Wimbledon Day 3 Preview (The Ladies)

23 Jun

The ladies’ side of the tournament hasn’t been as suspensful or dramatic as the men’s side yet, which is thouroughly suprising considering the plethora of upsets at the French Open.  But, nevertheless, the very two women who came through in Paris, Sam Stosur and Francesca Schiavone, are both out by the end of Day two.  Suprising? Yes and no.  They were due for a humbling loss sooner than later, but in the first round? The American hard court season will be very important for the both of them. (see Kamakshi Tandon’s excellent story about the downfall of champions on the women’s side. http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/wimbledon10/columns/story?columnist=kamakshi_tandon&id=5314582).  Now I will preview three of the most compelling matches on the women’s side for tomorrow.

Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) vs. (2) Venus Williams (USA)

What makes this match so interesting is what happened last week in Eastbourne.  Makarova, a qualifier at the seaside Wimbledon tune-up went on to win the title in convincing fashion.  Along the way she beat Petrova, Kuznetsova, and Azarenka.  Now she faces a bit of unfortunate luck in the form of five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams.  Venus, who turned thirty just a few days ago, looks young, fit, and dominate as ever on the hallowed lawns in England.  Can Makarova stop Venus’ march toward the finals, probably not, but can she take a set  off of her, possibly, if the Russian brings her A-game and Venus has a slow start.  But, if that fails to happen, then it will be the American who advances to the third round.

Pick: Venus in 2, unless Makarova plays exceptionally well, then Venus in 3.

Will Venus' dominance of the grass courts continue in 2010?

(8) Kim Clijsters (BEL) vs. Karolina Sperm (CRO)

Remember several years ago on the old Court 2 when Karolina Sperm and Venus Williams battled it out in what eventually came to a misscored tiebreak?  Tomorrow on the new court two Clijsters will hope her fate isn’t as Venus’ was in 2004.  After her first round win, Clijsters looked happy to be back in at the All-England Club and it didn’t hurt that she played some remarkable tennis to get into the second round.  As much as the tall Croat tries to make Kim work, I just don’t see an upset on the cards and think that it is a safe bet to move Clijsters on through to the third round.

Pick: Clijsters in 2

How far will Clijsters go in the draw this year?

Alexsandra Wozniak (CAN) vs. (4) Jelena Jankovic (SRB)

This by no means is a walk in the park for Jankovic.  Wozniak, who has had descent results on grass, hits a flat, clean ball and when she is playing at her best, she can be hard to beat. (ie. Stanford in 2008).  But Jelena, who has had her worst results on the grass, seems to be in good form at the moment and shouldn’t have that much of a problem with the Canadian.  But, should Jankovic get down on herself, then I feel that Wozniak will step up and deliver some of her best tennis.  In the end though, it should be the Serb who goes through to round 3.

Pick: Jankovic in 3

Other matches to keep an eye on:

Jarmilla Groth (AUS) vs. (33) Melanie Oudin (USA)- Oudin, who made it to the fourth round last year, has the confidence and the game to play well here at Wimbledon.  On the other hand, Groth made the fourth round of the French Open a few weeks ago and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Pick: Oudin in 3, tough sets

(17) Justine Henin (BEL) vs. Kristina Barrois (GER)- Good matchup for Henin, Justine beat her last week in Rosmalen.  Everyone’s big question about Henin is how will her new, aggressive game hold up? Key to the match: the Henin serve. Pick: Henin in 2 sets

The conclusion of Hantuchova and King: King had Hantuchova on the ropes at 4-1 in the second set before Daniela came back to win the set in a tiebreak.  It would be nice to see the young American through to the second round, but if Daniela plays like she did at the end of the second, then we are headed to a potential third round match between Hantuchova and Sharapova. Won’t want to miss that one.



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