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Wimbledon Day 2 preview: Serena Williams begins title defense

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Serena Williams

Serena Williams is seeking her sixth Wimbledon title. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

WIMBLEDON, England – Here are the storylines and matches to watch on Day 2 of Wimbledon. Play begins at 6:30 a.m. ET, and ESPN starts its television coverage at 7 a.m. Click here for the order of play.

Storylines

No. 1s on Centre Court: Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic play back-to-back matches on Centre Court on Tuesday. Williams, the defending champion, faces Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella. “I’m not really familiar with her game as well as I would like to be,” Williams said Sunday. “That’s one thing I do enjoy about playing new players. It’s always an opportunity to see a new face.” Williams has lost in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament once, at the 2012 French Open. Djokovic will follow against Germany’s Florian Mayer. The Serb is 3-0 against the crafty Mayer, including a 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 victory in the quarterfinals last year. Djokovic hasn’t lost in the first round of a major since 2006.

Busy day for Americans: Four Americans made it through on Day 1 — John Isner and Rajeev Ram on the men’s side and Sloane Stephens and Christina McHale on the women’s side — and 14 more are in singles action Tuesday. American No. 1 Sam Querrey meets 2011 Wimbledon quarterfinalist Bernard Tomic. The Aussie beat Querrey at the 2012 Australian Open in their only meeting. Ryan Harrison has drawn a seed early in a major again, this time No. 28 Jeremy Chardy. Harrison won their only match, at Indian Wells in 2011. On the women’s side, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who didn’t play a grass warm-up tournament after making the fourth round of the French Open, will open against Angelique Kerber. Madison Keys will play Great Britain’s Heather Watson. Keys has been struggling with illness since she arrived in London.

Matches to watch

Bernard Tomic vs. No. 21 Sam Querrey (second match, No. 3 Court): After a strong start to the year that included his first title (in Sydney) and a third-round showing at the Australian Open, Tomic went eight tournaments without winning back-to-back matches. He snapped that streak last week in a grass tune-up at Eastbourne, where he defeated James Ward and Julien Benneteau before losing to Gilles Simon. As for Querrey, his grass lead-up consisted of a win over Aljaz Bedene and a loss to Lleyton Hewitt at Queen’s Club two weeks ago. It’s a tough match to call, but one thing is certain: John Tomic won’t be watching his son from the stands. The All England Club has banned him from the grounds.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs. No. 7 Angelique Kerber (third match, No. 3 Court): Mattek-Sands hasn’t won a match at Wimbledon since reaching the fourth round in 2008, but she has a decent chance at the upset here. The 28-year-old American should be well rested after taking a much-needed break following the French Open. Kerber, a semifinalist last year, lost in the second round of Eastbourne last week. She hasn’t been able to replicate her 2012 success this year.

Laura Robson vs. No. 10 Maria Kirilenko (second match, No. 1 Court): Great Britain’s No. 1 gets a tough opener against Kirilenko. The Russian was a quarterfinalist last year, and she’s coming off a quarterfinal run at the French Open. This will be the first meeting between Kirilenko and the 38th-ranked Robson, who has won one match in four Wimbledons.

Francesca Schiavone vs. No. 23 Sabine Lisicki (Court to be announced): The big-serving Lisicki has made the quarterfinals or better in her last three appearances, and last year she knocked out Maria Sharapova in the fourth round. Schiavone jump-started her year by advancing to the fourth round at the French Open. Lisicki should win on the strength of her serve and return, but Schiavone is feeling pretty good these days.

Feliciano Lopez vs. No. 19 Gilles Simon (fourth match, No. 3 Court): The two veterans meet three days after Lopez defeated Simon 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 6-0 in the Eastbourne final in windy conditions. In a fun contrast of styles, Lopez will rely on his serve-and-volley game and Simon will play up his defensive skills.

James Blake vs. Thiemo de Bakker (first match, Court 17): This is a great draw for Blake. De Bakker is ranked No. 93 and has split time this year between the main tour and the Challenger circuit.

  • Published On Jun 24, 2013
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