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Wimbledon 2017: Johanna Konta set for Herculean task against Spartan Maria Sakkari

09 July 2017

While Murray prepares for a first grass encounter with Fabio Fognini on Friday - the duo now share a 3-3 head-to-head record - Konta in kind is getting ready for a first-ever third round appearance at SW19.

No telling whether the No. 1-ranked Murray, or his vocal backers, could have handled that test.

This time, in the mixed doubles, Watson teamed up with Henri Kontinen to begin the defence of their title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Azarenka and Nenad Zimonjic. "I think yesterday's match was a great example of that".

If the head to head is an indication of things to come, this is going to be a tight match that comes down to one or two mistakes. "I feel like my tennis is just really improving at the moment".

Both Federer, who faced Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round, and Novak Djokovic, who was up against Martin Klizan, benefited when their opponents retired hurt. He reached the Australian Open final, losing to Roger Federer, and won his 10th French Open title.

"I was very happy that I was able to find other ways to win". "And he can play all the angles".

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Williams overpowered the youngster in the tie-break, though, coming from 3-0 down with seven unanswered points. Facing a set point while down 6-5 and serving at 30-40, Nadal produced a brilliant power-and-touch combination, hitting a 122 miles per hour (197 kph) serve followed by a well-disguised drop shot victor.

He next faces Spanish 18th seed Roberto Bautista Agut who ousted German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk.

Even when Azarenka was serving for the match at 5-4, Watson showed plenty of heart to claw herself two break points.

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The victor also faces the prospect of either Simona Halep or Victoria Azarenka in the quarters. No. 4 Elina Svitolina; No. 6 Johanna Konta vs.

Following Konta's victory, Murray beat Dustin Brown of Germany 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

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It seemed we were heading for a fifth set under the lights with a closed roof, and Murray admitted afterwards he was thinking about that.

But when the Briton won the first set on Friday with some sweetly struck winners, the Centre Court air was thick with anticipation that her coach Morgan Phillips would be investing in a heavy duty razor soon - as he had promised to shave his legs if Watson reached the second week at Wimbledon. "The second set I started to step in a little bit more", Azarenka said.

"The first set I just felt great, pretty flawless". "He didn't have many options". Rather than discourage Fognini, or distract him, it seemed to provide fuel.

A straight sets victory over Russian 30th seed Karen Khachanov would equal Nadal's personal record of 28 successive sets won at Grand Slams, a blistering streak he last produced in 2010.

Couldn't convert any, though.

Certainly there is more to come from Konta.

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Wimbledon 2017: Johanna Konta set for Herculean task against Spartan Maria Sakkari