The rains that form such an integral and charming part of the Wimbledon Championships every year have been quite as friendly as ever. In addition, the traditional Manic Monday - the day after Middle Sunday, which is a designated rest day dividing the first and second weeks of the tournament - has certainly lived up to its billing.
To begin with, the downpours meant that of the 16 scheduled singles matches for Day Seven, only 11 could be completed. Fortunately for the organisers, the big seeds (some of them anyway) made it through on the day, thereby easing scheduling pressure and stopping, momentarily, an unwelcome trend of big seeds facing shock elimination.
As expected, men's top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic and six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer advanced to the quarter finals, while fourth seed Andy Murray's match against 16th seed Marin Cilic was halted by persistent rain, with the Scot leading by a game and two sets.
It wasn't all good news for the seeds though. There were upsets on the day that rivaled the shock defeat of men's second seed Rafael Nadal to unseeded Czech Lukas Rosol. The draw for the ladies' singles championship expected to feature top seed Maria Sharapova against four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters, who is on a farewell tour - she retires at the end of the season. However, both Sharapova and Clijsters' opponents had other ideas. Germany may have exited in the semi finals of the 2012 European Championships but their women tennis professionals are still going strong at SW19, with Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber getting the better of Sharapova and Clijsters, respectively.
Day Seven Round-Up:
Federer was the first to register his name in the quarter final. The Swiss master overcame a back problem to beat Belgian Xavier Malisse 7-6 (1), 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 and extend his record for most consecutive Grand Slam final eight appearances to 33. On the other hand, defending champion Djokovic had an incredibly simple fourth round match, taking down countryman Viktor Troicki 6-3, 6-1, 6-3, under the comfort of Centre Court's closed roof. The tournament is now just one match away from a Federer-Djokovic semi final. Mikhail Youzhny also managed to squeeze in a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-5 victory over Denis Istomin out on Court 18, while the rest will have to try again on Tuesday.
On the women's side Sharapova was knocked out, losing 4-6, 3-6 to 15th seed Lisicki in the fourth round, just a month after completing her career Grand Slam. Clijsters lost 1-6, 1-6 to eighth seeded Kerber. Meanwhile, second seed Victoria Azarenka cruised into the quarters by hammering former number one Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 6-0, on Centre Court. Also advancing were four-time winner Serena Williams and defending champion Petra Kvitova, who will play each other next.
Williams was made to fight hard for her win against a wild card entry from Kazakhstan, Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-1, 2-6, 7-5,¬†while defending champion Kvitova came back from a set and a break down to beat former Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. Third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska also advanced, beating Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3.
Day Eight Preview:
Ladies' quarter finals:
- Serena Williams (USA) v Petra Kvitova (CZE) on Centre Court
With both Sharapova and Clijsters out, the winner of this tie should be the clear favourite to clinch the crown, given that the remaining players have just one Grand Slam and no Wimbledon titles between them.
- Sabine Lisicki (GER) v Angelique Kerber (GER) on Centre Court
This is a tie that no one was expecting but one that should make for a good encounter. Kerber has looked very good so far, especially against Clijsters, while Lisicki will come into this match after an emotional victory over Sharapova.
- Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) v Maria Kirilenko (RUS) on Court 1
Third seed Radwanska has swept aside all her opponents so far, while Kirilenko fought hard to survive a tough match against 30th seeded Chinese Peng Shuai on Monday.
- Tamira Paszek (AUT) v Victoria Azarenka (BLR) on Court 1
Paszek, who is the only unseeded player left, reached her second successive last eight appearances at Wimbledon. Second seed Azarenka has not been troubled so far in this tournament and this may prove to be no different, especially since these two played each other last year as well and Azarenka beat Paszek 6-3, 6-1.
Men's Fourth Round:
Five men's fourth round matches, which are yet to be completed, will be played on Tuesday.
- David Ferrer (ESP)v Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) on Centre Court
- Andy Murray (GBR) v Marin Cilic (CRO) on Court 1 with Murray leading 7-5, 3-1
- Mardy Fish (USA) v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) on Court 2 with Fish leading 6-4, 1-1
- Florian Mayer (GER) v Richard Gasquet (FRA) on Court 3 with Mayer leading 6-3, 2-1
- Brian Baker¬†(USA) v Philipp Kohlschreiber¬†(GER)¬†¬†
Where to Watch Live:
You can follow all the action live, from 12 pm to 3.25 pm BST and from 5.50 pm to 8 pm BST, on BBC2. Live action will also be available from 1.45 pm to 6 pm BST on BBC 1. For country specific and broadcasting details and times, check out the¬†BBC television programming Web site. You can also follow the matches live on¬†Wimbledon's official Web site. Catch the highlights of Day Seven from 8 pm to 9 pm BST on BBC 2.