We're officially at the business end of The Championships 2013, with just six matches to be completed on the singles side as the ladies begin semi-finals on Thursday. There's no Serena, no Vika, no Maria. Who's going to come through? Plus, a look at a doubles team that's chasing history and more in our five to follow on Day Ten.
Marion's Match to Win
Six years ago, Marion Bartoli was the shock of Wimbledon when she beat top seed Justine Henin after losing the first set 6-1, coming back for a 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory. This year she faces 2013's surprise in Kirsten Flipkens, the world No.20 who was ranked outside the top 200 a year ago. Bartoli and Flipkens have never met before, adding intrigue to their unexpected semi-final. It's the first time Marion has been this far at a major since 2011, but the No.15 seed is the favourite this time around, her two-fisted groundstrokes having brought her up against an opponent who loves to mix up the pace of the ball and slice deep in the court. Can Marion control the point? It won't be easy.
Power vs. Finesse: Who Comes Out on Top?
This one could go either way. The two meetings between Agnieszka Radwanska and Sabine Lisicki are indicative to just how this match could pan out, with Lisicki capturing a tight three-set battle when they first played two years ago and Radwanska running away with a 6-2, 6-1 effort in Dubai last year. Much of the outcome of the match depends on Lisicki's form, specifically her serve and her booming forehand. Should the two of those parts of her game be on, we could see the same Sabine who took down Serena Williams and eased past Kaia Kanepi. But Radwanska is perhaps the best in the game at preventing said power players achieve such consistency, as she demonstrated on Tuesday against Li Na.
The Bryan Bros. Continue the March
Bob and Mike Bryan, the top seeds in men's doubles, are trotting towards history. They are attempting to become the first team in doubles history to win a calendar Grand Slam in the Open Era, having captured the Australian and French Opens so far this year. On Thursday they open play on No.1 Court again another pair of doubles specialists in Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in a gentlemen's doubles semi-final that has plenty of intrigue. The Bryans already own 14 majors to their name - a record - and need three more matches to grab No.15. Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek face Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the other semi.
1, 2, 3 in Mixed Doubles
Half of the mixed doubles defending title-winning team remains in play as quarter-finals get under way today, that being Lisa Raymond (who paired with Mike Bryan to win here a year ago). In 2013 she's paired with Bruno Soares and as the No.1 seeds they play perhaps the most intruiging of the final eight teams remaining in John Peers and Ashleigh Barty, an Aussie duo. Barty, just 17, was a winner here in the girls' singles two years ago and remains in the ladies' doubles as well, with another Australian, Casey Dellacqua. The second seeds Horia Tecau and Sania Mirza are still alive as are the No.3 duo of Nenad Zimonjic and Katarina Srebotnik, making this the only draw in The Championships with the top three seeds still alive.
Breathe Easy, Oh Britain
A day after Andy Murray made a nation hold its breath for much of Wednesday afternoon, Brits are easing back into the real world. Headlines screamed, "Don't make us go through that again, Andy!" on Thursday morning. Murray did win - you didn't dream it! - and Thursday gets the day off to practise and prepare with his team for a semi-final to come on Friday with Jerzy Janowicz, the Pole who is his country's first man to reach a major semi-final ever. Is Andy's body OK after five sets with Fernando Verdasco? "Right now I'm feeling all right," he said after his win yesterday. "But we'll see about the morning, that's when you usually feel it."
20:08It brings me no pleasure but it's time to bring the curtain down for another year. Seemed somehow appropriate to leave the last word to Roger Federer. Thanks a billion for reading. What a fortnight, what a final, fast forward to 2015 please...
20:03"I already have seven. It's not like I need another one. But it would have been awfully nice to have it. I think that's what the feeling was of the people, and I felt that... I know they love tennis. They love tennis after we're all gone."View all