Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Maria Sharapova head a list of eleven HEAD racquet rebels who will continue the men's and women's title fights into Wimbledon's second week. Second seed Djokovic, playing with his YouTek IG Speed MP, emerged into the fourth round after a hard-fought battle with Marcos Baghdatis. The Serb posted a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win as he bids for a second major trophy this season after winning the Australian Open in January.
Djokovic will face France's Michael Llodra, who beat HEAD's Yu Yen-Hsun (YouTek IG Extreme Pro) in three sets. Djokovic says that the passion he showed in his battling win over Baghdatis will only increase as the run to a possible Wimbledon title continues. "I'm not going to change who I am. I can work on some things, but, my temper is my temper. My character is my character. You have to try to take the best out of it, not change it. We know this is a Grand Slam, we know that everybody plays well here. You have to appreciate each win that you have."
Fourth seed Murray again carries British hopes on his shoulder for the nation still seeking a men's singles title after 75 years. The Scot will clash with fellow HEAD stable mate Richard Gasquet of France in the pair's second meeting at Wimbledon. Murray (YouTek Radical Pro) stands 2-3 against Gasquet (YouTek IG Extreme Pro) but has beaten him in both of the meetings in Grand Slams.
"I don't know how much of an advantage it is to have one more day off. Most of the time on the grass, the matches aren't too physical, so one day off is normally good." Murray's trip to the last 16 came at the expense of fellow racquet rebel Ivan Ljubicic whom he beat in the third round.
Thomas Berdych, 2010 finalist in Wimbledon, will face American Mardy Fish as the Czech tries to repeat his title bid from a year ago. Berdych has lost the fewest games (21) so far and did not drop a single set.
A HEAD youngster has posted one of the big surprises of the first week as Australian teenager Bernard Tomic out-played stable mate Robin Soderling, earning a 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 victory over the Swedish fifth seed. Tomic swung his YouTek Radical MP to victory against Soderling (YouTek Prestige MP) who had been suffering with a stomach complaint in recent days. Russian Mikhail Youzhny claimed a victory over Spaniard Nicolas Almagro and will now face 6-time champion Roger Federer.
In the women's draw, Sharapova and fourth seed Victoria Azarenka (a winner over Daniela Hantuchova with her YouTek IG Extreme Pro) lead the HEAD attack, backed up by China's Peng Shuai, Austrian Tamira Paszek and Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova. Pironkova defeated No. 2 seed Vera Zvonareva.
Sharapova, playing with her new YouTek IG Instinct, beat Klara Zakopalova 6-2, 6-3 while Paszek (YouTek Radical MP) stunned former French Open winner Francesca Schiavone 3-6, 6-4, 11-9. Peng put out Hungarian Melinda Czink. Peng and 2004 Wimbledon champion Sharapova now meet in an all-HEAD clash.
"There's no doubt you have to improve with the second week coming," said Sharapova. "That's always the toughest part. The opponents get tougher, the more matches you play, especially at a Grand Slam stage. Raising your level is what it's all about at the Grand Slams, especially the second week."