Laura Robson (GBR) v Kaia Kanepi (EST) – 1st on No.1 Court
As we enter the second week of Wimbledon, Andy Murray must be relishing his chance to share the limelight with his female compatriot. It’s been fifteen long years since we had a man and woman representing the home nation in the fourth round when Tim Henman and Samantha Smith vied for a place in the quarter-finals back in 1998. Now it’s Robson’s turn and the 20-year-old has shown some flashes of brilliance in the last week, exciting the British public with her impressive wins over Maria Kirilenko, Mariana Duque-Marino and Saturday’s three-set thriller with Marina Erakovic. Today’s opponent Kanepi is ranked eight places below her but made it to the quarter-finals in 2010. The Estonian hit 46 unforced errors in her first round match but reduced that to just nine in Saturday’s win against American Alison Riske after beating seventh seed Angelique Kerber in the second round. After her wobble against Erakovic Robson will need to focus today, holding the nerves and expectations at bay to produce the kind of tennis we now know she’s capable of and set up a quarter-final clash against the seemingly unstoppable Serena Williams.
Andy Murray (GBR)(2) v Mikhail Youzhny (RUS)(20) – 2nd on Centre Court
Murray’s path to Wimbledon glory gets a little trickier today as he comes up against world number 26 Mikhail Youzhny. The Russian is known for his all-or-nothing approach and will have nothing to lose coming into today’s clash, telling journalists he plans to “enjoy” his experience on Centre Court this afternoon. Murray has won their two previous meetings and has had a fantastic run of form this grass court season so will be the overwhelming favourite to book a place in the quarter-finals. But 31-year-old Youzhny should not be underestimated. Back in 2008 he was ranked eighth in the world and reached the quarter-finals at SW19 last year before he was thrashed by eventual champion Roger Federer. Expect this crowd favourite to put up a fight under the sun on Centre.
Novak Djokovic (SRB)(1) v Tommy Haas (GER)(13) – 3rd on Centre Court
This mouth-watering fourth round clash between world number one Novak Djokovic and German veteran Tommy Haas should provide a late-afternoon treat for lucky Centre Court ticket holders. The Serbian has skipped through the first three rounds without dropping a set so it will take a considerable talent to provide any sort of test. Luckily Haas represents just that. The 13th seed is playing his 13th Wimbledon and, at 35, is the oldest man left in the draw. With experience and wisdom under his belt, the former world number two has struggled with injury during his career but is enjoying a resurgence of form this year beating his Serbian opponent in Miami earlier this year before falling to him in the final eight at Roland Garros. With both players producing some superb tennis as they make their way through the tournament, all fingers point towards an entertaining showcase out on Centre this afternoon.
Serena Williams (USA)(1) v Sabine Lisicki (GER)(23) – 1st on Centre Court
Serena Williams has looked unstoppable during the last three rounds, sweeping aside Saturday’s opponent, Kimiko Date-Krumm, 6-2 6-0 in under an hour. In fact, she’s dropped just eleven games this tournament but will face her first real test against 23rd seed Sabine Lisicki when she steps out on Centre this afternoon. “I have nothing to lose” the 23-year-old German announced ahead of today’s match – a similar approach to the one she adopted before dumping favourite Maria Sharapova out of the competition in 2012. Her power game is certainly more capable of matching Serena’s than many of her competitors and while it will take the match of her life to cause an upset, we can likely look forward to a closer match than Williams has endured so far. The number one seed is the overwhelming favourite to claim her sixth Wimbledon title, inching her closer to Martina Navratilova’s record nine – but first she must overcome this feisty young German who won’t go down without doing battle.
Tomas Berdych (CZE)(7) v Bernard Tomic (AUS) – 3rd on No.1 Court
Promising young Australian Bernard Tomic had to endure a tough first week en route to his appearance in the final sixteen. After seeing off 21st seed Sam Querrey in the opening round, he went on to beat experienced James Blake and favoured Frenchman Richard Gasquet, proving his determination and stamina as he came through some lengthy matches. Add into the equation the absence of his father and coach, John Tomic, who has been banned from SW19 after assaulting his son’s former hitting partner, and you have a youngster who has shown he is more than capable of dealing with pressure. Seventh seed Berdych looked far from convincing in his third round clash with Kevin Anderson, eventually prevailing in four scrappy sets, so will need to step up his form to avoid a shock upset at the hands of the 20-year-old from Down Under. The Czech’s class should win through but if he lets Tomic into the match, the youngster will fight tooth and nail to book a dream quarter-final spot against Novak Djokovic.