THEY call it Manic Monday. Or the greatest day in world tennis. The second week at Wimbledon begins with all 16 of those left standing in the men’s and women’s draws in action, and if the first week at SW19 is anything to go by it would be wise to expect the unexpected.

Whatever it is – perhaps the heatwave has left the courts rather barer than normal - nine seeds remain in the men’s competition and seven in the women’s competition after an anarchic opening seven days. Roger Federer is the only one of last year’s semi-finalists – men or women – still with a stake in the competition.

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If yesterday was the calm before the storm,at least the schedulers at the Aorangi practice courts got a good giggle. Well done to whoever insisted that Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic, three Grand Slam champions who can share out 49 major titles between them, hit side-by-side for the same period on adjacent courts.

As the Swiss legend strode out in his new Uniqlo clothing on day one – the deal is worth a cool $300m over 10 years – all anyone wanted to talk about the possibility of a re-match of his epic 2008 final with Rafa Nadal. This, you will recall, was a see-sawing rollercoaster of a Centre Court showdown which included a couple of rain breaks, finished as it was just getting dark, and saw Nadal finally stop the rot after two successive defeats in this show piece match.

Nothing that has happened in the intervening seven days has made that prospect seem anything less plausible, even if Nadal’s path to that showpiece remains more problematic than that of Federer. There were signs of the old Novak Djokovic coming back during that bad-tempered victory against Kyle Edmund on Centre Court, an encounter which saw him playing the pantomime villain, cupping his ear at the crowd, and generally taking on the world and still winning.

While he faces an improving young player in the form of Karen Khachanov of Russia in the fourth round today, it is a tie he would have signed up for. The Serb will fancy his chances too if it comes down to a quarter final tie against Kei Nishikori and Ernests Gulbis, two player who have generally failed to convince on grass.

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If Nadal can get past the big-serving Czech Jiri Vesely today then he will have gone further at these championships than at any time since the last of his five consecutive finals here in 2011. Pitted against an improving young player in the form of Australia’s Alex de Minaur in the previous round, Rafa appeared to be improving his level as the tournament went on. Sure to remain as No 1 now whatever happens, he is bidding to complete a hat-trick of Roland Garros-Wimbledon doubles. Bjorn Borg is the only man who has ever done that, but with perhaps Juan Martin del Potro and Novak Djokovic to get past before reaching a re-match of that epic Federer final, his tournament is just getting started.

By contrast, for one reason or another the 36-year-old Federer to have located a section of the draw which is as soft as anything England encountered out at the World Cup in Russia. So comfortable has he been in disposin of Dusan Lajovic, this year’s Glasgow trophy winner Lukas Lacko and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany to get to this stage, that at one point against the German he appeared to be attempting a half-volleyed return just to amuse himself.

Adrian Mannarino of France is a flashy player who should make this a fun game to watch but it would be a surprise if the No 22 seed managed to slow Federer down any. Another Frenchman, Gael Monfils, could wait in the next round, if he can get the better of the big-serving South African Kevin Anderson.

No-one has more aces up his sleeve this week than Milos Raonic, and the former Wimbledon finalist is another man starting to get hot. It would be a shock if the missile from Montenegro came unstuck against little-heralded Mackenzie McDonald of the USA. The effervescent Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas, a man observed throwing himself into dive volleys like a young Boris Becker, faces a war of attrition with John Isner.