5 things at Wimbledon: Sharapova returns to court
LONDON (AP) Maria Sharapova finally will play her fourth-round Wimbledon match Tuesday, no matter what sort of weather there is.
The fifth-seeded Sharapova, who won the first of her five Grand Slam titles at the All England Club in 2004, and ninth-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany never got the chance to set foot on Court No. 1 on Monday. Rain delays slowed earlier matches, and then organizers decided there might not be enough natural light to complete Sharapova vs. Kerber if they started at about 8 p.m.
There will be no such issues Tuesday, because the match was scheduled to be the first on Centre Court, the only place at the tournament with a retractable roof and artificial lights.
Sharapova owns a 4-1 career record against Kerber, who is trying to reach her second Wimbledon quarterfinal. The winner will face No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard of Canada, who won her fourth-round match Monday – on Centre Court.
Here are five other things to look for at Wimbledon on Tuesday:
FEDERER’S FAMILIAR FOE: Seven-time champion Roger Federer plays someone he knows well, No. 23 Tommy Robredo of Spain, in the fourth round. It’s their 12th meeting, and Federer won the first 10. But their most recent match came at last year’s U.S. Open, when Robredo won in straight sets in the fourth round. So far this year, Federer has lost only 23 games – the second-fewest for him through three matches at Wimbledon.
NADAL EYES QUARTERS: Rafael Nadal made the final in five consecutive Wimbledon appearances from 2006-11, winning two titles, but hasn’t been to the quarterfinals since that streak ended. To get back to the final eight, Nadal will need to beat 19-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios, a wild-card entry seen as a possible future star. At No. 144, Kyrgios would be the first player ranked outside the top 100 to beat the No. 1 man at a Grand Slam tournament since No. 193 Andrei Olhovskiy defeated Jim Courier at Wimbledon in 1992.
OH, CANADA: Eighth-seeded Milos Raonic can become the first Canadian man in more than a century – Robert Powell in 1912 – to get to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. Raonic would join Eugenie Bouchard, who won Monday to become Canada’s first woman to make it that far at the All England Club. Raonic, though, is 0-2 against his opponent, No. 10 Kei Nishikori, who would be Japan’s first male quarterfinalist at Wimbledon since Shuzo Matsuoka in 1995.
WOMEN’S QUARTERFINALS: Both quarterfinals in the bottom half of the women’s draw are Tuesday, and one of these players will get to the final: No. 6 Petra Kvitova vs. No. 43 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, and No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova vs. No. 23 Lucie Safarova. Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, is the only member of that quartet to have played in a Grand Slam semifinal. And Makarova is the only one to have won a title of any sort in 2014.
HALEP VS. DIYAS: No. 3 Simona Halep, the French Open runner-up, is the only one of the four highest-seeded women still in the tournament, because of losses by No. 1 Serena Williams, No. 2 Li Na, and No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska. Halep faces 72nd-ranked Zarina Diyas in the fourth round. Diyas is 20 and playing in only her third major, but as Halep put it: ”On grass, you never know what can happen.”
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