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Five to follow: Day 3

Sergiy Stakhovsky celebrates victory over Roger Federer
by Nicholas McCarvel
Wednesday 25 June 2014

A year after the day that was christened 'Wacky Wednesday' at Wimbledon, the top seeds will look to maintain order at SW19. Here are five matches to watch out for on Day Three.

Are things going to get Wimble-weird again on Day Three of The Championships? It was a year ago that both Maria Sharapova and Roger Federer were stunned on the first Wednesday, in addition to seven retirements (Victoria Azarenka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga included). Could history repeat itself? The top seeds will do their best to make sure it won’t.

[12] Ernests Gulbis (LAT) v Sergiy Stakhovsky (URK)
Court 12, 11.30am
It was Stakhovsky (above) who shocked Federer on Centre Court last year, handing the seven-time champion his first loss before the fourth round since 2002. It wouldn’t be as great of an upset should he beat the ever-entertaining Gulbis, the No.12 seed, but fans on Court 12 could be in for a hotly-contested second round match with these two. The Latvian leads their head-to-head 2-1, and comes in surging after making the French Open semi-finals. Stakhovsky, the world No.90, is just 19-18 since his storied win over Fed.

[4] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) v Casey Dellacqua (AUS)
Centre Court, 1pm
She might not be a household name, but the Australian Dellacqua is having a career renaissance of sorts, having fallen out of the top 1,000 in 2009 before slowly climbing her way back, match by match. She’s reached a career-high No.36, and meets 2012 Wimbledon finalist Radwanska in the ladies’ first battle. It is the Pole who is favoured here, her smart and crafty game especially effective on grass. Could we get our first three-set women’s match on Centre Court?

[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Radek Stepanek (CZE)
Centre Court, third after 1pm
The top seed gets his first true test in the Czech journeyman, a former world No.8 who just two weeks ago upset Andy Murray at Queen’s. But the Serb owns a 10-1 record against Stepanek, including a four-set win here in 2012 in the third round. The world No.38 plays a steady, sometimes confusing game, but Djokovic should be able to weather the storm just fine should he be on top of his game.

[6] Tomas Berdych (CZE) v Bernard Tomic (AUS)
No.1 Court, third after 1pm
These two have met just once, a four-setter in the fourth round here a year ago. Tomic is uber-talented, the 21-year-old having made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2011 and being part of the “Generation Next” crop. But his results haven’t matched his talent, partly because inconsistencies for the Australian off the court, including public problems for his father/coach. Berdych was a finalist here in 2010, but hasn’t matched that result since, losing in the fourth, first and quarter-finalist rounds in the three years since.

[8] Serena and Venus Williams (USA) v Oksana Kalashnikova (GEO)/Olga Savchuk (UKR)
No.3 Court, fourth after 11.30am
Day Three marks the beginning of doubles – men’s and women’s – across the grounds, with plenty of must-watch matches dotting the schedule. The Williams sisters open their Wimbledon campaign, having won this title five times, including the last time they played here – in 2012. They open against lesser-known Eastern Europeans Kalashnikova/Savchuk. Also in doubles on Wednesday is British player Jamie Murray (pairing with Australian John Peers, first on Court 8) and Martina Hingis, the former world No.1 who is teaming up with Vera Zvonareva. They’re on a to-be-determined court after 5pm.

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