Wimbledon Day 6, 3rd Round Preview: Angelique Kerber v Garbine Muguruza

Muguruza

For the second consecutive Slam, Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza will meet in the third round. Muguruza defeated Kerber at Roland Garros, coming from a set down to secure her first ever win over the German player, 4-6 6-2 6-2. Muguruza went on to reach the last eight but hasn’t carried that momentum on to the grass where she has never had her best results. Muguruza won just one match on grass in Birmingham and Eastbourne, losing to Magdalena Rybarikova and Johanna Konta. At Wimbledon she has fared better; Muguruza won a ball-bashy affair against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, 6-3 4-6 6-2 in the second round. The Spaniard had an early break in the third set, lost it, saved a break point at 2-2 and then went on to win the final four games, playing a superb game at 3-2 to break serve with back-to-back thumping winners. This is the first time that Muguruza has reached the third round at Wimbledon in her career.

Angelique Kerber posted more impressive stats as she overcame a tight first set against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova before easing through the second in a 7-5 6-2 victory. Kerber hit 24 winners to just 6 unforced errors. It wasn’t vintage Angie in the first set as she came up against a really aggressive and focused opponent. Pavlyuchenkova served well and rightly used some variety, trying to disrupt Kerber’s rhythm. Twice Kerber broke serve and twice she backed it up with a horrid service game. It was third time lucky though as she consolidated her break at 5-5 to serve out the set at the second time of asking. Pavs fell away in the second set as Kerber ramped up the intensity and came through comfortably in the second set.

Before their match at Roland Garros, Kerber had beaten Muguruza all three times they had played. Earlier this year, Muguruza had dished out a bagel only to be pegged back in the second and third sets with Kerber prevailing, 0-6 6-1 6-4 in Sydney. This is a good match-up for Kerber with her ability to absorb pace and redirect it effectively. On grass, Kerber is much the more comfortable player. However, Muguruza is a dangerous opponent and I think she could get a set in this one. Kerber will be wary, but she should be strong and confident enough to pull this one out if it gets tight.

Prediction: Kerber d. Muguruza in 3 sets

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