Google Down the Line!: PREVIEW: Wimbledon Men's Semifinal Showdowns

Friday, July 6, 2007

PREVIEW: Wimbledon Men's Semifinal Showdowns

The quarterfinals have been completed and the final four Gentlemen of Wimby are set for their semifinal battles. Here's a preview:

Head-to-head: Federer 5, Gasquet 1
Last meeting: ATP Masters Series Canada '06, Federer 2-6 6-3 6-2

After 5 days off from competition and another rain delay yesterday, world No. 1 Fed finally completed a match, winning his quarterfinal against the Spanish No. 20 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. Fed lost his first set of the tournament to Ferrero. Frenchie No. 12 seed Richard Gasquet joined his countrywoman Marion Bartoli as a giant-killer this tournament, taking out No. 3 seeded American Andy Roddick in a epic match 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-3), 8-6.

Here's Fed speaking about Gasquet's game:

"With Richard, I think he's a wonderful player off the back of the court. He now mixes it up very well, coming to the net much more. He's got a nice slice, fantastic backhand. He's really improved. I think he's going to be one of the good players in the future."

Here's Gasquet on playing Fed:

"I have no pressure. If I win the first set tomorrow, everything can happen. But I have to play against Roger on the Centre Court in Wimbledon. He won a lot of time. But for sure I have to enjoy this match. That's incredible for me."

Outlook: Gasquet's match against A-Rod was a draining battle - physically, mentally, and emotionally. Now he goes up against 10-time Slam winner in Fed tomorrow. Can he recover enough to challenge Fed, who's going for history in capturing a 5th Wimby championship in a row (tying the legendary Bjorn Borg)?

Head-to-head: Rafa 4, Djoker 1
Last meeting: French Open '07, Rafa 7-5 6-4 6-2

No. 2 seed Rafa had a tricky quarterfinal match against the No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych, a player who has given the Spaniard fits in the past. However, he schooled the Czech with a 7-6 (7-1), 6-4, 6-2 decision. The Djoker, the No. 4 seed, beat last year's semifinalist No. 10 seed Marcos Baghdatis in a gruelling 5-setter 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 4-6, 7-5.

Here's Rafa's take on his semifinal tomorrow:

"Well, be in semifinals, anyway you play one guy or other one, is good for the confidence, no, because you have to win good matches for be in semifinals of one Grand Slam. But this Grand Slam, especially I beat very good players, so that's give me good confidence. But I know tomorrow I gonna have another test, another difficult test against Baghdatis or Djokovic. They're playing very good."

Here's the Djoker on his fitness for the semifinal:

"From the start of the tournament, I don't know if I had one day off. Maybe I had one or two. But basically I was on the schedule every day. That is not, you know, really the encouraging thing for semifinal. But he was kind of in that situation as well, even though of course he spend much less hours than me on the court. But he was on schedule every day, as well. You know, he's physically probably the most prepared player in the world. We all know that. But, you know, I'll try to do my best and recover."

Outlook: Any match Rafa is involved in will most certainly be a physical one. The Djoker has little time to recover from his 5 hour match today, not to mention his 4 hour plus match against Aussie Lleyton Hewitt in the Round of 16. Will the Serb have the legs to run with Rafa?

(Images courtesy of AP Photos)

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