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Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 1-0

2007 AMS Rome Clay Djokovic 62 75

Djokovic is bidding to reach his second successive Grand Slam semifinal, having reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at 2007 Roland Garros. He is contesting his third Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Djokovic defeated 2002 champion and No. 16 seed Lleyton Hewitt 76 76 46 76 in the round of 16. Previously he defeated Potito Starace 60 63 64 in the first round, Amer Delic 63 36 63 76 in the second, and Nicolas Kiefer 76 67 62 76 in the third.

Djokovic is bidding to become only the second Serbian player to reach the Wimbledon semifinals after Slobodan Zivojinovic in 1986. Zivojinovic, playing under the Yugoslav flag, went on to lose in the 1986 semifinals to Ivan Lendl 62 67 63 67 64.

This is Djokovic’s career-best performance on grass. He has played four previous events on the surface, with his previous best showing a round of 16 appearance at 2006 Wimbledon.

Through his round of 16 victory here, Djokovic has now accumulated a 45-10 win-loss record so far for 2007, placing him second behind Rafael Nadal (49-7) for total number of match wins.

Djokovic is the youngest player to reach this year’s quarterfinals, at 20 years and 39 days (age at end of event).

Djokovic warmed up for Wimbledon by reaching the round of 16 at Queen’s. As No. 4 seed, after a first round bye, he defeated Robert Kendrick 36 63 62 in the second round, before falling to Arnaud Clement 26 63 64.

Djokovic is making his third appearance at Wimbledon. On his debut in 2005, as a qualifier, he reached the third round before losing to No. 9 seed Sebastien Grosjean 75 64 57 64; and then in 2006 advanced to the round of 16, losing to No. 7 seed Mario Ancic 64 46 46 75 63.

Djokovic posted his best Grand Slam result at this year’s Roland Garros, as No. 6 seed advancing to the semifinals, where he lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal 75 64 62. He advanced to the last eight of a major for the first time at 2006 Roland Garros, retiring with a lower back injury while trailing Nadal 64 64.

As well as losing to the eventual champion at this year’s Roland Garros, Djokovic also fell to the eventual champion at this year’s Australian Open, losing to Roger Federer 62 75 63 in the round of 16.

Djokovic has won three tour titles in 2007: Adelaide (d. Chris Guccione 63 67 64), AMS Miami (d. Guillermo Canas 63 62 64) and Estoril (d. Richard Gasquet 76 06 61), taking his career total to five titles. He also reached the final at AMS Indian Wells (l. Rafael Nadal 62 75).

Djokovic achieved a career-high ranking of No. 4 on 11 June 2007.

Baghdatis is bidding to reach the semifinals for the second successive year. He is contesting his third Grand Slam quarterfinal, having won both previous quarterfinals at the 2006 Australian Open and 2006 Wimbledon.

Baghdatis upset No. 6 seed Nikolay Davydenko 76 63 63 in the round of 16. Previously he defeated Ernests Gulbis 36 64 63 62 in the first round, Nicolas Devilder 60 76 67 62 in the second, and No. 23 seed David Nalbandian 62 75 60 in the third.

Following his round of 16 victory over Davydenko, Baghdatis now has a 9-10 career win-loss record against Top 10 players.

Baghdatis warmed up for Wimbledon by reaching his first grass court final at Halle, where he lost to Tomas Berdych 75 64. He then withdrew from ’s-Hertogenbosch with a foot injury. Baghdatis has now won 16 of his last 19 grass court matches, having also reached the semifinals at 2006 ’s-Hertogenbosch.

Baghdatis is making his third consecutive Wimbledon appearance. He had his best result here last year, reaching the semifinals by defeating Andy Murray 63 64 76 in the last 16, and No. 6 seed Lleyton Hewitt 61 57 76 62 in the quarterfinals, before losing to No. 2 Rafael Nadal 61 75 63. He lost to Mikhail Youzhny 62 36 61 64 in the first round on his debut in 2005.

