Tomas Berdych and Andy Murray will continue their Wimbledon campaigns on Monday. They are set for respective fourth-round meetings with Bernard Tomic and Mikhail Youzhny.
Bernard Tomic vs. (6) Tomas Berdych
Complete with off-the-court controversy, Tomic had been in dismal form ever since the Australian summer–when he won the Sydney title and reached the third round of the season’s first Grand Slam. But grass has always brought out the best in Tomic’s game and this season is no different. The 20-year-old Aussie ended a four-match losing streak by advancing two rounds in Eastbourne and so far at Wimbledon he has taken out Sam Querrey, James Blake, and No. 9 seed Richard Gasquet.
Up next for Tomic during fourth-round action at the All-England Club on Monday is a first-ever meeting with Berdych. The sixth-ranked Czech eased past Martin Klizan and Daniel Brands before battling back from a set down to beat Kevin Anderson on Saturday. Berdych is an outstanding 34-12 for his 2013 campaign, which includes semifinals in Indian Wells, Madrid, and Rome plus a quarterfinal showing at the Australian Open.
At 100 percent, the sixth seed would be a considerable favorite in this one. However, Berdych has dealt with shoulder issues off and on throughout his career and they seemed to be factor once again in his four-set win over Anderson. Tomic, who is a former Wimbledon quarterfinalist (2011), may be able to capitalize. His quirky game with spins and slices can always trouble bigger players who prefer to hit shots above waist level or even at shoulder height. As long as the underdog serves well enough to match his opponent in that department, his all-court game could be enough to pull off an upset.
Pick: Tomic in 5
(20) Mikhail Youzhny vs. (2) Andy Murray
Youzhny and Murray will be squaring off for the third time in their careers and for the first time in four years when they meet on Monday. Murray has won both of their previous encounters; 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(1) in the 2007 St. Petersburg semifinals and 6-3, 6-2 in the 2009 Valencia title match.
The second-ranked Scot, of course, is a much different player now. He is a gold-medal winner (2012 London Olympics), a Grand Slam champion (2012 U.S. Open), and he has maintained the momentum with a 30-5 record for the current season. So far at the All-England Club, Murray has ousted Benjamin Becker, Yen-Hsun Lu, and Tommy Robredo all in straight sets. At 31 years old, Youzhny has endured some ups and downs of late but he is in the midst of another impressive stretch. The 26th-ranked Russian reached the fourth round of the French Open and finished runner-up to Roger Federer on the grass courts of Halle. He earned his place in the last 16 of Wimbledon with scalps of Robin Haase, Vasek Pospisil (in five sets), and Viktor Troicki.
This is not a good matchup for Youzhny, in that he employs a similar style to Murray as retriever who does a great job of turning defense into offense. The problem for the underdog is that his defensive skills are not as good and his offensive firepower–despite an awesome one-handed backhand–is not as strong. Youzhny also relies heavily on breaking his opponents’ serve because his own delivery is by no means the best part of his game. Especially on grass, though, he will be hard-pressed to get many–if any–looks at breaking Murray.
Pick: Murray 6-2, 7-5, 6-3