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Federer shares Wimbledon spotlight with world number 869 Ward on day two

Roger Federer

Federer is preparing to play in his 19th Wimbledon

Seven-time champion Roger Federer will share the spotlight with Britain’s world number 869 Alex Ward at Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Third seed Federer, 35, plays Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov in the third match on Centre Court at about 17:00 BST.

Ward, who came through qualifying, will face fellow Briton Kyle Edmund on court three at 11:30.

Women’s top seed Angelique Kerber opens play on Centre Court at 13:00 against American Irina Falconi.

When that match finishes, second seed and three-time champion Novak Djokovic takes on Martin Klizan of Slovakia.

Canadian sixth seed Milos Raonic, the beaten finalist last year, plays Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff in the opening match on Court One at 13:00.

That match will be followed by Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova facing Russia’s Evgeniya Rodina, and Austrian eighth seed Dominic Thiem taking on Canada’s Vasek Pospisil.

Britain’s James Ward, Brydan Klein and Katie Boulter are also in action on day two.

My mum was crying last year – Ward

Alex Ward<!–

Ward was the only British player to make it through qualifying

Ward received a wildcard into the main draw last year but slipped down the rankings from a high of 242 after six months out with a wrist injury, and has had a remarkable journey back to the All England Club.

He had to play in pre-qualifying for this year’s Wimbledon, and actually lost in the final round, but was handed a lucky loser spot into qualifying and took full advantage.

“I do feel on cloud nine,” the 27-year-old told BBC Sport.

“I remember last year, my mum came to watch and that was the first time I’d played in the main draw and she walked through the gates with me and was crying straight away. She was really proud.”

Ward will face a friend, and a tough challenge, when he steps on court against Edmund, the world number 50.

“I know Kyle pretty well,” said Ward.

“We’ve trained together quite a few times, been on a few trips. He’s a great player and is doing really well at establishing himself, a top-50 player now. I just can’t wait to get out there.”

‘Aggressive’ Federer the favourite

Federer begins his 19th Wimbledon one month sort of his 36th birthday and, remarkably, as the bookmakers’ favourite once again.

The Swiss last won the title in 2012 but has been a rejuvenated figure in 2017, winning his 18th major title at the Australian Open and sweeping all before him with an ultra-attacking attitude.

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my opponent,” said Federer.

“I want to take charge, play aggressive myself. So for that I need to be fast on my feet and quick in my mind.”

Dolgopolov, 28, will pose a significant test for the opening round as a former world number 13, who plays with an unusual mix of pace and spin.

Kerber, last year’s runner-up, returns to Wimbledon as the top seed and reigning US Open champion, but the German’s form has deserted her in 2017.

She opens play on Centre Court in the absence of defending champion Serena Williams, who is awaiting the birth of her first child, but few see Kerber as a title contender.

Pliskova appears a more likely winner, despite never having been past the second round in five attempts.

Pliskova had a Tour-leading 286 aces to her name coming into Wimbledon and won the warm-up tournament in Eastbourne to establish her grass-court credentials.

Angelique Kerber<!–

Kerber won the Australian and US Opens in 2016, and reached the Wimbledon final

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