Wimbledon 2012: matches to watch, day nine

Today's quarter finals include Andy Murray v David Ferrer, Roger Federer v Mikhail Youzhny and Novak Djokovic v Florian Mayer

Andy Murray (GBR)(4) v David Ferrer (ESP)(7) – 2nd on Centre Court


Andy Murray’s next hurdle on his path to Wimbledon glory is an ominously in-form David Ferrer. The Spaniard’s success was once confined to the clay courts but his first Wimbledon quarter-final heralds a new-found prowess on grass. He committed only eight unforced errors in the fourth round, despatching a favoured Juan Del Potro in straight sets, and will come into today’s contest brimming with confidence. But Murray is a proven tough opponent, reaching the SW19 quarters for the fifth consecutive year. Ferrer will prove his toughest test yet in this year’s tournament, but the 25-year-old Brit looked in fine form during his emphatic straight sets victory over Marin Cilic, serving consistently and hitting some sizzling baseline winners. Ferrer overcame Murray’s challenge at the French Open a few weeks ago, but the fourth seed is tipped as favourite to book a place in the semis when the pair step out on Centre Court later today.

Roger Federer (SUI)(3) v Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)(26) – 1st on Centre Court

Poor Mikhail Youzhny heads into today’s quarter-final clash against six-time champion Federer having lost every one of their 13 previous encounters, five of them on grass. Federer triumphed most recently at Halle last month with a breezy 6-1 6-4 victory. At 30, both are veterans of the game, although the Russian will play his first quarter at the All England Club, booking his place with a tough five-set victory over Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin. Every stat points in favour of the mighty Fed, but he’s refusing to underestimate his opponent: “I think he’s a great player. He can take the ball early. He can mix it up well. He’s a great fighter.” Youzhny is certainly going to have to put up one hell of a fight to reach a maiden semi-final at SW19.

Novak Djokovic (SRB)(1) v Florian Mayer (GER)(31) – 1st on No.1 Court

Novak Djokovic has unseeded Ernests Gulbis to thank for opening up the top half of the Wimbledon draw; instead of facing sixth seed Tomas Berdych, today he takes on German Florian Mayer who upset Richard Gasquet in the previous round. No. 31 seed Mayer has matched his best Wimbledon performance by overcoming Frenchman Gasquet in what he describes “the perfect match” but the formidable Djokovic has all but breezed through this year’s tournament, dropping just one set to Radek Stepanek in the third round. Mayer plans on making himself a tricky customer in today’s contest, by “irritating” his opponent, but few will believe he can provide more than a hiccup in Nole’s route to the semis.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)(5) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)(27) – 2nd on No.1 Court


Tsonga’s rain-hampered four-set victory over Mardy Fish began at 4pm on Monday and did not conclude until 5.20pm yesterday, but his tired legs will still be favourite to replicate last year’s run to the semi-finals when he takes on the German 27th seed later today. Kohlschreiber has had a decent tournament, ending the run of Nadal’s conqueror Lukas Rosol, before dismissing American Brian Baker in straight sets to reach his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final. But crowd-favourite Tsonga leads their head-to-head 5-1 and his legion of fans will be hoping he can shrug off his back problems to replicate the aggressive play that saw off Fish’s challenge and perform that trademark victory dance once again.