[contact_form caption=”Contact Us”][/contact_form]
After successful opening-round campaigns, Day 4 of Wimbledon sees the return of both the men’s and women’s world No.1s.
Rafael Nadal’s quest for a first Wimbledon title since 2010 started well as he dispatched Dudi Sela in straight sets (6-3, 6-3, 6-2) Tuesday. With a height difference of four inches and the Spaniard’s superior strength, the Israeli player never really had a chance.
Nadal will play 30-year-old Mikhail Kukushkin on Thursday, who ousted British No.1 Kyle Edmund from Eastbourne in a shock upset last month and overcame Vasek Pospisil in his Wimbledon opener.
The Spaniard ought to take another straightforward win over the World No. 77 — this will be the third career meeting for the pair, with Nadal having claimed all three victories.
The women’s world No. 1, Halep, will also return to the courts on Thursday to play World No. 126 Saisai Zheng.
Halep has not had huge success at Wimbledon in previous years. In 2017, she was knocked out at the quarterfinal stage by Britain’s Johanna Konta, the second year in succession that she had exited in the past eight.
But this year, Halep approaches her Wimbledon campaign a little differently — for the first time she enters into one of the four major tournaments with a Grand Slam title, last month’s French Open, in her cabinet.
The 26-year-old Romanian has been in terrific form and ousted her first-round opponent, Kurumi Nara, with ease Tuesday.
Halep and Zheng have faced one another just one time before, in the semifinals at the Shenzhen Open in 2015, when the Romanian dropped just five games and then went on to claim the title.
Edmund has had a fantastic year. He has climbed through the ranks, aided by a run to the Australian Open semifinals, and overtaking Andy Murray as British No. 1.
In the men’s singles, Edmund is the only remaining British player, and he ousted Australia’s Alex Bolt with ease in his first-round match.
While the Brit is riding a career-high, his American opponent Bradley Klahn is at the end of a two-year journey back to form following back surgery that nearly ended his playing career.
Edmund is looking to reach the third round of Wimbledon for the first time and a win Thursday could set up a third-round clash with Novak Djokovic on Saturday.
Johanna Konta, the women’s British No. 1, will also be trying to extend her Wimbledon run on Thursday, when she faces Dominika Cibulkova.
Muguruza, the defending women’s champion, has flown relatively under the radar so far this tournament. She defeated Naomi Broady 6-2, 7-5 on Tuesday. The Brit put up a valiant effort in the second, but the reigning champ never looked in any real danger.
The Spaniard’s next opponent, Van Uytvanck, has won WTA titles before, but she never made any real impact at a major tournament. Despite the Belgian player coasting through her first-round match against Polona Hercog in straight sets, Muguruza will be looking to close out the match quickly.
The pair have never met before.