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  • Chris Sobey


The first group of quarter finalists from the men’s and women’s draws are now known and if form and rankings continue to determine things Nadal and Djokovic will be meeting in Fridays semi-finals. Nadal faces 20th seed and compatriot Carreno-Busta, who has the potential to be a future winner of this tournament and Nadal leads the head-to-head 3-0 and should progress without too much drama. Djokovic faces sixth seed Thiem and leads the head-to-head 5-0. While he may find life more difficult than Nadal I expect will progress to the semi-finals as Thiem’s game does not seem to match up well to Djokovic’s.

Today’s men’s fourth round matches feature a resurgent top-seed Andy Murray who faces Khachanov for the first time and Murray should progress without too much trouble once he gets to grips with the talented young Russians big serve and aggressive ground strokes. Third seed Wawrinka and eighth seed Nishikori both face very talented opposition in 15th seed Monfils and the unseeded veteran Verdasco and both will have their work cut out to progress to the quarter finals today. Of the two I think Nishikori will struggle the most as he had to complete his delayed fourth round match yesterday, whereas Verdasco has had the luxury of resting and preparing for today without any disturbance.

The other fourth round encounter is between seventh seed Cilic and the unseeded Anderson, which should go the way of Cilic, who leads the head-to-head 5-1 and has been playing very on clay this year. The women’s tournament is still as wide open as ever and creating a lot of excitement from home fans as there are three French women still in with a chance of winning and two of them will be guaranteed to line up in the quarter-finals. Mladenovic seeded 14 is already through to the quarter-finals after knocking out defending champion Muguruza in impressive fashion on yesterday.

Other players to progress to the quarter-finals were 11th seed Wozniacki, 30th seed Bacsinszky who knocked out 10th seed Venus Williams and the biggest surprise was the unseeded Ostapenko knocking out veteran Stosur who was many people’s idea of a potential winner this year. Today’s fourth round matches feature second seed Pliskova against dark horse outsider Cepede Royg from Paraguay, the all French showdown between 28th seed Garcia and Cornet which should be the biggest match of the day in terms of and excitement. Third seed Halep faces a tough challenge against the experienced Suarez Navarro seeded 21 and this could be really close as the head-to-head stands at 5-6 and finally fifth seed and second favourite Svitolina faces the tournaments surprise package so far qualifier Croatian Martic who is ranked 369 in the world.

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