June 28th, 2010
09:45 AM ET

Sports Update: World Cup, Wimbledon battles

Former champions Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will battle on center court at Wimbledon Monday.

Team USA’s fairy-tale run in the World Cup came to a quick end (and left much to be desired for 2014) Saturday when it fell to Ghana 2-1 in overtime. Though U.S. fans may still be grieving, there’s plenty to look forward to in the sports world, including Wimbledon, Major League Baseball and, yes, even the Cup.

- Netherlands vs. Slovakia (10 a.m., ESPN)

The Dutch enter the round of 16 with a flawless record, but they have a history of faltering after strong tournament starts. This could be their chance to prove otherwise, as they face Slovakia, who upended the defending champion Italians 3-2 on Thursday. The Netherlands’ star striker Arjen Robben returned Thursday after spending three weeks on the sideline nursing a calf injury to help his team take down Cameroon, 2-1. He may get the start as the Dutch look for more production up front. They better be careful though: Six players carry yellow cards, and a second one would result in a suspension for an ensuing matchup against Brazil or Chile.  SI.com: U.S. World Cup post-postmortem

- Wimbledon, Day 8 (Noon-5 p.m., ESPN2, NBC, Tennis Channel)
Rivalries continue in the fourth round at Wimbledon, as No. 8 Kim Clijsters and No. 17 Justine Henin face off in what is sure to be a battle. Their last two meetings ended in a third-set tie-breaking win by Clijsters, and Henin seems determined to reverse the trend.

Also on the women’s side is a must-see match-up between top-ranked Serena Williams and No. 16 Maria Sharapova. Williams hit 19 aces in her win over Dominika Cibulkova on Saturday, but if anyone has a knack for beating the Williams sisters on grass, it’s Sharapova.

On the men’s side, the biggest names – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray – all take to the court, but it is Nadal’s meeting with Paul-Henri Mathieu that holds the most intrigue. Why? Because Nadal has had trouble with his right knee, and though he’s 9-0 against Mathieu, the Frenchman has a killer serve. And he just may serve Nadal an upset.

- Brazil vs. Chile (2:30 p.m., ESPN)
Brazil won Group G with a 0-0 draw against Portugal on Friday, and it’s favored to win this matchup in the Round of 16. But it may have an even greater advantage since three key players – midfielders Kaka and Elano and striker Robinho – are expected to return. Chile, meanwhile, who advanced despite a 2-1 loss to Spain on Saturday, will be without a trio of starters - midfielder Marco Estrada and defenders Gary Medel and Waldo Ponce – due to suspensions. Brazile has dominated its series against Chile, winning 46 times, losing six and drawing 12. And Monday, the Brazilians may extend their record to 47 Ws.

- Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves (7:10 p.m., ESPN2)

The Nationals’ pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg will take the mound against the Braves. Strasburg, who broke the major league record for strikeouts (41) over his first four major league starts on Thursday, could be the first rookie to get an All-Star nod. On Monday, his job may be a bit easier as Atlanta’s rookie right fielder Jason Heyward may sit out with a sore thumb. Before Strasburg burst on the scene, Heyward was on pace to snag the National League Rookie of the Year Award, and the star first-year players may finally battle it out in Atlanta.

48 of 49
matches Roger Federer has won at Wimbledon upon entering this year’s tournament.

games the Tampa Bay Rays have gone hitless over the past 306 days. In the 134 years of the National League, no team had ever been no-hit three times in a calendar year until the Rays’ hitless loss to the Diamondbacks Friday.


$4 million
LeBron James could lose by signing with another team. The NBA free agency negotiation period begins Thursday, with players able to officially sign on July 8.

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Brayden Sanchez

    Maria Sharapova's legs are truly awesome and she also got a pretty face'*;

    October 4, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |