The seeds continue to fall at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships as we enter the fifth day. Here are three matches to watch in the third round on Friday:
In the pursuit of Wimbledon excellence, few have ever come close to Roger Federer and the defending champion looks in the mood to make more history as he chases a ninth All England Club title. Federer extended his flawless winning streak at Wimbledon to 26 consecutive sets against Lukas Lacko in round two and the Swiss great is odds-on to keep that run going against German world number 64 Jan-Lennard Struff.
Federer is on his joint second longest streak of sets won at Wimbledon – his best was 34 between the third round in 2005 to the 2006 final. Facing Struff for the third time in his career could be a good omen for Federer, who beat the 28-year-old in straight sets en route to the Australian Open title in January.
Serena in the groove
Serena Williams’ 16th successive win at Wimbledon – a 6-1, 6-4 rout of Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova on Wednesday – should serve as a statement of intent from the seven-time champion. Now Serena faces France’s Kristina Mladenovic for a place in the last 16.
Looking to win her first Grand Slam crown since becoming a mother in September, Serena appears to be running into form at the right time after a tentative return to action earlier this year. The 36-year-old, who missed Wimbledon last year but won the trophy on her previous two appearances, won her only previous meeting with world number 62 Mladenovic at the 2016 French Open.
Raonic’s big chance
Milos Raonic has a golden opportunity to take advantage of the luck of the draw when the big-serving Canadian faces Austrian qualifier Dennis Novak. With last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic suffering a shock exit on Thursday and world number six Grigor Dimitrov already out, there is a vacuum in Raonic’s quarter of the draw that the 13th seed would love to fill.
One of Raonic, Novak, Guido Pella, Mackenzie McDonald, John Isner, Radu Albot, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Thomas Fabbiano will emerge to make the semi-finals. Ninth seeded Isner aside, it is an unheralded group and none have the pedigree of the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Raonic, who is in the hunt for a first Grand Slam title.