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Wimbledon day 5: Friday preview


 

Originally published on: 24/06/11 09:57

Andy Roddick thrives on playing at Wimbledon, and you sense he’d be just as content to play in front of a pimms cart by the gates as he would on Centre so long as it meant he was within the walled-complex of SW19. Today, the big-serving American will take centre stage, mind, when he takes on Feliciano Lopez of Spain. Roddick, who came through the first two rounds with relative ease, is first up against a player known to British fans as Tim Henman’s last conqueror at the All England Club.

Second up on Centre sees the in-form Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia play Bulgarian Victoria Azarenka, while Andy Murray will be hoping to use his home-court advantage against Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia. Ljubicic, who recorded wins over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tomas Berdych and Fernando Verdasco this year, upset compatriot Marin Cilic in the first round.

The long-awaited match-up between British teenager Laura Robson and fan-favourite Maria Sharapova will hopefully get underway today after rain got in the way yesterday. The pair open up proceedings on Court No.1 and are followed by five-time champ Venus Williams against Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. Williams, who needed every point to get past 40-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm in the second round, will be hoping today presents an easier passage through to round four.

Last up on Court No.1 is defending champion Rafael Nadal against wild card entry Giles Muller from Luxembourg. This match-up had been pitted as Nadal versus up-and-coming sensation Milos Raonic, but the Canadian went down injured against Muller in the second round and was forced to withdraw. But Nadal won’t be taking Muller lightly, especially after it was comically suggested that the Spaniard was ‘in decline’.

Court No.18 will host Elena Baltacha’s second round match, which was abandoned yesterday evening after yet another rain interruption. The experienced Brit takes on the number 20 seed from China, Shuai Peng.

Court No.2 is once again scheduled with some competitive match-ups and Caroline Wozniacki is first up for her delayed second round against Virginie Razzano of France. Mr. Consistency, David Ferrer, is set to conclude his match with Ryan Harrison, a hot-headed rising star from the States. Harrison, who earned his place in the draw through a lucky loser spot, currently leads two sets to one with Ferrer up a break in the fifth.

Last year’s beaten finalist Vera Zvonareva will also grace Court No.2 when she takes on Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, while Juan Martin Del Potro and Giles Simon complete the line-up.

Elsewhere around the ground the ever-entertaining Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli plays Lourdes Dominguez Lino from Spain on Court No.3 followed by the flamboyant Gael Monfils against Lukasz Kubot of Poland. Richard Gasquet is another French native on show, as he takes on Simone Bolelli of Italy on Court No.14, after dancing German Andrea Petkovic plays Ksenia Pervak of Russia.

Court No.12 sees Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia take on Belgian Yanina Wickmayer while the same court also plays host to Francesca Schiavone for her third round match-up against Tamira Paszek.

Another potential classic to keep your eye on is number 10 seed Mardy Fish versus Robin Haase of the Netherlands. Weather permitting, the game will be last up on Court No. 12.

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