Issued on • Modified
'Big Four' prowl into second week of Wimbledon
Second seed Novak Djokovic and third seed Roger Federer advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon on Saturday with straight sets wins over Ernests Gulbis and Mischa Zverev respectively.
Following third round victories for the top seed Andy Murray and the fourth seed Rafael Nadal on Friday, the last 16 will enjoy the presence of the top four men’s seeds for the first time since 2011.
The four stars have shared the Wimbledon title since 2003 when Federer won the first of his seven trophies at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
Djokovic has claimed three with defending champion Murray and Nadal winning two apiece.
Murray, who has battled hip pain, is the only one of the 'Big Four' to have dropped a set in the first week. He faces the unpredictable Frenchman Benoit Paire who is in the last 16 for the first time.
"He has very good hands, moves well, takes a lot of chances, goes for his shots," said Murray who has a 1-0 career lead over Paire.
Djokovic will take on the Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. They have only played once before. That encounter was on grass at Wimbledeon in last year’s second round. Djokovic won in straight sets.
Federer, 36, is bidding for a record eighth Wimbledon title, which would also make him the oldest champion at Wimbledon. He faces 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov having won all five of the matches over the man whose playing style led to favourable comaparisons with the Swiss maestro and the nickname 'Baby Fed'.
"It's a great day to play. I would be happy to be a fan," said Federer of Monday when all last 16 matches in the men's and women's events are played.
Nadal, fresh from a 10th French Open title in Paris in June, faces fellow left-hander Gilles Muller, who is looking to make the quarter-finals for the first time in seven years.
Nadal has a 5-1 record over the 33-year-old from Luxembourg. Muller's sole success over the Spaniard came in Wimbledon in 2005 a few weeks after a then 19-year-old Nadal had just claimed his first French Open title.
"He's one of the toughest opponents possible on this surface," said Nadal on the eve of their clash.