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Five to Follow on Day 4: Nadal Seeks Revenge, Watson an Upset

by Nicholas McCarvel
Thursday 26 June 2014

Rafael Nadal and Lukas Rosol will perform a reprise of their 2012 encounter, but will it have the same result? A look at five can’t-miss matches at Wimbledon on day Four, when the second round wraps up.

There are plenty of “best days” in tennis (notably the second Monday here at Wimbledon, or any finals day at a Grand Slam), but day four at The Championships is right up there with those, a marquee line-up set to complete round two. Here, a rundown of matches you can’t miss.

[13] Richard Gasquet (FRA) v Nick Kyrgios (AUS)
No.2 Court, 11.30am

A semi-finalist here in 2007, the Frenchman Gasquet has had a storied career at SW19, registering a 19-8 record over a decade of appearances. He gets Australian wild card Kyrgios, a big serving, big hitting 19-year-old that many have tapped to be part of “Generation Next” in men’s tennis. The two have met just once, Gasquet winning earlier this year on clay in straight sets. Kyrgios, however, has been waiting for a big breakthrough. Is this it?

[11] Ana Ivanovic (SRB) v Zheng Jie (CHN)
No.3 Court, Second after 11.30am

At first glance fans would give an easy nod to Ivanovic, the former world No.1 in this match, but it’s Zheng who owns their only career meeting here, a stunning 6-1, 6-4 display in 2008. That was the year Ivanovic was coming off her first (and still only) major win at Roland Garros, the player from China refusing to miss in a third-round encounter. Zheng made the semi-finals that year, and today could give Ivanovic an equally tough challenge. The Serbian is 2-2 overall against Zheng, though it’s Ivanovic who is coming into this day on a six-match winning streak having won her first-ever grass title in Birmingham two weeks ago.

[2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) v Lukas Rosol (CZE)
Centre Court, 1pm

Is there any match that lurches off the Order of Play schedule more than this one? Same round, same players... same result? Nadal meets again Rosol, the go-for-broke Czech player who bombed his way to a five-set upset of the Spaniard here two years ago under fading light inside Centre Court. It promises to be bright and sunny at the start of this match, but how the mood – and the weather – will only come to be seen. Nadal exacted revenge for the Wimbledon loss earlier this year in a straight-set win at Doha. “[It] will be a tough match again,” Nadal told reporters. “I know if I want to have chances to win, I need to play very well. That's what I’m going to try. I’m going to fight for it.”

[9] Angelique Kerber (GER) v Heather Watson (GBR)
Centre Court, Second after 1pm

British fans will throw their support behind Watson, fresh off a semi-final appearance at Eastbourne and a solid first-round victory against up-and-comer Ajla Tomljanovic. She meets the German Kerber, a semi-finalist here in 2012. It’s the first meeting between these two, and if Watson is to prevail she’ll have to be at her retrieving and counter-punching best, as Kerber is keen to hit through an opponent with her lefty strokes.

[15] Jerzy Janowicz (POL) v Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
No.2 Court, Fourth after 11.30am

It hasn’t been a fairy-tale 12 months for Janowicz following his fairy-tale run to the semi-finals here a year ago. He’s been struggled to a 17-21 record, including a nine-match skid earlier this year, which helped bring his ranking down from No.14 to 25. He’s seeded 15 here because of his grass court success, and meets another player in Hewitt that isn’t a stranger to the green stuff. Hewitt is 98-56 on this surface in his career, including his 2002 triumph here. They’ve never met, meaning the power-vs.-consistency tug-of-war could play out in either player’s favour on No.2 Court. 

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