Federer, Murray eye last 32

LONDON: Defending champion Roger Federer and Andy Murray take center stage at Wimbledon on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) while Maria Sharapova has to settle for a spot away from the two major show courts.

Federer, bidding to become the first man to win the title eight times, tackles Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky on Center Court.

Murray, the US Open and Olympic champion, switches to Court One to play Lu Yen-Hsun, the Taiwan player who beat him at the 2008 Olympics.

But Sharapova, the third seed and 2004 champion, takes on Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito out on Court Two.

That will raise eyebrows with the low-key clash between Fernando Verdasco and Julien Benneteau, and the match-up featuring Petra Kivtova, the 2011 women’s champion, against Yaroslava Shvedova taking place on Court One.

Murray, beaten by Federer in last year’s final, is well aware of the threat posed by Lu, who also beat Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in 2010.

“I know quite a lot about him. I lost to him in the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing. It was a very tough loss for me. I learnt a lot from that match,” Murray said.

“He’s made the quarters here before. He’s beaten Roddick here and plays well on grass. So I’ll need to be ready.”

If Murray sees off Lu it will be the 108th Grand Slam match win of his career, taking him further clear of Fred Perry’s record for a British player at a major.

Also in action on Wednesday are second seeded Victoria Azarenka against experienced Italian Flavia Pennetta.

Lleyton Hewitt, the 2002 champion who put out Swiss 11th seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the first round, takes on German qualifier Dustin Brown.

Read more :
  • 2014 World Cup Qualifying: Pedro strikes as Spain beat France
    World champions Spain retook control of 2014 World Cup qualifying Group I on Tuesday with a 1-0 win over France, Pedro Rodriguez scoring the only goal of the game in the second half at the ...
  • Federer faces historic Wimbledon bid
    Roger Federer AFP PHOTO PARIS: Ten years after Roger Federer made his Grand Slam breakthrough at Wimbledon, the 17-time major winner returns to the All England Club next week as defending ...
  • UEFA Champions League: Carlo Ancelotti confident of Barcelona upset
    Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti is relishing the challenge of facing Champions League favourites Barcelona in the quarter-finals and believes his expensively assembled side are ca...
  • Juanma’s dilemma
    It is safe to say that the devastating fourth round knockout loss Puerto Rican boxing superstar Juan Manuel (popularly known as “Juan­ma”) Lopez recently suffered against Ame­rican Miguel A...
  • Dungo takes indefinite leave
    PHILIPPINE Volleyball Federation (PVF) President Generoso Dungo has formally filed an indefinite leave to primarily concentrate on his business and other personal interests. PVF Secretary-...
  • Andre Villas-Boas not concerned by Spurs slump
    Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is confident his side can hold on to a top-four position in the Premier League for the rest of the season despite suffering a third successive defeat. A...
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic free to play Barca after UEFA cut ban
    Paris Saint Germain's star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be free to play in the club's Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona next week after UEFA cut his two-match ban. The Sw...
  • Rafael Nadal plans lengthy absence
    Rafael Nadal has said that he will take a several-week absence from tennis after the Australian Open to rest and practise. The world number two will take the time off in February to recove...