Commentary

Tandon's Wimbledon live blog -- Day 7

Originally Published: June 25, 2009
By Kamakshi Tandon | Special to ESPN.com

Need the inside scoop on all the latest news, results and gossip during the 2009 Wimbledon Championships? Our fearless blogger Kamakshi Tandon is on hand to fill you in on all the happenings every day from noon to 3 p.m. ET. Don't hesitate to ask your questions.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

3:35 p.m. ET: Either Murray is getting a big head or came out hoping to break down Wawrinka's strength. Whichever it was, the strategy of concentrating on Wawrinka's backhand didn't pay off -- Murray lost the first set 6-2.

But Wawrinka called the trainer early in the second, and Murray dug in -- moving the ball around more, using the slice and pumping himself up using the partisan crowd. Murray has to be the favorite now that it's tied at one set apiece, but the outcome is still uncertain enough that local broadcaster BBC 1 has shifted its prime-time soap, "Eastenders," over to BBC 2 so it can stay with this match. Meanwhile, Roddick has just finished with Tomas Berdych (no more tiebreaker, after all) and is looking at a quarterfinal against Hewitt. Federer, Roddick, Ferrero, Hewitt, -- hey, it's 2003 all over again!

That's all for today. Check back for the ladies' quarterfinals tomorrow.

2:59 p.m. ET: E-mail question from Cindy:

What is the story behind Karlovic's obnoxious little dance he does at the end of his matches? It seems rather disrespectful.

Dr. Ivo just arrived at his news conference and I asked him about it, but he was a bit coy -- he just called it his victory dance and laughed awkwardly when I asked where it came from. He said he had been doing it after all his matches, though I observe today's was perhaps a bit more -- er, jubilant than the match before. But hey, the guy just reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. And yes, he's promised to do it again if he beats Federer in his next match.

2:41 p.m. ET: No surprise to see Andy Roddick and Tomas Berdych head to a tiebreaker -- we all know about Roddick's serve, and big Berdych came into his match leading the tournament in first-serve points won (92 percent).

Also no surprise to see Roddick win the tiebreaker. He leads the tour with a 22-3 tiebreaker record this year and has now won 13 breakers in a row. Don't be surprised to see a couple more tiebreakers before this match is done.

2:36 p.m. ET: Don't look now, but Andy Murray is down 6-2, 2-2 to Stanislas Wawrinka.

In other news -- according to Wimbledon radio, one of the court stewards asked the Hewitt fans to turn down their support in consideration of Stepanek's injury.

2:18 p.m. ET: Juan Carlos Ferrero has been my personal feel-good story of the tournament. Ferrero always played (and tried) at Wimbledon back in the days when most other Spaniards used to boycott or tank the tournament, so it was nice to see him being rewarded with a wild card into this year's tournament.

He made good use of it -- he's in the second week and is now up two sets against Gilles Simon in their fourth-round match.

Curious fact: Ferrero's win at the small tournament in Casablanca earlier this year was his first clay-court title since he won the French Open in 2003 (and his first win of any kind since he won the indoor tournament at Madrid in 2003).

Meanwhile, if Ferrero wins against Simon, he'll reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal since ... Wimbledon two years ago.

Who are you calling a clay-court specialist?

2 p.m. ET: The Fanatics are going wild on Court 2, and Lleyton Hewitt is doing his trademark "lawn mower" fist pump as he celebrates making the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in three years.

As expected, the match was a barn burner -- the Aussie dropped the first two sets against Radek Stepanek but battled back in true Hewitt fashion and won 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. Both players called the trainer during the match: Hewitt in the first set and Stepanek later on for his knee, which he had struggled with in his previous match.

Huge atmosphere during the match, thanks to the vociferous efforts of the Fanatics. Hewitt hugged them afterward, then thanked them in his postmatch interview. "It really lifts you, especially when you're down two sets," he said. "The boys have been brilliant, they slept out there [in the overnight queue] again last night. I'll have to buy them a few beers."

1:50 p.m. ET: How about Ivo Karlovic? The giant Croat has now held serve 118 times between Queen's and Wimbledon and is in the quarterfinals for the first time after beating Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-6 (9).

Karlovic came in having not won a match here in four years.

1:43 p.m. ET: Looks as though they've kept the roof closed for the Andy Murray-Stanislas Wawrinka match as well. Officials had said they would decide whether to open the roof or keep it closed after the end of the Safina-Mauresmo match.

This might be a lighting decision rather than a rain decision -- it's now past 6:30 p.m., and there's a chance it would get too dark to finish the match if it goes five sets. Under the roof, however, they can guarantee a completion.

1:37 p.m. ET: Just popped out to see Dinara Safina serve out the match against Amelie Mauresmo. The best thing I can say about the roof is that the court doesn't feel too different. It's a bit like being under an umbrella.

The white, translucent roof lets some light through and maintains a link with the outdoors, and although it is a tiny bit hotter than outside, it doesn't feel stuffy. The sound is a bit amplified, though less than it seems on TV -- the cheers of the crowd are where you notice the biggest difference.

Well, Safina served out the match without too many problems and is now on pace for a possible semifinal against Venus Williams -- the world No. 1 will be the favorite against Sabine Lisicki in the quarterfinals.

Walking off the court, Safina described the conditions under the roof as a "really nice atmosphere." Of course, as she said -- "I won, so everything was perfect."

1:10 p.m. ET: Only three men through so far:

Roger Federer: Before playing a rematch of the French Open final, Federer's opponent, Robin Soderling, didn't give himself much of a chance in this match. He turned to be right, going down in straight sets.

