Just five days through the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, the action is already shaping up to be memorable with top title contenders in action on Saturday and beyond.
With everything from Li Na's untimely early exit to Novak Djokovic's playing through injury, action has not disappointed thus far at the All England Club. But with a few more enticing matches on the slate for Day 6, anything can happen with storylines set to unfold.
Let's take a look at viewing information and storylines to watch for throughout Saturday.
Date: Saturday, June 28
Where: All England Club in London, England
Time: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Order of Play: Wimbledon.com
Day 6 Outlook
Can Nadal Start out Strong?
For the first time since 2011, Rafael Nadal is through the opening two rounds at Wimbledon and into the third round. But he hasn't quite been dominant in doing so.
Nadal lost his first set in the first round to Martin Klizan, before rattling off three straight to win rather easily. In his second match, he continued his early struggles—he lost his first set again to Lukas Rosol before closing it out in four sets.
The Spaniard is in action on Saturday in the third round, facing Mikhail Kukushkin—who has won both of his first matches in straight sets. They open up play on the centre courts, per Wimbledon:
#Wimbledon Order of Play, June 28 Centre Court Nadal vs Kukushkin Sharapova vs Riske Federer vs Giraldo— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 27, 2014
Nadal has proved early on that he won't be a victim to a tough early draw that left many predicting an early exit for the 2014 French Open champ. It would be shocking to see him slip up in the round of 32, with much more quality opponents set to face him in the next few rounds.
But it is a question of whether Nadal can jump on an overmatched opponent from the start. If he continues to drop early sets, it will become a major problem when he faces opponents capable of topping him.
Roger Federer Gearing Up for Another Wimbledon Run
Death, taxes and Roger Federer competing for Wimbledon titles.
Few things in sports have been more automatic than Federer at the All England Club, with his seven titles surpassing anyone else in the Open Era. One more would give him eight, and make him alone on the list of all-time Wimbledon winners in any era.
Next up for Federer is a third-round clash with Santiago Giraldo, who just saw his second-round affair with Marcel Granollers extended to a second day (Friday) before winning in the fifth set.
If Federer makes a move into the round of 16, expect things to reach rare form heading into the final week of play, observed Tennis commentator David Law:
Of course, it remains to be seen whether Federer will make it that far. He still has a number of tough matches upcoming before he gets into the elite few still contending, but don't expect the slip-up to come on Day 6. Giraldo is fresh off a taxing match and is up against one of the timeless greats at his favorite court.
Serena Williams Hoping to Avoid Another Early Upset
Serena Williams is a massive favorite to validate her top seed when facing No. 25 Alize Cornet on Saturday, but don't expect the American to take to the task lightly.
Just in the last month, Williams entered Roland Garros as the top seed and was ousted in the second round by Garbine Muguruza. What made the loss even more distasteful wasn't just how early it came, but also that it came in straight sets. That made it one of her most lopsided ever Grand Slam defeats.
So far at Wimbledon, she hasn't endured such trouble, as BBC Sport indicates:
Williams has shown no signs of weakness thus far at the All England Club, dominating her first two opponents in resounding fashion. But as they say, it only gets tougher as things progress.
Cornet has beaten Williams in two of five meetings, including one this year in Dubai. But the American is a different type of test on grass, and one that takes one of the world's best on her game—along with a little bit of fortune—to top.
One thing is certain—Williams won't be taking her early opponents with a grain of salt this year.
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