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Monfils and Federer On Centre Court…The Anticipation!


Locker Room

July 6, 2017

Does it get any better than this? Two of the world’s most charismatic players on Centre Court…on the same day!

The enigmatic Gael Monfils will play the improving Brit, Kyle Edmund. Anything could happen there.

Later, the greatest of them all, Roger Federer, will take on Dusan Lajovic.

Federer, whose remarkable 2017 makes him favourite to lift his eighth Wimbledon singles title.

How will he perform?

The sense of anticipation is exquisite. Federer Mania hangs in the humid air on a beautiful London summer’s day. You can taste it. You can feel it.

But let’s not ignore what else is on offer. Sandwiched between these irresistible matches on Centre Court is an appearance by the superb Karolina Pliskova, who will not want to underestimate Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova.

Yesterday, you might argue that the women stole the show, with Britain’s Johanna Konta edging out her friend, Donna Vekic 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 10-8 for a victory that took more than three hours to secure.

Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal oozed class as they booked their own tickets to the third round. Murray defeated Dustin Brown in a match full of thrills and spills, while Nadal was pushed hard in the third during his own straight sets win over Donald Young.

But Konta was the one who provided the most nail-biting drama to thrill the early-afternoon crowds. So the lesson was clear, and probably one we should have learned long ago: ignore the women’s game at your peril.

Over on N0. 1 Court Novak Djokovic opens the proceedings today, Thursday, against Adam Paviasek. Will Novak show further signs of returning to his full and glorious potential? We all hope so.

Dominic Thiem follows, and we can expect fireworks, because the Austrian has enjoyed a superb 2017 so far. He will be sorely tested by the experienced Gilles Simon of France, though.

Rounding off the day on N0. 1 is the women’s world number one, Angelique Kerber, who has admitted to problems coping with the pressure of being branded the best. Could Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens take advantage?

All will soon be revealed. But as you walk around the All England Club today, even before the main action starts, there is a special magic in the air.

As usual, there is one overwhelming feeling, as you take in the history and the glamour of this unique location. One inescapable conclusion: there is nowhere in the world you would rather be.

And there is no place at Wimbledon you would rather be today than on Centre Court.

Monfils…then later Federer. Sport doesn’t get any better. Life doesn’t get any better.

These are the moments we live for, the ones we don’t want to miss. There will be more precious moments such as these before the fortnight is over, too. Wimbledon is where we all want to be.

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