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Wimbledon 2017: Federer, Djokovic Face Strong Challenge

Five third round matches to watch at Wimbledon on Saturday.

AFP

Updated:July 8, 2017, 10:53 AM IST
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Wimbledon 2017: Federer, Djokovic Face Strong Challenge
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Five third round matches to watch at Wimbledon on Saturday:

Zverev a welcome foe for Federer

When Roger Federer looks across the Centre Court net at Mischa Zverev, the seven-time Wimbledon champion may feel a swell of positivity surge through him. The last time Federer faced the German 27th seed in a Grand Slam was at the Australian Open earlier this year when he won in straight sets en route to his epic final triumph over Rafael Nadal. Federer also defeated Zverev last month at Halle and once again he left the tournament with the silverware a few days later. Federer has looked in imperious form so far and it would be a seismic shock if Zverev knocked him out.

Head to head: Federer leads 4-0

Djokovic faces enigmatic Gulbis

Novak Djokovic arrived at Wimbledon in the midst of the worst period of his career, but the Serb has shown signs of recapturing his mojo in his first two matches. Will the three-time Wimbledon champion, without a Grand Slam title since last year's French Open, he able to tame the unpredictable talents of Ernests Gulbis? The 28-year-old Latvian was ranked in the top 10 in 2014 -- the year he beat Roger Federer en route to the French Open semi-finals. Now ranked 589, Gulbis enjoyed his best win for three years when he defeated former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round. "I'm going to have even less to lose next match. Maybe I'll play even better," he warned Djokovic.

Head to head: Djokovic leads 6-1

Hair and heir apparent

Austrian world number 217 Sebastian Ofner has stunned the tournament by making the last-32 on his Grand Slam debut. Ofner has already won 10 times more money this week than he has earned all year although his progress has also been noticed for his immaculately gelled hair. One Twitter user even compared him to 1980s Austrian pop singer Falco. On Saturday, he faces highly-rated German 10th seed Alexander Zverev who is looking to make the fourth round of a major for the first time.

Head-to-head: First meeting

Kerber shunted out

The path seems open for world number one Angelique Kerber to make the Wimbledon final again, having been beaten last year by Serena Williams.

The German top seed faces Shelby Rogers of the United States, who is on her best-ever Wimbledon run by making it to the third round.

Wimbledon occasionally shunts big names out onto Court Two to give those who cannot afford the most expensive tickets the chance to see top stars. They sometimes get unsettled by playing in the 4,000-seater sunken bowl but Kerber, who won the US and Australian Opens last year, should be more than a match for the world number 70.

Head-to-head: Kerber leads 1-0

Ghosting Raonic seeks to spook Spaniard

Milos Raonic lost last year's final to Andy Murray but the sixth seed has ghosted through the first two rounds virtually unnoticed this time around, with all eyes on the defending champion and former winners Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Having put out Jan-Lennard Struff in three sets then Mikhail Youzhny in four, the Canadian takes on Spain's 25th-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas first up on Court One.

"This is not necessarily his most natural surface. It's going to be about trying to take the racquet and the decision-making abilities out of his hand and try to sort of dictate and play on all my terms as much as possible," said Raonic.
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