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Wimbledon Men’s Quarter-Finals Preview

Wimbledon 2013 has already gone down as the Year of the Big Shocks, but in fact after the early demises of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (along with the withdrawal through injury of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga), the men’s competition has become very predictable with the five remaining top-eight seeds all making it safely through to tomorrow’s quarter-finals.

They include, of course, the number one and two seeds, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, and these two are now even stronger first and second favourites, Coral now going 5/6 the Serb and 6/4 the Scot.

Neither has dropped a set yet and Coral don’t expect them to tomorrow either, as Djokovic takes on Czech Tomas Berdych and Murray clashes with the unseeded Fernando Verdasco.

Djokovic has looked quite awesome as he bids to win his second Wimbledon title and though Berdych did beat him in the Wimbledon 2010 semi-finals, it will be a surprise if he makes much impression this time. Djokovic is 1/7 to win the tie and 5/6 to win in straight sets.

Murray is priced at 1/14 to beat Verdasco and 8/15 to win 3-0 and this should also be fairly straightforward. The Spaniard, now ranked 54 in the world, was once in the top eight before injuries set him back and actually beat Murray the last time they met in a Grand Slam (the 2009 Australian Open).

He’s left-handed, too, and Murray hasn’t met a lefty all year, so that might be awkward, but our boy has coped well enough on every other occasion he has met Verdasco (8-1 in head-to-heads) and is quite simply the better player by some margin.

If Murray is to stumble before the final, it is much more likely to be against the 6’ 8” Pole Jerzy Janowicz, now 16/1 third favourite to win the title after a succession of impressive performances. Boasting the fastest serve in the tournament (140mph) and a deft touch around the net, Janowicz is the real deal and if he doesn’t win this year, he is looked upon very much as a future Wimbledon champion.

At the very least he should prove too strong tomorrow for fellow countryman, veteran Lukasz Kubot, ranked 130 in the world and considered a more effective player on clay. It is a measure of the high regard in which Janowicz is now held that Coral make the 22-year-old 1/5 to progress to a likely semi-final showdown with Murray and 6/5 that he does so in straight sets.

The closest match of the four quarter finals is likely to be between David Ferrer (4/6) and Juan Martin Del Potro (6/5), Ferrer has won six out of eight meetings with Del Potro and beaten him in straight sets both times they have met on grass, but while the Spaniard has not been in quite the same excellent form he was last year, his Argentinean opponent – the only man outside the top four to win a Grand Slam since 2005 (the 2009 US Open) – has been running back into his best form and might well edge this intriguing tie.

Written by Jon Freeman