Wimbledon, Day 7: Five Matches To Watch

Without a doubt, the second Monday of Wimbledon is the best day on the tennis calendar. 

It features all sixteen matches from the fourth rounds of both the Gentlemen's and Ladies' Singles draws, meaning that just about everybody who's anybody in tennis today will be in action.

With this incomparable slate in mind, here are the five matches to watch on Day 7 of Wimbledon 2010.  Tough to narrow it down:

1. No. 1 Serena Williams (USA) vs No. 16 Maria Sharapova (RUS) -- This match has as much star power as any possibly could in tennis. Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are both stars that have largely transcended the sport, and the photographers are sure to be out in force.  It's their first meeting on grass since Sharapova stunned Serena in the 2004 Wimbledon final.  Serena has won their last four matches, but the two have not played since 2008.  On current form, the clear edge goes to Serena, but the same thing was said back in 2004 as well.  Sharapova will not let up even if she is on the wrong end of a clobbering, so be sure to stay tuned to this one all the way until the handshake.  The match airs at 10 AM on NBC in all American time zones.

2. No. 18 Sam Querrey (USA) vs Andy Murray (GBR) -- Queen's Club champion Querrey takes on the British crowd's favorite son in a match that looks pretty good on paper, but could fail to live up to expectations.  Querrey is riding an eight match win streak on grass, and has a serve and forehand that should pay big dividends against anyone on this surface.  But he has never before made it to the quarterfinals of a grand slam, and making his first by beating Murray at Wimbledon seems like a lot to ask.  Murray, on the other hand, looked incredibly solid in the first week of the tournament, despite grass not being the best surface for his game.  He was helped by an easy draw, but he still is yet to lose a set.  With England out of the World Cup, the media pressure will now be back on him at full blast, so he'd better hope he can at least live up to his seeding.

3. No. 8Kim Clijsters (BEL) vs No. 17 Justine Henin (BEL) -- It's a testament to the depth of this day (and Wimbledon's refusal to put more than one Ladies' match on Centre Court) that this battle of multiple grand slam winners is on Court 1.  Both former No.1's who recently came back from retirement, Clijsters and Henin have developed one of the most interesting rivalries in the game over the last ten years.  Their career head-to-head is tied 12-12, but Henin has historically dominated Clijsters at grand slams, where she boasts a 5-2 record over her Flemish opponent (including three grand slam finals).  Clijsters has the advantage of having won both of the pair's previous encounters in 2010 (Brisbane and Miami), though she needed a third set tiebreak to finish the job both times.  Henin has been hitting an uncharacteristic number of double faults and unforced errors in this "second career" of hers, and if Clijsters can take advantage of that she should be in the driver's seat.

4. No. 3 Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs No. 15 Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) --  Novak Djokovic is the higher seed, but Hewitt should probably be considered the favorite in this match.  Hewitt has won eight straight matches on grass, including a win in the Halle final over Roger Federer.  Djokovic has played well in his last couple matches, but he has suffered surprising defeats in each of the past two years at Wimbledon.  This loss, however, wouldn't be that surprising.  Hewitt has the grass court chops to beat just about anyone on this surface, a fact which Djokovic knows as well as anyone.  Could be epic.

5. No. 21 Vera Zvonareva (RUS) vs No. 4 Jelena Jankovic (SRB) -- Zvonareva and Jankovic are both accomplished veterans, but neither is at her most comfortable on grass.  Despite their impressive resumes, neither has made the quarterfinals of Wimbledon before, so it's a good opportunity for each.  Despite the ridiculous placement of this match on Court 12 (especially compared to Wozniacki-Kvitova being on Court 2), I think it's the most interesting match on any of the smaller stages today. 

The complete schedule of play can be found here.

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