1. Ana Ivanovic v Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Wimbledon, R1)
Ana Ivanovic was dealt a tough draw at Wimbledon this year and her second round is a potential banana skin as she will play the qualifier, Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The American player has had a landmark year in doubles this year, winning three Grand Slams, two with Lucie Safarova in the women’s doubles. However singles hasn’t gone exactly to plan. Mattek-Sands has shown promise in a few of her matches; ones that I can recall were against Sloane Stephens in Charleston and Ekaterina Makarova in Stuttgart where she played well but didn’t get the win. Her ranking is way down at number 158 after a spell on the sidelines with a hip injury and she hasn’t been able to get any momentum going to get that up to where it belongs.
Mattek-Sands qualified for Wimbledon with three straight set wins and had an excellent first round win against Alison Van Uytvanck, 6-3 6-2. Ivanovic was equally impressive in the first round, defeating Yi-Fan Xu, 6-1 6-1. Ivanovic wasn’t troubled but she played a really clean match, dominating with her forehand. Ivanovic and Mattek-Sands are tied at 1-1 in their head-to-head. Both matches took place in Madrid and were concluded in three sets; BMS won in 2011 with a delightfully WTA scoreline of 0-6 6-4 6-4, but Ivanovic gritted out a 6-7(12) 6-2 6-2 win in 2013.
If you are looking for an upset on day 3, this could be it. Mattek-Sands is a dangerous player on any surface but particularly grass as she loves to serve and volley. Ivanovic played well on Monday and I think she’ll eek out the win after a fierce start from BMS.
Prediction: Ivanovic d. Mattek-Sands in 3 sets
2. Venus Williams v Yulia Putintseva (Wimbledon, R2)
Venus Williams was in supreme form during her first round match as she did not drop a game in a 6-0 6-0 victory over Madison Brengle. Venus dropped just three points on serve and was 17 out of 20 on net points won. Brengle didn’t play badly in the first set but she had nothing that could hurt Venus. The former champion came into Wimbledon cold having not played since a first round loss at the French Open to Sloane Stephens but she looked as fresh as a daisy. Venus gets Yulia Putintseva in the second round… the tennis gods LOVE US. Putintseva won her first main draw match on grass with a 7-6(5) 7-5 win over Marina Erakovic. I saw one minute of the match and Yulia was a hoot. It was an excellent win because Erakovic is very competent on the grass. In the pair’s only previous match, Venus won in Montreal, 6-3 6-2. Poots will most likely give it a good go but Venus on grass will likely be too tough for the Kazakh player.
Prediction: V.Williams d. Putintseva in 2 sets
Poll Results: 71% of readers correctly predicted that Bencic would beat Pironkova, 60% correctly predicted that Watson would beat Garcia, 80% correctly predicted that Stephens would beat Strycova, 75% correctly predicted that Sharapova would beat Konta, 75% correctly predicted that Safarova would beat Riske, 35% correctly predicted that Cornet would beat Konjuh, 77% correctly predicted that Bacsinszky would beat Goerges and 82% correctly predicted that Radwanska would beat Hradecka