Wimbledon men’s second round day 3: Djokovic, Wawrinka through
Just two seeds fell at the first stage of the men’s section at Wimbledon on day one, as Pablo Cuevas (28) and Tommy Robredo (19) lost to wildcard Denis Kudla and qualifier John Millman respectively.
However, there were no real surprises in the rest of the draw, with the likes of top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic coming through their first round matches.
The world number one Serb (11/8 title favourite with Coral) downed potential threat Philipp Kohlschreiber with relative ease, despite being broken a couple times, winning the German’s serve in the final game of each set to triumph 6-4 6-4 6-4.
Djokovic (1/100 heavy odds-on for victory) next faces another over 30s player in Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen (14/1), who overcame former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt in the battle of the retiring veterans which was a thrilling five-setter.
Nieminen, 33, has beaten the Serb just once in six head-to-heads, back in 2009, and is highly expected to lose 3-0 here, with an odds-on price of 1/6.
Meanwhile, in the ‘section of death’, which features the likes of last year’s semi-finalists Dimitrov and Raoic, former top 10-ranked stars Richard Gasquet, Tommy Haas and Juan Monaco, and rising star Nick Kyrgios, there are a few intriguing clashes on day three.
It is incredible how five of the eight players in section four of the draw have reached at least the quarters at SW19 before. And 37-year-old German Haas will be hoping to emulate his spirited runs to the semis in 2009 and fourth round last year.
Former world number two and Olympic Silver medallist Haas (7/2) is up against starlet Raonic (1/6), but lost their only meeting in straight sets back in 2013. Back him to take a set this time around, though, and there are more enticing odds available at 12/5 for the Canadian to win 3-1.
Australian youngster Kyrgios, meanwhile, face Monaco for the first time, and will be keen to just do his talking with his racket this time, after making controversial remarks during his thrashing of Argentine Diego Schwartzman. He is odds-on favourite at 1/7 to beat Schwartzman’s compatriot and clay-court specialist Monaco (4/1).
Dimitrov (1/6) and Gasquet (1/16) face more straightforward battles with Steve Johnson (7/2) and French qualifier Kenny de Schepper (7/1) respectively, though.
Other top names to look out for include French Open champion Wawrinka (1/50), who is up against Dominican player Victor Estrella Burgos (12/1), and Nishikori (1/6), who had to come through a five-setter with Simone Bolelli and now duels Santiago Giraldo (7/2).
There will be one British male in action to cheer for, in wildcard Liam Broady, who was one of the success stories on day one after coming back from three sets down to beat Marinko Matosevic in his first appearance in Wimbledon’s main draw.
Broady (8/1), whose sister Naomi lost against Mariana Duque Marino in the women’s singles first round, now clashes with Belgian David Goffin (1/20), with the winner potentially meeting Marcos Baghdatis next.
Cilic, Bernard Tomic, Kevin Anderson, Fernando Verdasco and John Isner are also in action on Wednesday.