Serena Williams vs. Evgeniya Rodina, Wimbledon R4 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R4 Preview
🇺🇸 (25) Serena Williams vs. 🇷🇺 (Q) Evgeniya Rodina

Serena Williams continues her quest for a 24th Grand Slam title on Monday with an unexpected fourth round match-up against Russian qualifier and fellow mother: Evgeniya Rodina. On paper, this is a huge mismatch, a 7-time former champion up against a player that had never previously made it past the second round at Wimbledon heading into this event. Can the Russian challenge the champ?

Serena Williams of the United States in action during her first round match at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

The draw has suddenly opened right up for Serena Williams. There are only two seeded players left in Serena’s half of the draw heading into the round of 16 (#7 Pliskova and #13 Goerges). Amidst all the carnage it is Serena who has now emerged as the tournament favourite. Serena has gradually improved her level throughout the event, claiming straight set wins over Arantxa Rus, Viktoria Tomova and Kristina Mladenovic.

Evgeniya Rodina is having the best couple of weeks of her career. The 29-year-old journey-woman started her campaign by progressing through a tough qualifying draw at Roehampton before claiming 3 consecutive 3 set victories in the main, 3-6 7-5 6-4 win over Antonia Lottner followed by a 1-6 6-3 6-3 win against Sorana Cirstea. Rodina made her biggest move at the third round stage where she eliminated the 10th seeded Madison Keys 7-5 5-7 6-4 win, a topsy-turvy encounter, arguably the biggest win of her career.

The will be the first career meeting between the pair

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Julia Goerges vs. Donna Vekic, Wimbledon R4 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R4 Preview
🇩🇪 (13) Julia Goerges vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

Julia Goerges and Donna Vekic have both made their way through to the second week at Wimbledon for the first time, both will be playing to reach the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam for the first time. Goerges has come through 3 extremely tough matches whilst Vekic is yet to drop a set on route to the final 16. Which of these two will raise their level and claim a spot in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time?

Julia Goerges of Germany in action during the third round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Julia Goerges arrived at Wimbledon with a terrible recent record at the championships having lost at the first round stage in her last 5 appearances. The 13th seed started the event with a 6-4 7-6 win over Monica Puig before defeating Vera Lapko 6-2 3-6 6-3. The German secured her spot in the round of 16 with a gutsy 7-6 3-6 10-8 win over Barbora Strycova in a match that lasted just under 3 hours. Goerges has played really well under pressure all week, good signs for 29-year-old.

Donna Vekic is having one the best weeks of her young career. Vekic has long underachieved but is finally starting to fulfil her potential. Vekic kick-started the event in style with a 6-1 6-3 win over the 4th seeded Sloane Stephens. Vekic backed-up her victory over the reigning U.S Open champion impressively well, beating Rebecca Peterson 7-5 6-4 and Yanina Wickmayer7-6 6-1. How long can Vekic keep up this level of play?

The only previous match between the pair took place at Budapest last year, Goerges claimed a comfortable 6-2 6-2 victory on that occasion.

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Karolina Pliskova vs. Kiki Bertens, Wimbledon R4 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R4 Preview
🇨🇿 (7) Karolina Pliskova vs. 🇳🇱 (20) Kiki Bertens

Karolina Pliskova and Kiki Bertens will go head-to-head on ‘manic Monday’ at SW19. This is the first time both Pliskova and Bertens have reached the fourth round stage at Wimbledon, a huge opportunity for both to reach the final 8 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Pliskova easily defeated Bertens earlier this year in Stuttgart. Can Bertens, fresh off an big upset win over Venus Williams reverse their previous result and cause yet another upset?

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during the third round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Karolina Pliskova arrived at Wimbledon in average form and having lost at the second round stage in her last 5 appearances at Wimbledon. The 7th seed broke her Wimbledon hoodoo to reach the second week for the first time thanks to a couple of tough victories. Pliskova started the tournament off with a fairly poor performance, beating local wild-card Harriet Dart in 3 sets. Pliskova dramatically improved her level as she comfortably defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-2 6-3 before fighting from a set and 1-4 down to defeat Mihaela Buzarnescu 3-6 7-6 6-1. Pliskova is the only top 10 seed remining in her half of the draw.

