eyes easier passage to Wimbledon fourth round
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[June 28, 2014]
LONDON (Reuters) - World number one
Rafael Nadal, into the third round for the first time since 2011, will
be hoping for an easier ride on the Wimbledon grass after two tough
rounds when he meets Mikhail Kukushkin on Saturday.
He joins three other former Wimbledon champions -- Roger Federer,
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova -- bidding for a place in
Monday's fourth round.
Organisers will be crossing their fingers that the weather
forecasters will be proved wrong again. Despite cloudy skies, the
rain expected to disrupt Friday's play did not materialize, but
showers are expected on Saturday.
They will not affect play on Centre Court, the tournament's
showpiece stage with its retractable roof, where French Open
champion Nadal, champion in 2008 and 2010, opens the proceedings
against the Kazakh world No. 63.
Nadal had to fight back from a set down in the first two rounds
against Martin Klizan of Slovakia and Lukas Rosol of the Czech
"To be in the third round here again after two, three years is very
positive news," Nadal said.
Sharapova, like Nadal, hoping to make it a French Open and Wimbledon
double after claiming the Roland Garros title earlier this month,
takes on unseeded American Alison Riske in Centre Court's second
World No. 1 Serena Williams, whose older sister Venus was defeated
by another former champion Petra Kvitova on Friday, is first on the
roofless Court One, playing Alize Cornet. Serena, a five times
Wimbledon champion, exited at the fourth round stage last year.
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Roger Federer, looking for an eighth Wimbledon title, will play
World No. 35 Santiago Giraldo from Colombia later in the day on
Federer's Swiss compatriot Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka
will be one of the players anxious for another dry day as he is set
to face Denis Istomin, from Uzbekistan, in the last match scheduled
on Court One.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Clare Lovell)
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