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