Wimbledon R4 previews and predictions: Federer vs. Dimitrov, Raonic vs. Zverev

A marquee second Monday schedule includes a showdown between familiar foes Roger Federer and Grigor Dimitrov. Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev are also aiming for a place in the Wimbledon quarterfinals.

(13) Grigor Dimitrov vs. (3) Roger Federer

Federer and Dimitrov will be going head-to-head for the sixth time in their careers when they collide on middle Monday at Wimbledon with a spot in the quarterfinals at stake. All five of their previous encounters have gone Federer’s way–all on hard courts dating back to the fall of 2013. They have not faced each other since a pair of showdowns early in 2016, when Dimitrov took sets off Federer for the first time in his career. Still, the Swiss prevailed 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-4 in Brisbane and 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 at the Australian Open.

This may not be the time nor the place for Dimitrov to turn the tide. After all, Federer is a seven-time Wimbledon champion and he is an amazing 27-2 this season. The 35-year-old Swiss has held a match point every single time he has taken the court in 2017, with competitive losses only to Evgeny Donskoy (Dubai) and Tommy Haas (Stuttgart). A recent champion in Halle, Federer has extended his winning streak to eight matches–and 18 straight sets–with victories this fortnight over Alexandr Dolgopolov, Dusan Lajovic, and Mischa Zverev. Dimitrov booked his spot in the fourth round by getting past Diego Schwartzman, Marcos Baghdatis, and Dudi Sela without dropping a set. The 11th-ranked Bulgarian remains in stellar form after a torrid start to the year, but the competition level ratchets up dramatically on Monday and Federer may be too tough for him on Centre Court at the All-England Club.

Pick: Federer in 4

(6) Milos Raonic vs. (10) Alexander Zverev

Raonic and Zverev will be squaring off for just the second time in their careers but also for the second time in the span of a few months. The two big hitters recently collided on the red clay of Rome, where Zverev got the job done 7-6(4), 6-1 en route to the biggest title of his career. Although the 12th-ranked German ended up losing in the French Open first round to Fernando Verdasco, he is back on track on grass. Zverev reached the ‘s-Hertogenbosch semifinals, finishes runner-up to Federer in Halle, and punched his ticket to the second week at Wimbledon by rolling over Donskoy, Frances Tiafoe, and Sebastian Ofner all in straight sets.

Raonic has been less impressive this season in part due to physical problems, but a fortnight at the All-England Club has always been just what the doctor ordered for the seventh-ranked Canadian. He is 19-6 lifetime at this tournament and is defending finalist points from last summer (beat Federer in the semis before falling to Andy Murray). Raonic is 4-0 in tiebreakers through three rounds and dropped only one set in taking out Jan-Lennard Struff, Mikhail Youzhny, and Albert Ramos-Vinolas. More huge serving and clutch play in crucial moments should carry the 26-year-old past his on-the-rise but less-experienced opponent.

Pick: Raonic in 4

19 Comments on Wimbledon R4 previews and predictions: Federer vs. Dimitrov, Raonic vs. Zverev

  1. Obviously, this is a terrible matchup for Grigor “Baby Fed’Dimitrov because their styles are very similar but Fed does everything better. The serve, the return of serve, the forehand, the backhand slice, the volleying and the speed and movement etc are all performed at a higher level by Fed. Not only is this a terrible match-up ability-wise but its also mentally because Dimitrov has 0:5 record and Fed is usually extra confident against players he has a superior H2H record against. Fed expresses this on the court and it has an additional psychological effect on his opponents. The psychology that Dimitrov has mimicked Fed’s style doesn’t do him any favors also and even though he is adamant this was never the case, Fed will still believe that he did because that works in his favour.

    Can Dimitrov break the shackles, play to his potential and be his own man? He has the ability but I would rather see it first before I bet that it’s going to happen.

    Federer in 4.

    Zverez beat Raonic the last time they played. Zverez has been ultra impressive so far this Wimbledon and has superior form coming into the tournament. This isn’t Zverez a year aqo, this is a recently crowned Masters champion, a level Raonic hasnt yet acheived. Zverez relaxed syle will work in his favour on the return of serve and he should have the edge when the ball is in play to be able to hold serve and break at least once per set or in TBs. It will be close because its on grass, arguably Raonic’s best surface but Zverez has proven he’s no slouch on this ground either. If you investigate Raonic’s prior results leading into this match, they’re not good. The players are lowly ranked and in the worst form of their career. Ramos was probably best result to date but it was likely due to fear of his following match. Zverez will expose Raonic’s poor form and win this in 4, maybe 5 sets.

    Zverez in 5.

    • I don’t see Zverev winning against Raonic. Raonic will certainly raise his level when he’s in the later rounds. Raonic is a more steady player compared to Zverev.

      Raonic has/had only played one Atp match on grass before coming to Wimbledon, yet he’s able to progress this far, that means he’s feeling very comfortable on Wimbledon grass. I think he’s feeling confident at the moment; I also have doubts about Zverev’s ROS, more so on grass.

      While Raonic has yet to win a Masters title, he did reach a slam final, something A Zverev hasn’t done yet.

      • Raonics been in terrible form though, 2 first round losses in grass warmup tournaments to Kokkanakis and Tsonga. Contrast that to his form last year where he played one warmup tournament and won 4/5 matches, with the one loss a 3 setter in the final against Murray where raonic had a set and a break lead at one stage. Zverev can be a bit inconsistent but he is a big game player and steps it up against top players. You only need to look back to his match before he became mainstream popular in the 2015 boodles on grass to shock a peak form 2015 novak djokovic right before wimbledon in straight sets.

  2. Dimitrov has gotten over that baby Fed tag, so no pressure on him. I don’t agree that you can compare Fed and Dimi in that way; they don’t play a similar style. Fed rushes the net more often, Dimi stays more at the baseline.

    Dimi is doing more hard hitting these days, and he’s quick around the court. He’s also very fit now, I really don’t see Fed having advantage in all these areas. Fed will use his court craft, his varieties to beat Dimi, not by hitting harder than Dimi, or moving quicker than Dimi, to beat him. Fed’s serve is always the key for him to win on grass, and he serves better than Dimi.

    Dimi’s only chance, I feel, is for Fed to come out playing below his par, and Dimi has to play consistently well throughout the whole match, probably five sets, if he wants to beat a sub par Fed!

  3. Fed in 4 if both average, Fed in 5 if Dimi AO SF comes out. Zverev in 4. Atomic is below par

    • Agree, if Dimi SF AO turns up, he will give this a real shake. Only prob that was against Nadal and this is a worse match up for him due to the previously mentoined psychological factors.

  4. I agree about Raonic having the edge here. I doubt if Zverev can deal with his serve in the way that Murray can. Zverevs recent win over Raonic was on clay.
    Having said that,Zverevs going to win Wimby some day , but I don’t think he’s there yet.

    • Federer in three,maybe a couple of tiebreaker.
      As long as he gets off to a good start,he should be Ok

    • I think more like Cilic’s year. He hasn’t lost a set so far, like Fed.

      Raonic has to get past Fed and most likely Djoko to reach the final, a tough ask. We are now left with the big servers in Raonic, Berdych, Querrey, Cilic and Muller plus three of the big four most likely – Fed, Murray and Djoko. It’s like old times, when the big servers were having their days in the sun.

      We may be seeing one of the big servers winning the title this time. My hope is for Cilic to win it, if not then poor Berdych (though I know it’s highly unlikely but sometimes things may happen).

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