“It’s just another manic Monday...I wish it was Sunday,” The Bangles professed back in 1986- 18 years before Coco Gauff, the teenage sensation who has set Wimbledon alight, was born, and 33 years before Gauff appeared in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the very first time at just 15 years of age.
Whatever can be made of how long ago the Bangles expressed their hatred for the first day of the week, one thing can certainly be made of that song, that being how inappropriate it is to sum up the feelings of tennis fans far and wide ahead of Manic Monday at Wimbledon, one of the most thrilling and dramatic days on the tennis calendar.
Whilst the other three majors split the fourth round clashes over two days, Wimbledon takes a more traditional approach, holding no play in the Middle Sunday, the calm followed by the chaotic, yet enjoyable, storm of all eight matches from both singles draw taking place on one day.
This piece will round up all of the singles matches taking place on the hallowed turf at SW19 on Monday, as well as offering a (most possibly very wrong…) prediction about how those matches will pan out.
(1st) Novak Djokovic vs Ugo Humbert
Humbert, who was ranked outside the top 250 a year ago, has been one of the surprises of the tournament, and his straight-sets win over in-form 21st seed Felix Auger-Aliassime was one of the biggest surprises so far. Yet, things are about to get a lot tougher for him. Dropping a tight second set to Hubert Hurkacz seemed to kick Novak Djokovic into life, and the Serbian should not face too much trouble in making the last eight.
Prediction: Djokovic in straight sets
(21st) David Goffin vs Fernando Verdasco
Verdasco looked down and out in the second round, though came from two sets down to beat 30th seed Kyle Edmund, and then beat giant-killer (both literally and metaphorically) Thomas Fabbiano to reach the second week. Goffin reached his first final since 2017 in Halle a few weeks ago and eased through his first two matches, though had a tough five-setter against 11th seed Daniil Medvedev on Friday. A match that will likely rest on Verdasco’s racket; will he be inspired, or will he implode? Recent matches suggest the former…
Prediction: Verdasco in five sets
(26th) Guido Pella vs (15th) Milos Raonic
Pella’s win over fourth seed Kevin Anderson was arguably the upset of the Men’s draw so far, with the Argentine playing some astonishing tennis to down the South African. Pella faces a similar opponent again today in Milos Raonic, another big serve who will not give him much rhythm. The Canadian has had injury troubles this year, but has rounded into form at Wimbledon, and his dominant performance over Reilly Opelka in round three signals danger.
Prediction: Raonic in four sets
(23rd) Roberto Bautista Agut vs (28th Benoit Paire
An intriguing matches which pitches Bautista Agut, one of the most solid and consistent players on tour, against Paire, who has shown both flashes of brilliance and idiocy during his career. Paire has certainly been nearer brilliance so far this tournament, and is arguably more comfortable on grass courts, though stats rarely lie, and Bautista Agut’s triumph in all six of their previous meetings seems pretty telling.
Prediction: Bautista Agut in four sets
Sam Querrey vs Tennys Sandgren
The first round of 16 meeting between two American men at this tournament since 2001 certainly wasn’t predicted, but has been earnt; Sandgren beat 20th seed and Queen’s finalist Gilles Simon 8-6 in a fifth set in the second round, whilst Querrey knocked out fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the opening round of the tournament. Whilst both are surprises this year, Querrey is a former semifinalist at this tournament, and has only dropped one set.
Prediction: Querrey in straight sets
Joao Sousa vs (3rd) Rafael Nadal
Sousa made history on Saturday, overcoming Dan Evans in a thrilling five-setter to become the first Portuguese man to ever reach the second week at Wimbledon. His run has been very solid, though faces a whole different task tomorrow. Nadal has looked sharp in all three matches so far, surviving his second round against Nick Kyrgios, and it seems unlikely that he will be stopped here.
Prediction: Nadal in straight sets
(8th) Kei Nishikori vs Mikhail Kukushkin
Nishikori so often has to battle his way through major tournaments, leaving him weary for fourth rounds and quarterfinals, though is yet to drop a set this tournament, and has looked solid so far. Kukushkin has picked up wins over ninth seed John Isner and 33rd seed Jan-Lennard Struff to get here and is certainly playing well, and has the firepower to bother Nishikori. The question is how fresh he will be after two tough encounters prior to this match.
