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Men’s quarter-finals preview

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Originally published on 12/07/17 00:00

Andy Murray (GBR) [1] v Sam Querrey (USA) [24]

Murray has been victorious in seven of his eight previous meetings with Querrey and he won their only previous clash at Wimbledon in 2010.

The Scot is attempting to reach an eighth semi-final at the All England Club and he has never been defeated at the third major of the year by a player ranked as low as his latest opponent [No.28].

A victory over the American will ensure Murray maintains the No.1 ranking position after Wimbledon. He has encountered four creative and unpredictable players in the tournament so far but Querrey will offer a different threat.

The No.24 seed from California has had an arduous path through to the last eight. The 29-year-old has won consecutive five-setters – against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kevin Anderson – and he has the firepower to unsettle the defending champion.

Querrey, who famously beat Novak Djokovic in SW19 last year, has hit an eye-watering 98 aces in the tournament so far and his serve is the foundation of his game. He has a howitzer of a forehand and has backhand is capable too.

Murray was proactive in the latter stages of his fourth round match with Benoit Paire and he will need to strike the ball with the same authority against Querrey. If the top seed becomes too passive, he could endure a torrid afternoon.

Prediction: Murray in four

Milos Raonic (CAN) [6] v Roger Federer (SUI) [3]

The pair met in the semi-finals of Wimbledon last summer and it was the Canadian who emerged victorious after a five closely-fought sets.

Federer, who is bidding to become the second oldest male in the Open era to reach the last four at the All England Club, was nursing a knee injury when he encountered the Canadian last summer.

The Swiss has been firing on all cylinders for the majority of the season and he is the overwhelming favourite to win an unprecedented eighth Wimbledon crown.

Raonic has had a stop-start campaign and he has struggled to produce his fearsome best in recent months. He scored an impressive win over Alexander Zverev in the last 16 however unless he produces an exceptional serving performance later this afternoon, it’s difficult to see how he can secure an upset victory.

Prediction: Federer in four

Tomas Berdych (CZE) [11] v Novak Djokovic (SRB) [2]

If Djokovic was allowed to select his last eight opponent, Berdych would have been his choice.

The No.2 seed has defeated the Czech in 25 of their previous 27 meetings. It’s a horrible match-up for Berdych but he did beat the Serbian at Wimbledon in 2010.

Djokovic is attempting to reach a 32nd Grand Slam semi-final and take sole ownership of second place on the list for most appearances in the last four of a major in the Open era. He is on an eight match winning run and he has not dropped a set since his loss to Dominic Thiem at Roland Garros.

The three-time champion did receive a medical timeout for a right shoulder issue in his match with Adrian Mannarino and it remains to be seen if the problem will impact his performance against the Czech.

Berdych will not take comfort from his record against the elite in recent times. He has lost 19 matches in succession to top five players.

Prediction: Djokovic in four

Gilles Muller (LUX) [16] v Marin Cilic (CRO) [7]

In defeating Rafael Nadal in an epic five-set battle on Monday, Muller has already claimed the upset victory of the tournament. It remains to be seen, though, if the 34-year-old can recover from his gruelling triumph and provide Cilic was a serious challenge.

It’s the Luxembourger’s first quarter-final in SW19 and he has an excellent grass-court game. His lefty serve is highly effective on the surface and his skills in the forecourt never fail to impress.

In contrast to Muller, Cilic has strolled into the quarter-finals. The 28-year-old has been in ominous form and he is yet to drop a set in the tournament. He has come unstuck at the last eight stage on three previous occasions and he is unlikely to have a better opportunity to take the next step.

Prediction: Cilic in three

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