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Tennis

Wimbledon Day 4 matches to watch: Nadal, Federer each face tests

Rafael Nadal returns to the scene of one of the biggest upsets of his career when he takes on Lukas Rosol on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Cowie/Colorsport/Icon SMI

Rafael Nadal returns to the scene of one of the biggest upsets of his career when he takes on Lukas Rosol on Thursday.

LONDON -- 

Storylines

Rafael Nadal and Lukas Rosol meet again in the second round: Same players, same round, same tournament, same court (first match, Centre Court). In 2012, Rosol, then ranked No. 100, played the match of his life to stun the tennis world and hand Nadal his earliest exit from a Slam since 2005, beating him in five sets. Since that 2012 meeting, Rosol has never been able to find another bottle of lightning. His serve that day was audacious in its power, placement and sheer violence. His forehand was unstoppable. He bullied Nadal around the court and when the roof closed and all the elements were taken out of the equation, Rosol handled his nerves by hitting even harder. When he stepped to the line to serve out the win he did so with three aces and a forehand winner. It was insane.

Watch that last game here:

The two have met just once since that famous match, a straight set win for Nadal earlier this year on the hard courts in Doha. Can Rosol, now ranked No. 52, do it again? I doubt it. After that 2012 loss, Nadal shut down his season to rest his ailing knees. He comes into this tournament much healthier and his four-set win over Martin Klizan in the first round seemed to cast away his grass court demons. 

Roger Federer set for a test from qualifier Gilles Müller: Federer cruised through his first round against Paolo Lorenzi but Müller will be a much tougher challenge (third match, Centre Court). The No. 103-ranked player from Luxembourg has a history of pulling off big upsets early at Slams and he's been playing very well to get through qualifying and then beat Julien Benneteau in three sets in the first round. Federer should be wary of this matchup. 

WERTHEIM: Grigor Dimitrov continues to impress

Youngsters with a chance for upsets: Madison Keys, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock, Belinda Bencic, and Vicky Duval all have a chance at the third round. More on them below.

Matches to watch

Madison Keys vs. Klara Koukalova [31] (third match, Court 12): It's the first meeting between these two and Koukalova is no pushover on grass. If Keys' offense keeps clicking -- she hit 25 winners and seven aces in her first round win over Monica Puig -- it's hard not to like her chances here. Puig gave Keys a fair share of easy points off errors and that's something Koukalova, who hit six double faults in her first match, can't afford to do. 

Richard Gasquet [13] vs. Nick Kyrgios (first match, No. 2 Court): The Kyrgios swag is strong. The 19-year-old Australian earned a good four-set win over Stephane Robert in the first round but Gasquet's quality should be too much for him. But it'll be fun watching him blast aces. He hit 29 in the first round. 

Milos Raonic [8] vs. Jack Sock (first match, No. 3 Court): Sock beat a qualifier in the first round to earn this date with Raonic, whom he's beaten once last year on hard courts. Raonic leads their head-to-head 2-1 but their matches have always been close. That's no surprise given the firepower both men have and their abilities to hold serve. This will be a good test for the 21-year-old American, who's trying to match his career-best result at a major. 

NGUYEN: Ferrer, Azarenka crash out on Wimbledon Day 3

Jerzy Janowicz [15] vs. Lleyton Hewitt (third match, No. 2 Court): When asked after his first round win about the toughest part of the last 12 months, Janowicz replied, "I lost my skill in Battlefield." It's unclear whether he was talking about the video game or his tennis game, but the analogy certainly applies. After making the semifinals last year, Janowicz has struggled with his form and injuries. Only recently has he been able to get things together and string together wins. He has never played Hewitt but has tremendous respect for him. "He won the Wimbledon, so he has a lot of experience. He's extremely solid. He has a great backhand. He doesn't miss much. He has a really nasty serve."

Belinda Bencic vs. Victoria Duval (fourth match, Court 8): This match between two teenagers should be a good one. These two met on hard courts a few months ago and it was Duval who earned the 6-7 (10), 6-0, 7-6 (5) win. ​Bencic is the younger of the two and the more accomplished, winning the Wimbledon girls title here last year. That win earned her a wild card into the main draw this year -- which she didn't need because her ranking was inside the cutoff -- while Duval, ranked No. 114, had to battle her way through qualifying. The 18-year-old American went on to pull off a first-round upset, beating No. 29 Sorana Cirstea in three sets. She's played a lot of tennis over the last week and that could affect how this match plays out. 

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