Quarterfinal Friday: ATP and WTA fans should expect fireworks

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images) /

We’ve reached the business end of this week’s events across the ATP and WTA tours. Friday is going to have a marvelous lineup of intriguing matchups. The quarterfinal stage is where things get cranked up. A nice mix of big names and upstarts means the tennis should be enthralling from the first serve to the last.

Let’s look at the Cinch Championships in London where there are a handful of enticing matches lined up.  Arguably the match of the day is world No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz squaring off with the always dangerous Grigor Dimitrov.

Alcaraz has a level he can reach that the Bulgarian does not, but don’t overlook the veteran as his game suits this surface perfectly. It’ll be interesting to see if Dimitrov can corral the super Spaniard. Sebastian Korda put an end to Frances Tiafoe’s hot streak in the previous round. His reward is a quarterfinal spot against the home favorite Cam Norrie.

Quarterfinals at ATP and WTA tournaments should be insane on Friday

The only seeded quarterfinal matchup at the ATP 500 event is 2-seed Holger Rune taking on the 6-seed Lorenzo Musetti. Two of the most exciting young players in the game, the shot-making should be on display in this one.

A short flight has us in Germany for the ATP 500 tournament in Halle. Alexander Zverev is into another quarterfinal as he gets a break by avoiding Stefanos Tsitispas. However, his opponent, the big-serving Chilean Nicolas Jarry, is not to be overlooked. Jarry is serving huge and has a big game that could overwhelm the 9-seed if he does not come out ready to roll.

Daniil Medvedev, who is still working on his game, will be pleased to be at the quarterfinal stage. His match against Roberto Bautista Agut is one of the more difficult ones on the docket to decide. Ranking-wise, it should be no contest. But, neither man particularly loves this surface so we shall see how they handle themselves.

The remaining quarterfinal matches in Halle are the enigmatic Alexander Bublik versus 4-seed Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev taking on recent ATP titlist Tallon Griekspoor. I think Bublik can pull off the upset and Rublev will be pushed by the Dutchman.

Staying in Germany, Berlin is the host for the Bett1 Open on the WTA tour. Seeds have been falling all over the place in this field. The only seeded quarterfinal match is between 3rd-seeded Caroline Garcia and the 7-seed Petra Kvitova. This is a Top 10 clash in terms of world rankings.

Donna Vekic knocked off the Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina to earn her quarterfinal spot and she should be the heavy favorite against lucky loser Elina Avanesyan. World No. 8 Maria Sakkari sees the always competitive Marketa Vondrousova. Rounding out the last 8 clashes is a match between Veronika Kudermetova versus Ekaterina Alexandrova.

The final tournament of the week is the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham for the WTA tour. This field has been hit with a plethora of upsets as well. But the ever-consistent Barbora Krejcikova has lived up to her top seed status and is the favorite against teenager Linda Fruhvirtova.

Jelena Ostapenko had to battle past the legendary Venus Williams in 3 difficult sets to reach the quarterfinal stage. Now that she’s here, the relative unknown Magdalena Frech should pose little problems.

Heather Dart will have the crowd support as she meets the 4-seed Anastasia Potapova. This match is a toss-up in my view. Last but not least, we have an unseeded quarterfinal match between Zhu Lin and Rebecca Marino.

Next. Frances Tiafoe is in the top 10...for now. dark

This stage of any tournament is always exciting for the viewers, but the players also begin to feel a heightened pressure to keep moving on. With a good mix of experience, youth, and all levels of skills among the various quarterfinalists, perhaps this mental hurdle will be the deciding factor in more than one of these matches.