Wimbledon 2013: the best matches to watch, day three

Andy Murray is back in action this afternoon while Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka also continue their campaigns

Andy Murray (GBR)(2) v Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) – 2nd on No.1 Court


Murray looked in fine form as he made light work of Benjamin Becker in the first round on Monday. The British number one piled the pressure on his German opponent, closing out an impressive final set that bodes well for Wednesday’s clash against the world number 75 from Chinese Taipei. Lu was pushed to a tight four sets by Briton James Ward but despite playing some impressive tennis, it’s unlikely he will be the cause of another home casualty. Murray’s draw gets tougher after this round so let’s hope he can close it out in straight sets.

Maria Sharapova (RUS)(3) v Michelle Larcher De Brito (POR) – 3rd on No.2 Court

The battle of the screechers takes place on No.2 Court this afternoon as Maria Sharapova takes on Michelle Larcher de Brito. Both known for the high decibels generated from their loud grunts, this will be a battle of shrieks as much as it is tennis. Sharapova suffered a wobble in her last round, pushed into a tense tiebreak by plucky opponent, Kristina Mladenovic, but she demonstrated her steely temperament to set up a clash against the Portuguese world number 131. De Brito’s screech may edge out Sharapova’s but the Russian second seed’s tennis should see her safely through to the third round.

Victoria Azarenka (BLR)(2) v Flavia Pennetta (ITA) – 1st on Centre Court

Azarenka looked to be in serious trouble when she slumped to the ground midway through her first round clash with Maria Joao Koehler but she recovered to progress in straight sets. Her second round opponent, Flavia Pennetta, was responsible for dumping out British veteran Elena Baltacha with her powerful bassline game, overcoming recent wrist surgery to show some of the form that saw her reach world number ten back in 2009. Azarenka is one of only a handful of players capable of challenging Serena Williams so is likely to come through this clash relatively unscathed.

Roger Federer (SUI)(3) v Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) – 3rd on Centre Court

Roger Federer’s first round display was nothing short of sublime. The 31-year-old reigning champion completed three sets of near-impeccable tennis as he destroyed Romanian Victor Hanescu in one hour and nine minutes. His second round opponent, Sergiy Stakhovsky, ranks 113 places below him at number 116 and should provide little bother for the Swiss maestro whose form never ceases to abate at SW19. Expect today’s match to be more of a masterclass in tennis than a tussle of two wills. If Federer drops a set it’ll be nothing short of a shock.

Jerzy Janowicz (POL)(24) v Radek Stepanek (CZE) – 1st on Court 12


Janowicz quickly dismissed any hopes of a second British male progressing to the next round when he overwhelmed up-and-coming hopeful Kyle Edmund in straight sets. Now the 24th seed squares up to Radek Stepanek after the Czech veteran marched past 22-year-old Australian Matt Reid 6-2 6-2 6-4. Janowicz’s game impressed out on No.3 court on Monday, using his skill and power to make short work of his British opponent and the Pole will be expected to approach today’s clash with similar zeal. Aged 34 and with a career high of no.8, Stepanek is in his twilight years and is unlikely to force an upset, but his net play and experience on a big stage might give his rival some trouble along the way.