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Murray centre stage as wet Wimbledon plays catch-up

By AFP, London
01st-Jul-2016       
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World number two Andy Murray takes centre stage at Wimbledon Thursday as the All England Club plays catch-up after two days of rain misery.
Murray, the 2013 champion, faces Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun, the world number 76 who made the quarter-finals in 2010 beating former runner-up Andy Roddick on the way.
Lu underwent right elbow surgery in January and missed the first four months of the season.
He returned in May and is currently on an 11-match winning-streak on grass at all levels having won two Challenger titles prior to coming to Wimbledon.
"He's played the three grass court challengers in the buildup. He's won two of them and lost in the final of one. He's won 11 matches in a row. He's made the quarters at this event before, beat Roddick once. He plays well on the grass," said Murray, who has won the pair's last three meetings after losing their first clash at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"It will be a really, really tough match, and a good test for me early in the event. I'll need to perform well in that one."
Sixty singles matches are scheduled for Thursday after only 90 minutes of action was possible on the outside courts on Wednesday.
There are still eight women's first round matches to complete while only Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have so far booked their third round spots.
In an attempt to catch-up on the rain-hit programme, play on all courts apart from Centre Court and Court One will start at 1100 local time (1000GMT), half an hour earlier than normal.
On Centre Court, Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori takes on French veteran Julien Benneteau as he continues his bid to get beyond the fourth round for the first time.
Benneteau, 34, has not defeated Nishikori since the pair met for the first time in 2007 at Washington.
Nishikori has won all three of their matches since, including the pair's only Grand Slam meeting in the third round at the 2012 Australian Open.
The Frenchman is currently ranked at 547 but gained entry to Wimbledon using a protected ranking of 39.
Former runner-up Eugenie Bouchard of Canada completes the Centre Court programme against British 16th seed Johanna Konta.
Also in action Thursday are second seed, French Open champion and last year's runner-up Garbine Muguruza who faces experienced Slovakian player Jana Cepelova.
Highly-regarded Austrian teenager Dominic Thiem, seeded eight, takes on the Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely who shocked Djokovic in Monte Carlo this year.
Australian Bernard Tomic, the 19th seed, is bidding for his 150th Tour-level match-win when he takes on Moldovan qualifier Radu Albot, who recorded his first Grand Slam singles match-win-and Tour-level grass court victory-in the first round.
There are also a number of past and present Grand Slam winners in action
Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, seeded eight, meets Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari while former French Open winner Francesca Schiavone has a tough task against Romanian fifth seed Simona Halep.
Ex-US Open champion Marin Cilic takes on Sergiy Stakhovsky who knocked Federer out of Wimbledon on 2013.
Australian Open winner Angelique Kerber, the German fourth seed, faces Varvara Lepchenko of the United States.
 

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