Kiki Bertens is through to the second week of a Grand Slam for the third time in her career, the first time away from Roland Garros. The 20th seed cruised through her first couple of matches, beating Barbora Stefkova and Anna Blinkova in straight sets. Bertens claimed one of the biggest wins of her career on Friday as she eliminated 5-time former champion Venus Williams 6-2 6-7 8-6. After losing a tight second set and going down an early break in the decider it seemed Bertens was heading for the exit door, Bertens rebounded strongly to claim a memorable win.

The head-to-head record between the pair is split at 1 win apiece at the tour level. The only recent match between the pair was earlier this year on clay in Stuttgart, Pliskova claimed a comfortable 6-2 6-2 victory.

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Angelique Kerber vs. Naomi Osaka, Wimbledon R3 Preview

Wimbledon, R3 Preview
🇩🇪 (11) Angelique Kerber vs. 🇯🇵 (18) Naomi Osaka

Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka will renew hostilities when they do battle at the third round stage on Saturday at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Kerber and Osaka have built up a competitive rivalry over the last year, ever since Osaka stunned Kerber in the opening round at the US Open last year. Expect an entertaining match between two contrasting styles of tennis.

Angelique Kerber of Germany in action during her second-round match at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Angelique Kerber has certainly not been at her best throughout her first couple of matches of the tournament, but that is often the case with Kerber early on at these big events. The former world number 1 started the event with a 7-5 6-3 win over Vera Zvonareva before having to work surprisingly hard for a 3-6 6-2 6-4 win over 18-year-old Claire Liu. Kerber has been touted as potential champion at Wimbledon overt the last few years without success, perhaps 2018 will be the year for the resurgent German?

Naomi Osaka is into the third round at Wimbledon for the second time in her career, equalling her previous best result from last year. Osaka is one of the most improved players on tour in 2018 and has been fairly untroubled in her first couple of matches this week. Osaka started the event with a 6-4 6-1 win over Monica Niculescu before defeating Katie Boulter 6-3 6-4. Osaka is looking more and more comfortable on grass, a surface that suits her game very well.

Kerber holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Osaka, all 3 of their previous meetings were in 2017. Osaka defeated Kerber 6-3 6-1 at the US Open last year in their first match before Kerber claimed back-to-back straight set wins in Tokyo and Beijing.

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Simona Halep vs. Su-Wei Hsieh, Wimbledon R3 Preview

Wimbledon, R3 Preview
🇷🇴 (1) Simona Halep vs. 🇹🇼 Su-Wei Hsieh

Simona Halep continues her Wimbledon campaign on Saturday with a third round clash against Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh. The draw has really opened up for the Romanian and suddenly she looms as one the favourites on her least preferred surface. The world number 1 has been fairly untroubled in her first couple of matches and heads into this match as a strong favourite. Nevertheless, Hsieh is an awkward opponent and has a game that is well suited to grass, this could be closer than expected.

Simona Halep of Romania in action during her first-round match at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Grass has always been considered Halep’s least successful surface, however she has made it the quarter-final stage in the last couple of years and previously reached the semi-finals in 2014. Halep seems poised for another deep run at SW19, the top seed is playing good tennis this week and the draw has opened up very nicely for the reigning Roland Garros champion. Halep started the week with an easy 6-2 6-4 win over Kurumi Nara before defeating Saisai Zheng 7-5 6-0. Halep won 10 consecutive games in her second round win over Zheng having fallen behind 3-5 in the opening set, the Romanian therefore brings great momentum into this third round clash.

Su-Wei Hsieh is into the third round at Wimbledon for just the second time in her career, equaling her previous best effort in 2012. Hsieh is having one of the most consistent seasons of her career and has beaten some quality opponents on the biggest stages in recent times. Hsieh started her 2018 Wimbledon campaign with a 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over the 30th seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Hsieh confirmed her spot in the third round with a fairly comprehensive 6-3 6-3 win over Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena.

The only previous match between the pair at the tour level ended in a 6-7 6-1 6-2 victory for Halep.

