Wimbledon 2017: Victoria Azarenka to play Simona Halep; Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal in action on Day 7

We are into the second week of Wimbledon 2017 and everyday from now on will be full of high voltage action as the tournament move towards the business end. The day will witness the 'Big Four' in action and here are the big five games that one must keep an eye for on Monday.

Federer faces Dimitrov test

When Grigor Dimitrov burst onto the scene as a swashbuckling young tyro, the Bulgarian was quickly dubbed "Baby Fed" for the way his ground-strokes resembled Roger Federer's elegant style.

Switzerland's Roger Federer during his match against Germany's Mischa Zverev. AP

Switzerland's Roger Federer during his match against Germany's Mischa Zverev. AP

But the comparison has proved a heavy burden for Dimitrov, who is still waiting to win his first Grand Slam, while the revitalised Federer hopes to win a record eighth Wimbledon title to make it 19 Grand Slam crowns.

Dimitrov has taken just two sets off Federer in their five meetings, and the 35-year-old Swiss star has been in impeccable form this year. But Dimitrov, 26, shocked Andy Murray en route to the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2014 and Federer will take nothing for granted.

Head to head: Federer leads 5-0

Murray handles prickly Paire

World No 1 Andy Murray will be roared on every step of the way in week two at Wimbledon. The British star survived a scare to get there, against Fabio Fognini, his third straight unorthodox opponent.

And the defending champion rates his next opponent, the unseeded Frenchman Benoit Paire. "He has a different game to a lot of the guys now. He has very good hands, moves well, takes a lot of chances, goes for his shots. He can be quite up and down," said Murray.

Paire thinks he can cause an upset, after knocking out Jerzy Janowicz. "It's something different to play Murray in Wimbledon," he said. "To play Murray on Centre Court will be a good experience. I think I can do something good against him."

Head-to-head: Murray leads 1-0

Nadal has score to settle

The last time Rafael Nadal stared across the Wimbledon net and was confronted by Luxembourg's Gilles Muller, the Spaniard had just one Grand Slam title to his name and was yet to establish himself as one of the all-time greats.

That second round meeting in 2005 was a chastening experience for Nadal as Muller beat him in four sets. Nadal took the lesson to heart and would make the final— winning twice— on his next five visits to Wimbledon.

Nadal now has 15 Grand Slams on his CV and is hoping to win Wimbledon for the first time since 2010. Muller is enjoying a late career surge that has brought him his first two tour titles this year, but it would be a huge shock if history repeated itself.

Head to head: Nadal leads 4-1

Djokovic on the rebound

Forced to parry away innuendos about his private life from American legend John McEnroe and mired in the worst run of his career over the last 12 months, Novak Djokovic could have been forgiven for cutting a forlorn figure coming into Wimbledon.

But grass seems to have revitalised the Serb, who has moved into the second week without dropping a set as he chases a fourth Wimbledon title and first Grand Slam title since last year's French Open.

With new coaches Andre Agassi and Mario Ancic in his corner, Djokovic looks a little more carefree at last and will hope a meeting with France's Adrian Mannarino isn't a bad omen. Last year, Djokovic beat him in the Wimbledon second round before crashing to a stunning last 32 exit against Sam Querrey that triggered his long decline.

Head to head: Djokovic leads 1-0

Old no.1 v next no.1?

Victoria Azarenka versus Simona Halep is the marquee match in the women's last 16.

Azarenka, the Belarusian former world number one, is on the comeback trail after giving birth to her first child, Leo, in December.

She has dropped sets along the way but her game is constantly improving. Halep, currently ranked at two, could end the tournament as the World No 1. Beating the likes of Azarenka would help burnish the Romanian's title challenge. "It's going to be big challenge for me," said Halep. "She's a tough opponent and a great champion. I'm just going there to give my best. Of course, I believe I have my chance to win."

Head-to-head: Azarenka leads 2-1


Published Date: Jul 10, 2017 02:50 pm | Updated Date: Jul 10, 2017 02:55 pm


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