Wimbledon day 5: Three matches to watch

wimbledon day 5 three matches to watch

Defending champion Novak Djokovic faces old rival Stan Wawrinka for the 27th time when they clash on Centre Court for a place in the Wimbledon fourth round.

World number one Carlos Alcaraz takes on France’s Alexandre Muller while second-ranked Aryna Sabalenka also targets a place in the last 32.

AFP Sport picks out three standout matches on the fifth day of the tournament (x denotes seeded player):

Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Novak Djokovic (SRB x2)

It has been 17 years since these two Grand Slam warriors first met and Friday’s meeting will be their 27th clash and ninth at the majors with the pair level at four wins apiece.

Wawrinka won two of his three majors by defeating Djokovic — in the 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open finals.

The 38-year-old Swiss also beat the 23-time major winner in the last eight of the 2014 Australian Open on his way to his maiden Slam triumph.

Wawrinka came through 9-7 in the last set in that tie while a year earlier in Melbourne, Djokovic had triumphed in a five-set last-16 clash, with the decider going to 12-10.

“I will enjoy it if I don’t get killed,” said Wawrinka ahead of their first career meeting on grass.

Djokovic, chasing a record-equalling eighth Wimbledon title and 24th major, hailed Wawrinka.

“I like Stan a lot. He’s a great person. Really always inspirational what he’s doing at his age.”

Carlos Alcaraz (ESP x1) v Alexandre Muller (FRA)

Spain’s world number one and top seed Alcaraz is widely seen as the only serious obstacle in the path of Novak Djokovic at the All England Club.

He sent French veteran Jeremy Chardy into retirement with a straight-sets win in the first round and on Friday faces another player from France in the shape of 26-year-old Muller, the world number 84 who is making his main draw debut.

Alcaraz is playing only his fourth grass-court event but warmed up for Wimbledon by winning the Queen’s Club title.

“Every day you learn something new. Every time that I get out to the court playing, it’s better for me,” said the 20-year-old.

Muller, who had his own tennis court at his childhood home in France, has played mostly on the second-tier Challenger circuit this year.

However, he enjoyed an impressive run to the quarter-finals of the ATP event in Doha after coming through the qualifiers, before losing to Andy Murray.

Varvara Gracheva (FRA) v Aryna Sabalenka (x2)

Born in Russia but now playing under the French flag having recently switched nationality, Gracheva is in the second round at Wimbledon for the first time.

The 22-year-old has lived in France for five years and applied for citizenship in March. Courtesy of her decision, she is also the new French number two.

Sabalenka was a semi-finalist in 2021 but missed last year’s Wimbledon due to the ban on Belarusian and Russian players.

“I really love Wimbledon. I have great memories from two years ago,” said the Belarusian. “It was a really tough period for me last year but I’m super happy to be here this year.”

Authored by Afp via Breitbart July 6th 2023