Through two days, the 2014 edition of Wimbledon at the All England Club has been nothing short of a strong survey of the parity in the field—meaning Day 3 is a must-see slate.
With a defending champ in action and the likes of Novak Djokovic set to play, Wednesday's portion of the bracket is not typical of early-round play for a major tournament. Given the wealth of upsets that have occurred this year, even the most favored names have to be on their toes.
While Rafael Nadal and other top names continue to chug along, Djokovic and others have to keep pace on Day 3. To do so, properly navigating tricky matchups is a must.
Here is how to catch the action.
|Date||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|June 25||7:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m||ESPN||WatchESPN|
|11:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.||ESPNEWS||WatchESPN|
|2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.||ESPN2||WatchESPN|
Wimbledon 2014 can be seen online at WatchESPN.com.
Matches to Watch
Andy Murray vs. Blaz Rola
The conqueror of Djokovic in the final a year ago, Andy Murray took Centre Court on Monday and moved past David Goffin with relative ease. Still, the height of expectations placed upon him is quite tall, as noted by Wimbledon's Twitter account:
So normally, a match with Blaz Rola would not be so intensive for Murray, but one can understand the pressure.
Then again, the Slovenian is not exactly talking himself up. "Hopefully I don't poop my pants and not play well," Rola said upon finding out his opponent, per The Independent.
Hopefully not. Murray appears in top form, but so have plenty of favorites this year before being upset.
Victoria Azarenka vs. Bojana Jovanovski
A former No. 1 who had not taken the court in more than five months, Victoria Azarenka had a lot of questions to answer in the first round at Wimbledon.
Her form responded well with a victory over Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (6-3, 7-5), perhaps announcing the arrival of a serious contender to reach the final. Azarenka had made two semifinals appearances in a row before bowing out early last year after hurting her knee.
Bojana Jovanovski upended Jo Larsson in her first-round bout with convincing form, and the No. 45-ranked star is no slouch in the face of a returning star.
In other words, it's a matchup that quietly has the making for a strong showing. Azarenka figures to win, but then again, that has happened just once since January.
Novak Djokovic vs. Radek Stepanek
At 35 years of age, Radek Stepanek has a mountain to climb on Wednesday.
Not only is Novak Djokovic one of the best in the world, he is hungry for quick ends to his early matches after looking exhausted in the final a year ago against Murray. Just ask Andrey Golubev, who was sent home in 88 minutes via a 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 romp.
As is very believable, Djokovic was happy with the result of his opening-round dance, per Sports Illustrated's Courtney Nguyen:
"Coming into Wimbledon with no official [grass-court] matches, it always gives you an extra reason to get that commitment and focus from the start and try to play as best as you can," he said. "So that's what I did. Very, very pleased with my performance overall today."
Stepanek better come out firing on all cylinders or risk being in direct competition with Golubey for who was eliminated faster. Given Djokovic's current form, it doesn't matter—his eyes are on the final on a grass surface he quietly excels at.