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Wimbledon day eight: Novak Djokovic challenge, Elena Rybakina momentum, lonely Brit watch

Former Wimbledon champions Novak Djokovic and Elena Rybakina are in action on Monday as they look to regain their respective singles titles at the All England Club.

The 2022 champions have each sailed through to the second week and they bookend Centre Court’s schedule as the Championships enter a second week.

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev, who has yet to drop a set, faces the dangerous Taylor Fritz while Elina Svitolina is targeting a third quarter-final place in her last four visits to SW19.


Match of the day

Novak Djokovic is set for the first major test of his form and fitness when he takes on Holger Rune.

The Dane has been talked about as a potential part of a new ‘big three’ alongside Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner.

If he is to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time, he will have to do something he has never done that Alcaraz and Sinner have – beat an original ‘big three’ player at a grand slam.

Rune has two wins in his five matches against 24-time grand-slam champion Djokovic, but lost when they met at the US Open in 2021.

Djokovic, a seven-time champion, was doubtful for Wimbledon after having knee surgery following his French Open exit.

But Rune said: “I know he did his surgery, but honestly I practised with him in the first week, and I saw him playing a little bit. He seems like he’s playing very well, feeling confident. Definitely have to play on my best level to have a chance to win, so that’s what I’m going to try to do.”


Rybakina repeat?

Elena Rybakina is through to the fourth round at Wimbledon for a fourth straight Championships.

The 2022 champion has won 14 of her last 15 matches at SW19 and looked to be at her best when dismantling Caroline Wozniacki 6-0 6-1 in under an hour on Saturday.

Since Serena Williams’ last Wimbledon success in 2016, the women’s title has been won by seven different players in seven tournaments.

Rybakina is the only former champion remaining in the draw and looks a good bet to be lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish again on Saturday.

“There is still a lot of good players,” she said.” It’s never easy. There are no easy matches. As always, I’m going to just focus match-by-match, but definitely I want to go far in this event.”


Brit watch

Short of adopting Katie Boulter’s Australian boyfriend Alex De Minaur as an honorary Briton, there are no home players left in either senior singles draw.

But there are plenty of Britons remaining in the doubles and junior events.

The likes of Jamie Murray, Harriet Dart, Neal Skupski, Joe Salisbury, Heather Watson and Mingge Xu are all on the scheduled order of play for Monday, but they will be keeping their fingers crossed that rain will not cause more delays.


Order of play

Centre Court from 1.30pm:

Elena Rybakina (4) v Anna Kalinskaya

Alexander Zverev (4) v Taylor Fritz (13).

Novak Djokovic (2) v Holger Rune (15)

Court One from 1pm:

Alex De Minaur (9) v Arthur Fils

Jelena Ostapenko (13) v Yulia Putintseva

Danielle Collins (11) v Barbora Krejcikova (31)

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