Wimbledon hasn't featured many surprises. The top seeds have all made it through to the third round, but there's still room for early upsets.
The next time the marquee names will be put to the test will be on Friday when No. 1-seeded man Novak Djokovic takes on Gilles Simon on Friday.
The two have met seven times previously, and Djokovic has won all but one of the meetings. In fact, Djokovic has taken six in a row from the 29-year-old Frenchman.
The top seed was pushed significantly in his second-round match with Radek Stepanek.
It took four sets to advance, and the final two were decided with tiebreakers. Per the Associated Press (h/t Fox Sports), Djokovic talked about his tough match with Stepanek:
"I was two sets up, I had some break-point chances in the third and should have closed it out in the third-set tiebreak. But credit to him for fighting. He's 35 years old and still moving very well and surface wise grass is probably his most preferred. He loves to engage the crowd."
Fatigue could be an issue, but because of Djokovic's superior conditioning level, he should be fine. The effects of the early marathons may not rear their head until later in the tournament. Against elite competition, he may not have enough in reserve to outlast an opponent like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Andy Murray.
The Djokovic-Simon match is just one of several on the docket at the All England Club.
High Seeds Will Continue to Win
Along with Djokovic, Li Na, Murray, Simona Halep and Agnieszka Radwanska are all in action on Friday. Na has never done exceptionally well at Wimbledon, but she has had a very good year overall.
She takes on Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, whom she has beaten in both of their previous meetings. An advance into the fourth round looks likely for the 2014 Australian Open champion.
This will be the first meeting between the two, but Murray has looked solid thus far. Expect a tougher test than Rola supplied, but Murray should still prevail.
Halep's match with Lesia Tsurenko is actually a second-round affair. The two women had their match held up after Jerzy Janowicz and Lleyton Hewitt's clash was suspended on Court 2.
Janowicz and Hewitt will conclude play on Friday.
Halep is one of the least recognized higher seeds at No. 3, but she has been playing very well lately. The 22-year-old Romanian reached the final of the French Open and is a good bet to advance over Tsurenko.
Though she comes in as the No. 4 seed, Radwanska will be facing an opponent she hasn't had much luck against. Granted, Radwanska has only faced Michelle Larcher De Brito one time previously—and it was in 2008—De Brito did win the match.
As an unseeded player looking for a major win, De Brito figures to try and draw as much as she can from that experience. In the end, Radwanska is a much better player than she was six years ago, and it'll show on Friday.
Lower Seed to Watch
ESPN asks a question that might just become more valid in a few days:
Venus Williams has won five Wimbledon titles, but the last one came six years ago. Seemingly as healthy as she's been in years, the 34-year-old future Hall of Famer has looked fairly sharp through her first two matches. She came in seeded 30th, but looks to be more dangerous than her seeding implies.
Williams scored a straight-sets win over Kurumi Nara in the second round, and will now face No. 6 seed and 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.
The two women have met four times with Kvitova taking three. All four of the matches have gone three sets, and Friday's meeting probably won't be an exception.
Every great player has one last run on their favorite surface, and at their best venue. For Venus, that run could be on the grass surface of the All England Club at this year's Wimbledon. She has 18 aces through two rounds, and her confidence is high.
Kvitova has struggled to maintain form since her breakout win in 2011, and a very beatable third-round opponent for Williams.
Venus is the upset pick on Friday, and potentially the most memorable story from this year's tournament.
All head-to-head stats per Matchstat.com
All statistics per Wimbledon.com
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