The Top 4 on Day 4
1. Milos Raonic v Sam Querrey
The best matches tomorrow come on the mens side and most of them in the ultra-competitive third quarter. I have picked out the encounter between Raonic and Querrey as my top match. Querrey has been making his way back from injury and signalled his return to form with an impressive run to the semi-finals at Queens. Raonic seems to have the perfect game for grass, but was cut down in his prime at this stage last year when he slipped and injured his hip, which practically wiped him out for much of the latter part of 2011. It is a tough one for Raonic, but I still believe this could be his breakthrough tournament…
Prediction – Raonic to beat Querrey in 4 sets
2. Grigor Dimitrov v Marcos Baghdatis
Another intriguing match in the third quarters sees Dimitrov play Baghdatis. Dimitrov is having a terrific grass court season having reached the semi-finals of Queens and defeating the seed, Kevin Anderson in the first round of Wimbledon. Baghdatis has previously enjoyed great success at Wimbledon having made the quarter-finals in 2007 and pushing Novak Djokovic to 4 sets in an entertaining third rounder last year. This will be an exciting match between two of the most interesting personalities on the ATP tour and I think it could come down to the wire…
Prediction – Dimitrov to beat Baghdatis in 5 sets
3. Rafael Nadal v Lukas Rosol
Nadal struggled in the first set of his opener against Thomasz Bellucci as he quickly fell 4-0 down, but as you would expect he managed to recover in time to nick the first set on a tiebreak and complete a straight sets win. Lukas Rosol took out Ivan Dodig in the first round and he will be another test for Nadal. Rosol is an up-and-coming player, who made the third round of Roland Garros last year having beaten Jurgen Melzer in an epic. This year he has started to pick up more wins on the tour and looks to be an exciting prospect for the future. Ultimately I expect Nadal to win in straight sets, but I think this will be an entertaining match to watch.
Prediction – Nadal to beat Rosol in 3 sets
4. Petra Kvitova v Elena Baltacha
In truth, there are not many matches from womens draw that have caught my eye for tomorrow so I have picked out one I will be watching purely from a British angle! Baltacha had a tough first round match and was fortunate to progress as her opponent, Karin Knapp was struggling with an injury. Kvitova started nervously in her first round match against Akgul Amanmuradova but did very well to turn things round with some clinical serving at the end. I can only see one outcome for this match, but I hope Baltacha can at least make it respectable.
Prediction – Kvitova to beat Baltacha in 2 sets
Best of the rest: womens
All the top seeds look to have routine matches on paper; Serena Williams takes on the hard hitting Hungarian Melinda Czink, meanwhile the number two seed Victoria Azarenka plays Romina Oprandi. Marion Bartoli‘s draw looks more open by the minute and she should be too consistent for former Wimbledon semi-finalist, Mirjana Lucic. I have already mentioned one Brit, but Anne Keothavong also plays her second rounder tomorrow against the French Open finalist, Sara Errani.
Two matches to keep an eye on for tomorrow both come from the third quarter; Zheng Jie and Aleksandra Wozniak squared off in the second round of Roland Garros and once again they will do battle. Wozniak won that match in straight sets but Zheng’s superior grass court play should make this one a lot closer. The ever-improving, Varvara Lepchenko will take on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in what should be another tight match. Lepchenko made the 4th round of the French Open, but I am uncertain of her prospects on grass. Pavlyuchenkova was very impressive in disposing of Sofia Arvidsson in the first round so I fancy her to enjoy another victory.
S. Williams to beat Czink in 2 sets
Wozniak to beat Zheng in 3 sets
Errani to beat Keothavong in 3 sets
Pavlyuchenkova to beat Lepchenko in 2 sets
Paszek to beat Cornet in 3 sets
Best of the rest: mens
Andy Murray takes on the huge serving, Ivo Karlovic, meanwhile Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will play Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and David Ferrer squares up against Kenny De Schepper; all should be pretty routine wins for the top seeds. The Brit, James Ward who won his first ever match at Wimbledon has earnt himself a second round tie with Mardy Fish, which is winnable if he can play to his ultimate level; unfortunately his inconsistency is likely to be his downfall. The resurgent, Brian Baker takes on Jarkko Nieminen and has some real opportunities to progress deep into this draw with Feliciano Lopez falling yesterday.
Murray to beat Karlovic in 3 sets
Cilic to beat Kubot in 4 sets
Fish to beat Ward in 4 sets
Baker to beat Nieminen in 5 sets
Paire to beat Dolgopolov in 5 sets