JARKKO NIEMINEN plans to spoil Andy Murray’s date with royalty and prove a Wimbledon party pooper.
The Finn takes on the British No1 in front of the Queen this afternoon when they walk out on Centre Court for their second round match-up at the All England Club.
Nieminen is no stranger to keeping the partisan British crowds on edge having taken the opening two sets off Tim Henman in 2005 before the former British No1 mounted one of his famous comebacks.
And the 28-year-old believes he can give the world No4 a similar scare on the big stage.
“I understand Andy’s a big favourite,” Nieminen said. “I’m going to enjoy the situation. I
have nothing to lose. I’m just going to go out there and give my best and still believe I can challenge him.
“I like playing on big courts. I was close to beating [Andy] Roddick on the centre court at Roland Garros and I had two sets to love against Henman here. Then I played against [Rafael] Nadal in the quarter-finals in 2006. In all the slams I have played in the biggest arenas, so it’s nothing new for me.”
l In the women’s draw, five-time champion Venus Williams powered into the third round with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Ekaterina Makarova, while the two Belgian comeback queens, Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, remain on collision course as they both eased to straight sets victories in round two.