Wimbledon set for mouthwatering ‘Manic Monday’ with Big Four in action

Roger Federer is leading the Big Four to Super Monday battles at Wimbledon…today. / AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL

After yesterday’s rest day, the Big Four in men’s tennis are all in last-16 action on Manic Monday. On the women’s side, German top seed and 2016 runner-up, Angelique Kerber takes on Garbine Muguruza of Spain, reports www.dw.c.

Not since Lleyton Hewitt won the championship 15 years ago has someone other than Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray triumphed in the Wimbledon men’s singles.

All of the Big Four are back on court on so-called Manic Monday, when every player — men and women — remaining in the tournament will be fighting for a berth in the last eight.

Wimbledon is the only grand slam that schedules all of the last-16 singles matches on the same day, a bonanza for the lucky spectators with tickets.

Record seven-times winner, Federer takes on Bulgarian 13th seed, Grigor Dimitrov, Djokovic, the three-time champion, meets unseeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, 2008 and 2010 winner, Nadal tackles 16th seed Gilles Muller of Luxembourg and Murray, the defending champion and world number one, faces Benoit Paire, another unseeded Frenchman.

The decorated quartet also make up four of the seven men left in the draw who are 30 or older — Czech Tomas Berdych, Muller and Kevin Anderson of South Africa are the other three. That’s the most at Wimbledon in the 50 editions of the Open Era.

“I came through the juniors with all these guys,” Federer said. “It’s nice to see them still hanging on, still enjoying the tour, still being tough out there, making it difficult for the youngsters to break through.

“There is a bit of that clash right now – the young ones trying to push out, especially, the 35-plus guys. But then there’s a strong, strong team, as well, around the generation of Rafa and Murray and Djokovic, obviously.”

While Kerber fights on in the women’s draw, a rising star in the men’s game, her compatriot Alexander Zverev, faces a stiff test against big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic.

“It’s nice to reach the fourth round, but this is not the goal that somebody sets themselves. I want to keep playing good tennis,” the ambitious German said on Saturday.

Marin Cilic, a former U.S. Open champion, plays tricky Spaniard Roberto Bautista, Berdych meets young gun, Dominic Thiem of Austria and Anderson comes up against towering American Sam Querrey.

Today will be another tricky day for Kerber, meanwhile, as she struggles to hold on to her number one ranking amid a run of patchy form.

Her opponent Muguruza is a French Open champion, who reached the Wimbledon final two years ago when she fell to Serena Williams, absent this time as she awaits the birth of her first child.

“Being in the second week is always nice. It’s always a goal when you start a grand slam,” Kerber said. “But it’s another day, another match. We are all starting from zero. It’s a great day for the fans, but also for us players.”

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