Wimbledon 2nd Round Predictions, Day 3: Tsonga-Gulbis, Kvitova-Shvedova and Petkovic-Stephens

Firstly a big thumbs up to Laura Robson today who produced a fantastic performance to stun Maria Kirilenko, 6-3 6-4.  I did not see that one coming particularly as Robson’s form of late has not been great, but she played a stunning match and has an opening in her section of the draw.  Let’s now take a look at Wednesday’s top matches…
1. Ernests Gulbis v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
The men will play second fiddle to the ladies on day 3 because of the vast array of excellent ladies matches; however the top match of the day does come from the mens draw.  The most dangerous floater in the draw, Ernests Gulbis, came through his first round match against Edouard Roger-Vasselin in straight sets to set up a second round blockbuster clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  The Frenchman has a tough draw at SW19 this year, but came through his first obstacle, David Goffin in solid fashion, 7-6(4) 6-4 6-3.  I have been impressed with Gulbis this year, who has been playing at a pretty consistent level since winning the title in Delray Beach as a qualifier in February.  Yes, his temperament is questionable at times, but he has an incredibly dangerous game that will certainly trouble Tsonga.  In a best of three set match I would probably back Gulbis, but over five sets on grass, I have to stay safe and go for Tsonga in a sure-to-be flashy affair.

Prediction – Tsonga to beat Gulbis in 4 tight sets

2. Petra Kvitova v Yaroslava Shvedova

The first round displayed all you need to know about Petra Kvitova; she eased through the first set and served for the match in the second set, but ended up having to beat Coco Vandeweghe in three awkward sets, 6-1 5-7 6-4.  For Kvitova, a win is a win and I always remain hopeful (yes I am deluded) that she can find that 2011 form again.  The 2nd round presents a very dangerous opponent in Yaroslava Shvedova, who pushed Serena hard in a stunning 4th round clash at last year’s Wimbledon.  The Kazakh has been out injured since Roland Garros, but she managed a comfortable, drama-free win over Kiki Bertens in the first round, 6-4 6-3.  At the beginning of the season, Shvedova went on an incredible run of losses that saw her lose six matches in a row including five three-setters.  Since Stuttgart, she has turned it around, but she remains a very fragile player mentally.  I expect this match to have a lot of changes in momentum and feature a mixture of stupendous striking and maddening mistakes…. Kvitova just gets the edge for me.

Prediction – Kvitova to beat Shvedova in 3 very tight sets

3.Sloane Stephens v Andrea Petkovic
Andrea Petkovic
I found trying to pick two matches to preview on the ladies match incredibly difficult because there are so many good ones; I decided to go slightly left field and give a shout out to Andrea Petkovic.  The German player has had the roughest luck of late with injuries and apparently questioned carrying on following a loss in French Open qualifying last month.  Since then, she has gritted her teeth and won 10 of her last 11 matches including a straight sets first round win over Pauline Parmentier.  Her second rounder will be against Sloane Stephens, who overcame a tired looking Jamie Hampton, 6-3 6-3.  I put my hands up, I called it majorly wrong as Hampton was a spent force.  Sloane looked solid on the grass and has a terrific opening in the draw, but do not write off Petkovic just yet.  She is one of the most engaging personalities on the WTA tour and her recent injury ordeals will make her an even pluckier character than before.  I definitely think three sets, but I am going for Sloane to edge it because I think her game suits better to the grass.

Prediction – Stephens to beat Petkovic in 3 sets

4.Radek Stepanek v Jerzy Janowicz
If you are looking for a bit of drama, a match-up between Radek Stepanek and Jerzy Janowicz is bound to dish up bucket loads of attitude and entertainment.  Janowicz lost first round in Halle, but he was in fine form to dispatch the young and talented Brit Kyle Edmund, 6-2 6-2 6-4.  Stepanek was also a straight sets winner on day 1 as he beat the Aussie qualifier, Matt Reid by an identical scoreline to Janowicz.  The pair have never played before and I think this should be a really entertaining grass court clash.  Stepanek’s serve and volley game matches up well on this surface and I think he will take out Jerzy in this one…

Prediction – Stepanek to beat Janowicz in 4 sets

Best of the rest: 2nd round womens predictions
Monica Puig to beat Silvia Soler-Espinosa in 2 sets
Lesia Tsurenko to beat Eva Birnerova in 2 tight sets
Caroline Wozniacki to beat Petra Cetkovska in 3 sets – Cetkovska crushed Donna Vekic in the first round and if you are looking for a match to have a risky punt on, this is the one for you.
Marion Bartoli to beat Christina McHale in 2 very tight sets
Sorana Cirstea to beat Camila Giorgi in 3 sets
Lucie Safarova to beat Karin Knapp in 2 sets
Maria Sharapova to beat Michelle Larcher de Brito in 2 sets
Ekaterina Makarova to beat Garbine Muguruza in 3 sets
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni to beat Carla Suarez Navarro in 2 sets *UPSET*
Ana Ivanovic to beat Eugenie Bouchard in 2 tight sets
Jelena Jankovic to beat Vesna Dolonc in 2 sets
Kirsten Flipkens to beat Bojana Jovanovski in 2 very tight sets
Hsieh Su-Wei to beat Alize Cornet in 2 sets *UPSET*

Best of the rest: 2nd round mens predictions
Steve Darcis to beat Lukas Kubot in 5 sets
Benoit Paire to Stephane Robert in 5 sets
John Isner to beat Adrian Mannarino in 4 sets
Lleyton Hewitt to beat Dustin Brown in 3 sets
Nicolas Almagro to beat Guillaume Rufin in 3 sets
Julien Reister to beat Jurgen Melzer in 5 sets
Roger Federer to beat Sergiy Stakhovsky in 3 sets

Julien Benneteau to beat Fernando Verdasco in 4 sets
Juan Monaco to beat Rajeev Ram in 3 tight sets
Marin Cilic to beat Kenny De Schepper in 3 sets
Viktor Troicki to beat Andrey Kuznetsov in 4 sets
Mikhail Youzhny to beat Vasek Pospisil in 4 sets
Nicolas Mahut to beat Tommy Robredo in 3 sets *UPSET*
Andy Murray to beat Yen-Hsun Lu in 3 tight sets

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