Wimbledon

Who are you? Guide to Wimbledon stars' first round rivals

2019-06-29 07:51
Novak Djokovic (Getty)

London - Wimbledon gets underway at the All England Club on Monday where Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber are the defending champions.

A look at the players hoping to cause a major upset in the first round (x denotes seeded player):

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) v Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)

Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 10-2

- This will be their fifth meeting at the Slams and second at Wimbledon with Djokovic winning a first round encounter at the All England Club in 2015 on his way to a third title. They have already met three times in 2019 - all at the Masters events with Kohlschreiber winning at Indian Wells before Djokovic triumphed at Monte Carlo and Rome.

Kohlschreiber is 35 now and ranked at 57 having reached a career high 16 in 2012. He has eight titles, one of which came on grass at Halle in 2011.

His best run at Wimbledon came in 2012 when he made the quarter-finals.

Rafael Nadal (ESP x2) v Yuichi Sugita (JPN)

Head-to-head: First meeting

- Sugita is ranked at 258 in the world having been 36 just two years ago. The 30-year-old has not played a match on the main tour all year and needed to qualify to make the main draw at Wimbledon.

Despite his lowly ranking, Sugita has pedigree on grass courts having won the 2017 title at Antalya in Turkey before making the quarter-finals in Halle in 2018, beating top 10 player Dominic Thiem on the way.

He has won just one match in his Wimbledon career when he defeated Britain's Bradley Klein in the first round in 2017 before losing a five-set second round clash against France's Adrian Mannarino.

Roger Federer (SUI x3) v Lloyd Harris (RSA)

Head-to-head: First meeting 

- Twenty-two-year-old Harris is ranked at a career-high 87 and will be making his Wimbledon debut after trying and failing to qualify in 2018. Harris, nicknamed 'The King' by his South Africa Davis Cup team-mates, managed to win a match at a Grand Slam for the first time at Roland Garros this year, beating Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic before losing to 15th-ranked Borna Coric in straight sets.

Against eight-time Wimbledon champion Federer, Harris will have his work cut out - the great Swiss has not been beaten in the first round at the All England Club since 2002.

Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1) v Zheng Saisai (CHN)

Head-to-head: Barty leads 1-0

- Zheng is 25, ranked at a career high 34 in the world and stands out on the court as one of the few players to wear spectacles. She won her first match at Wimbledon in 2018 at the sixth time of asking, beating compatriot Wang Qiang before losing to top seed Simona Halep. Away from tennis, she is also studying a university course in International Relations.

In their only tour meeting, reigning French Open champion Barty won a second round clash in Wuhan last year but only after dropping the first set.

Naomi Osaka (JPN x2) v Yulia Putintseva (KAZ)

Head-to-head: Putintseva leads 2-0

- US and Australian Open champion Osaka described her early loss at Roland Garros as "the best thing that could have happened" such was the stress she was feeling in her number one position.

However, the last thing she would have wanted was to have been drawn against the fiery 5ft 4in (1.63m) Putintseva, the world number 39.

The Moscow-born Putintseva beat the Japanese star on grass in Birmingham just last week having also got the better of Osaka in Hobart in 2018.

Putintseva, a Roland Garros quarter-finalist in 2016 and 2018, has yet to get past the second round at Wimbledon.

Serena Williams (USA x11) v Giulia Gatto-Monticone (ITA)

Head-to-head: First meeting

- Seven-time Wimbledon champion Williams will resume her pursuit of a 24th Grand Slam title against qualifier Gatto-Monticone of Italy, the world numnber 162.

The 31-year-old Italian is a late bloomer having played her first professional match in 2002.

At the French Open last month she became the oldest Grand Slam debutante since 43-year-old Renee Richards at the 1977 US Open.

"I started to think better, to do martial arts, mindfulness," she told the WTA.

Read more on:    atp tour  |  wta tour  |  wimbledon  |  tennis

 

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