2006 was an outstanding year for Baghdatis. Before reaching the Wimbledon semifinals, he advanced to his first Grand Slam final at the 2006 Australian Open, as world No. 54 recording three consecutive wins over Top Ten players – No. 3 Andy Roddick in the round of 16, No. 8 Ivan Ljubicic in the quarterfinals and No. 4 David Nalbandian in the semifinals – before falling in the final to No. 1 Roger Federer 57 75 60 62.

This year Baghdatis won the second title of his career at Zagreb on indoor carpet (d. Ivan Ljubicic 76 46 64 in the final), and reached finals at Marseille on indoor hard (l. Gilles Simon 64 76), and at Halle on grass (see above). In Grand Slam play, he reached the second round at the Australian Open (l. Gael Monfils 76 62 26 60), and round of 16 at Roland Garros (l. Igor Andreev 26 61 63 64).

Baghdatis moved back to Limassol, Cyprus this year, having trained in Paris since the age of 13 on an Olympic Solidarity Youth Development Progamme Scholarship. He was also a member of an ITF Development Touring Team in 1999, funded by the Grand Slam Development Fund.

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Head-to-head: Berdych leads 3-2

2005 Bastad Clay Nadal won 26 62 64

2005 AMS Cincinnati Hard Berdych won 67 62 76

2006 AMS Toronto Hard Berdych won 61 36 62

2006 AMS Madrid Hard Berdych won 63 76

2007 AMS Monte Carlo Clay (O) Nadal won 60 75

Berdych is one of only four active players to have a winning record against Nadal, where there has been more than one career meeting.

This is also a match-up between two players with the best five-set records. Berdych holds the Open Era record for the greatest number of five-set victories with no defeats, with his perfect 9-0 record in five-set matches, while Nadal’s two five-set wins at this tournament advance his record to 9-2.

Nadal came back from two-sets-to-love down to defeat Mikhail Youzhny 46 36 61 62 62 in his second successive five-set victory to advance to his second Wimbledon quarterfinal.

Nadal’s victory over Youzhny followed a 64 64 67 46 75 third round defeat of Robin Soderling in a match that spanned five days due to rain. Earlier, he defeated Mardy Fish 63 76 63 in the first round and Werner Eschauer 62 64 61 in the second.

Nadal is now on a seven match winning streak in five-set matches. His defeat of Youzhny marked the third time in his career that he has won from two-sets-to-love down: at 2005 AMS Madrid, he overcame Ivan Ljubicic 36 26 63 64 76 in the final and at last year’s Wimbledon, he defeated qualifier Robert Kendrick 67 36 76 75 64 in the second round.

Nadal has already appeared in the quarterfinals at all four Grand Slams – 2005-2007 Roland Garros (eventual champion), 2006 Wimbledon (runner-up), 2006 US Open (lost at that stage) and 2007 Australian Open (lost at that stage).

Nadal has a 12-4 record against Czechs, three of those losses being to Berdych.

Nadal reached the 2006 Wimbledon final, losing to Roger Federer 60 76 67 63, marking the first time in the Open Era that the Roland Garros and Wimbledon finals had featured the same two men in the same season, and the first time since 1952 that it had happened.

Nadal was the second Spanish man in history to reach the final here, after Manolo Santana won the title in 1966. He also recorded the best performance by a reigning Roland Garros champion at Wimbledon since Andre Agassi advanced to the final here in 1999.

Having just won Roland Garros for the third time, Nadal now has another chance to become the third man in the Open Era, after Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg, to win both the Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles the same year. Borg achieved the feat for three years in succession 1978-80, while Laver also did it in 1962, one of eight men to achieve this in the pre-Open Era. [For more details, see page 4 of the Preview.]

Nadal’s Roland Garros triumph marked his fifth title this season. He also won at AMS Indian Wells (d. Novak Djokovic 62 75), AMS Monte Carlo (d. Roger Federer 64 64), Barcelona (d. Guillermo Canas 63 64), and AMS Rome (d. Fernando Gonzalez 62 62). He leads the tour for titles won so far in 2007.

