grateful for the respite after a first set littered with errors and Murray will need to hold onto the momentum and build on yesterday’s sharp returning and aggressive play to defeat the rested Croat. For a second consecutive day he finds himself on a rain-threatened No.1 Court in the knowledge that his two greatest rivals, Federer and Djokovic, are through to the semis and enjoying a day-off. The bewildering scheduling decision begs the question, why didn’t Wimbledon chiefs allow Murray a late-night finish on Centre Court in front of a fired-up British crowd? As it stands they are doing everything in their power to hamper the home advantage…

David Ferrer (ESP)(7) v Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)(9) – 1st on Centre Court

6ft 6in Del Potro made headlines around the world when he shocked Roger Federer to win the US Open final back in 2009. Since then a wrist injury has hampered his success and he’s had to fight to regain his position in the top 10 rankings. Now back on track, the Argentinian faces seventh seed David Ferrer, a formidable opponent who made a dogged comeback from a set down to knock out former finalist Andy Roddick on Saturday. Neither player has been beyond the fourth round and both will anticipate a gritty baseline battle to book a place in the quarter finals. Spectators on Centre Court are in for a treat.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)(5) v Mardy Fish (USA)(10) – 1st on No.2 Court

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is on a roll. Yet to drop his service game in the first three rounds (that’s 73 holds!), the popular Frenchman’s booming serve and sizzling forehands are well-suited to the grass court and there are countless reasons he is tipped as the player to challenge the dominant trio of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer. Mardy Fish, the tenth seed, is playing his first tournament since receiving treatment for an irregular heartbeat back in May, but the American has returned with a bang, reaching the final 16 for only the second time at Wimbledon by beating promising Belgian wildcard David Goffin in the third round. It is a brave man to take on Tsonga in the kind of form he’s in, but Fish is certainly a player of the calibre to test his abilities. Prediction: the Frenchman triumphs in four sets.

Serena Williams (USA)(6) v Petra Kvitova (CZE)(4) – 2nd on Centre Court

After Maria Sharapova and Kim Clijsters crashed out yesterday, four-time winner Serena Williams will step on court today as a tournament favourite. But her opponent is not to be underestimated – hard-hitting baseliner Petra Kvitova, the reigning champion, has shown impressive form in defence of her title. The pair have met twice before – once at Wimbledon – with Serena victorious on both occasions, but she has since fought off serious illness and injury, raising questions of her ability to dominate as she once did. If both players bring their A-game, expect a three-set baseline thriller.

Sabine Lisicki (GER)(15) v Angelique Kerber (GER)(8) – 3rd on Centre Court

Advertisement

Sabine Lisicki defeated one of the tournament favourites, Maria Sharapova, to set up a quarter-final clash against the eighth seed. But it is Kerber who comes into this match as favourite, yet to drop a set in the tournament and blowing four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters off the court in yesterday’s 6-1 6-1 victory. Kerber has triumphed in every one of the pair’s four previous meetings but this all-German quarter is likely to be another female power-struggle as both players take to Centre Court on a wave of success, having rocketed up the rankings over the past year.