Wimbledon 2017: Roger Federer resumes quest for 8th title, World No 1 Angelique Kerber in action on Day 2

London: Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will play first-round matches on Centre Court, and there is little reason to believe either will have much trouble.

Federer, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, hasn't lost a Grand Slam match since last year's semifinals at the All England Club; he skipped the 2016 U.S. Open, won the Australian Open in January for his record 18th major title, then sat out the French Open.

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a shot during his Men's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, July 12, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth - RTX1K2M3

File image of Roger Federer in action at the Wimbledon.  REUTERS

He is seeking an unprecedented eighth men's championship at the All England Club.

Federer tuned up for Wimbledon by winning a grass-court tournament in Halle, Germany. In the final, he walloped one of the game's up-and-coming talents — Alexander Zverev, someone 15 years his junior — as if to prove that the kids can wait their turn.

He is 3-0 against his opponent, Alexandr Dolgopolov, and has never lost a set in those matches.

This is Federer's 19th appearance at Wimbledon, two shy of Jimmy Connors' record in the Open era. If Federer wins again, it will give him 85 career match victories at Wimbledon, breaking a tie with Jimmy Connors for the most at the tournament in the Open era.

When Novak Djokovic walked into Wimbledon a year ago, he possessed all four Grand Slam trophies. On Tuesday, Djokovic will start Wimbledon empty-handed.

A third-round defeat to Sam Querrey at the 2016 Wimbledon was the stunning start of a prolonged slump, a slump which Djokovic hopes he is finally on the way to ending after winning his second title of the year in Eastbourne on Saturday.

Djokovic, a three-time titlist at Wimbledon, will face Martin Klizan, who has lost six consecutive matches on grass and has four first-round losses in five appearances at the All England Club.

The man who beat Federer at Wimbledon last year to reach a Grand Slam final for the first time, Milos Raonic, plays on No. 1 Court against Jan-Lennard Struff, who has lost his past nine matches at majors.

The WTA No 1 ranking, which currently belongs to Angelique, could change hands at tournament's end. Two of the women who could top the WTA rankings at the end of the tournament are in action: current No 1 Angelique Kerber and No 3 Karolina Pliskova.

Kerber won two majors in 2016 and was the Wimbledon runner-up, but she lost in the first round at the French Open a little more than a month ago. She'll face Irina Falconi of the U.S. at Centre Court.

Pliskova, who lost to Kerber in the U.S. Open final in September, plays Evgeniya Rodina of Russia.


Published Date: Jul 04, 2017 02:34 pm | Updated Date: Jul 04, 2017 02:34 pm

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