Other sport 9.8.2016 12:59 pm

Murray, Serena take Rio Centre Court stage

Andy Murray of Great Britain.

Andy Murray of Great Britain.

Reigning Olympic champions Andy Murray and Serena Williams will play in the 10 000-seater arena and will be joined by Beijing 2008 gold medallist Rafael Nadal.

Three Olympic gold medalists headline the action on Centre Court at the Barra Olympic Tennis Centre on Tuesday.

Reigning Olympic champions Andy Murray and Serena Williams will play in the 10 000-seater arena and will be joined by Beijing 2008 gold medallist Rafael Nadal.

Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis event sees all the women’s third round singles matches contested and the remaining eight matches from the men’s second round.

All eight men’s doubles quarter-final matches will be played, while in women’s doubles, the remaining five second round matches will be contested.

World No 2 Murray, the highest-ranked man left in the draw after Novak Djokovic’s shock first-round exit, plays Argentina’s Juan Monaco, whom he leads 3-2 in previous meetings.

Nadal, seeded No 3 in Rio, follows in the day session and will hope to extend his 6-1 record against Italy’s Andreas Seppi.

In the first night match, Williams bids to reach the quarter-finals when she takes on No 15 seed Elina Svitolina. The 21-year-old Ukrainian, who is 13 years younger than Williams, has yet to beat the American in four matches played.

The Centre Court action is top-and-tailed by Madison Keys versus Carla Suarez Navarro, whose third round match is on first, and an all-South American second round clash between Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas and Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci which should guarantee some noise in the main stadium.

Two Grand Slam winners meet on Court 1 when world No 2 Angelique Kerber, the reigning Australian Open champion, plays 2011 US Open champion Samantha Stosur. The German and Australian will face each other for the seventh time and their head-to-head is tied at 3-3.

It was Stosur’s defeat of Kerber back in their first meeting in the US Open semis in 2011 which took her on to her lone major title. However Kerber lost just four games in their most recent encounter, beating Stosur in the semi-finals in Hong Kong last year.

Also on Court 1, No 8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova has a third round match-up with No 10 seed Johanna Konta, and No 7 seed David Ferrer takes on Evgeny Donskoy in the second round. Two of the men’s doubles quarter-finals wrap up the schedule.

Home hopes will be pinned on Brazil’s Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares as they bid to reach the semi-finals against the Romanian duo Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau. Nadal will also be back out on court, partnering Marc Lopez as they take on Austrians Oliver Marach and Alexander Peya.

Roland Garros champion Garbine Muguruza has been in impressive form so far in her first Olympic Games, only dropping six games through the first two rounds – the fewest of any woman. The Spaniard will play Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig on Court 2, Puig being ranked 33 places below her, but having also come this far in straight sets.

Muguruza will return to play doubles on the same court later in the day, teaming with Suarez Navarro in their second round encounter with Belgians Kirsten Flipkens and Yanina Wickmayer.

Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka are the other players on the schedule on day 4 who already own an Olympic medal. The Czech pair, who won silver at London 2012, have a second-round match against China’s Peng Shuai and Zhang Shuai on Court 7.

African News Agency

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