Unlike Rafael Nadal, Federer's game seems to match up well against Soderling's, and the Swiss was just better on the big points.

Tommy Haas: A round of applause for Haas, who is 9-0 since losing to Roger Federer at the French Open. (Haas was up two sets and held break point in the third.) After beating Igor Andreev 7-6 (8), 6-4, 6-4, he was excited about joining the "final eight club" here, which entitles you to special privileges at the All England Club.

Also, the word is that he's now engaged to longtime girlfriend and actress Sara Foster.

Novak Djokovic: The Serb is gathering steam. He had a relatively easy opponent in Dudi Sela, a 5-foot-8 Israeli playing in his first round of 16 at a Slam. Djokovic didn't let things get complicated, winning 6-2, 6-4, 6-1.

12:58 p.m. ET: Here's a recap of the women who have gone through so far today -- a mixture of veterans and youngsters:

Elena Dementieva: She hasn't earned much of the spotlight but was the first woman through to the quarterfinals and has been dominant in all her matches so far. She says she worked a lot on her fitness after the French and is now the favorite to reach the semis from her section.

Venus Williams: Thunderous serving and returning put her two points away from recording a bagel in the first set against Ana Ivanovic. The match was closer than the score suggested, but Williams' eventual victory was likely even before Ivanovic hurt her leg in the first game of the second set and retired.

Serena Williams: Blew past Daniela Hantuchova 6-1, 6-3 and says she's been "solid" but still can go up a level or two.

Francesca Schiavone: Nicely played match from the Italian, who mixed things up and came to net 28 times during the match. It's her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 2003 and her first quarterfinal at Wimbledon.

Victoria Azarenka: The Belarusian reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal with a win over Nadia Petrova. Some big returns won her the first-set tiebreak, after which Petrova took an injury timeout and won the second set. But Azarenka bludgeoned her way to a 6-3 win in the third and showed a bit of variety with the odd drop shot and lob winners.

Sabine Lisicki: "Fraulein Bum-Bum," the German press has nicknamed her -- a combination of Steffi Graf's and Boris Becker's nicknames. She's not quite at their level yet but does have a big serve and forehand and was quite fearless against Caroline Wozniacki. Lisicki is also in her first Grand Slam quarterfinals.

Agnieszka Radwanska: The Pole's variety and skill were just a little too much for 17-year-old American Melanie Oudin. Radwanska will play a more formidable American -- Venus Williams -- in the next round.

12:37 p.m. ET: Naturally, the first thing the players did upon walking back on court was look up to see the roof. We'll get their postmatch reactions later. So far, it seems to be Safina who's reacting better -- Mauresmo, already down a break in the second set, made a few errors early on, and Safina has served out the set 6-3.

But Mauresmo made a slow start in the match, too, going down 3-0 before coming back to win the first set 6-4. It looks as though the decider should be quite competitive.

I'll try to nip out and catch a few games in the stadium to see the difference with the roof. Listening on TV, the sound of the ball being hit seems to have more of an echo, which is what you'd expect indoors.

12:25 p.m. ET: The Centre Court crowd watched the roof close feeling a little self-conscious about its own interest. But there was a definite buzz in the air as the famous "folding concertina" unfurled over the stadium like a fan.

It was a bit of a tease, advancing rapidly at times and almost imperceptibly at others. The whole process took about 10 minutes -- very quick compared to the solid roofs on other tennis stadiums. The crowd gave an anticipatory "oooooh" as the last few inches of sky disappeared from view and applauded as the two halves of the structure slotted into each other.

The total delay was about 30 minutes from the time they decided to close the roof, and the players are just about to walk out again.

Ironically, it has stopped raining, and play on the outside courts already has resumed. But officials have confirmed that Dinara Safina and Amelie Mauresmo will play the rest of their match with the roof closed.

12:03 p.m. ET: Hi, everyone. It's all eyes on deck for one of the best days in tennis today at Wimbledon. All the men's and women's round-of-16 matches are taking place today -- 16 high-pressure matches to kick off the second week of this Grand Slam.

With so much going on, it's tough to keep track of everything -- we'll be doing a recap of the winners so far very soon.

But the big news at the moment is that it has finally rained, and the Centre Court roof is about to make its tournament debut. There's never been this much excitement about bad weather at Wimbledon.

With so much going on, it's tough to keep track of everything -- we'll be doing a recap of the winners so far very soon.

6:43 a.m. ET: One of the best days of the tennis year is upon us. There will be no shortage of star power as all the round-of-16 contestants take the court.

Here's a taste of the blockbuster lineup on tap:

Robin Soderling (SWE) [13] vs. Roger Federer (SUI) [2] Dinara Safina (RUS) [1] vs. Amelie Mauresmo (FRA) [17] Andy Murray (GBR) [3] vs. Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) [19] Venus Williams (USA) [3] vs. Ana Ivanovic (SRB) [13] Fernando Verdasco (ESP) [7] v. Ivo Karlovic (CRO) [22] Tomas Berdych (CZE) [20] vs. Andy Roddick (USA) [6] Elena Vesnina (RUS) vs. Elena Dementieva (RUS) [4] Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) vs. Serena Williams (USA) [2] Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) vs. Radek Stepanek (CZE) [23]

I'll be back at noon ET.

Keep those e-mails (courtcoverage@rogers.com) coming, as I also will be answering your questions and comments throughout the day.