Andy Murray (GBR) (4) v Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) – 3rd match on Centre Court
Andy Murray will once again feel the weight of a nation on his shoulders when he steps out onto Centre Court this afternoon. The British number one and fourth seed has been handed a tough draw, facing former top five player Nikolay Davydenko, but the Russian has struggled with injuries of late and Andy will be hoping for an opportunity to find his grass court form after a shock first round defeat at Queens. On paper Murray should dominate, but Davydenko’s experience and the Scot’s fiery temper could spell an almighty tussle when they take to Centre Court. In the wise words of the great Roger Federer: “I think he wants to first get through the first round, like all of us”.
Rafael Nadal (ESP) (2) v Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) – 2nd match on Centre Court
The powerful Spaniard can flex his rippling muscles with pride as he comes into the tournament having seen off Djokovic’s challenge in the French Open final, whilst his opponent, Bellucci, has suffered an uninspiring season, with a 12-12 win-loss record this year. Today’s meet will be their third but marks the first time the two clay court specialists have met on grass. All expectations point to Nadal marching onwards and, with Bellucci yet to enjoy a successful Wimbledon campaign, the number two seed will be hoping to give his legs a brief airing during a straight-sets victory.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) (5) v Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) – 2nd match on No. 1 Court
Tsonga triumphed over the almighty Federer in the quarter-finals of last year’s tournament, but he will be on high alert during his first round clash against the Australian 2002 Wimbledon champion. Hewitt may have needed a wildcard to gain entry to this year’s tournament, but don’t underestimate his ability to overcome the big seeds in mammoth five-setters. The Australian’s dogged style of play is likely to give Tsonga a run-around but the smart money will be on the fifth seed progressing to the second round.
Andy Roddick (USA) (30) v Jamie Baker (GBR) – 4th match on No.1 Court
The American is nearing the twilight of his career but his major weapon – an often un-hittable serve – will always trouble his opponents on grass. 25-year-old Brit Jamie Baker, currently ranked at a career peak of 186, is unlikely to cause many problems for Roddick, who bounced back from a first-round defeat at Queens to take the Eastbourne title last week. But 2012 has not been kind to the 29-year-old American, with another early loss in the French and a falling ranking, so if Baker can score some returns and cause early problems for Roddick, he could create a golden opportunity for himself.
Laura Robson (GBR) v Francesca Schiavone (ITA) (24) – 1st match on No.3 Court
Currently enjoying a career-high singles ranking of 97, ex-Wimbledon junior champion Laura Robson will hope to join fellow Brit Heather Watson in the second round when she takes on 2010 French Open Champion Schiavone this afternoon. 18-year-old Robson, who broke the top 100 for the first time this week, will enjoy the support of the home crowd when she faces the 24th seed. The Italian may have 13 years more experience, but she has not enjoyed a successful season, scoring a 17-17 win-loss record in 2012 so far. The home nation will be hoping unseeded Robson can seize the chance to cause a major upset but, with a number of young British women climbing the rankings, she will at least be spared the pressure heaped on Andy Murray.
Coverage of Wimbledon starts on BBC2 at 11:30am and BBC1 at 1:45pm. If you missed the day’s action, don’t forget to watch Today at Wimbledon at 8:30pm on BBC2.