With the second round for both the men and women underway at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, there will be a few key matches to keep an eye on during Day 4 on Thursday.
A few of the biggest stars in tennis have already advanced to the third round after Wednesday, including defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, who conceded just two games while winning in straight sets against Blaz Rola. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic had a bit of a scare against Radek Stepanek, winning 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(5), 7-6(5).
Below is a look at the schedule for Day 4 along with previews for a couple of the top matches to watch for on Thursday.
Where: All England Club, London
When: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Day 4 Schedule
|Player 1||Player 2||Court|
|Lukas Rosol||(2) Rafael Nadal||Centre|
|Gilles Muller||(4) Roger Federer||Centre|
|Jarkko Nieminen||(9) John Isner||No. 3|
|(8) Milos Raonic||Jack Sock||No. 3|
|Player 1||Player 2||Court|
|(1) Serena Williams||Chanelle Scheepers||No. 1|
|Timea Backsinszky||(5) Maria Sharapova||No. 1|
|(3) Simona Halep||Lesia Tsurenko||No. 2|
|(11) Ana Ivanovic||Jie Zheng||No. 3|
Complete schedule can be viewed at Wimbledon.com
Top Matches To Watch
Rafael Nadal vs. Lukas Rosol
After appearances in the finals in the first two Grand Slam events of this year, including another win at the French Open, Rafael Nadal is looking to shake off a less-than-ideal start with a win over Lukas Rosol.
Nadal had a tough time taking down Martin Klizan, dropping the first set before turning things around and winning the next three straight. The win was still a big milestone, however, as the Wimbledon Twitter account noted it was his 700th career win.
After winning at Wimbledon in 2010 and finishing as the runner-up in 2011, Nadal has recently struggled at the tournament. He lost in just the second round in 2012, then had an even earlier exit in 2013, falling in his first match. Oddly enough, his second-round match against Rosol is a rematch from 2012, when Nadal lost in that second round.
Judging from what Rosol has to say, he seems pretty confident he can do it again, according to what he told Tom Lewis from The Guardian:
It's Nadal who has to win, I have nothing to lose. I can create another surprise. I want to impose my style on him. The shorter the rallies, the better for me. Nadal is the king of clay, but he is more vulnerable on other surfaces, especially grass. If you want to beat one of the big stars at a grand slam, the early rounds are the best.
While Nadal is the king of clay, he's struggled recently at Wimbledon. A win against the man that took him down in 2012 could help boost his confidence as he tries to make yet another deep run in a Grand Slam event this season.
Serena Williams vs. Chanelle Scheepers
With five career Wimbledon titles already under her belt, Serena Williams is once again the player to beat at this year's tournament.
Early exits at the Australian Open and French Open have had some questioning Williams heading into this year's Wimbledon, but the good news is that she's had plenty of rest, not having played since Roland Garros. However, if she's not able to win here, the pressure will be on for her to win at the U.S. Open, as she has won at least one Grand Slam title in six of the past seven years.
The 32-year-old looked just fine in her first-round match, making quick work of Anna Tatishvili in straight sets at 6-1, 6-2. According to TennisNow, Williams is currently averaging more than two aces per service game, which explains why she can be so dominant at times.
Serena Williams, averaging more than two aces per service game, takes down Tatishvili, 6-1, 6-2. So the message has been sent...— TennisNow (@Tennis_Now) June 24, 2014
Next up, Williams will be playing Chanelle Scheepers, who has never made it past the fourth round in any Grand Slam, while making it out of the first round for the first time in her career at Wimbledon this season. If Scheepers wants to make it past the second round, she's going to have to find a way to take down the current No. 1 player in the world.