Wimbledon 2014: best matches to watch, Monday 23 June

Andy Murray begins his defence against David Goffin while Novak Djokovic takes on Andrey Golubev and five-time champion Venus Williams returns to SW19

Andy Murray (GBR) [3] v David Goffin (BEL) – 1st on Centre Court


The 2013 champion begins his defence with the expectations of a nation on his shoulders once again. After England’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it showing at the World Cup, the Great British public will be looking to Murray for their fix of sporting glory. Will they find it? Murray’s resolve seems as strong as ever but whether his desire to score back-to-back titles will be matched by his form is another question. The world number five is seeded third thanks to his grass tournament form but is still on the comeback from back surgery last winter and a shock third round defeat at Queen’s was hardly the pre-Wimbledon preparation he was hoping for. With new coach Amelie Mauresmo in his court, he sounds confident. World number 104 Goffin shouldn’t cause him too much bother – in three attempts he’s never made it past the third round at SW19.

Novak Djokovic (SRB) [1] v Andrey Golubev (KAZ) – 3rd on Centre Court

The world number two and top seed is the smart bet for this year’s title. Beaten by Murray in straight sets in last year’s final, he’ll be out for vengeance and already has three Wimbledon semi-finals, two finals and one title under his belt. Expect him to breeze through his first match against world number 57 Andrey Golubev who has failed to better Djokovic in the pair’s two previous meetings. The only spanner in the Serb’s game is a wrist niggle which caused him to pull out of his regular pre-Wimbledon event at The Boodles last week. 

Venus Williams (USA) [30] v Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor (ESP) – 2nd on No.2 Court

The twilight years of the older Williams sister’s career may have been blighted by illness and injury but she’s still a force to be reckoned with at SW19. The five-time champion and her sister, Serena, should never be underestimated on any surface, especially grass where their powerful, big-hitting game has swept aside many a gifted opponent. Venus opens today against Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor, a 22-year-old Spanish rising star who claimed her first title this year in Marrakech and will be looking to cause the first major upset of the 2014 tournament. Expect a battle. 

Dustin Brown (GER) v Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) – 2nd on Court 12

Of today’s unseeded matches, this is the one to watch. Two fan favourites go head-to-head out on court 12, both with a point to prove. Baghdatis – once an Australian Open finalist and fixture of the top ten – has seen his ranking plummet to number 115, requiring a Wildcard to enter this year’s tournament. But after missing the entire clay court season, these past few weeks have seen him win the Nottingham Challenger event, momentum that he will be hoping to carry into Wimbledon and his clash with the enigmatic Brown, a dangerous opponent who recently quashed Rafael Nadal in the first round of Halle. This should be a real tussle for a place in the second round… 

Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) [11] v Ryan Harrison (USA) – 2nd on No.1 Court

Dimitrov has been the breakout star of 2014 thanks to a blistering run of form which has seen him capture three titles (including last week’s Queen’s Club) and reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. Wimbledon presents a chance to banish the memory of his shock first round exit at Roland Garros as he encounters USA’s Ryan Harrison, a qualifier with with an aggressive game which could prove difficult on the Wimbledon courts. However, Dimitrov will no doubt have an eager female fan base out on No.1 Court and is the strong favourite to progress past the world number 150 and extend his grass court winning streak.

Coverage of the Wimbledon 2014 Championships begins today at 11:30am on BBC2 and 1:45pm on BBC1

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