Nadal warmed up for Wimbledon by reaching the quarterfinals at Queen’s for the second successive year. He lost in the last eight to eventual runner-up Nicolas Mahut 75 76.

After losing five round of 16 Grand Slam matches, Berdych broke through to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal and is having the best season of his career. He defeated No. 19 seed Jonas Bjorkman 64 60 67 60 in the round of 16, following victories over Nicolas Massu 76 64 62 in the first round, Michael Llodra 76 76 36 76 in the second and Hyung-Taik Lee 64 76 76 in the third.

This is Berdych’s fourth straight appearance at Wimbledon. Since his debut in 2004 when he lost in the first round, he has improved on his performance every year. In 2005 he reached the third round, losing to Taylor Dent 63 76 63; and last year as No. 13 seed he won through to the round of 16, losing to Roger Federer 63 63 64.

Mirroring his ever-improving performance at The Championships, Berdych also went one step further than his runner-up finish at 2006 Halle by winning the title at Halle last month. Last year, he lost in the final to Roger Federer 60 67 62, but this year, as No. 4 seed, he defeated Marcos Baghdatis 75 64 in the final to win his first grass court title and first title of 2007. He has now won 18 out of 25 career grass court matches.

For the past five years, the Wimbledon champion has warmed up for The Championships by winning one of the pre-Wimbledon grass court titles. Roger Federer won the title at Halle in 2003-2006 and went on to lift the trophy at Wimbledon, however this year chose not to contest his usual warm-up event. In 2002, Lleyton Hewitt triumphed at Queen’s Club before winning Wimbledon.

Berdych is bidding to become just the third Czech man in the Open Era to reach the Wimbledon semifinals, alongside Jan Kodes (1972-73) and Ivan Lendl (1983-84, 1986-90). There has not been a Czech man in the Wimbledon semifinals since Lendl in 1990. Berdych is bidding to go one step further than Radek Stepanek last year, who lost at the quarterfinal stage to Jonas Bjorkman 76 46 67 76 64.

Berdych broke into the Top 10 for the first time on 23 October 2006 after a successful year. As well as reaching the final at Halle (see above), he was runner-up at Mumbai and a semifinalist at Adelaide, Stuttgart and AMS Madrid. He plays here just outside of the Top 10 at No. 11.

This is Berdych’s highest-ever Grand Slam seeding: his previous best was No. 10 at 2007 Roland Garros.

Against Top 5 opponents, Berdych has a 5-11 record with three of the five victories being over Nadal (see head-to-head above). He made headlines with his first victory over a Top 5 player when, ranked No. 79, he upset No. 1 Roger Federer 46 75 75 in the second round at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Berdych’s record against Top 5 players is poorer at majors. He has never beaten a Top 5 player at a Grand Slam event, losing all four such matches he has played.

Berdych faces his second lefthander of the tournament today and is on a five-match winning streak against lefthanded players. Overall, he has a 19-5 record against lefthanders, his last loss being to Nadal at AMS Monte Carlo this year.

Berdych is currently on an eight-match winning streak having won the Halle title last month. Prior to Halle, his highlight of 2007 was winning four matches in a row to reach the semifinals at AMS Monte Carlo (l. Rafael Nadal 60 75). He had further clay court success, reaching the semifinals at Munich, quarterfinals at AMS Rome, and also won three matches at the World Team Cup in May to help Czech Republic reach the final.

In Grand Slam play this year, Berdych reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open as No. 13 seed, losing to Nikolay Davydenko 57 64 61 76, but lost in the first round of Roland Garros as No. 10 seed to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 75 64 64. He has reached the round of 16 at all of the other three majors.

Second seed Rafael Nadal made a dramatic comeback against Mikhail Youzhny in round four in Wimbledon.

Nadal was on Court Two 24 hours after his five-day epic with Robin Soderling, and it looked a match too far when he dropped the first two sets.

