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Wimbledon Day 9 - Preview

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
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William and Kate will be on Centre Court today - and royal namesake Eugenie Bouchard is scheduled on Court 1

WIMBLEDON - There was absolutely zero mention of any percentage of precipitation, any kind of wet substance, in Wednesday's Wimbledon forecast.

Given recent events, we won't take that to the bank. But on this most royal of Royal Wednesdays at Wimbledon, it's a good start.

Yes, royals will abound on Centre Court as reigning champion Andy Murray is in action, as well as Wimbledon royalty, seven-time champion Roger Federer, against countryman Stan Wawrinka.

It's highly likely the women's match on Centre would have been Canadian Genie Bouchard against 2004 champion Maria Sharapova, had Sharapova made the date. And for Bouchard (named after Princess Eugenie of York) and little brother Will (named after Prince William) and mother Julie, whose royalist leanings led to her choice of children's name, it's a wasted opportunity.

Princess Eugenie won't be there. But her sister Beatrice (for whom Bouchard's twin sister is named) will. And so will Prince William and Kate.

Meanwhile, Bouchard is on Court 1 against Angelique Kerber, who upset Sharapova. It's a perfectly lovely court. But there aren't likely to be any royals on it.

Matches to watch

[4] Roger Federer (SUI) vs. [5] Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

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Stan Wawrinka is ranked ahead of Federer. But Wawrinka still bows to the king.

Stan Wawrinka is ranked ahead of Federer. But Wawrinka still bows to the king.

 

The two Swiss stars ended up getting flip-flopped in the grass-court seedings, with Federer gaining the edge. But in the end, the draw gods evened things out, and the two will meet in their expected quarter-final date.

The problem with this matchup is that if it were any two other guys ranked No. 4 and No. 5, you would expect a barnburner of a match. But Wawrinka pretty much acknowledges Federer as the king of ... everything. Of tennis, grass, Mercury and Mars. Reality television. Fatherhood. Everything. And he's won the title on that court seven times.

Wawrinka is 2-0 against Federer. Oops, that's their head-to-head at the Monte Carlo tournament. Other than those two clashes, Federer is 13-0 against his countryman. Not to say that can't change Wednesday.

[9] Angelique Kerber (GER) v. [13] Genie Bouchard (CAN)

These two met just a few weeks ago, at the French Open. And Bouchard crushed Kerber on the Canadian's (supposed) least-favorite surface.

To be fair, Kerber really wasn't even there that day. She didn't even put up a fight. You'd certainly expect better this time around. And in the end, if a player can beat Maria Sharapova, she sure as heck can beat Genie Bouchard. Now, to do it on back-to-back days? A challenge.

[8] Milos Raonic (CAN) vs. [WC] Nick Kyrgios (AUS)

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Raonic and Kyrgios met just a few weeks ago, in the first round of the French Open.

We apologize for the Canadian tinge to this preview, even if the neighbors to the north certainly aren't apologizing. They have two in the Wimbledon singles quarter-finals; the last time any Canadian made the quarters here was in 1912, with Lieutenant Robert Powell of Victoria B.C. made the "All-Comers round", as it was called then.

As with Bouchard and Kerber, Raonic and Kyrgios met in Paris – on Court Suzanne Lenglen, in the first round.

Kyrgios clearly is already a better player for his experiences at Wimbledon; upsetting Rafael Nadal Tuesday will give a player a boost of confidence few other accomplishments in tennis could. Both served more than 30 aces in their fourth-round wins Tuesday. But in that Paris encounter, Raonic served 27 aces, Kyrgios only four.

The thing about the grass is that it may well put their serving on more of an even playing field. Raonic's serve is going to be devastating everywhere. Kyrgios's serve efficiency will be enhanced by the surface. So this one may well come down to just a few tiny chances here and there, likely in tiebreakers.

 

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