Sparks set to fly as Nadal takes on Del Potro

Sparks set to fly as Nadal takes on Del Potro

Murray meets Gasquet in round four

Sparks set to fly as Nadal takes on Del Potro

The giant Argentine, who stands an imposing 1.98 metres tall, climbed to fourth in the world rankings after his US Open triumph in 2009 before a wrist injury that required surgery forced him to miss almost all of last year.

But the 22-year-old has worked his way back to form and fitness and has an all-round game with the potential to derail Nadal's bid for an 11th grand slam title.

"I think he has a good serve and very good shots from the baseline, I think he's a complete player," Nadal, who is chasing a third Wimbledon crown, told reporters after easing past Luxembourg's Gilles Muller on Saturday.

"It is always is a big challenge to play against him. He's a very tough opponent and one of the best players of the world.

"His ranking is much better than what the ranking says today. His level is much better than what the ranking says today. If we talk about level, when he's healthy, he's a top five player. I'm unlucky to have to play against Del Potro in the round of 16. But that's what it is, and I have to be playing my best tennis to try to win."

The Argentine now finds himself edging back towards the world's top 20 after an arduous rehabilitation and he is quick to play down expectations that he can swiftly rediscover the form that enabled him to beat Roger Federer in the final at Flushing Meadows two years ago. "It's not easy to be top five, but I'm improving my game every day," he told reporters after booking his place in the fourth round with a straight sets-win over French number 15 seed Gilles Simon.

On top of his US Open triumph, Del Potro has reached the French Open semifinals and the quarterfinals in Australia, but this is his first foray past the second round at Wimbledon. "Of course on Monday I play against the best player in the world in this moment," he said. "Against him you have to play unbelievable tennis. You have to play everything perfectly, and then maybe, you have a little chance.

"But it's my first time in fourth round in Wimbledon and I want to treasure this moment."

Murray vs Gasquet

Richard Gasquet might spend his day off on Sunday tracking down a pair of earplugs in Wimbledon Village in preparation for his tantalising fourth-round showdown with Andy Murray.

Three years ago the duo also clashed at the All England Club at the same stage and the one abiding memory Gasquet has of that encounter is the deafening roar that greeted every winning shot produced by Murray.

"I remember the crowd were very impressive. We're told all the time, the English, Wimbledon, it's quiet. But it was incredible. A lot people were cheering for him," the Frenchman recalled of the tussle which he ended up losing in five sets.

If Gasquet thought the noise was unbearable three years ago, his eardrums might burst on Monday when 15,000 hollering fans on Centre Court, along will the rest of Britain, will be backing Murray to get one step closer to ending the home nation's 75-year wait for a men's champion.

World number four Murray, at least, has fond memories from their last grasscourt meeting as he fashioned one of his greatest comebacks from two-sets down. "That was probably the first one that really was a big comeback from me," the Scot said recalling the 5-7 3-6 7-6 6-2 6-4 win.

Since that win, Murray has shot up the rankings and contested three grand slam finals while Gasquet has failed to live up to his immense talent. But despite the gulf that now separates the two contemporaries, Murray cannot dismiss the threat posed by Gasquet, who has reached the last 16 without dropping a set.

Among Monday’s fourth round matches are the ones featuring Roger Federer against Russian Mikhail Youzhny and Novak Djokovic’s tussle against Michael Llodra. In women’s play both the Williams sisters will be in action, with Venus taking on Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria and Serena battling Marion Bartoli of France.

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