Thursday Preview: Nadal, Djokovic Headline Packed Day Four
We know about “Manic Monday”, the second Monday of Wimbledon in which both the men’s and women’s fourth-round matches take place. But what about “Thrilling Thursday”?
Day four of The Championships is set to be extra packed as the regular slate of second-round matches will be joined by 11 to-be-finished men’s contests, including six singles matchups that were carried over from Wednesday because of rain.
Second seed Rafael Nadal leads the day on Centre Court against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin. The No. 1 player in the ATP Rankings had little trouble dismissing Dudi Sela during his opener on Tuesday, and holds a 3-0 advantage, including a 2014 third-round Wimbledon win, in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with the 30-year-old Kukushkin.
Three-time champion Novak Djokovic will go for his 60th win at Wimbledon and try to become just the fifth man to win 60 times at SW19. His opponent, Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos, No. 126 in the ATP Rankings, has captured only one tour-level victory on grass.
Top Brit Kyle Edmund looks to carry the British flag high once more when he meets American Bradley Klahn. Edmund, playing at his career-high No. 17 in the ATP Rankings, is trying to reach the third round at Wimbledon for the first time.
Perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the day will come when fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro and Spain’s Feliciano Lopez step onto No. 1 Court. Del Potro is a former Wimbledon semi-finalist (2013), but three of Lopez’s six ATP World Tour titles have come on grass, including last year’s Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club. The 36-year-old Spaniard is playing in his 66th consecutive Grand Slam championship.
#NextGenATP Taylor Fritz of the U.S. will have the opportunity to make a statement victory against fourth seed Alexander Zverev, who’s looking to back up his Roland Garros quarter-final run. Can Aussie Bernard Tomic summon his 2011 Wimbledon magic, when he made the quarter-finals? Tomic meets 24th seed Kei Nishikori of Japan.
Tomic’s compatriot Nick Kyrgios, a favourite of some to make a deep run, meets Robin Haase of The Netherlands, and 26th seed Denis Shapovalov will try to go 2-0 against Frenchmen during the fortnight when he meets Benoit Paire. Canada’s #NextGenATP star beat Jeremy Chardy in his Wimbledon opener.
Among the matches to be finished that were carried over from Wednesday:
- Third seed Marin Cilic leads Argentine Guido Pella 6-3, 6-1, 3-4;
- Eighth seed Kevin Anderson leads Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3, 1-1;
- Stan Wawrinka is trying to to come back against Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano as the Swiss is down 6-7(7), 3-6, 6-5;
- Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans is mounting a comeback of his own against ninth seed John Isner, leading 1-6, 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(3), 4-3;
- Isner’s compatriot Jared Donaldson is two service holds away from forcing a fifth set against #NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas after the American broke in the fifth but trails 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 4-3;
- And German Philipp Kohlschreiber leads Gilles Muller, who beat Nadal in the fourth round last year, 7-6(6), 6-6(5/3).