The women’s draw takes centre stage at Wimbledon on Tuesday, with four intriguing quarter-final matches on offer.
After the hustle and bustle of ‘Manic Monday’, we’ve reached the business end of proceedings, and while there are eight women in action it’s hard not to focus on two: the Williams sisters.
Some 16 years after they first appeared in the Wimbledon quarters together, the pair are at it again, and, of course, talk of a possible all-Williams final is heating up. At the age of 36, Venus is close to her best again after a number of years battling illness and injury; Serena may get the plaudits for topping the charts at 34, but Venus’ return to the fore shows character of the highest order.
It’s premature to talk of final match ups though, there is much action still to be completed before such a time.
Serena found her feet against Svetlana Kuznetsova on Monday, and heads into Tuesday’s clash against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova – her third match in three days – having built up a head of steam that will make the Russian very nervous.
The pair will be action on Centre Court following the clash between fifth seed Simona Halep and Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber. Halep has quietly been going about her business at SW19, dropping just 14 games in her opening three matches before seeing off the tough challenge of ninth seed Madison Keys in the fourth round. Kerber had an easier time of it on Monday, downing Japan’s Misaki Doi 6-3 6-1.
Venus and Yaroslava Shvedova kick the action off on Court One, with the pairing facing off for the first time. Shvedova is ranked some 88 places below the eighth-seeded Williams, but with nothing to lose the player from Kazakhstan could be dangerous. However, a player of Venus’ experience would expect to overcome such a challenge.
It’s going to be quite a week for Dominika Cibulkova one way or another, with the Slovakian in line to play in Saturday’s final or get married that day instead. It sounds like a win-win situation for the 19th seed who downed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 5-7, 9-7 in a truly cracking encounter on Monday, but you can be sure that Cibulkova will be thinking that weddings can be postponed while grand slam finals are not so easy to arrange. Of course, Russia’s Elena Vesnina will hope to have some say in the matter on Tuesday.
There is one match in the men’s draw, and it’s a tense battle for good measure, with the Czech duo of Jiri Vesely and Tomas Berdych set to play out the fifth set of their encounter. Berdych had a match point in the fourth set, but fluffed his lines at the key moment.
Simona Halep vs Angelique Kerber
The talk may be of the Williams sisters, but Halep vs Kerber is undoubtedly the match of the day. Kerber grabbed her maiden grand slam title in Australia this year, while Halep has been there or thereabouts on a number of occasions, most notably at the French Open in 2014 where she was a beaten finalist.
The Romanian hasn’t enjoyed the best of years, and a last four appearance in 2014 aside she does not have the best of records at Wimbledon. Grass too has not always been kind to Kerber. Yet here the pair find themselves with a semi-final place against either Venus Williams or the unseeded Shvedova up for grabs.
With both women having played on Monday, Kerber’s quick demolition of Doi could prove the difference against Halep who needed just short of two hours to down Keys.
(All times HKT)
Centre Court from 8pm
Simona Halep (ROU)  vs Angelique Kerber (GER) 
Serena Williams (USA)  vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 
FOX Sports 3
Court One from 8pm
Venus Williams (USA)  vs Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) [19} vs Elena Vesnina (RUS)