Four days. Two rounds. 14 seeds on the Ladies’ side of Wimbledon have been eliminated while 16 seeds on the Gentlemen’s side have been shown the door. With the third round beginning today, we attempt to make sense of what’s going on at the All-England Club. Here’s five matches worth keeping an eye on:
Sam Querrey vs Gael Monfils
This is a good match to kick off the Center Court action. Quietly, Querrey has been playing some very solid tennis and will like his chances in this one. Monfils seems to be taking things a bit more seriously these days, which is good to see. He’ll have to serve well and try to be more offensive than usual (which is not his nature) to counteract the power game of the American. His more natural game plan (should he so choose) is to play his usual defensive style, get a lot of balls back and hope that Querrey misses. Either way, the fans are guaranteed of being treated to a good show.
Philipp Kohlschreiber vs Kevin Anderson
Two more players that have flown under the radar collide here. They’ll go about things in very different ways: Kohlschreiber will look to utilize his backhand as much as he can while playing long rallies while Anderson will want to dictate with his serve and forehand, playing first strike tennis as often as possible. The South African has won all three prior meetings, but this will be their first matchup on grass. This is an interesting match because the German iis in the perfect spot to cause an upset while the eighth seed looks to continue his surge that began with an appearance at last year’s U.S. Open. Regardless of who wins, this will be a very long match.
Kristina Mladenovic vs Serena Williams
With all of the upsets that have ravaged the draw, the 23-time Grand Slam champion is now the oddsmakers’ favorite to win her eighth Wimbledon title and tie Margaret Court’s record of 24 major titles. She’s looked OK during this fortnight, playing much better in her second round match than she did in her first rounder. If the serve is on, the rest of Williams’ game follows. Mladenovic has been playing slightly better than the wretched form she showed starting (ironically enough) here last year. The Frenchwoman hits a big ball, but she will have to be at her very best here if she is to have any chance of keeping pace in this match. As well, her serve will need to be the best part of her game today. Their only prior meeting was a 7-5, 7-6 win for Williams at the 2016 French Open, but this isn’t Paris and Mladenovic is not playing nearly as well. Don’t expect it to be that close again.
Katerina Siniakova vs Camila Giorgi
Well, this is what happens when the draw gets ripped apart, but in all honesty, these two have the potential to reach the final weekend. Both are powerful, but both can be erratic. Siniakova has already defeated Coco Vandeweghe 8-6 in the third set in the first round while taking the deciding set of her second round encounter against Ons Jabeur 9-7. Fatigue could be a factor as well as trying to control her emotions. Giorgi hits about as hard as anyone on tour, but her issue is that she doesn’t know where her shots are going half of the time. Whichever one of them can dictate from the baseline and get the first strike in (Siniakova on the backhand, Giorgi on the forehand), that player will prevail. One thing is for sure: this will be long and dramatic no matter who ends up winning.
Julia Göerges vs Barbora Strycova
This has the potential for an upset, even of it is in seed only as the Czech will look to utilize her backhand while also moving forward to finish off points at the net. For the German, she has never been beyond this round at Wimbledon and she is presented with a difficult challenge to reach a career-best at Wimbledon. Perhaps now that Göerges is not being fancied as much as she was at the start of the year means she’ll be more relaxed. She will want to dominate with her serve and her ground game, finishing off points quickly. The head-to-head is 6-5 in favor of Strycova as she has won four of the last five and could very well make it five of the last six here.
Ladies seed likeliest to lose: Göerges to Strycova
Gentlemen’s seed likeliest to lose: Anderson to Kohlschreiber