The opening matches of a tennis tournament may not garner the same hype as those farther down the line, but there are plenty of must-watch matches that will kick off the 2012 Wimbledon Championships.
First-match clashes are typically a cake walk for the higher-seeded players, so there aren't many reasons to be on upset alert, but early play is indicative of what we will see from a player later in the tournament.
Your favorite player isn't likely to get knocked out early if he is a high seed, but you shouldn't miss the action.
Here are three opening matches that you definitely need to find a way to watch.
Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Juan Carlos Ferrero
In all likelihood, Novak Djokovic won't have much of a problem with Juan Carlos Ferrero. The talent gap is too large, Djokovic is too good and he'll be looking to repeat after winning the tournament in 2011.
However, this is the toughest matchup that Djokovic has had in the first round of a tournament in some time. Ferrero spent a couple of months as the world No. 1 back in 2003, so he's no stranger to tournament success.
Ferrero isn't the same player he was nearly a decade ago, but that experience definitely helps a player on a stage like Wimbledon.
Djokovic will get a win here, but he'll want a convincing one in the first chapter of his quest to repeat.
Andy Roddick (30) vs. Jamie Baker
Andy Roddick is always a fan-favorite of tennis faithful on the United States' side of the Atlantic Ocean, but he doesn't always play like he has that type of following.
The tennis gods weren't kind to Roddick at the French Open, where he lost to Nicolas Mahut in the opening round. The 29-year-old Omaha, Neb. native then lost after his opening round bye at the AEGON Championships in England.
He bounced back at the AEGON International and won the tournament. It wasn't against the best in the world, but it was a nice redemption song for Roddick.
Roddick is certainly a better player than Jamie Baker, but we've seen him play down to his competition in the past. A rocky start here won't bode well for Roddick.
Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Thomaz Bellucci
Rafael Nadal had won four-of-five tournaments before losing to Philipp Kohlschreiber in the quarterfinals at the Gerry Weber Open.
As we all know, Nadal is the "King of Clay," but he'll need to show that he can still do it on grass at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships. If he doesn't, we'll continue to hear that he is no match for Djokovic on the grass surface.
The grass isn't good for Nadal's game in many ways. Above all else, it's tougher on his knees and it slows him down. That obviously is detrimental to his game that involves so many short stops and changes in direction.
Out of his domain, Rafa needs to get off to a good start at the All England Club if he wants to dethrone Djokovic as the reigning Wimbledon Champion.
Read more Tennis news on BleacherReport.com