Like the grass it’s played on, the Wimbledon tournament moves fast. The fortnight feels as if it just started, yet we’re down to just eight men and eight women in the draw. Tomorrow, all four Ladies' Quarterfinal matches are scheduled and there’s an intriguing mix of veterans and newcomers on the docket – and a potential for drama and delays with the rainy weather forecast (Centre Court has a roof; Court 1 does not).
First up on Centre Court is 2004 winner Maria Sharapova versus American underdog Coco Vandeweghe. Sharapova’s got the experience and the drive, but Coco’s serve is dangerous on this surface and could put just enough pressure on her opponent to pull off an upset. Plus, they’ve never played each other before and it’s easy to swing big when you have nothing to lose.
Up next is what many are calling the marquee match of the day: Serena Williams against Victoria Azarenka. Azarenka is one of the few players on tour who can push Williams on a big stage but Williams is chasing history. If she wins Wimbledon, she’s ¾ of the way to a Calendar Slam. It’s hard to imagine anyone stopping her now.
Over on Court 1, the field is quite different. Three out of the four players have never made it to a semi-final of a Slam and their names won’t be recognizable to the casual fan. First up, Venezualan-born Garbine Muguruza plays Swiss native Timea Bacsinszky. Both hit big, but it’s Muguruza who has bigger scalps – she beat Serena Williams at the French Open in 2014 – and leads their H2H 1-0.
Finally, American Madison Keys plays Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska (aka the Ninja). It will be a contrast in styles – Radwanska is all angles and touch while Keys may be the hardest hitter on tour. If Keys can keep her power in control, many experts like her chances to advance.
The action starts at 8am ET on ESPN and ESPN2– watch it all live on Sling TV!