LONDON: Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer headline the final ‘Manic Monday’ at Wimbledon with the two Grand Slam heavyweights looking to edge closer to a dream title showdown.
World number one Djokovic, chasing a sixth Wimbledon and record-equalling 20th major, is already halfway to becoming just the third man to complete a calendar Grand Slam.
“I look to peak at the biggest tournaments in our sport. At this stage of my career, Grand Slams are the ones that matter the most,” said Djokovic who can reach the quarter-finals of a Slam for the 50th time.
The Serb faces Chilean 17th seed Cristian Garin who had never previously won a main draw match at the tournament before this year.
Eight-time champion Federer, who takes on Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, can become the oldest quarter-finalist at Wimbledon in the Open era.
Federer, just five weeks shy of his 40th birthday, is in the Wimbledon last 16 for the 18th time.
In all, it will be his 69th appearance in the fourth round of a Slam but he was quick to salute Djokovic’s achievements.
“It’s just very, very impressive to see what he’s doing this year,” said Federer whose third round win over Cameron Norrie gave him the 1,250th victory of his career.
‘Manic Monday’, when the entire men’s and women’s fourth round is played out, will not exist from next year as Wimbledon will stage matches on the middle Sunday.
There will be a further tweak in the schedule this week with the All England Club announcing that they will move to full capacity crowds from Tuesday’s quarter-finals onwards.
Meanwhile, second seed Daniil Medvedev, who staged a comeback from two sets down for the first time in his career to beat 2017 runner-up Marin Cilic, faces Hubert Hurkacz.
Polish 14th seed Hurkacz is the only player in the fourth round not to have dropped serve.
Sebastian Korda, whose father Petr made the quarter-finals in 1998, celebrates his 21st birthday on Monday.
He can reach the quarter-finals of a Slam for the first time by beating Russian 25th seed Karen Khachanov.
– Double for Italy –
Denis Shapovalov, the Canadian 10th seed who put out two-time winner Andy Murray in the last round, faces Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, a semi-finalist in 2019.
Meanwhile, Italy will have two men in the last 16 for just the third time and first time since 1955.
While Sonego faces Federer, seventh seed Matteo Berrettini faces Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, the 27-year-old world number 79 who had only previously won one match at a major before this Wimbledon.
Women’s world number one Ashleigh Barty, trying to win the title 50 years on from fellow indigenous Australian Evonne Goolagong Cawley’s maiden crown, tackles French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova.
The only British player left in the singles draw is 18-year-old Emma Raducanu who has defied her ranking of 338 to make the second week where she meets Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic.
Raducanu has only just completed her final school exams and has attracted a host of new fans, including rock star Liam Gallagher, the former frontman of Oasis.
“BIBLICAL,” Gallagher tweeted in response to Raducanu’s third round win over Sorana Cirstea.
Germany’s Angelique Kerber, the only former champion left in the women’s event, takes on Coco Gauff.
Gauff, 17, is bidding to become the youngest woman to reach a Wimbledon quarter-final since Maria Sharapova in 2004.
Big-hitting will be a feature of the lower half of the women’s last 16 draw.
Belarus second seed Aryna Sabalenka faces 18th seeded Elena Rybakina.
Sabalenka, yet to make a quarter-final of a Slam, had 21 aces over three rounds, one fewer than Russian-born Rybakina.
Rybakina has won a tournament-leading 96% of her service games in the opening three rounds.
Former world number one Karolina Pliskova, the eighth-seeded Czech has also fired 22 aces and faces unseeded Russian Liudmila Samsonova.
Samsonova, ranked 65, has made the most of her wild card to register her best ever performance at a Slam.
Having won the Berlin grass court tournament as a qualifier in the run-up to Wimbledon, the 22-year-old is on a 10-match win streak.
Former French Open champion Iga Swiatek, the seventh seed who had won just one match in grass on the main tour before Wimbledon, takes on Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, the 21st seed.
Jabeur can become the first Arab woman to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals with victory.