Andy Murray (GBR)(4) v Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) – 3rd on Centre Court
Top billing goes to Brit Andy Murray in today’s third round clash with an unseeded Marcos Baghdatis. Having broken the top 10 back in 2006 (the same year he beat Murray en-route to the Wimbledon semi-finals), the Cypriot has failed to re-capture that early form and currently languishes at number 42 in the world rankings. But Murray will be loath to forget that match and wary of his experienced rival whose second round opponent, Grigor Dimitrov, retired at 7-5 4-1. All eyes will be willing on the last British hopeful in the tournament who, after Nadal’s shocking elimination, is now favourite to progress to the final.
Serena Williams (USA)(6) v Jie Zheng (CHN)(25) – 1st on Centre Court
Serena has answered her critics by annihilating Zahlavova-Strycova and Czink in the first two rounds. After her sister fell at the first hurdle, the younger Williams has put in crushing performances and 25th seed Zheng is quite possibly quaking in her boots. But the Chinese world number 27 has four WTA titles in the bag, one this year in Auckland, and she plays well on grass having reached the semi finals in Birmingham in June. On a good day, Serena is widely accepted to be unbeatable so Zheng will be praying for a sign of weakness in the American’s game. Failing that, all bets will be on the four-time champion marching into the next round.
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)(27) v Lukas Rosol (CZE) – 2nd on Court 12
48 hours ago no one had heard of Lukas Rosol. But then he played the match of his life, dumping out Rafael Nadal, one of the tournament’s favourites. No one was more shocked than the number two seed, but Rosol’s humility and cracking tennis has won him a wave of interest and all eyes will be on his match against Philipp Kohlschreiber. Was it a fluke? Did the player who has fallen in the first round of Wimbledon qualifying for the last five years simply have one epic match? Or is this the first time an almighty talent has been unlocked? Kohlschreiber will provide a decent test of the Czech’s ability, having been the last player to topple Nadal in Wimbledon warm-up Halle. The 27th seeded German will be looking to slow down Rosol’s speed but he will be wary of an opponent who is something of an unknown entity in this year’s tournament.
David Ferrer (ESP)(7) v Andy Roddick (USA)(30) – 2nd on Centre Court
Roddick is a Wimbledon veteran, having reached the final in 2004, 2005 and 2009, but he’s run out of steam in recent years and has seen his ranking fall to 25. However, the former American number one’s killer serve favours the grass court and his bank of experience and popularity with the SW19 crowds should aide him as he takes on the 7th seeded Spaniard. Ferrer leads the pair’s head-to-head 6-4 but this is their first meeting on grass. Despite Ferrer’s superior seeding, expect a tough contest between a well-matched pair. Prediction: a five-set thriller.
Marin Cilic (CRO)(16) v Sam Querrey (USA) – 3rd on No.2 Court
Sam Querrey dispatched hotly-tipped Milos Raonic in the second round but his draw against Queen’s champion Cilic is likely to prove an almighty tussle. The pair have met twice before – both times on grass. Cilic triumphed at Wimbledon three years ago in a five-set battle and again in three sets at Queen’s two weeks ago en route to the title. By beating the 16th seed, the American will equal his best performance in a Slam, but he has already admitted “No one wants to see Cilic in this draw.” Indeed, the Croat is on top form, unbeaten on grass this year, so, although Querrey is likely to push him to the limit again, many will be expecting Cilic to progress