Tatjana Maria vs. Kristina Mladenovic, Wimbledon R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R2 Preview
🇩🇪 Tatjana Maria vs. 🇫🇷 Kristina Mladenovic

An interesting second round match-up from Wimbledon on Wednesday sees in-form German: Tatjana Maria take on talented Frenchwoman: Kristina Mladenovic. Maria enters this match on a 6-match winning streak and fresh off a huge opening round upset victory over the 5th seeded Elina Svitolina. However, the German has never beaten Mladenovic before and has only made it past the second round of a Grand Slam on 1 prior occasion. Can the German continue her hot-streak?

Tatjana Maria started her 2018 Wimbledon campaign with the biggest win of her career, a 7-6 4-6 6-1 victory over Elina Svitolina. Maria’s eclectic game was too much for an out of sorts Svitolina to handle. The 30-year-old had the perfect preparation for Wimbledon after winning the first title of her career in Mallorca, defeating the likes of Anett Kontaveit, Carina Witthoeft, Lucie Safarova and Anastasija Sevastova on route to the title, an impressive set of results. It is fair to say the German is currently playing the best tennis of her career.

Kristina Mladenovic battled through a tough opening round match with Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, the Frenchwoman eventually proved to be a class above as she claimed a hard-fought 5-7 6-2 6-2 victory. Mladenovic’s recent form has not been great but it has been decent. There is less pressure on Mladenovic at the moment, her ranking now reflects her true standing and she doesn’t have the added stress of large chunks of points to defend.

Mladenovic has won the 2 previous encounters between the pair. A 6-4 6-3 win on clay in Charleston in 2016, more recently Mladenovic defeated the German 7-5 3-6 6-3 on a hard court in Washington last year. Wednesday’s meeting will be their first on a grass court, a surface that seemingly gives Maria her best chance at victory in this match-up.

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Karolina Pliskova vs. Victoria Azarenka, Wimbledon R2 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R2 Preview
🇨🇿 (7) Karolina Pliskova vs. 🇧🇾 Victoria Azarenka

A blockbuster second round clash from Wimbledon on Wednesday sees the 7th seeded Karolina Pliskova take on Victoria Azarenka. This is the pick of the second round matches at SW19, a match-up that sees two former world number 1’s going head-to-head. A real heavyweight battle. This has been a very competitive match-up in recent times, Azarenka holds a slender 3-2 H2H advantage but this will be their first career meeting on grass. Who will prevail?

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in action during the first round at the 2018 Wimbledon Championships Grand Slam tournament

Karolina Pliskova will be aiming to move past the second round at Wimbledon for the very first time, a bizarre record for a former world number 1. Pliskova made an unconvincing start to her Wimbledon campaign on Monday, the big serving Czech laboured to a 7-6 2-6 6-1 win over local wild card: Harriet Dart. Pliskova looked in trouble as she faced break points in the very first game of the third set but she did raise her intensity and was ultimately too powerful for her inexperienced opponent. In general, Pliskova has not been at her best in the last month, she had disappointing results in Birmingham and Eastbourne before arriving at Wimbledon where she made a poor start.

Victoria Azarenka also survived a big scare in the opening round, a different type of scare. The Belarussian suffered a nasty fall in the first set of her opening round match with Ekaterina Alexandrova but she recovered well enough to claim a 7-6 6-3 victory. Azarenka seems to be in a good place at the moment, her recent results have not been great but one would think that is going to change very soon.

Azarenka holds a 3-2 H2H record over Pliskova. It was Pliskova who the most recent match between the pair, a 6-2 1-6 7-5 victory in Madrid earlier this year. The pair met on one other occasion in 2018, a 7-5 6-3 win to Azarenka in Miami. It will be interesting to see how this match-up unfolds on a grass court for the first time.

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Garbine Muguruza vs. Naomi Broady, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇪🇸 (3) Garbine Muguruza vs. 🇬🇧 (wc) Naomi Broady

Garbine Muguruza begins her title defense at Wimbledon on Tuesday with an opening round clash against British wild card: Naomi Broady. Grass was always Muguruza’s least preferred surface but that has dramatically changed in recent times, a runner-up performance in 2015 and one step better to lift the trophy in 2017 at SW19 means the Spaniard has a new-found confidence on grass. Muguruza heads into this match as a huge favourite.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain in action at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Muguruza had a limited preparation for Wimbledon. The Spaniard played in just one grass tournament prior to arriving in London. Muguruza played in Birmingham where she easily defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the opening round before succumbing to Barbora Strycova in straight sets in what was a disappointing result. Nevertheless, Muguruza always raises her intensity at the Grand Slam level and is one of the main contenders in a wide-open draw.

Naomi Broady is languishing at 138 in the world, the Britt has received yet another wild card into the main draw at Wimbledon but has been dealt a killer opening round draw against the defending champion. Broady has made 6 previous appearances in the main draw at Wimbledon but has only won the 1 match. Broady brings poor form into this event and will have little expectations coming up against Muguruza.

