This the second week of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships and Day Seven promises, as ever, a lot of action and high-profile contests, with top seeds from both the men's and women's draw in action. In accordance with Wimbledon tradition, the Middle Sunday was a rest day for the players and unlike in 1991, 1997 and 2004, when rain in the first week forced players to take to the courts on Sunday, the players would have enjoyed a day off and will take to the courts with vigour.
The tournament moves into what we will call the "business end" from today, with the players still remaining having proven their mettle. There really are no more easy matches left; not that there ever were any. In action on Saturday were a number of top seeds, including women's sixth seed Serena Williams. The former champion was stretched to a remarkable three sets by the 25th seed, Chinese Jie Zheng, who eventually succumbed 7-6(5), 2-6, 7-9.
Meanwhile, defending champion and fourth seed Petra Kvitova continued sailing through the draw, clocking up an effortless 6-1, 6-0 win over unseeded Varvara Lepchenko. In fact, Kvitova has yet to drop a set so far this tournament. Elsewhere in the women's draw, second seed Victoria Azarenka was equally dismissive of Slovakian Jana Cepelova, winning 6-3, 6-3, while tenth seed Sania Errani recorded the unwanted distinction of the being first woman, ever, to concede, in a Grand Slam match, a "golden set" to her victor, unseeded Yarolsava Shvedova. A "golden set", incidentally, is when you win a set without dropping a point!
Over in the men's section, 30th seed Andy Roddick bowed out to Spaniard and seventh seed David Ferrer, losing 6-2, 6(8)-7(10), 4-6, 3-6, while local favourite Andy Murray registered a stirring four set victory over Cypriot Marco Baghdatis. Murray, whose last opponent - Croatian Ivo Karlovic - alleged bias treatment in his game against the Scot, dropped the second set in a 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 win, to advance to the fourth round. Also through was fifth seed Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who took less trouble to dispose of Lukas Lacko - 6-4, 6-3, 6-3. The remaining results went pretty much to form, with ninth seeded Argentinean Juan Del Potro beating 19th seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori in straight sets and 16th seed Marin Cilic finding his way past American Sam Querrey - the game was decided by a mammoth fifth set - the Croatian winning 17-15 in the end.
The highlight of Monday's play will be women's top seed Maria Sharapova and men's third seed Roger Federer, both of whom will play their fourth round games today, against 15th seed Sabine Lisicki of Germany and Xavier Malisse of Belgium, respectively. Also in action will be Azarenka and Murray, who will face five-set marathon man Marin Cilic. The big names will be out in force today, for Serena Williams, David Ferrer and Del Potro will also play (the latter two against each other), as will former women's number one Kim Clijsters and Tsonga. Finally, men's defending champion Novak Djokovic will taken on Serbian compatriot Viktor Troicki on Centre Court.
This is the order of play on the four major courts:
- Centre Court (play starts not earlier than 1 pm BST; all matches are fourth round) -
- Roger Federer (SUI) vs Xavier Malisse (BEL)
- Ana Ivanovic (SRB) vs Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
- Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs Viktor Troicki (SRB)
- No 1 Court (play starts not earlier than 1 pm BST; all matches are fourth round) -
- Maria Sharapova (RUS) vs Sabine Lisicki (GER)
- Marin Cilic (CRO) vs Andy Murray (GBR)
- David Ferrer (ESP) vs Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)
- No 2 Court (play starts not earlier than 11.30 am BST; all matches are fourth round) -
- Serena Williams (USA) vs Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ)
- Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) vs Camila Giorgi (ITA)
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs Mardy Fish (USA)
- No 3 Court (play starts not earlier than 11.30 am BST; all matches are fourth round) -
- Francesca Schiavone (ITA) vs Petra Kvitova (CZE)
- Kim Clijsters (BEL) vs Angelique Kerber (GER)
- Richard Gasquet (FRA) vs Florian Mayer (GER
Where to Watch Live:
You can follow all the action live, from 11.30 am to 3.25 pm BST and from 5.50 pm to 8 pm BST, on BBC2. Live action will also be available from 1.45 pm to 6 pm BST on BBC 1. For country specific and broadcasting details and times, check out the BBC television programming Web site. You can also follow the matches live on Wimbledon's official Web site. Catch the highlights of Day Seven from 8 pm to 9 pm BST on BBC 2.