Wimbledon 2013: the best matches to watch, day nine
It's mens' quarter-finals day as Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and Juan Martin del Potro all bid for a place in the final four
Andy Murray (GBR)(2) v Fernando Verdasco (ESP) - 2nd on Centre Court
Andy Murray bids for a fifth consecutive spot in the semi-finals later today - an impressive feat that proves it's not just in the past couple of years the Brit has been capable of sparring with the best in the game. Standing in his path is Fernando Verdasco who Murray has labelled "extremely dangerous" in the build-up to today's match. Ranked at 54 in the world, Verdasco is on the losing end of the pair's 8-1 head-to-head record but they have never previously met on grass. Team Murray have been practising receiving the Spaniard's left-handed serve in training and the British number one is taking nothing for granted, despite seeing the big seeds in his half of the draw fall early in the competition. All expectation will be weighted on Murray's side of the court so pressures will be running high as the nation watches on. But Murray's an old hand at this by now and his class and solid game should see him safely through to the next round.
David Ferrer (ESP)(4) v Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)(8) - 1st on Centre Court
This fierce match-up between two top-ten giants is a delicious appetiser ahead of Murray's match on Centre. Ferrer has had a far from smooth run through the tournament, taking at least four sets to see off each of his opponents, plus a five-set thriller against Alexandr Dolgopolov on Saturday. In contrast, del Potro has come through each clash without dropping a set - although the Spanish 4th seed is likely to buck this trend later today. Both players have their own injury worries with del Potro's knee continuing to bother him while Ferrer's ankle is causing him problems. With the two opponents at their most comfortable from the back of the court, expect a tense base-line battle as they fight for a coveted semi-final against Djokovic or Berdych.
Novak Djokovic (SRB)(1) v Tomas Berdych (CZE)(7) - 1st on No.1 Court
Any British fans hopeful of Andy Murray's maiden victory at SW19 will be sobered by Novak Djokovic's recent form. The world number one is yet to drop a set, sweeping past his first four opponents as he goes through the motions en route to what will only be his second Wimbledon final. Today he faces Tomas Berdych, the world number seven whose form has been unreliable during this year's tournament. After a below-par performance against Kevin Anderson, he produced some promising tennis to see off dangerous youngster Bernard Tomic in the fourth round. It is unlikely he will come up with the goods to steer Djokovic off-course - but then we said that about Serena Williams, and Berdych is one of only a handle of players who knows how to beat him, having won their SW19 semi-final clash in 2010 as well as their match at the Rome Masters in April. But this is Djokovic on grass, in the form of his life so don't hold your breath.
Jerzy Janowicz (POL)(24) v Lukasz Kubot (POL) - 2nd on No.1 Court
The semi-final that was never meant to be. Thanks to the early exits of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer we're no longer party to their much-touted quarter-final. Instead today sees two unlikely opponents - Jerzy Janowicz and Lukasz Kubot - stepping out on No.1 Court for the chance to become the first male Pole in history to make a Grand Slam semi-final. But Lukasz Kubot is the real shock story here - ranked 130 in the world, his route to the final has included a second round walkover after Nadal's conqueror Steve Darcis withdrew, before a thrilling five-setter against Adrian Mannarino on Monday which he celebrated with his now-infamous Can-Can victory dance. However, Kubot's compatriot and David Cup teammate Janowicz will be tricky to beat today. The 24th seed is an exciting addition to the tour and one of the most dangerous players left in the draw. Expect him to prevail later on today, setting up a likely semi-final clash against Andy Murray.