Wimbledon 2015: day one – five matches to watch

Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Stan Wawrinka begin proceedings at SW19, while Lleyton Hewitt kicks off his final campaign

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Novak Djokovic (SER)[1] v Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) – 1st on Centre Court

The defending champion opens play on Centre Court against world number 33 Philip Kohlschreiber. That blip in the French Open final aside, Djokovic has reigned supreme in 2015 – expect him to make short work of his opponent as he looks to rest his legs for the trickier later stages of the competition.

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Serena Williams (US)[1] v Margarita Gasparyan (RUS) – 1st on No.1 Court

Serena Williams – arguably one of the greatest female tennis players of all time – is on course for another Grand Slam. Win Wimbledon and it’s just the US Open standing in the way of the American holding all four major tournaments at once for the second time in her career. It’s unlikely world number 116 Gasparyan will give her much trouble, although Serena is prone to shock losses at SW19 – in the last two years she hasn’t made it past the fourth round.

Maria Sharapova (RUS)[4] v  Johanna Konta (GBR) – 2nd on Centre Court

2004 champion Sharapova is always a force to be reckoned with on grass, but she’s suffered a year of ups and downs including a string of early exits from major tournaments. Although it’s unlikely she’ll suffer a shock defeat to British wildcard Konta who will play one of the biggest matches of her career when she steps out onto Centre later today. Have your earplugs at the ready for plenty of Sharapova’s trademark screeching.

Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) v Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) – 2nd on No.2 Court

Lleyton Hewitt and Jarkko Nieminen both launch their final Wimbledon campaigns later today. The 2002 champion has been granted a wildcard for his swansong but, should he overcome the Finn, will almost certainly set up a second round clash with Djokovic. Regardless of who wins today, it’s likely these veterans will be packing their bags before the week’s out.

Stanislas Wawrinka (SWI)[4] v Joao Sousa (POR) – 3rd on Centre Court

Swiss number two Wawrinka has had one hell of a year. A run to the Australian Open semi-finals was followed by a hard fought victory over Djokovic in the final at Roland Garros last month. World number 46 Sousa qualified for SW19 for the first time last year, but failed to make it past the first round – a similar fate is likely to await him out on Centre Court later today.

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