Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 July 2019

Wimbledon 2017: Nadal, Murray, Azarenka take to the courts in five must-see matches on Day 5

Plenty of British interest on Friday with Andy Murray, Heather Watson and Johanna Konta all in action.

Rafael Nadal takes on Karen Khachanov second on Centre Court for a place in the fourth round. Facundo Arrizabalaga / EPA
Rafael Nadal takes on Karen Khachanov second on Centre Court for a place in the fourth round. Facundo Arrizabalaga / EPA

Day 5 of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships sees the start of the thrid round action in the men's and women's singles. Here we pick the five must-see matches of the day. (denotes seeding). All times UAE (+4 GMT)

Victoria Azarenka v Heather Watson - first on Centre Court (4pm)

For the first time in 20 years, Britain has four players in the third round. However, Azarenka is determined to make sure that Watson goes no further. Azarenka, playing in her first grand slam since becoming a mother in December, has never dropped a set to the 102nd-ranked wild card in four meetings. Watson says she'll prepare for the match by watching TV reality show Love Island.

Head-to-head: Azarenka leads 4-0

Rafael Nadal (4) v Karen Khachanov (30) - second on Centre Court

Having won his 10th French Open crown without dropping a set last month, Nadal has made the switch from clay to grass with such ease that his title rivals might be getting a little worried. Nadal, seeded fourth, has made a flawless start to his bid for a third Wimbledon title, dispatching John Millman and Donald Young without losing a set. The Spaniard, who last won Wimbledon in 2010, struggled badly on his previous four visits to the All England Club, losing to a player outside the top 100 on each occasion, but he looks in far more formidable form this time and Russian 30th seed Khachanov is unlikely to stop the bandwagon gathering momentum on Centre Court.

Head to head: First meeting

Johanna Konta (6) v Maria Sakkari - second on Court 1 (play begins at 4pm)

Konta will aim to show she is deserving of the label of new favourite for the Wimbledon crown when the British sixth seed faces Greek world No 101 Sakkari. With two-time champion Petra Kvitova and third seed Karolina Pliskova knocked out, Konta has been installed as the new favourite to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish. Having battled past Donna Vekic in three gruelling sets in the second round, Konta can reach the last 16 at Wimbledon for the first time if she gets past emerging young talent Sakkari.

Head to head: First meeting

Andy Murray (1) v Fabio Fognini (28) - third on Centre Court

Defending champion Murray takes on unpredictable Italian Fognini in a battle of tennis dads. Murray has a daughter with another child on the way with wife Kim. Fognini has a son, Federico, with former US Open champion Flavia Pennetta. "Baby is good. I'm good, too. I'm feeling really good. Nothing else to say," Fognini said, the 28th seed, who is trying to reach the last-16 at Wimbledon for the first time. The Italian won the pair's most recent meeting in Rome in May, but that was on clay.

Head-to-head: Series level 3-3

Venus Williams (10) v Naomi Osaka - third on Court 1

Five-time champion Williams faces 19-year-old Wimbledon debutant Naomi Osaka on Court 1 for a place in the last 16. Osaka was not even born when Williams made her All England Club debut 20 years ago but the Japanese youngster hails the influence of Venus and her younger sister. "I don't think I would have started playing if Venus and Serena weren't there for me growing up," the world No 59 said. "I feel like I have been preparing for this my whole life."

Head-to-head: First meeting

* Agence France-Presse

Updated: July 7, 2017 08:51 AM



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