July 2, 2014 / 3:08 AM / 5 years ago

Djokovic takes on Cilic in super-coach battle

Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France during their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Two former Wimbledon champions will meet in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, but this battle will be in the stands as supercoaches Boris Becker and Goran Ivanisevic watch their players battle for a place in the last four.

Top seed Novak Djokovic, coached by three-times champion Becker, takes on big-serving Marin Cilic and his fellow Croat coach Ivanisevic, who won as a wildcard in 2001, in the second match on Court One.

The Serb, who will be playing in his 21st successive grand slam quarter-final, joked that the rivalry between two of the sport’s most high-profile coaches will be intense.

“I expect him to come on to the court and play instead of us,” Djokovic said of Becker’s competitive nature.

“Goran is a legend of our sport, and especially in Croatia and in our ex-Yugoslavian countries. He’s somebody that we respect a lot (but) there is no difference in our approach in terms of practice and what we work on, and I will try to stick to the kind of a game plan that I had against Marin in the previous occasions.”

Before eyes turn to the coaches on Court One, Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard takes on Maria Sharapova’s conqueror, ninth seed Angelique Kerber.

The action is rounded off by the appearance of another giant killer, Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios, who defeated top seed Rafael Nadal to set up a duel with another big server, eighth seed Milos Raonic.

On Centre Court third seed Simona Halep will be bidding to become the first Romanian woman to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon when she takes on last year’s beaten finalist Sabine Lisicki.

Defending men’s champion Andy Murray follows, meeting 23-year-old 11th seed Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who is in fine grasscourt form following his title win at the Queen’s Club. An all-Swiss showdown rounds off the day, with seven-times champion Roger Federer taking on Australian Open champion and Davis Cup team mate Stanislas Wawrinka.

Editing by Clare Lovell

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