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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday July 8, 2023

Jannik Sinner

Opportunity waits as the round of 16 is set to begin at Wimbledon on Sunday - here's what we're watching.

Photo Source: Getty

Day 6 brought more rain, and a bevy popcorn matches, to the All England Club. What does Day 7, and the commencement of the round of 16, have in store for tennis fans?

Let’s find out…

Here’s a look at how things shape up for Saturday at Wimbledon, and some notes on what we’ll be watching…

Tennis Express

Here’s the Day 7 Order of Play

Novak begins week two

It has been a routine three matches for Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon. Nine sets up, nine sets down and the 23-time Grand Slam champion is nearly half way to another crowning achievement – a 24th major singles title to tie Margaret Court on the all-time list.

But things get more complicated from here for the 36-year-old. He’ll face Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz on Centre Court on Day 7, and the Poland is a tour de force on the grass when he is firing on all cylinders. Roger Federer, who lost his last Wimbledon match to Hurkacz and was handed a bagel in the third set of said contest, can certainly attest.

But there is no need to panic for Djokovic – he has won all five previous meetings with Hurkacz and is in the best form of his life, having won his last 24 matches at the majors including the 2023 Australian Open and Roland-Garros.

Even if the Pole is at his sparkling best, the Djokovic mountain will likely prove to tall to climb.

Iga’s biggest test

Things will also get more complicated for Iga Swiatek on Sunday as well. The Pole has been a pleasant surprise on the grass this year, winning all six matches she has played, including three straight set victories in week one of Wimbledon with just 14 games dropped overall. Those sound like clay-court numbers for Swiatek, which means that she is feeling more comfortable than ever before on grass, clipping into her patterns and playing her first-strike tennis to a T.

But Bencic is a formidable talent on the grass, and one that owns a lifetime record of 46-21 on the surface which includes 14-7 with three trips to the second week at Wimbledon.

Bencic has the game to assert herself and rush Swiatek on the grass surface, so expect the Pole’s movement on grass to be put to the test.

A battle of power moms

A battle of two talented veterans who just so happen to be moms will be a showcase of grit, personality, gumption and the will to win on Sunday at Wimbledon. Both players have all of the aforementioned in spades, and both are staring at a big opportunity to reach a Wimbledon quarterfinal.

Azarenka holds the 5-0 edge over Svitolina but the pair have never met on grass (or with Svitolina as a mother, for what it’s worth).

Opportunity for Sinner and Pegula

There are two wide open sections of this draw that will produce a first-time Wimbledon semifinalist. Jessica Pegula and Jannik Sinner are the highest seeds in those aforementioned quarters of the draw. Will Pegula, who faces Lesia Tsurenko on Sunday, and Sinner, who takes on Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan, follow through and reach maiden Grand Slam semifinals?

Anastasia Potapova v Mirra Andreeva

The two Russians didn’t get a chance to begin their third-round clash on Saturday due to rain. On Sunday they’ll try again, with 16-year-old Andreeva, a sensation ever since she hit the tour, hoping to become the youngest player to reach the second week at Wimbledon since Coco Gauff in 2019. Andreeva qualified for Roland-Garros and gave Coco Gauff fits before falling to the American in a three-setter, and Potovapova could be in for the same type of headache on Sunday.

Meanwhile Potopova, a former Girls champion at Wimbledon, is coming into her own as a talent this season. Should be a cracker.

Stat of the Day

31 -- Number of Wimbledon wins that Djokovic has recorded in succession. He’s ten shy of Bjorn Borg’s all-time record in that category.


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