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    Plenty of big names on program as Wimbledon enters Week Two

    Jul 8, 2019

    WIMBLEDON, England — The start of Week 2 at Wimbledon is known as "Manic Monday," because it's the only Grand Slam tournament that traditionally takes the middle Sunday off and, therefore, the only one that schedules all 16 men's and women's fourth-round matches on a single day.

    This time, there are plenty of big names on the program — and the biggest at the moment might just be the newest, Coco Gauff. The 15-year-old from Delray Beach, Florida, has fascinated fans around the world with her surprising run in her Grand Slam debut.

    Ranked just 313th, Gauff beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the first round, 2017 semifinalist Magdalena Rybarikova in the second and then, most dramatically of all, survived two match points in the second set to get past 60th-ranked Polona Hercog at Centre Court.

    Now comes what could be the toughest test yet, facing former No. 1 and 2018 French Open champion Simona Halep. That'll be on No. 1 Court, where Gauff defeated Williams and Rybarikova.

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    Gauff vs. Halep will be preceded there by Williams' younger sister, Serena, playing No. 30 seed Carla Suarez Navarro. Not only is Serena a seven-time singles champion at the All England Club who got in some extra court time by winning a mixed doubles match with Andy Murray over the weekend, but her head-to-head record against Suarez Navarro is as lopsided as possible: Williams is 6-0 and has won all 12 sets they've played. That includes five sets that ended 6-0 and none that was closer than 6-3.


    The other women's matchups: No. 1 Ash Barty, who is on a 15-match winning streak, against 55th-ranked Alison Riske of the U.S., who has won a trio of three-setters so far in the tournament and beat Barty the only other time they've played; No. 3 Karolina Pliskova, who leads the women's field with 29 aces, against 68th-ranked Karolina Muchova in an all-Czech matchup; No. 6 Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, against No. 19 Johanna Konta, a semifinalist two years ago and the last British singles player left in the tournament; No. 8 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine against No. 24 Petra Martic of Croatia; No. 21 Elise Mertens of Belgium against 54th-ranked Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic; and 35th-ranked Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine against 50th-ranked Zhang Shuai of China.

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    The Big Three have combined to win the past 10 Grand Slam tournaments, and 14 of the past 16 Wimbledon titles, and so it is of no surprise that all are still in the running here. But what might be more surprising: Only one other top-10 seed joins No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 2 Roger Federer and No. 3 Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 — No. 8 Kei Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up. The last time just four of the top 10 seeds reached the men's fourth round at the All England Club was 2008. Djokovic (against 66th-ranked Ugo Humbert of France), Federer (against No. 17 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy) and Nadal (against 69th-ranked Joao Sousa of Portugal) all face opponents who never before have been to Week 2 at Wimbledon. Indeed, only Sousa has even been this far at any Grand Slam tournament, getting to the fourth round at last year's US Open. The other men's matchups: Nishikori vs. 58th-ranked Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan; No. 15 Milos Raonic, the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up, against No. 26 Guido Pella of Argentina; No. 21 David Goffin of Belgium against 37th-ranked Fernando Verdasco of Spain; No. 23 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain against No. 28 Benoit Paire of France; and 65th-ranked Sam Querrey against 94th-ranked Tennys Sandgren, the first meeting between two US men in the second week of Wimbledon since 2000.

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