Originally posted on The Sports Headquarters  |  Last updated 9/4/12

For the second straight year, rain has forced me to publish the men’s quarterfinals preview in two parts. These are for the two matches on the top half of the draw. I will preview the bottom half matches when those are set.

Roger Federer vs Tomas Berdych:

The last time these two met in a Slam, Berdych upset Federer in 4 sets in the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2010. Since then, Federer has won 3 of their 4 matches. The matches have been close though, and Berdych is clearly a tough opponent for Federer. His serve is big and tough for Federer to return and his big groundstrokes can get through Federer’s defense.

A real question coming in to this match is how Federer’s lack of a fourth-round match will affect him. Federer received a walkover when Fish withdrew due to concerns over his heart’s condition (from which he can hopefully make a full recovery soon). This could either affect Federer in a positive or negative way. On the one hand, he gets some rest, a precious commodity for players during a Slam. On the other hand, not playing a competitive match in 4 days could take him out of his rhythm before a match against a tough quarterfinal opponent.

I’m honestly not quite sure what to expect from this match. Berdych is a tough opponent for Federer and can beat him. Federer might have to play his way back in to rhythm. And Berdych looked the most impressive of any of the fourth-round match winners. But Berdych also made comments before the tournament that made it feel like he doesn’t think he can win. Here’s what I will say, though. If Berdych goes for his shots and plays like he thinks he can win, he will win at least 1 set and definitely can win the match.
Prediction: Federer in 5

Andy Murray vs Marin Cilic:

This is another match that could end in an upset and it wouldn’t be shocking. Cilic won their only meeting at the US Open, taking Murray out in the fourth round in straight sets back in 2009. Of course, that’s the only one of their meetings that Cilic has won and that was back when Cilic was at the height of his game. He slumped since 2010 but is really working his way back. In fact, Cilic would re-enter the top 10 for the first time since early 2010 with a win in this match.

Cilic did not look so great in his first two matches here but really picked up his level in his last two. Murray has had his awkward moments but has been solid throughout. Murray’s return of serve really clicked in his last round against Raonic and Murray took care of the dangerous Canadian

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