Prediction: Nishikori in four sets
(17th) Matteo Berrettini vs (2nd) Roger Federer
After dropping the first set to Lloyd Harris in the opening round, Federer has won nine straight sets to reach the second week, looking for a ninth title at this tournament. The Swiss has not always looked at his best so far though and Berrettini, who won in Stuttgart and was a semifinalist in Halle, is certainly a danger. However, the Italian had to come through a tough five-setter against 24th seed Diego Schwartzman in round three, and struggled at times during that match.
Prediction: Federer in straight sets
(1st) Ashleigh Barty vs Alison Riske
Riske has been in inspired form recently, winning an ITF in Surbiton before winning her second WTA title in s-Hertogenbosch, and beating 13th seed Belinda Bencic in the third round here. However, she comes up against a world number one, recently-crowned Grand Slam champion, who is on a 15-match winning streak and who has been quite simply unbeatable tennis at the All England Club so far.
Prediction: Barty in straight sets
(11th) Serena Williams vs (30th) Carla Suarez Navarro
Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam where Suarez Navarro, a former top-ten player, has never made the last eight, with the Spaniard never looking comfortable on grass. She has played well here this week, but has lost comfortably everytime she has played Williams, and with the American looking sharp in her third round, it seems unlikely that her quest for an eighth title in SW19 will end here.
Prediction: Williams in straight sets
Barbora Strycova vs (21st) Elise Mertens
Strycova has always been a solid grass court player, and that has shown in knocking out 32nd seed Lesia Tsurenko and then fourth seed Kiki Bertens in the past week. The Czech is a former quarterfinalist here, though that was five years ago, and Mertens is on her best run here, dropping just one set on her way to the second week. A tough match to call, but experience on this surface may pay off for Strycova.
Prediction: Strycova in three sets
(19th) Johanna Konta vs (6th) Petra Kvitova
Arguably the pick of the fourth round clashes across both draws, Konta and Kvitova both come into this match in fine form. Injury doubts about Kvitova have been cast aside with three straight-sets wins, whilst Konta’s comeback from a set down to beat ninth seed Sloane Stephens for a fourth time this year showed she had the mental resilience to go deep once again. Tricky match to assess, particularly with Konta’s home support, but Kvitova is nearing the form that has twice brought her this title.
Prediction: Kvitova in three sets
(8th) Elina Svitolina vs (24th) Petra Martic
Svitolina is in the fourth round here for just the second time in her career, and is beginning to look more comfortable on the grass this season, despite recent injury concerns. The Ukranian will be hard to break down, but Martic has been in the form of her life over the past couple of months, and has the type of guile and skill that could frustrate the Ukranian.
Prediction: Martic in straight sets
Karolina Muchova vs (3rd) Karolina Pliskova
A battle of Czech Karolina’s, and also a battle between the present and future of Czech tennis, with Muchova on her deepest slam run to date at the age of 22. She knocked 20th seed Anett Kontaveit in round three, an impressive victory, though Pliskova herself came through a tricky three-setter against 28th seed Hsieh Su-Wei, playing very well and continuing the form that saw her win in Eastbourne. She has never reached the last eight at Wimbledon, but this could well be her year.
Prediction: Pliskova in straight sets
(7th) Simona Halep vs (Q) Coco Guaff
No one has quite attracted the same amount of attention this Wimbledon as Gauff, who has seemingly cemented her place in the heart of Wimbledon fans aged just 15, with her comeback against Polona Hercog thrilling the Centre Court crowd. She has a great game, but very few are as tough as Halep. The Romanian proved too tricky for Victoria Azarenka in the third round, and should prove to be an obstacle Gauff can’t overcome.
Prediction: Halep in straight sets
Shuai Zhang vs Dayana Yastremska
Not a fourth round that was expected prior to the tournament, but one which could prove to be a real battle. Zhang had never won a Wimbledon match prior to this year, but has now seen of the likes of Caroline Garcia and Caroline Wozniacki to reach the second week, whilst Yastremska has beaten the likes of Camila Giorgi and Sofia Kenin on her Wimbledon debut. A battle between youth and experience, Zhang was far too good for Wozniacki in the third round, though Yastremska is a rising star that has been slowly emerging for a while, and this could be her headline-making breakthrough.
Prediction: Yastremska in three sets