Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 July 2019

Wimbledon 2017: Dimitrov, Federer and Pliskova feature in five must-see matches on Day 4

Potential for upsets at the All England Club with world No 1 Angelique Kerber facing former semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens.

Roger Federer is in action third on Centre Court against Dusan Lajovic. Matthew Childs / Reuters
Roger Federer is in action third on Centre Court against Dusan Lajovic. Matthew Childs / Reuters

The second round action continues on Day 4 at Wimbledon. Here, Jon Turner picks his five matches not to be missed. All times UAE (+4 GMT).

Grigor Dimitrov (13) v Marcos Baghdatis - first on Court 2 (2.30pm)

One of the most naturally gifted players of this era is in danger of turning into one of the most frustrating. Dimitrov, 26, has a style and grace on a tennis court that can be watched for eternity but his career results so far have failed to reflect his abundant talent. A march to the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2014 suggested he was ready to break through and challenge the elite, but it took until the Australian Open this year before he got further than the fourth round of a grand slam again. The Bulgarian breezed through his first round match against Argentine Diego Schwartzman - a player who has never won a grass court match - but should face sterner opposition in the form of Baghdatis in the second round. A former Wimbledon semi-finalist and top 10 player, Baghdatis is in the twilight of a career that has often been beset by injury. Dimitrov will be expected to win this one, but Baghdatis will do his best to makes things tricky for the No 13 seed.

Gael Monfils (15) v Kyle Edmund - first on Centre Court (4pm)

Of all the match-ups in the men's singles action on Thursday, this looks to have the biggest potential for an upset. Monfils, 31, has never been beyond the third round at Wimbledon in eight attempts, while Edmund is most comfortable on grass courts. Monfils has proved he can perform on grass by reaching the final at Eastbourne last week before he was completely outplayed by Novak Djokovic, while he faced few problems in his first round at Wimbledon - a straight sets win over Daniel Brands. Edmund, meanwhile, is beyond the first round for the first time - courtesy of a four set win over fellow Briton Alexander Ward - but at 22-years -old, is only at the start of his career. The partisan Centre Court crowd will be fully behind Edmund, although that is exactly the sort of atmosphere that Monfils - forever the ultimate showman - loves to thrive in. This could be the match of the day.

Karolina Pliskova (3) v Magdalena Rybarikova - second on Centre Court

With Petra Kvitova falling in the second round on Wednesday, Pliskova is now the outright favourite to win her first grand slam title at Wimbledon this year. Remarkably, the world No 3 from the Czech Republic has never gone beyond the second round at the All England Club, but has featured in the business end of the last three major tournaments - US Open finalist, quarter-finals of the Australian Open, and semi-finals of the French Open. Pliskova faces Rybarikova, the world No 87 from Slovakia who earned her place in the second round with a dominating win over Romanian Monica Niculescu. Pliskova should have too much power and ability for Rybarikova and safely book her place in the third round.

Dusan Lajovic v Roger Federer (3) - third on Centre Court

Closing Centre Court on Thursday will be the player chasing a record eighth men's singles Wimbledon title against an unseeded Serbian with a world ranking of 79. Federer, the No 3 seed, should face few problems against Lajovic and will be fully expected to book his place in the third round. However, Lajovic was very impressive in his first round win over the promising teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas, and has the ability to make life difficult for Federer, who only has 12 games under his belt following Alexandr Dolgopolov's first round retirement. This is exactly the sort of match Federer will want to step up another gear as he builds momentum heading towards the second week. Federer to win in three competitive sets.

Angelique Kerber (1) v Kirsten Flipkens - third on Court 1

Do we have a shock on the cards? Despite Kerber's form has falling off a cliff this season, she has somehow retained the No 1 ranking. No titles and only one final appearance is a terrible return for a player who won two grand slam titles last year. The German negotiated her way past American Irina Falconi in the first round, but was far from convincing and her task will get much tougher against Flipkens in the second round. Having reached a career high No 13 in the world, Flipkens reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2013. Kerber won their last meeting at Wimbledon, a three sets victory in 2014, so will take some confidence from that. But such has been her slump this season, Flipkens will fancy her chances at revenge.

Updated: July 6, 2017 09:53 AM



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