Wimbledon Day 4, Women’s R2 Previews: Pavlyuchenkova v Kerber, McHale v Lisicki

1. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Angelique Kerber (Wimbledon, R2)

PavlyuchenkovaAngelique Kerber began her 2015 Wimbledon campaign with a thumping 6-0 6-0 win over Carina Witthoeft. There were a number of close games in the match; 5 of the 12 games went to deuce but it was Kerber who displayed her superior match prowess. Confidence is high for Kerber after she won the Premier event in Birmingham and she’s one to watch in the bottom half of the women’s draw. In the second round, Kerber will play Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for the seventh time on the tour. Pavs saved a match point to defeat Mona Barthel in the first round, 6-7(3) 7-6(4) 6-2. It was a decent match but it was all too familiar for Mona as she was unable to serve out the match. While Pavs really raised her game, Mona lost control in the tiebreak and never recovered in the third set.

Angie and Pavs are tied at 3-3 in their head-to-head. Pavs won their first two matches, but Kerber won their last one in Fed Cup action, 6-0 6-1. It will be their first meeting on grass where Kerber is much the more comfortable player on this surface. Pavs has never done anything significant on the grass. It’s still a tough match-up because Pavs is one of the best ball strikers on tour… Kerber for the win though.

Prediction: Kerber d. Pavlyuchenkova in 2 sets

2. Christina McHale v Sabine Lisicki (Wimbledon, R2)

McHaleIn a section that no longer features Simona Halep, the biggest draw winner was Sabine Lisicki. In a scrappy opener, Lisicki did well to come out of her first round match in straight sets. Lisicki defeated Jarmila Gajdosova, 7-5 6-4. She was a break down in both sets and also won four straight games in the second set. Lisicki had a positive winner to unforced error differential but still has the habit of going for crazy shots that just don’t look on! Wimbledon is a special place for her and I think the three wins in Birmingham will have helped her confidence.

Lisicki’s second round opponent is Christina McHale, who defeated Johanna Larsson in straight sets, 6-3 6-2. McHale’s results have significantly improved since Charleston; between the Australian Open and green clay, she was 3-6 but since then, McHale has posted a 14-8 W-L record. Lisicki and McHale have played each other on one previous occasion with Lisicki winning in Fed cup action on clay in 2011, 6-3 6-4. I wouldn’t be surprised if McHale won a set because Lisicki has the tendency to go walkabout. As this is on Centre (!) I’ll take Sabine in two…

Prediction: Lisicki d. McHale in 2 sets

Poll Results: 32% of readers correctly predicted that BMS would beat Ivanovic

20 thoughts on “Wimbledon Day 4, Women’s R2 Previews: Pavlyuchenkova v Kerber, McHale v Lisicki

  1. James,I totally agree with your thoughts regarding Pavs,one of the best ball strikers on the tour,I could shake her at times,to me she has never reached her real potential,at times when she needs to play with more controlled aggression on her shots she does the complete opposite:) on grass I feel Kerber will be too strong.
    I will pick Sabine to win against McHale,in her 1st rd match she did lose focus.


    • To be honest, I never think she will reach her potential and i’m sad about that. Pavs on her day though can beat almost anyone. She’s beaten many top 10 players in her career.


  2. Gutted to see another early Ivanovic exit. Really thought she had a QF in her. =/ ah well. On the upside, Bencic is looking pretty good and now has an easier path to the fourth round as I doubt Beth will back up her win.


    • BMS v Bencic is a tough one. I agree, BMS will find it tough to back up the win, she played SO well against Ana. Bencic doesn’t look 100% physically but she must be feeling so confident after Eastbourne and with two three set wins.


      • IF BMS plays like she did with Ana, especially with that attacking intensity both at the baseline and importantly, at the net, she will beat Bencic, no doubt in my mind.

        I feel there was more in it for her to beat Ana( because Lucie did it too), so with Belinda she may be less intense. Belinda feeds off that and she will make you play and run. For Bencic, every is more or less her last from here on out, she will be playing as good as she can.


      • Bencic is playing like a top five player right now. How she’s able to back up dropping a tight second set with a bagel is Serena/Djokovic like. Being able to step up your game when you have your back up against the wall is what wins you slams.
        I just see Belinda being able to outsmart Bethanie. If her game doesn’t work, she can change it up. She can feed off pace like Radwanska and Wozniacki but she has a bit more power in her own shots when she isn’t given any pace to work with.


  3. James, I can’t help but notice the two ballkids in the stands in Pavs’ photo haha. Wonder what they’re discussing lol


      • Lol, she isn’t a pusher, but recently she’s developed a taste for pushing more than her old style of counter attacking tennis. I saw glimpses of the old soul after her weight loss but that one has disappeared again…right after about her epic encounter with Serena in that final in which she was basically stopped dead cold.


      • Lolll she is becoming a pusher. Counter puncher is another definition of pusher. Like it or not Kerber is one of them.


      • Haha it’s just that you seem to use it as a negative point. Kerber is a counter puncher, I agree, but she is more than willing to step it up and be aggressive when required. In my opinion, she’s definitely looked to do that more this year since her poor start to 2015.


  4. Boring picks today, but I’m going for Kerber to win her match. Sure, she can push but she can pull and sway too sometimes. Someone has to stay alive in this section to bring out the best tennis in Petra.

    Lisicki in straights as long as her brain doesn’t run away from her, then anything and everything can happen. She’s too loose a canon too often and if even Hingis can’t finesse your game..drastic measures may be required. lol… With Pavlyuchenkova, at least, Hingis left her with this so called ‘pushing’ thing.


  5. Jana Cepelova can give a tough fight to Niculescu…anyways odds are not proper in my way and Cepelova dosen’t deserve to get these odds seeing her magical performance against Halep

    Casey “My Queen” can also give Ukranian a run for her money

    Muguruza’s match will be a roller-coster and Lisicki will either win it comfortably 6-4,6-2 else gonna make it a goldmine match.


    • What a goldmine match…this comeback will give lots of confidence to Lisicki with Halep already out of her draw….she is looking good now


      • She has Bacsinszky in the next round. Timea could certainly throw a spanner in the works for Sabine. I think her game is perfect on grass and she’s been so good so far this week.


  6. Commiserations, Andrew, it seems all your underdog picks are wilting away. In this instance, James, you did jinx Sveta!
    Nevertheless this half just hollowed out, Svitolina, Cornet and Makarova, the cleansing has began. I just can’t wait for Friday, great matches but the usual day for unusual upsets too.


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