1. Timea Bacsinszky v Sabine Lisicki (Wimbledon, R3)
Third round joy. This is ANOTHER potentially compelling match-up to look forward to on Saturday which involves the 2013 Wimbledon finalist, Sabine Lisicki up against Timea Bacsinzky. Before the tournament began, I had no idea what Timea’s credentials were like on grass and having missed both her matches this week, i’m still unsure! Looking at her past results, Bacsinszky has never made it past the second round of Wimbledon although last year she won four matches after coming through qualifying. It’s difficult to really judge on results because Bacsinszky has improved so much on the tour in the last year. She has made a no-nonsense start with wins over Julia Goerges (6-2 7-5) and Silvia Soler-Espinosa (6-2 6-1). Considering she didn’t play a grass court warm-up tournament, this has been an excellent start for Timea.
Lisicki put her fans through the ringer (and not for the first time) as she eventually saw off Christina McHale, 2-6 7-5 6-1. McHale played some good tennis for a set and a half, seemingly unfazed by her first outing on Centre Court. Sabine was slow to get going as she continued to tee off on some crazy balls. It was a good match for her in the end as she had to work hard for the win. After coming from a break down in the second set, she didn’t drop serve again. Lisicki’s back in the third round and hasn’t fallen before the quarter-finals since her first appearance in the main draw back in 2008.
Lisicki and Bacsinszky met during the clay court season in Rome where Bacsinszky came back from a break down in the first set to romp home to a 6-4 6-3 win. One thing I always bleet on about with Timea is she has a plan B if plan A isn’t working. Originally I thought Lisicki would win this without much hesitation but now there is hesitation! Bacsinszky is settling and her confidence must still be sky high after reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros. I’m sticking with Lisicki and her love affair with Wimby assuming she gets that serve going.
Prediction: Lisicki d. Bacsinszky in 3 sets
2. Petra Kvitova v Jelena Jankovic (Wimbledon, R3)
Petra Kvitova continued her quick passage through the draw as she comfortably defeated Kurumi Nara, 6-2 6-0 in the second round. Petra has been on court for just one hour and 33 minutes. It’s been an excellent start but Petra’s draw has been IDEAL. It’s likely to get much tougher over the next few rounds and it will be interesting to see how Petra deals with that step-up. I’m still concerned that the lack of grass court matches may catch up with her. In the third round, Kvitova plays Jelena Jankovic. This has actually been a very respectable grass court season for JJ. The Serb reached the semi-finals of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the third round of Birmingham (where she was beaten by the eventual champion) and has reached the third round of Wimbledon for the first time since 2010.
Jankovic’s two matches at Wimbledon this year have both been an ordeal. In the first round, she defeated Elena Vesnina, 10-8 in the decider. Vesnina served for the match in the third set. Jankovic was also a set down against Evgeniya Rodina and then a break down in the decider, but she won, 6-7(4) 6-1 6-3. Kvitova leads the head-to-head with Jankovic, 4-2. Kvitova won their last match in Rome, 6-3 6-2. It was an excellent win for Petra on JJ’s best surface. It would be classic WTA for Jankovic to then go and upset Kvitova on the Czech’s best surface. I think the first set is key in this one. If Jankovic can keep it close, then who knows. There’s bound to an error-strewn performance from Petra somewhere. My hunch says it won’t be in this match.
Prediction: Kvitova d. Jankovic in 2 sets