Djoko, Murray to strike crucial blows

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iol spt pic murray djokovic AFP Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have the opportunity to strike decisive blows after rain wreaked havoc at Wimbledon. Photo: Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

London - Top seed Novak Djokovic and defending champion Andy Murray get a crucial opportunity to strike decisive Wimbledon blows after Saturday's rain washed away plans to play all fourth round matches on Monday.

With three men's third round matches in the bottom half of the draw still to be completed, only the last-16 top half - where Djokovic and Murray are placed - can be completed on Monday.

That will leave rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to play their last-16 matches Tuesday followed by possible quarter-finals on Wednesday.

Djokovic, the 2011 champion and runner-up to Murray 12 months ago, takes on flamboyant Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, a semi-finalist in 2011 and 2012.

Djokovic has a 12-5 winning record over Tsonga, including the 2011 last-four at Wimbledon as well as the quarter-finals of the 2012 Olympics which were also played at the All England Club.

Tsonga's last win over the Serb was four years ago in Australia.

“I don't fear anything. I expect him to serve well. I think that's his advantage,” said Djokovic, the winner of six majors.

Murray has reached the last 16 for the seventh year in succession and has dropped just 19 games in three rounds, comfortably a personal best in his tournament history.

The third-seeded Murray plays Kevin Anderson, the first South African to make the fourth round for 14 years.

“He's a big guy with a big game. He's played some very good tennis this year. Probably been his best year on the tour so far in terms of consistency. It will be tough,” said Murray who has a 1-1 record against Anderson.

Murray won in straight sets in the first round of the 2010 Australian Open before Anderson hit back with a win at the 2011 Montreal Masters.

In other last-16 clashes on Monday, France's Jeremy Chardy plays Croatian 26th seed Marin Cilic, who is coached by 2001 champion Goran Ivanisevic. Bulgarian 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov faces Argentina's Leonardo Mayer.

The third round matches between Stan Wawrinka and Denis Istomin and Feliciano Lopez's tie with John Isner, held over from Saturday, will be played Monday.

Simone Bolelli and Kei Nishikori will resume their third round clash in the final set with the winner facing Milos Raonic on Tuesday.

Seven-time champion Federer will face fellow 32-year-old Tommy Robredo on Tuesday while Nadal tackles Autralian teenager Nick Kyrgios.

With Serena Williams and Li Na both knocked out in the first week, 2004 champion Maria Sharapova is the favourite for the women's title.

The Russian fifth seed plays Germany's ninth-seeded Angelique Kerber in her fourth round tie.

France's Alize Cornet, who stunned five-time champion Williams in the third round, tackles Canada's Eugenie Bouchard.

Cornet has dedicated her run to the second week to her grandmother who died on the eve of the tournament.

“I would like to dedicate this victory (over Williams) to my grandmother because she has just recently died and it's truly she who gives me strength match after match to win and I have had a little extra at this tournament. I think it's thanks to her,” said the 24-year-old.

Last year's runner-up Sabine Lisicki leads Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 1-1 in a delayed third round tie while 2011 champion Petra Kvitova faces China's unseeded Peng Shuai for a place in the quarter-finals.

Sapa-AFP



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