Men's quarterfinal previews: Will the Big 3 be tested at Wimbledon?

Men's quarterfinal previews: Will the Big 3 be tested at Wimbledon?

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have encountered minimal resistance through four rounds.

Wednesday at Wimbledon features all four men's quarterfinals. Here, previews and picks of the tournament's elite eight:


Novak Djokovic vs. David Goffin

While he hasn’t faced a seeded opponent, Djokovic has been his usual clinical self at Wimbledon. In his first four matches, he’s dropped one set, to Hubert Hurkacz, who had to redline his game to win it 7-5 in a tiebreaker. But Goffin, the 21st seed and a former Top 10 player, will be a step up in quality. The Belgian is 1-5 against the Serb, but he has played him well on various occasions, and he won their last meeting on clay in Monte Carlo two years ago. But that was clay, and this is grass; that was Monte Carlo, and this is Wimbledon. Winner: Djokovic


Roberto Bautista Agut vs. Guido Pella

There are three quarterfinals that include a member of the Big 3, and then there’s this one. Reputation-wise, it’s quite a drop off. Bautista Agut is the 23rd seed, and Pella the 26th, and neither is known for his way around a grass court. But Bautista Agut is the only player on the men’s side who hasn’t dropped a set, and he beat 10th-seeded Karen Khachanov in one-sided fashion; Pella, meanwhile, earned his spot with five-set wins over Andreas Seppi and Milos Raonic. The Spaniard and the Argentine have played twice, and the Spaniard has won both times. Winner: Bautista Agut


Rafael Nadal vs. Sam Querrey

It won’t be as tense or confrontational as his second-round match with Nick Kyrgios, but Nadal’s quarterfinal with Querrey could be as tight, if not tighter. The American was a lot of people’s dark-horse pick before the tournament began, and for good reason: He reached the semis here in 2017, he beat Novak Djokovic here in 2016, and he made the final of Eastbourne the weekend before Wimbledon began. So far, Querrey has lived up to the quasi-hype, downing Dominic Thiem in the first round and dropping just two sets in four matches. He also beat Nadal in their last meeting, on hard courts in Acapulco two years ago, and he has taken sets from him on three other occasions. Querrey’s serve will make him a threat on Wednesday as well, but Nadal, who has been breaking serve virtually at will in his last two matches, seems well-suited to handle that threat at the moment. Winner: Nadal


Roger Federer vs. Kei Nishikori

On paper, there would seem to be little reason to pick Nishikori to pull off the upset. He hasn’t faced a seed so far, he’s a perennial Grand Slam quarterfinalist, and he perennially loses to the Big 3 at big events. That includes Federer, who has won six of their last seven meetings, including their only match on grass, at Halle in 2014. Once every few years, Nishikori does surprise us; he beat Djokovic at the US Open in 2014, and he beat Federer at the ATP Finals last November. More likely he’ll do what he did in this round at Wimbledon last year, when he took a set from Djokovic, and lost the other three. Winner: Federer