But the Spaniard battled back to win 4-6 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-2 and set up a quarter-final with Tomas Berdych.

There were also fourth-round wins for Novak Djokovic and Marcos Baghdatis.

On a raucous Court 13, Baghdatis gave the crowd plenty to cheer with a straight-sets win over Nikolay Davydenko.

A large Cypriot contingent cheered the 10th seed’s every move as he saw off the Russian sixth seed 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to reach the last eight.

Baghdatis will face Djokovic, who beat Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 7-6 4-6 7-6, in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic won the first two sets in a tie-break, proving once more that he is the best when it comes to tie-breaks. Hewitt came back in the third set winning it 6-4. In the break between the third and the fourth set Djokovic asked for a medical time-out as he was complaining about the pain in the back.

In the fourth set Hewitt broke Djokovic’s serve twice, but Djokovic answered both times, second time being when Hewitt was serving for the set at 5-4. In the end they played a tie-break which Djokovic won to secure an epic victory for him.

Czech 14th seed Berdych beat Jonas Bjorkman 6-4 6-0 6-7 (6-8) 6-0.

(source: BBC)

Head-to-head: Davydenko leads 1-0

2006 AMS Miami Hard Davydenko won 26 62 75

Davydenko has reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon for the first time, and has now appeared in the round of 16 at all four majors. He defeated fellow Russian Evgeny Korolev 76 64 76 in the first round, Chris Guccione 36 57 76 64 62 in the second, and Gael Monfils 63 75 63 in the third.

This is Davydenko’s sixth appearance at Wimbledon. Prior to this year, Davydenko had won just one match here, that being in 2005, when he defeated Scott Draper 76 64 63 in the first round, before losing in the second round to Jonas Bjorkman 76 21 ret. (wrist injury). Last year, he lost to qualifier Alejandro Falla 26 76 76 63 in the first round.

Davydenko is bidding to reach his fourth consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal, and his eighth in total. He has never lost in the round of 16 at a Grand Slam.

If Davydenko defeats Baghdatis, he will complete a set of Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances. He has made quarterfinal appearances at each of the other three majors: for the past three years at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros, and at the US Open last year.

Davydenko’s best Grand Slam results are three semifinal finishes, achieved at Roland Garros in 2005 and in 2007, and the 2006 US Open.

It is six years since a Russian reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals, Marat Safin doing so in 2001. There have never been two Russians in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

Before Davydenko’s victories in the first three rounds here, he had won just two tour-level grass matches in his career, from 14 such matches played. Following his first round victory here in 2005, his second tour-level grass court win was at Halle just over two weeks ago, when as No. 2 seed he defeated Jurgen Melzer 76 46 62 in the first round, losing in the second round to Florian Mayer 64 64.

Although Davydenko has yet to win a title in 2007, he has had some good results on surfaces other than grass this season. He was a semifinalist at Roland Garros for the second time, and reached the quarterfinals at the 2007 Australian Open. Away from the Slams, Davydenko’s highlights are semifinal finishes at Doha, Rotterdam and AMS Rome, and quarterfinal finishes at Barcelona and Portschach.

Baghdatis defeated Ernests Gulbis 36 64 63 62 in the first round, Nicolas Devilder 60 76 67 62 in the second and No. 23 seed David Nalbandian 62 75 60 in the third.

To view the rest of the information about Marcos Baghdatis click on the related post: Wimbledon match preview: Baghdatis v Nalbandian

Third seed Andy Roddick completed a win over Paul-Henri Mathieu on Centre Court on Wednesday.

The American was about to serve for a two-set lead when rain stopped play on Tuesday evening, and he duly served it out in Wednesday’s opening game.

Roddick then dropped serve in the third but recovered from 5-3 down, and then 5-0 down in the tie-break, to win 6-2 7-5 7-6 (8-6).

He will play Richard Gasquet or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the last eight.

Describing his remarkable comeback in the third-set tie-break, Roddick said: “He doesn’t have a serve where he’s going to hit aces the whole time, so I never felt completely out of it.

