Serena and Venus Williams showdown headlines Wimbledon's Manic Monday
LONDON – Into the second week at the All England Club, Wimbledon continues on Monday, July 6, after a break from play on Sunday. Play begins at 7 a.m. ET on ESPN. The full television and broadcast schedule can be found here. Full order of play for Saturday can be found here.
Here are the 10 matches to watch on Wimbledon's Manic Monday.
No. 1 Serena Williams vs. No. 16 Venus Williams
All other matches may kindly take a backseat to the 25th rendition of Serena vs. Venus, where more than just a Wimbledon quarterfinal is on the line.
By now the stakes for Serena at Wimbledon have been widely discussed—and for the record, she would really prefer everyone stop talking about her chase at history. Serena has won the last three majors. She is riding a 24-match winning streak at the Slams. She currently holds 20 majors, just two short of Steffi Graf's Open Era record. A five-time champion at Wimbledon, she is the favorite to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish on Saturday. If she does so she will be the reigning champion of all four majors for the second time in her career, the so-called "Serena Slam." And she will be one more major away from completing the Grand Slam—she would be the first player since Graf in 1988—which she could do on home soil at the U.S. Open in September.
And standing in the way of all of that on Monday is her older sister, Venus.
While the professional stakes may be higher for Serena, the personal stakes belong to Venus. Currently ranked No. 16, she turned 35-years-old last month. Her comeback from being diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome in 2011 has been one of the more overlooked aspects of her legacy. She has won WTA titles, beaten the best—including Serena last year in Montreal—and remains one of the most dangerous players in any draw.
But great champions don't play to merely be competitive. They play to win majors. After Venus opened her tournament with a 6–0, 6–0 win over Madison Brengle, Serena and Venus promptly withdrew from doubles, a clear sign that Venus, also a five-time Wimbledon champion, believes she can make a run here. Since being diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, she has made a Slam quarterfinal just once. That came in January where she lost to Madison Keys.
After narrowly surviving her third round match against Heather Watson—the Brit was two points from the upset—Serena said she believes Venus is in better form heading into their fourth round clash. Serena's not wrong. Venus has looked sharp through three matches. She has not lost a set and when she was faced with some scoreboard pressure against Yulia Putintseva in the second round, she did not blink.
But Serena has shown time and time again that she has the ability to elevate her game as a tournament progresses. Serena leads the head-to-head 13-11, but Venus won their last match. This is their first meeting at a major since 2009 and earliest meeting at a Slam since 2005. The winner will play either Victoria Azarenka or Belinda Bencic.
No. 21 Richard Gasquet vs. No. 26 Nick Kyrgios
This is a rematch of their epic second round encounter last year, which saw Kyrgios save nine match points to beat Gasquet in a five set comeback. The winner plays either Stan Wawrinka or David Goffin.
No. 5 Caroline Wozniacki vs. No. 20 Garbine Muguruza
Muguruza is coming off the best grass court match of her career, saving nine set points to beat No. 10 Angelique Kerber in the third round. Wozniacki has been sharp through three rounds. She has not lost a set so far. This should be a great contrast in styles if Muguruza can bring her best tennis.
No. 21 Madison Keys vs. Olga Govortsova
This is a match that will test Keys' composure. She's the overwhelming favorite to beat Govortsova, a Belarusian qualifier ranked No. 122. This is a match Keys has to win, especially with her first Wimbledon quarterfinal on the line. If she can keep her nerves at bay, she's well on her way.
No. 3 Andy Murray vs. No. 23 Ivo Karlovic
No one wants to face Karlovic right now. He's served over 40 aces in his last three matches, including a four-set win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Murray, the top returner that he is, has won all five of their prior matches. One thing to watch for is the status of Murray's right shoulder. He had to call the trainer to loosen it up in his last match.
No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 14 Kevin Anderson
Anderson is 1-4 against Djokovic but he just made his first grass court final, losing to Murray in Queen's. This will be another good test for Djokovic.
CoCo Vandeweghe vs. No. 6 Lucie Safarova
Can CoCo pull off the upset? And will it finally force everyone to write out her name properly? (The second "C" is capitalized). Vandeweghe is into her first Round of 16 at a major after routing Sam Stosur in the last round. After the win said she hoped to play Safarova because she likes the challenge of playing a lefty. Safarova, the French Open finalist last month, rallied from a set down to beat Sloane Stephens in the third round.
No. 13 Agnieszka Radwanska vs. No. 28 Jelena Jankovic
Is this the tournament for resurgence for these two wily veterans? Radwanska has cruised through the first week without losing a set. Jankovic, playing on her worst surface, played a fantastic match to beat defending champion Petra Kvitova in the third round. Radwanska leads the head-to-head 5-3.
No. 9 Marin Cilic vs. Denis Kudla
Does Kudla have more magic in him? The American wildcard has battled his way into the Round of 16 for the first time at a major. He'll take on the reigning U.S. Open champion, who needed two days to dismiss John Isner in five sets.
No. 23 Victoria Azarenka vs. No. 30 Belinda Bencic
This is the first meeting between the two. Though Bencic has had a near-perfect grass season, with a run to the final at s'Hertogenbosch and a title in Eastbourne, she's limped into the second week. She's struggled with a leg injury after her heavy match play and if her moving is compromised at all, Azarenka will have the clear edge.