There will be a record 12 first-time quarterfinals at Wimbledon this year – two more than the previous best in 2014. Six appear on the men’s side and six on the women’s side.
Roger Federer qualified for his 58th Grand Slam quarter-final on Monday. Novak Djokovic in his 50th. Federer leads the men and women of the open era with Djokovic fifth (and second for the men). At Wimbledon, eight-time champion Federer made the quarterfinals 18 times and Djokovic 12 times.
Apart from those two continuing their business as usual, there are 11 first-time quarterfinals at Wimbledon and that would drop to 12 regardless of the outcome of the rain-delayed match between Daniil Medvedev and Hubert Hurkacz Tuesday. Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka, Karolina Pliskova, Ashleigh Barty, Viktorija Golubic, Alja Tomljanovic are the first in the women and Matteo Berrettini, Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov, Marton Fucsovics, Felix Auger-Aliassime in the men. The two women who previously held this position are 2019 quarterfinalist Karolina Muchova and 2018 champion Angelique Kerber.
The previous quarter-final record for the first time was 10 in 2014 with Barbora Strycova, Eugenie Bouchard, Ekaterina Makarova, Grigor Dimitrov, Lucie Safarova, Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic, Nick Kyrgios, Simona Halep and Stan Wawrinka overtaking the “Manic Monday “.
One of the debutants, Auger-Aliassime, who had the courage to beat Alexander Zverev in five sets, thanked the crowd for bringing him to this stage. “I’m a normal guy from Montreal, Canada. And here I am. Court 1, crowded, Wimbledon. Surely the best win of my life so far. Like nothing I’ve experienced before. Thanks so much for having lived that moment with me, ”he said during the field interview.
– Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) July 5, 2021
For the Canadian, Wimbledon is a favorite. This suits his big serve, flattering game with methodical groundstrokes on both wings almost like a machine at work. And he’s happy to make the most of the opportunity.
When asked how we see a record quarter-finalist for the first time at the All England Club, he said: “I mean the grass is always a little different from other surfaces. We don’t play a lot of matches a year on grass. I just feel like players who feel good on this surface can sometimes make a breakthrough. There are also the great champions – Novak and Roger – the more experienced who are still the favorites for the title which are going to be difficult to beat because they have the experience of winning it so many times.
“Also, with Rafa (Nadal) and Domi (Thiem) missing, it can sometimes open up a bit of a draw for some players. As players on the tour, you try to take every chance you can get. Of course, you don’t always do this. But you are fighting for it. It’s good to see new faces in the quarterfinals. At least I’m happy to be a part of it. “
Male and female prints lack big names. Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka, Simona Halep, Dominic Thiem, Milos Raonic all withdrew for different reasons. In addition, there were several upheavals during the first week: Petra Kvitova, Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina among the women; Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner, Dimitrov among the men.
For women, this is a difficult position to occupy. They come out to play their quarter-final games on Tuesday with little time to rest and, more importantly, revel in their accomplishments.
“I think the short delay doesn’t really make you feel like you’re in the quarterfinals. It hasn’t really been felt because I’m already thinking about what I’m going to do tomorrow, ”said Tomljanovic, who will face Barty next in what will be the first all-Australian women’s quarter-final since 1980.
“But I figured I had to give myself some time to reflect on the week I’ve been through, just to give myself a pat on the back. Even if the circumstances were like this tonight, it is the biggest achievement of my career so far. ”
“I’m incredibly proud of myself to be here. I didn’t think I would be somehow. I didn’t think these two weeks would be my breakthrough. Now that they are, it’s a bit surreal. It just puts it into perspective. ”
– Tennis GIFs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) July 5, 2021
For some, like Sabalenka, it has been a long time coming. The world No.4 has won several big titles: 2018, 2019 Wuhan, 2019 Shenzhen, 2019 WTA Elite Trophy, 2020 Qatar Open and this year in Abu Dhabi and Madrid. What escaped her, or more exactly she did not take advantage of it, was a performance in a major. On two occasions, the Belarusian reached the fourth round and was then a prime candidate for the French Open 2020 before losing in the third round.
“Of course, I’m really happy. But that’s not my end goal. I try to be happy but at the same time to be focused and to be ready for the next one because it is not either [an] easy match. “
“Yeah, but I’m really happy I finally broke that wall (smiling). Yeah, I’m in the quarterfinals. Yeah, I’m really looking forward to the next game. Hope I can keep going,” a- she said after beating Elena Rybakina and brought Jabeur to the side.
And then there’s Pliskova who reached the quarter-finals or better in the other three majors but left Wimbledon in the round of 16 in the previous two editions. Her 230-week stint in the top 10 ended just at the start of Wimbledon and on Monday she cut Liudmila Samsonova’s 10-game winning streak short.
“Super glad I did it in singles because I had only the last 8 in doubles which I found horrible. So now it’s finally my last Slam that I missed. [a QF]she laughs.
This is not the first of the “premieres” at Wimbledon 2021 and it will not be the last. A record six players reached the round of 16 on their debut at Wimbledon and Saturday’s women’s final will have at least one player vying for her first Grand Slam title.