Nadal completed what he described as “the toughest match of my career” by winning the fifth set on Wednesday, saving a break point before converting his fifth match point in game four of the day. The pair had begun with the knock-up on Saturday evening, enduring seven rain breaks across five days, before Nadal won 6-4 6-4 6-7 (7-9) 4-6 7-5.

Rafael Nadal said that Wimbledon officials “did not think about the players” after his rain-interrupted win over Robin Soderling. It had been a bad-tempered clash, with Soderling mimicking Nadal at one stage and the pair barely shaking hands at the end.

But the Spaniard was unhappy with how the weather situation had been handled.

“I don’t understand why we don’t play on Sunday when the weather was OK,” said Nadal

Novak Djokovic beat Nicolas Kiefer in the final third-round match.

The pair resumed at one set all and fourth seed Djokovic immediately took control on Court Two, breaking twice to wrap up the third set.

The Serb missed numerous break points in the fourth and was taken to a tie-break before winning 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 7-6 (7-5), and he faces Lleyton Hewitt in round four.

The 20-year-old’s view on the scheduling debate was clear. “What I didn’t agree with is that there was no play on Sunday,” he said. “I think it’s a bad decision by the organisers.

(source: BBC)

Nikolay Davydenko has joined his Russian Davis Cup team mate Marat Safin in criticising the way Wimbledon is run.

“Wimbledon is the world’s most boring tournament,” Davydenko told the Sovietsky Sport newspaper. “There’s hardly anything to do apart from tennis. You constantly find yourself yawning, there’s no entertainment here.”

The world No 4 has never found himself at ease on the slick grass courts at the All England Club, failing to progress beyond the second round in his five previous visits to London.

“We’re staying in the city centre, so it’s a bit better,” said the Russian, who has this year reached the last 32 for the first time.

“If we rented a house near Wimbledon it would have been a total bore. There’s absolutely nothing to do besides tennis.”

(source: scotsman) (photo: getty images)

Head-to-head: Ferrero leads 1-0

2006 Australian Open Hard (O) R64 Ferrero won 63 36 57 63 62

Ferrero advanced to the round of 16 for the third time in seven Wimbledon appearances when he upset No. 9 seed James Blake 36 63 63 76 in the third round. In the first round he defeated Jan Hajek 67 46 63 62 75 followed by qualifier Gilles Muller 64 64 67 76 in the second.

Ferrero is bidding to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time, having lost his two previous round of 16 matches here. In 2003, as No. 3 seed, he lost at this stage to No. 13 seed Sebastien Grosjean 62 46 76 76 and in 2005, he fell to eventual champion Roger Federer 63 64 76.

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event where Ferrero has failed to reach the quarterfinal stage. He advanced to the quarterfinals or better at 2000-03 Roland Garros, the 2003-04 Australian Open, and the 2003 US Open.

Ferrero’s career highlight was winning the 2003 Roland Garros title, defeating Martin Verkerk 61 63 62 in the final. Roland Garros is the major at which Ferrero has enjoyed most success, having also finished runner-up there in 2002 and reached the semifinals in 2000-01. Ferrero was also runner-up at the 2003 US Open and a semifinalist at the 2004 Australian Open.

Ferrero was one of 14 Spaniards to start in the draw here (the joint-second highest nation representation at 2007 Wimbledon behind France) and he is one of two Spaniards still alive in the competition, the other being Rafael Nadal.

Ferrero is bidding to become the fifth Spanish man to advance to the Wimbledon quarterfinals in the Open Era after Andres Gimeno in 1970, Manuel Orantes in 1972, Feliciano Lopez in 2005 and Rafael Nadal last year. Of these four men, Gimeno and Orantes went on to reach the semifinals while Nadal finished as runner-up.

Ferrero was won of eight Grand Slam champions to appear in the 2007 Wimbledon main draw, and five champions are still alive in this year’s competition, including Ferrero. The other four are Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick.

