Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 1st 2013 Contents LONDON---Get ready for some unfamiliar names
at Wimbledon. With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
long gone, and Maria Sharapova out, too, after a
havoc-filled Week one at the All England Club,
Week two begins today with a schedule that includes
participants such as Kenny de Schepper and Adrian
Mannarino, Ivan Dodig and Jerzy Janowicz, Karin
Knapp and Monica Puig.
None of that group has played in a fourth-round
match at any Grand Slam tournament.
Members of the usual cast of characters are still
around, of course, such as Serena Williams, Novak
Djokovic and Andy Murray. None of that trio has
dropped so much as a single set yet; all are expected
to be around by next weekend.
Still, Djokovic likes the idea of some players getting
a chance to introduce themselves to a wider audi-
"It s interesting...to see new faces---for the crowd,
for (the) tennis world, in general," said Djokovic, who
might not feel quite the same way if he were among
the 11 men and women seeded in the top 10 who no
longer are playing.
Truth is, there hasn t been much variety of late
at Grand Slam tournaments, especially at the very
end: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have won 31 of the
past 33 titles.
"It s good (to have) change, in a way, because it s
always expected, obviously, from top players to reach
the final stages of major events. When it doesn t
happen, it s a big surprise," said the top-seeded
Djokovic, whose six Grand Slam titles include Wim-
bledon in 2011. "It s a bit (of a) strange feeling not
to have Federer or Nadal at the second week of a
major. In the last ten years, it was always one of
Over a shorter stretch, it s also always been Djokovic,
who meets 35-year-old Tommy Haas today. Djokovic
has played in 16 consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals
---the longest active streak, now that Federer s 36-
major run is done. At the past ten Slams, Djokovic
has reached the semifinals every time, picking up
five trophies and three runner-up finishes.
Murray, meanwhile, has been a finalist at the last
three major tournaments he entered and won the
US Open in September, only increasing the expectation
among the locals that he can deliver Britain s first
male champion at Wimbledon in 77 years.
Nothing is guaranteed right now, though.
So on the traditional middle Sunday s day of rest,
there they were on the practice courts---six-time
Grand Slam champion Djokovic, but also Janowicz,
who d won a grand total of six matches at major
tournaments until this one; 2011 French Open cham-
pion and two-time major runner-up Li Na, but also
19-year-old Laura Robson, the first British woman
to get this far at the All England Club since 1998.
Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion,
wore thick wraps of white tape around his left knee,
which he hyperextended in a tumble Saturday, and
a strip of black tape down the back of that leg.
When play resumes today with all 16 men s and
women s fourth-round matches---Wimbledon is the
only Grand Slam tournament that sets things up that
way---fans get a chance to discover some folks they
might not recognise immediately.
Five of the remaining 16 men are making their
fourth-round Wimbledon debuts; only one in that
group has ever been that far elsewhere. Six never
have reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal: de Schepper,
Dodig, Janowicz, Lukasz Kubot, Mannarino and
Andreas Seppi. Perhaps not coincidentally, each of
those relatively unknown half-dozen players benefited
from at least one of the record-tying 13 walkovers
or mid-match retirements from injury or illness so
Four of the 16 women left are hoping to reach a
major quarterfinal for the first time: Robson, Knapp,
19-year-old Monica Puig of Puerto Rico, and 20th-
seeded Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.
The No one-ranked Williams, naturally, is an over-
whelming favourite to win the title. She is a five-
time Wimbledon champion, including last year. She
owns 16 Grand Slam titles all told, while the other
15 women in the tournament own two among them:
Li s at Roland Garros, and Petra Kvitova s at Wim-
bledon in 2011.
Narrow the focus, and facing Williams becomes
even more daunting. She is 46-2 this season and
has won her past 34 matches, the longest winning
streak for a woman since older sister Venus 35-
match run in 2000.
Consider this, too: Williams has won six titles in
2013, the same total as the other 15 women com-
It s entirely possible that the toughest match she ll
face the rest of the way will come today against 23rd-
seeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany. Lisicki is a mediocre
16-15 at other Grand Slam tournaments, but 16-4
at Wimbledon, where her powerful serve is nearly
as much of a threat as Williams is on grass.
Of the women in action today, Lisicki leads the
way by having won 93 per cent of her service games
in the tournament (Williams is next at 91). Lisicki s
202 aces this season rank second on tour only to
Williams 292. (AP)
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, July 1, 2013
New names alongside
Djokovic, Murray at
Serena Williams of the United States reacts after
winning a point as she plays Kimiko Date-Krumm of
Japan during their Women's singles match at the All
England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon,
London, Saturday. Williams won 6-2, 6-0. AP PHOTO
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