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Five to follow on Day Three

First Round action from centre court between Roger Federer and Victor Hanescu.
by Nicholas McCarvel
Wednesday 26 June 2013

Wednesday are usually so gloomy, aren't they? We all look forward to the afternoon when we can officially stamp the week half over and perhaps plan an after-work drinks with colleagues to make the weekend feel like it actually has arrived. But on week one of Wimbledon, every day is a weekend day - or so it feels - as the All England Club bursts with action that most sporting fans are used to finding on Saturdays or Sundays. What's in store for this Day Three? Let's find out...

Early-Round Showdown for Tsonga v Gulbis

If there were ever a John McEnroe-like personality in this generation of men's tennis, Ernests Gulbis would be it. The Latvian has long spoken about his hard-partying ways (a thing of the past, he now says) and as recently as the French Open sent the tennis world for a spin with not-so-kind comments about the sport's top stars. But if Gulbis has the rock-star aura, he also possesses similar talent as McEnroe - though he's widely known not to have executed said greatness. Wednesday he'll continue to try to improve on the stamp of "the-best-who-has-never" with a second-round bout against No.6 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tsonga, the 2011 finalist here, is coming off a run to the Roland Garros semi-finals where he flopped against David Ferrer after beating Roger Federer in front of the home crowd in the quarter-finals. The Frenchman leads their head-to-head 3-0, but they've never met on grass, and this is the first time they're playing in nearly four years.

No.2 Court's Cracking Line-Up

Maria? Lleyton? Caro? Yes, they're all scheduled to play on No.2 Court. It's a day that the former "Graveyard Court" will be the hot ticket as queue-goers will fill in the allotted seats with gusto to see three former world No.1s - two who have Wimbledon titles to their names. Hewitt, who upset No.14 seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the first round, opens play against qualifier Dustin Brown, who as a tour veteran is well known in tennis circles for his quirky dress and dreadlocked hair. Caroline Wozniacki has a qualifier herself, but in former top 25 player Petra Cetkovska. Maria Sharapova meets another qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito in a match that the Russian should dominate, though Larcher de Brito has made plenty of noise in the past with high-pitched grunting of her own. And if that triple header isn't enough for you, Marin Cilic closes the day against Kenny De Schepper.

The Tennis Geek's One: Stephens v Petkovic

They're not the most well-known tennis players in the world, but Sloane Stephens and Andrea Petkovic have quite the cult followings. On Wednesday they'll clash on No.3 Court in what could be a must-watch as the German continues her comeback from a series of injuries that have made the last 18 months a nightmare. It was a fairytale run for Stephens at the Australian Open this year (she made the semi-finals) that helped her move to No.17 in the rankings, and this second-round meeting should prove who is the steadier player on the game's slickest surface. The X-factor? Whichever player connects with her booming forehand has this one in hand.

Doubles, All Day

You know a tournament is in full swing when the doubles action goes out on court. While a handful of doubles matches took place on Days One and Two, play gets under way in full on Wednesday with the top two women's seeds on the schedule and a host of other doubles stars. Our must-watch matches? British duo Colin Fleming and Jonny Marray, the No.9 seeds, play last on Court 16 against Martin Klizan and Igor Zelenay. Marray won this title a year ago with Frederik Neilsen. And third on Court 8 is another Briton, Laura Robson, teaming up with doubles specialist and veteran Lisa Raymond as they take on Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur.

The Darcis Dance: A Second Act?

What's to come of Steve Darcis two days after his epic win over Rafael Nadal? It wasn't a pretty sight for Lukas Rosol last year, who lost in straight sets to German Philipp Kohlschreiber after knocking out the Spaniard. Can the Belgian come better? The 29-year-old veteran gets Lukasz Kubot on Court 17 to try to back up his epic win. Darcis did a whole other round of media on Tuesday morning and practice in front of oogling fans for arguably the first time in his 11-year career. These two have never met, and it's Kubot who's ranked higher - only just barely: No.130 to Darcis' 135.

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20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.

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