Day 2 preview


Teen sensation Maria Sharapova begins her first Grand Slam title defense at Wimbledon. Joining the No. 2 seed on the traditional Tuesday Ladies' Day are two-time champions Serena and Venus Williams and resurgent French Open winner Justine Henin-Hardenne, who opens her bid for the career Grand Slam. Headlining the men's schedule is 2004 finalist Andy Roddick, along with Roland Garros star Rafael Nadal and British hope Tim Henman.


• After hanging tough in the final last year against Roger Federer, Roddick says his new focus is on winning Wimbledon. With his big serve and forehand, Roddick is a true No. 2 favorite this week and a legitimate threat to challenge Federer's grass supremacy. In the afternoon, the 22-year-old begins his title bid against the Czech Republic's Jiri Vanek, who beat Roddick in their only meeting at 2001 Delray Beach. But Vanek has never tasted victory on the turf and has lost his last 10 Grand Slam first-round matches, a streak that likely will continue Tuesday.

• The English spotlight will shine brightly on Henman as he again tries to bring the Wimbledon title back to his home country. For his part, the top British player has reached the fourth round or better here a remarkable nine consecutive years, including four semifinal appearances. Henman meets fleet-footed Finn Jarkko Niemenen for the first time. Niemenen recently knocked out injured Andre Agassi at the French Open.

• The game's newest superstar, Nadal, will try to parlay his French Open fortunes into grass success. The 19-year-old proved unbeatable on clay, compiling a 24-match win streak through his impressive French title run. The streak was promptly snapped in a first-round loss on the turf in Halle, Germany, two weeks ago, but a rested and perhaps more grass-acclimated Nadal will be eager to battle Vince Spadea.


• Sharapova opens her first Grand Slam title defense against Spain's Nuria Llagostera Vives. Just a year ago, the Russian stunned the tennis world, handily defeating heavily favored Serena Williams to capture her first Slam title and vault to international stardom. Now, at 18, Sharapova comes in as the highest-paid female athlete in the world -- and as the hunted instead of the hunter.

• The "Graveyard Court," Court No. 2, will be home to Venus and Serena Williams on Tuesday. The two-time champions will look to continue their family dominance on these lawns, where a Williams has reached the final each year since 2000. Venus will test the Czech Republic's Eva Binerova, and Serena gets rising American Angela Haynes. Binerova has won seven career matches on grass, but none in two prior tries at Wimbledon. Haynes -- who, like the Williams sisters, was raised on the courts in Compton, Calif. -- never has won a match on grass, period.

• French Open winner Henin-Hardenne begins her quest to complete the career Grand Slam. The 23-year-old Belgian was a finalist here in 2001, losing to Venus Williams, then reached consecutive semifinals before withdrawing from last year's tournament with a virus. This year, she's healthy and back to playing tennis reminiscent of when she was ranked No. 1. In her first grass match in two years, Henin-Hardenne puts her current 24-match win streak on the line against Greek veteran Eleni Daniilidou, a former top-20 player who has a grass court title in the Ordina Open to her credit.

Also in action

• Teen sensation Richard Gasquet, looking to continue to ride the momentum from his Nottingham win Saturday, will face Philipp Kohlschreiber. The radar gun also figures to be working overtime Tuesday. Along with Roddick, Max Mirnyi, Wayne Arthurs and Ivo Karlovic will be in action, bringing their customary heat. Tournament dark horses Radek Stepanek and David Nalbandian are also worth a look.

• On the women's side, Tuesday showcases several fresh faces, such as Ana Ivanovic, Sesil Karatancheva, Tatiana Golovin, Vera Douchevina, Evgenia Linetskaya and Lucie Safarova. Ivanovic, who beat Amelie Mauresmo at the French Open, will face Douchevina. Safarova meets French Open finalist Mary Pierce.

American watch

• Veteran Lisa Raymond is back on the grass at Wimbledon, along with Ashley Harkleroad, Meilen Tu and Jill Craybas. Among the American men, Robby Ginepri and Paul Goldstein will face seeded tests in Radek Stepanek and Olivier Rochus, respectively.

Miki Singh is a tennis researcher for ESPN.