Five second round matches worth following at Wimbledon on Thursday, July 6th:
Federer / Lajovic
After passing to second round due the injury that made Alexandr Dolgopolov to retire of their first-round clash, Roger Federer returns to action against Serbian world number 79 Dusan Lajovic.
A withdrawal was not the most fulfilling way to secure a record 85th match win at Wimbledon, but the 35-year-old, who hopes to become the tournament’s oldest male champion, will have enjoyed the extra rest before his first meeting with Lajovic.
Head to head: First meeting
Kerber / Flipkens
Angelique Kerber, world’s number one, plays against Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens as she looks to build on an encouraging straight sets victory over US qualifier Irina Falconi in the first round.
Kerber lost last year’s Wimbledon final against Serena Williams. With the latter absent, she is among the favorites to make it back to the title match. As a further sign of good luck, she had defeated her rival for tomorrow before, in Wimbledon three years ago.
Head to head: Kerber leads 2-0
Djokovic / Pavlasek
Three-time champion Novak Djokovic is faces Czech Adam Pavlasek on Court One for the first time. This is going to be his first proper test at Wimbledon this year, as his previous rival, Martin Klizan, retired after just 40 minutes on Centre Court on last Tuesday. This could have been a relief, though, as he is trying to leave behind the most turbulent period of his career. The twelve-times major winner lost in the Australian’s Open second round and the French Open quarter-finals.
Head-to-head: First meeting
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Del Potro / Gulbis
Juan Martin del Potro, 2009 US Open champion, faces Ernests Gulbis in a battle of the two of the sport’s great unfulfilled talents. Del Potro was on the brink of retirement last year after three wrist surgeries but surged back to help Argentina win a maiden Davis Cup title.
Del Potro was in Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2013, while Gulbis made the top 10 in 2014 in the year he made the French Open semi-finals, beating Federer on the way. The Latvian’s opening round win was his first on tour in 13 months, a period that has seen him go down to be ranked 589th.
Head-to-head: Del Potro leads 4-2
Pliskova / Rybarikova
Karolina Pliskova is one of the favorites for the title, due Serena Williams’ absence and following the defeat of Petra Kvitova. The tall Czech is bidding to make the third round for the first time.
Her Thursday’s opponent, Magdalena Rybarikova, former world number 31, missed seven months after undergoing knee and wrist injuries. Her ranking went to 453 meanwhile. But she has now come to Wimbledon with two titles on grass at Surbiton and Ilkley.
Head-to-head: First meet
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