Many of the biggest stars in tennis will yet again take to the grass courts of the All England Club on Wednesday.
Defending champion Andy Murray, five-time winner Venus Williams and world No. 2 Novak Djokovic will all be playing during Day 3 of the 2014 Wimbledon Championships. Though all three are expected to cruise on Wednesday, nothing has come easy so far.
With several seeded players like Sloane Stephens, Jelena Jankovic and Fernando Verdasco all being ousted in the early going, even the top names aren't safe.
Before Day 3 of the competition gets underway, here's a look at the notable matches and TV information for Wednesday's slate. Full schedule can be found at Wimbledon.com.
|2014 Wimbledon: Day 3 Schedule|
|Player 1||Player 2||Court|
|Novak Djokovic||vs.||Radek Stepanek||Centre|
|Grigor Dimitrov||vs.||Luke Saville||Centre|
|Andy Murray||vs.||Blaz Rola||No. 1|
|Tomas Berdych||vs.||Bernard Tomic||No. 1|
|David Ferrer||vs.||Andrey Kuznetsov||No. 2|
|Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||vs.||Sam Querrey||No. 2|
|Player 1||Player 2||Court|
|Agnieszka Radwanska||vs.||Casey Dellacqua||Centre|
|Petra Kvitova||vs.||Mona Barthel||No. 1|
|Li Na||vs.||Yvonne Meusburger||No. 2|
|Caroline Wozniacki||vs.||Naomi Broady||No. 2|
|Venus Williams||vs.||Kurumi Nara||No. 3|
|Victoria Azarenka||vs.||Bojana Jovanovski||No. 3|
Wimbledon Day 3 Information
Where: All England Club, London
When: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Breakdown of Notable Matches
Being the No. 2 player in the world might be enough for most athletes but not for Djokovic.
Coming off a disappointing finish in the French Open final, the Djoker has hopes that he can capture his seventh Grand Slam win at Wimbledon. The former No. 1 player spoke about his frustration following the loss to Rafael Nadal, per Tom Perrotta of The Wall Street Journal:
I have to keep on moving. I have to try to improve myself not just on the court, but understand well the mental aspect, what is happening in those finals, why I am not able to win a Grand Slam title.
... It took a lot out of me. I needed, you know, four, five days of rest and trying to get my mind off the tennis.
After refocusing, Djokovic came out with a dominant showing against Andrey Golubev in a 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 victory. While that's hardly the type of competition he'll face when nearing the final, it was a strong start for the 2011 Wimbledon champion.
Heading into a matchup with an experienced Radek Stepanek, the Serbian will look to easily advance in another early match. Carl Bialik of FiveThirtyEight takes a look at the Djoker's performance over the last several years:
That record has been pushed to 13 now, but who's counting?
Along with Djokovic returning to the court, the people's favorite Murray will do the same against Blaz Rola. Unlike the Djoker, Murray matches up with a relatively inexperienced player, who at 23 years old is hoping he doesn't soil himself against the defending champion, per Colin Duncan of the Daily Record:
Nothing can prepare me for this. I just hope I play well and don’t poop my pants. ... I don’t think an up-and-coming tennis player could have asked for a better match-up as I’m facing probably the greatest sportsman in England in one of the greatest venues.
He’s defending the title. He’s been in the top four, the big four, in the past couple years. His record speaks for himself. If I beat him it would be a shock, a big shock.
Well, let's just all pray he doesn't lay down some unwanted fertilizer in the grass. Needless to say, this will be Murray's match to win after a straight sets victory in the first round.
In the women's bracket, several ladies will take the court hoping to make it farther than they did in the French Open. Granted, Victoria Azarenka missed the tournament in Roland Garros due to a foot injury, but she's still working on a comeback story of her own.
Li Na won the Australian Open but was bounced in the second round at Roland Garros. Luckily, she'll face off with Yvonne Meusburger, who has never advanced out of the second round at Wimbledon in her career.
As for Williams, the No. 30 player in the world is far from the champion she was in 2008 when she last won a Wimbledon title. But with newfound confidence, Williams is hoping to add to her trophy case this year, per the official Wimbledon account:
The elder sister needed three sets in her last match but should get past her next opponent with relative ease. If she gets past Meusburger, the next round potentially against No. 6 Petra Kvitova will be a much more daunting task.
Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.