For an already exhilarating tournament, Day 4 of the Wimbledon Championships means the return of some of the top players in the world.
On Wednesday, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov and Venus Williams all throttled their opponents to move onto the third round. With players like world men's No. 1 Rafael Nadal and women's No. 1 Serena Williams taking to the court at the All England Club, some of the biggest stars are out yet again on Thursday.
Outside of the two top players, a man by the name of Roger Federer will continue his run in Wimbledon along with fellow countryman Stanislas Wawrinka. Simona Halep and Maria Sharapova, who played in the final of the French Open, will also take to the grass courts on Thursday.
Below is a look at the viewing info and predictions for notable matches during Day 4 of Wimbledon.
Wimbledon Championships Day 4 Information
Where: All England Club, London
When: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Rafael Nadal vs. Lukas Rosol
It wasn't pretty, and it certainly wasn't easy, but Nadal has reached the second round in Wimbledon.
Following a loss in the first set, Nadal roared back to win the next three and claim victory over Martin Klizan on Tuesday. The Spanish champion was just over two weeks removed from winning his record ninth French Open, so maybe it was understandable.
Though it wasn't an easy match for the Spanish player, he did come away with one brilliant play, via SportsCenter:
Two days after the victory, Nadal now faces Lukas Rosol—the same man who beat him in the second round in 2012. Following the defeat in five sets, Nadal lost in the first round in 2013 and is hoping to turn around his fortunes on the grass court.
How similar is the situation for Nadal coming in? One fan pointed out the correlation between the two years to Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times:
Can Nadal win a third Wimbledon title in 2014?
Looking to avoid the same fate as in 2012, Nadal is coming in with clear respect of Rosol on Thursday. The 14-time Grand Slam winner spoke about his opponent, per Greg Garber of ESPN.com:
"He's a very dangerous player," Nadal said, "very powerful from the baseline. I will have to play my best to beat him. The important thing is to fight and play with the right attitude."
Despite the horrid record at Wimbledon over the last two years, Nadal is the king of comebacks. It might not be pretty, and it certainly won't be easy, but Nadal will right the ship against Rosol on Thursday.
Prediction: Nadal def. Rosol; 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
Serena Williams vs. Chanelle Scheepers
Coming into the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, no man or woman is as heavily favored as Serena Williams.
But after a second-round defeat in the French Open, simply advancing to the third round is clearly not as easy of a task as once perceived for the world No. 1. While she cruised in the first round, Williams spoke about the tumbles she took on the grass surface, per Steven Donaldson of the Daily Mail:
I'll see tomorrow. I fell so many times it was weird because I usually feel really good ... I just kept falling today but it's probably (about) getting my bearings. I didn't play much grass last year and so I think I'll be okay.
Every time I step out on that court makes me want to keep coming here for years and years.
With five Wimbledon titles already—the same amount as older sister Venus—Williams comes in hoping to set herself apart at the All England Club. Thanks to plenty of rest since playing at Roland Garros, the 32-year-old is once again playing great tennis so far.
The WTA's official Twitter account notes just how strong Williams' serving was on Tuesday:
Williams has faced Chanelle Scheepers only twice during her career, never dropping a set to the Russian. Each of those matches were on a hard court, so Williams will have to hope she can maintain that dominance on the grass.
Despite losing in the second round of the French Open, Wimbledon is a completely different beast for the No. 1 player. Williams will continue her run of straight-set victories over Scheepers and cruise to the third round on Thursday.
Prediction: Williams def. Scheepers; 6-3, 6-2
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