Ferrero has won 11 singles titles in his career, but none since 2003. He has eight clay court titles and three hard court titles but none on grass.

Ferrero played just one match on grass before coming here, losing in the first round at ’s-Hertogenbosch to Carlos Berlocq 26 63 62.

Ferrero’s best results of the year to date have been on clay. He reached the final at Costa do Sauipe in February (l. Guillermo Canas 76 62) and also won four matches to advance to the semifinals at AMS Monte Carlo (l. Roger Federer 63 64).

Ferrero achieved the No. 1 spot in the rankings on 8 September 2003, after reaching the 2003 US Open final was ranked there for eight weeks. He is one of four men to have been ranked No. 1 still alive at this year’s Wimbledon, along with top seed Roger Federer, No. 3 seed Andy Roddick and No. 16 seed Lleyton Hewitt.

Tipsarevic advanced to the round of 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time at Wimbledon, by winning three five-set matches and improving his five-set record to 10-3. He began his Wimbledon campaign by defeating Alexander Peya 46 36 63 64 63 in the first round, Florent Serra 63 62 67 36 62 in the second and No. 5 seed Fernando Gonzalez 63 36 63 46 86 in the third round.

In defeating Gonzalez, Tipsarevic recorded his first career victory over a Top 10 player.

Tipsarevic is the fourth man to win all of his first three matches in five sets at Wimbledon in the Open Era, behind Russell Simpson (1982), Alex Radulescu (1996) and Jason Stoltenberg (1998).

No man has played four five-set matches through the first four rounds at Wimbledon in the Open Era. However, Jan Kodes played a record four consecutive five-set matches at Wimbledon in 1974, from the second round through to the quarterfinals. He lost his quarterfinal match 36 63 63 68 63 to Jimmy Connors.

Five men have played four successive five-set matches at a Grand Slam tournament, but all of them lost their fourth match. However, at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Goran Ivanisevic played and won four five-set matches in a row en route to a semifinal finish.

Tipsarevic has posted his best Grand Slam result by reaching the round of 16 here. His previous best performances at a major were two third round appearances – at 2005 Wimbledon, where he lost to Thomas Johansson 62 63 61, and at this year’s Roland Garros where he lost to Tommy Robredo 63 64 60.

Tipsarevic is the third different Serbian to reach the last 16 here, after Slobodan Zivojinovic, who reached this stage in 1986-89, and Novak Djokovic, who reached this stage last year. (Djokovic could still reach this stage again if he defeats Nicolas Kiefer in their third round clash.)

Tipsarevic is bidding to become the second Serb to advance to the Wimbledon quarterfinals in the Open Era after Slobodan Zivojinovic in 1986-87.

Tipsarevic is also bidding to win his first match against a Spaniard in six meetings. As well as losing to Ferrero at the 2006 Australian Open (see head-to-head), Tipsarevic has also lost to Fernando Vicente, (2005 Roland Garros), Tommy Robredo (2005 Umag and 2007 Roland Garros) and David Ferrer (2007 AMS Indian Wells).

Last year at Wimbledon, Tipsarevic lost in the first round, falling to Andy Roddick 67 64 76 62.

Tipsarevic has now won three consecutive matches for the first time in his tour-level career. His best performances throughout his professional career, outside of the Grand Slams, is winning two matches to reach the quarterfinals at 2006 Nottingham, 2006 Moscow, 2007 AMS Indian Wells and this year’s ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

After a poor start to the year – he lost in the first round of his first six tournaments – Tipsarevic reached at least the second round of his subsequent seven tournaments including this one. He also won the Zagreb challenger on clay in May and climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 62 on 18 June. He plays here ranked No. 64.

Tipsarevic warmed up for Wimbledon at Queen’s and ’s-Hertogenbosch. After losing to Fernando Gonzalez in the second round at Queen’s, he went on to reach the second grass court quarterfinal of his career at ’s-Hertogenbosch, losing to eventual champion Ivan Ljubicic 63 67 63.