Thursday, 26 June 2014

Wimbledon day 5: Former champions clash

Upset of the previous day:

Zarina Diyas def. Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6(12) 5-7 6-2

Carla's game has the potential to excel on grass, but her mindset is always tuned on clay court tennis. Zarina fought well and the difference was winning that ultra close tiebreak. Even though the Spaniard won the second set, she ran out of steam in the third to the younger Diyas. Zarina has been languishing in ITFs for a while now, and it's nice to see her finally breakthrough into the main tour. With her compact game, she should be competent on the green grass. Let's see how she fares against Zvonareva next.

Schedule of play:

Match focus:

Petra Kvitova vs. Venus Williams

Two former champions clash early due to Venus's low ranking, and the crowd will be treated to a good grass court match between these two hard hitters. Petra's form is imperious so far, serving bagels in both her matches. In comparison, Venus has struggled against Torro-Flor and Nara. Doesn't bode well for the 5 time champion. Still, I think Kvitova will need some time to get used to Venus's game before running away with the match.

Pick: Kvitova in 2 sets

Lucie Safarova vs. Dominika Cibulkova

Lucie Safarova has never taken a set off Dominika Cibulkova in their previous 3 meetings. Can she finally claim a set with Cibulkova's suspect form? Safarova's game doesn't really suit grass, but she has managed to win 2 close matches so far. Cibulkova on the other hand, struggled to put away unheralded Alison Van Uytvanck in her 2nd round. Lucie has a chance here, but I believe Cibulkova's fight will see her through. Lucie might claim her first set over the Slovak here though.

Pick: Cibulkova in 3 sets

Belinda Bencic vs. Victoria Duval

This might be the future rivalry of women's tennis, as youngsters Bencic and Duval upset their more accomplished opponents to reach the 2nd round. Duval's win over Cirstea is more impressive, and considering she injured her back during the qualifying tournament. How long she can keep that up is questionable, but hopefully she's not too hampered by the pain. Bencic will need to take advantage of this and avenge her loss to Victoria in Acapulco this year. If Duval is healthy, she has the more natural grass game. However, with her back affected, I think Bencic will clinch this.

Pick: Bencic in 2 sets

Carolina Garcia vs. Ekaterina Makarova

Makarova is the more accomplished player on grass, but both players had similar struggles to reach the third round. Caroline upset Errani, but the Italian is one of the weakest gras court players on tour. These 2 have only met once, where Makarova trounced Garcia last year in Washington. It is safe to say that Garcia is a different player now, but the Frenchwoman has the expectations on her shoulders now. She didn;t handle the pressure well at all in Paris, let's see if she relaxes a little in London. This should be a close one, but Makarova should be able to scrape through this.

Pick: Makarova in 3 sets

Sure win bets: Li Na, Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska, Carolina Wozniacki, Bojana Jovanovski
Upset alert: Peng Shuai

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