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Serena Williams vs. Kristina Mladenovic, Wimbledon R3 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R3 Preview
🇺🇸 (25) Serena Williams vs. 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic

Serena Williams faces her first real test of the tournament when she takes on Kristina Mladenovic on Friday with a spot in the fourth round up for grabs at Wimbledon. It was hard to know what to expect from Serena heading into this event but after a couple of matches it seems she is a genuine contender in a draw that has already lost multiple big names. However, Mladenovic has pushed Serena in the past and often raises her level for matches like this where she has nothing to lose. Can the Frenchwoman cause a big upset?

Kristina Mladenovic of France in action during the second round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Serena Williams has gradually improved her level over her first couple of matches this week. The 7-time former champion started the event with a nervy 7-5 6-3 victory over Arantxa Rus. Serena looked far more comfortable in a 6-1 6-4 victory over Viktoriya Tomova. Whilst the calibre of opponent hasn’t been too troublesome, the signs are good for Serena, her serve is working well, her movement is also looking much sharper than it did in previous events this year.

Kristina Mladenovic arrived at Wimbledon having been eliminated at the opening round stage in her last 3 Grand Slam appearances. Therefore, it has already been a great event for the Frenchwoman as she has equaled her best ever showing at SW19. Mladenovic started the event with a 5-7 6-2 6-2 win over Anna Karolina Schmiedlova before claiming a commanding 6-2 6-2 win over Tatjana Maria. Importantly, Mladenovic’s match against Maria was moved to Centre Court, a good experience before this big match with Serena.

The only previous match between the pair took place at Roland Garros in 2016. It was an extremely competitive match, Serena ultimately claimed a 6-4 7-6 victory. It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out on a grass court.

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Carla Suarez Navarro vs. Sara Sorribes Tormo, Wimbledon R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R2 Preview
🇪🇸 (27) Carla Suarez Navarro vs. 🇪🇸 Sara Sorribes Tormo

An all-Spanish battle sees the 27th seeded Carla Suarez Navarro take on Sara Sorribes Tormo. Grass is the least preferred surface of both Suarez Navarro and Sorribes Tormo, both will therefore see this match-up as a good opportunity to reach the third round stage at SW19. It is Suarez Navarro who has dominated this match-up in the past and heads into this match as a strong favourite.

Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain in action during her first-round match at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Suarez Navarro got her Wimbledon campaign off to a great start as she claimed a comfortable 6-2 6-4 victory over Carina Witthoeft on Tuesday. The Spaniard’s opening round encounter with Witthoeft loomed as a real dangerous match for the 27th seed, it was therefore impressive that she was able to come through the match so comfortably. Wimbledon has been Carla’s least successful Grand Slam event but she has still managed to reach the fourth round stage on two previous occasions.

Sara Sorribes Tormo is already having a great event. Sorribes Tormo made her way through the qualifying draw at Roehampton, beating Badosa Gibert, Bouzkova and Kostyuk on route to the main draw. The 21-year-old claimed her first ever main draw victory at Wimbledon with a 7-6 6-1 triumph over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi, a significant win for Sorribes Tormo in what should have been a troublesome match-up on this surface.

Suarez Navarro holds a perfect 2-0 head-to-head record over Sorribes Tormo. Suarez Navarro easily won their 2 previous matches, 6-4 6-1 in Linz in 2016 and 6-2 6-0 in Monterrey in 2017. Sorribes Tormo is full of confidence having won 4 matches in a row on grass, perhaps she can make this a much more competitive match?

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Johanna Konta vs. Dominika Cibulkova, Wimbledon R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R2 Preview
🇬🇧 (22) Johanna Konta vs. 🇸🇰 Dominika Cibulkova

The pick of the second round match-ups on Thursday at Wimbledon sees British number 1 Johanna Konta take on the always-dangerous Dominika Cibulkova. This is a tough early round test for both ladies, both have made it to the final stages of Grand Slams in the past and would both be deeply unsatisfied with a second round exit. Who can step up their game and claim a big early round scalp?

Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in action during her first round match at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Konta came through a dramatic opening round clash at SW19. The 22nd seed was seemingly cruising to a fairly straightforward victory when she led Natalia Vikhlyantseva by a set and a break but things got complicated on route to a 7-5 7-6 victory. Konta saved a couple of set points at 4-5 before squandering a 6-2 lead in the tiebreak, eventually sealing the victory on her 6th attempt. Konta made it all the way to the semi-finals in London last year, the pressure is on Konta to replicate that run as the only real British hope in the women’s draw.

Dominika Cibulkova is two-time former quarter-finalist at Wimbledon and is in desperate need of a deep run at a major to revitalize her career. The Slovakian has had an unspectacular season but is as determined as ever to turn things around. Cibulkova started her Wimbledon campaign with 7-6 6-1 victory over Alize Cornet. Cibulkova was down for most of the opening set but once she fought back to take the set in a tiebreak she completely overpowered Cornet in the second, a good win for the 29-year-old.

Konta holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Cibulkova. The most recent match between the pair took place in Cincinnati in 2017, Konta claimed a 6-3 6-4 win on that occasion. This will be their first career meeting on a grass court and their first meeting at a Grand Slam.

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Daria Kasatkina vs. Yulia Putintseva, Wimbledon R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R2 Preview
🇷🇺 (14) Daria Kasatkina vs. 🇰🇿 Yulia Putintseva

Daria Kasatkina and Yulia Putintseva will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the second round stage at Wimbledon on Thursday. Surprisingly this will be their first career meeting at the tour level. Kasatkina and Putintseva both play their best tennis on clay, both are still reasonably inexperienced on grass and will see this as a great opportunity to reach the third round stage at SW19. Who will prevail?

Daria Kasatkina of Russia in action during her first-round match at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Daria Kasatkina is still finding her feet on grass but has shown decent form over the last few weeks. Kasatkina arrived at Wimbledon fresh off a quarter-final showing in Eastbourne where she was in a match winning position against Angelique Kerber. Kasatkina made a solid start to her Wimbledon campaign on Tuesday with a 6-2 7-5 win over Jana Fett. The Russian will be playing to equal her best showing at Wimbledon by reaching the third round.

Yulia Putintseva came through one of the most dramatic opening round matches of the tournament. The Kazakh defeated Magda Linette 6-3 3-6 10-8 in a match that lasted almost 3 hours. Linette served for the match midway through the deciding set so it was a gutsy win by Yulia on a surface that she has struggled on in the past. Yulia has never made it past the second round at Wimbledon, she will be hoping it is third time lucky having succumbed on two previous occasions at this stage.

This should be an entertaining match-up as Kasatkina and Putintseva meet for the first time at the tour level. Both have versatile games, outstanding movement and great touch, this should be a close one.

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Venus Williams vs. Alexandra Dulgheru, Wimbledon R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R2 Preview
🇺🇸 (9) Venus Williams vs. 🇷🇴 (Q) Alexandra Dulgheru

Venus Williams and Alexandra Dulgheru will go head-to-head for the very first time when they meet at the second round stage at SW19 on Wednesday. Williams survived an opening round scare, coming from a set down to defeat Johanna Larsson. The 5-time former champion at Wimbledon will be hoping for a more straightforward victory against the Romanian qualifier.

Venus Williams of the United States in action during the first round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Venus Williams has always played her best tennis at Wimbledon and has threatened to add a 6th title to her collection over the last couple of years. A semi-final appearance in 2016 followed by a runner-up showing in 2017, Venus will be hoping to go a step better in 2018. The American’s 2018 campaign did however get off to a rocky start, a 5-7 6-1 6-1 win over Johanna Larsson. After dropping a tight opening set, Venus got the match on her terms in the second and third and was untroubled in the end.

Alexandra Dulgheru has already won 4 match to reach this stage having fought her way through the qualifying draw. The Romanian claimed a couple of tough 3 set wins to book her spot in the main draw, a gutsy 5-7 7-6 6-0 win over Tamara Zidansek sealed her main draw birth. Dulgheru went on to claim her first main draw win at Wimbledon since 2011 with a 6-4 1-6 6-2 win over Kristyna Pliskova, one of her best wins in recent times.

Given both have been on the tour for over a decade it is surprising that this will be the first tour level meeting between the pair, how will the match-up unfold?

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