This will be the first tour level meeting between the pair, a huge mismatch on paper. However, Broady does have a dangerous game when she is on and will look to ambush the Spaniard in front of her home crowd.

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Daria Gavrilova vs. Zarina Diyas, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇦🇺 (26) Daria Gavrilova vs. 🇰🇿 Zarina Diyas

An interesting opening round clash at SW19 sees the 26th seeded Daria Gavrilova take on Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas. On paper this is a very even opening round match-up, Gavrilova looms as one of the one of the most vulnerable seeded players, grass is easily the Aussie’s worst surface, she has frequently been exposed on this surface in the past. Can Diyas pull off the upset?

Daria Gavrilova of Australia in action during the second round at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Gavrilova was dealt a couple of brutal draws in her two events in the lead-up to Wimbledon. Gavrilova was beaten by Petra Kvitova in the second round in Birmingham after a good opening round win against Dominika Cibulkova. Gavrilova lost in brutal fashion in Eastbourne, a 7-5 6-7 0-6 loss to Agnieszka Radwanska in the first round, Gavrilova had match points in the second set before drastically falling away in the decider. Nevertheless, there were good signs for Gavrilova in that match.

Zarina Diyas had a disastrous perpetration for Wimbledon. Diyas only completed 3 games in her first match of the grass court swing before taking a nasty fall and being forced to retire against Sam Stosur in Nottingham. Diyas has dealt with injuries on a consistent basis, it is unclear how she will respond for Wimbledon.

The H2H record between the par is split at 1 win apiece. Both of their previous matches took place in 2016, Diyas defeated Gavrilova in straight sets in Miami, Gavrilova defeated Diyas in 3 sets a few weeks later in Charleston.

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Barbora Strycova vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇨🇿 (23) Barbora Strycova vs. 🇷🇺 Svetlana Kuznetsova

A tough opening round match-up sees the 23rd seeded Barbora Strycova take on Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova. Kuznetsova loomed as one of the most dangerous unseeded players heading into the draw ceremony, the veteran’s ranking has dropped significantly of late but she is always dangerous in these big events and has a good record against Strycova.

Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic in action during her third round match at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Barbora Strycova’s recent form has been good. Strycova played a couple of events on grass before Wimbledon, a semi-final showing in Birmingham followed by a third round exit in Eastbourne where she was beaten by Karolina Pliskova. Wimbledon was the scene of Strycova’s greatest result at a Grand Slam, a quarter-final showing in 2014. Grass is arguably Strycova’s best surface.

Kuznetsova’s form in the lead-up to Wimbledon has been far less impressive. Kuznetsova was comfortably beaten in Mallorca and Eastbourne, a straight less loss to Sevastova in the opening round in Mallorca and a thrashing at the hands of Elise Mertens in the second round at Eastbourne. Grass may typically be considered Kuznetsova’s worst surface but she has a good recent record at Wimbledon and made it all the way to the quarter-finals last year.

Kuznetsova holds a perfect 2-0 H2H record over Strycova. The most recent match between the pair took place at Indian Wells in 2014, a 6-3 6-3 win for Kuznetsova.

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Ekaterina Makarova vs. Petra Martic, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇷🇺 Ekaterina Makarova vs. 🇭🇷 Petra Martic

Ekaterina Makarova and Petra Martic will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the opening round stage of the Wimbledon Championships. This is one of the toughest opening round match-ups on day 1 as two of the most dangerous unseeded players do battle. Who will prevail?

Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in action at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Makarova’s form throughout 2018 has been dreadful. The Russian has amassed a very poor 6-10 W/L record in 2018, very poor by her usual standards. The Russian suffered back-to-back first round losses in Birmingham and Eastbourne, beaten by Alize Cornet in 3 sets in Birmingham and Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets in Eastbourne. Nevertheless, Makarova is a former quarter-finalist at Wimbledon and does usually play well on grass.

Petra Martic started 2018 on fire but her results have significantly deteriorated of late. Martic played just 1 tournament on grass before heading to Wimbledon, a second loss in Birmingham to Mihaela Buzarnescu from a set up. Martic achieved her equal best result at a Grand Slam at Wimbledon 12 months ago when she reached the fourth round stage.

This looks like a very even match-up on paper, expect a close one!

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Anastasija Sevastova vs. Camila Giorgi, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇱🇻 (21) Anastasija Sevastova vs. 🇮🇹 Camila Giorgi

Anastasija Sevastova and Camila Giorgi will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the opening round stage at Wimbledon on Monday. This is an interesting match-up because of the extreme contrast in styles, the versatile, all-court game of Sevastova against the aggressive, powerful game of Giorgi. Who will prevail?

Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in action during the third round at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Sevastova and Giorgi both played a couple of events on grass in the lead-up to Wimbledon. Sevastova failed to defend her title in Mallorca but did manage to reach the final where her tournament ended in a disappointing straight set loss at the hands of Tatjana Maria. The Latvian then went on to suffer a third round in Eastbourne, beaten by Daria Kasatkina in straight sets.

Camila Giorgi was unable to gain any momentum in her first couple of tournaments on grass. Giorgi failed to get through the qualifying draw in Birmingham, beaten by Oceane Dodin in 3 sets and was comfortably beaten by Caroline Wozniacki at the second round stage in Eastbourne.

It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out, will consistency or power prevail?

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Madison Keys vs. Ajla Tomljanovic, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇺🇸 (10) Madison Keys vs. 🇦🇺 Ajla Tomljanovic

Madison Keys faces a potentially tricky early round test at SW19 where she takes on good friend Ajla Tomljanovic at the first round stage. Keys looms as one the contenders at this years championships. The American made it all the way to the semi-finals at Roland Garros, grass is a surface that she is far more comfortable on, if she can replicate her Roland Garros form at Wimbledon she will feature at the pointy end of the event.

Madison Keys of the United States celebrates winning her quarter-final match at the 2018 Roland Garros Grand Slam tennis tournament

Keys has long been touted as a potential winner at Wimbledon. The American is one of the most powerful players on tour, when she is on, she is almost unstoppable on this surface. It is all about consistency for Keys and that is something she has greatly improved on. Keys has reached at least the quarter-final stage in her last 3 Grand Slam appearances.

Tomljanovic played a couple of events on grass before arriving at Wimbledon. The Australian was beaten by Aryna Sabalenka in the second round at ‘s-Hertogenbosch before going through the qualifying draw to reach the quarter-finals in Mallorca where she was beaten by Anastasija Sevastova in 3 sets.

The H2H record between the pair is split at 1 in apiece. The most recent match between the pair took place in Stanford in 2015, Tomljanovic claimed a surprise 1-6 6-4 6-1 victory on that occasion.

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Elina Svitolina vs. Tatjana Maria, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇺🇦 (5) Elina Svitolina vs. 🇩🇪 Tatjana Maria

The 5th seeded Elina Svitolina looms as one of the most vulnerable top seeded players in the early stages at Wimbledon. Svitolina has drawn a potentially tricky early round opponent in the form of Tatjana Maria. The German arrives at Wimbledon full of confidence having won the first title of her career in Mallorca a few weeks ago.

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine in action during the quarterfinals at the 2018 Nature Valley Classic WTA Premier tennis tournament

Elina Svitolina’s disappointing Grand Slam record has continued in 2018. The Ukrainian suffered a shock third round exit at Roland Garros at the hands of Mihaela Buzarnescu, a tournament where she was favoured to win the title. Unfortunately for Svitolina her chances of breaking her Grand Slam duck seem unlikely at Wimbledon, Svitolina’s record at SW19 is not great, having only reached the second week on 1 occasion, a fourth round showing last year. Svitolina played one event in the lead-up to Wimbledon, a decent quarter-final showing in Birmingham.

At the age of 30 Tatjana Maria won a maiden WTA title in Mallorca a few weeks ago and thus she arrives at Wimbledon on a 6-match winning streak. Maria beat several quality opponents in Mallorca, 3 set wins over Anett Kontaveit and Lucie Safarova and a straight set win over Anastasija Sevastova in the final. Maria’s game is well suited to grass because of her strong slice and willingness to move forward.

The only previous match between the pair ended in a 6-2 6-2 win for Svitolina in Beijing in 2016.

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Sloane Stephens vs. Donna Vekic, Wimbledon R1 Preview

🇬🇧 Wimbledon, R1 Preview
🇺🇸 (4) Sloane Stephens vs. 🇭🇷 Donna Vekic

The fourth seeded Sloane Stephens faces a tough opening round test at Wimbledon when she comes up against Croatia’s Donna Vekic. Stephens has not played a match on grass in 2018 whilst Vekic played 3 tournaments in the lead-up to SW19 with decent results. Vekic has a powerful game that can trouble Stephens if the American gets off to a slow start.

Donna Vekic of Croatia in action at the 2018 Nature Valley International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Grass is arguably Sloane Stephens’ worst surface, her recent results suggest that this is the case. Stephens has not played a match since her 3 set loss to Simona Halep in the Roland Garros final a month ago, it is tough to know what to expect for her in London. One thing is certain, Stephens has made a habit of playing her best tennis on the biggest stages.

Conversely, grass is Vekic’s best surface. Vekic started her grass court campaign in Nottingham where she reached the semi-finals before suffering a couple of early round exits in Birmingham and Eastbourne. Vekic was beaten by Svitolina in 3 sets in Birmingham, and a Barbora Strycova in straight sets in Eastbourne.

It was Stephens who won the only previous match between the pair, a 5-7 6-2 6-2 win on clay in Strasbourg in 2016. Vekic’s chances on grass increase significantly in this match-up.

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