Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wimbledon 2nd Round Predictions, Day 4: Li-Halep, Lisicki-Vesnina and Berdych-Brands

I'm still shocked at Day 3, but here are my picks for Day 4...

1. Li Na v Simona Halep
Li Na
Li Na takes on the in-form Simona Halep in an enticing second round Wimbledon clash that has been shockingly carted out to court 3.  Halep was having a pretty abysmal year up until Rome where she stormed through qualifying to make the semi-finals.  She had a tough draw at RG losing in round one to Carla Suarez Navarro; however two weeks later, she stormed to her first title in Nurnberg and then made a perfect transition to the grass as she dominated the field to win s'Hertogenbosch.  Halep came through her opening match at Wimbledon against Olga Govortsova in 3 sets, meanwhile Li had a convincing win over Michaella Krajicek, 6-1 6-1.  

Halep will be brimming with confidence and has a win over Li having knocked her out of the 2011 US Open.  Li looked very solid in the first round, but this is a very dangerous second rounder and it rings alarm bells back to Roland Garros where she was undone by a mammoth effort from Bethanie Mattek-Sands in round two.  This one definitely smells of an upset and after yesterday, why not...

Prediction - Halep to beat Li in 3 sets

2. Sabine Lisicki v Elena Vesnina
Many people have set their hearts on a Serena-Sabine 4th round showdown, but Sabine Lisicki will first have to get past the Eastbourne champion, Elena Vesnina.  Lisicki started like she meant business as she tore past Francesca Schiavone, 6-1 6-2 in her first round match.  Vesnina also came through in straight sets, but had to recover from a 4-0 second set deficit to advance past Andrea Hlavackova, 6-2 7-5.  Lisicki has always saved her best tennis for Wimbledon and her first round match indicated that 2013 would be no different.  Vesnina though, should offer up a very difficult match because not only did she win Eastbourne, but she also claimed a maiden Grand Slam title in doubles at Roland Garros.  Lisicki leads the head-to-head by 2 wins to 1 and I think at Wimbledon, it will take a special performance from Vesnina to halt the German's path.

Prediction - Lisicki to beat Vesnina in 2 tight sets

3. Tomas Berdych v Daniel Brands
Tomas Berdych
The best match that I could pick out from a rather drab top half of 2nd round matches was the one between Tomas Berdych and Daniel Brands.  Berdych was knocked out in the first round of Wimbledon last year by Ernests Gulbis, but he put those memories well and truly behind him with a straight sets win over Martin Klizan.  His next opponent is the huge German, Daniel Brands, who took a set off Nadal in the first round at Roland Garros.  Brands though has had a very consistent season and has come through qualifying to make the main draw at seven different events this year.  Berdych has notched up one win over Brands, which ironically was also at Wimbledon in 2010 in 4 sets.  I think this will be a interesting one, but Berdych would be my pick...

Prediction - Berdych to beat Brands in 4 sets

4. Angelique Kerber v Kaia Kanepi
Angelique Kerber's tough draw continues at Wimbledon as she takes on the big serving Estonian, Kaia Kanepi in the second round.  Kerber came past a potentially tricky opener with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, displaying greater consistency and some stellar defending.  Kanepi had a real fight on her hands against a terrific effort from the Brit, Tara Moore and needed three long sets to make it into the second round, 7-5 5-7 7-5.  Kanepi looks in great shape right now and has slowly been making her way back from injury with a title in Brussels her best performance of 2013.  Kerber has become a bit too defensive for me this year, but she is still a very difficult player to beat.  Kanepi still has some almighty wobbles so I am definitely backing Kerber in this one.

Prediction - Kerber to beat Kanepi in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: 2nd Round Womens Predictions
Serena Williams to beat Caroline Garcia in 2 sets
Kimiko Date-Krumm to beat Alexandra Cadantu in 2 sets
Sam Stosur to beat Olga Puchkova in 2 tight sets
Laura Robson to beat Mariana Duque Marino in 2 tight sets
Marina Erakovic to beat Peng Shuai in 3 sets
Alison Riske to beat Urszula Radwanska in 2 tight sets

Agnieszka Radwanska to beat Mathilde Johansson in 2 sets
Madison Keys to beat Mona Barthel in 2 tight sets
Tsvetana Pironkova to beat Barbara Zahlavova Strycova in 2 sets
Karolina Pliskova to beat Petra Martic in 3 sets
Roberta Vinci to beat Jana Cepelova in 2 sets
Dominika Cibulkova to beat Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor in 2 sets
Annika Beck to beat Klara Zakopalova in 3 sets

Best of the rest: 2nd Round Mens Predictions
Novak Djokovic to beat Bobby Reynolds in 3 sets
Jeremy Chardy to beat Jan-Lennard Struff in 4 sets
Feliciano Lopez to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu in 3 sets
Tommy Haas to beat Jimmy Wang in 3 sets
Richard Gasquet to beat Go Soeda in 3 sets
Bernard Tomic to beat James Blake in 4 sets
Kevin Anderson to beat Michal Prysiezny in 3 tight sets

David Ferrer to beat Roberto Bautista-Agut in 3 sets
Alexandr Dolgopolov to beat Santiago Giraldo in 5 sets
Milos Raonic to beat Igor Sijsling in 4 sets
Ivan Dodig to beat Denis Kudla in 4 sets
Kei Nishikori to beat Leonardo Mayer in 3 sets
Michael Llodra to beat Andreas Seppi in 3 sets
Grigor Dimitrov to beat Grega Zemlja in 4 sets
Juan Martin del Potro to beat Jesse Levine in 3 sets

My original predictions are pretty much out of the window.  I still have my champions intact, but the rest of the draws have been decimated and I could not picture the shocks that we have had.  I also felt I was particularly unlucky as most of the players who withdrew today were players I had tipped to do well!


  1. all these upsets with injuries and slips on the grass-must be global warming? footwork and shot placement are key in my opinion...grinders will fall-prepare for lots of slips in the men's final-should favor Murray like the wind did in the US Open only this time its the slippery grass(along with the home crowd). Nadal hesitated to grind it out-a lesson learned from the previous year. At the same time the winners certainly earned their victories-a portent for future upsets to come. The era of the top 10 and 20 is here as opposed to the top 3-5 and top 10(Serena excluded although when she does eventually fall it will be rather abrupt as opposed to the gentle decline of Federer-unless she retires before). The wta has yet to learn from the Stakhovsky's and the Rosol's in breaking down Serena's game which is seemingly invincible but only on the facade. Still many of the upsets were well earned-like Camilla Giorgi. There's noone more talented for the Grass than Kvitova? or not??????

  2. Don't get me wrong if Murray faces Djoko in the final both will fall and slip aplenty but Murray has the stronger consitution-can he take advantage of the homecrowd? He's not playing Federer this time...

  3. I did really enjoy the way Stakhovsky and Dustin Brown played yesterday, it was refreshing to see so much serve and volleying.

    Kvitova could save the bottom half of the womens draw, but her form is still wildly inconsistent. Makarova tomorrow is the most intriguing of the 3rd rounders from the bottom half.

    Murray Djokovic is the obvious final right now, but we know in 2013 Wimbledon, anything can happen.

    1. Yes Stakhovsky played like a real champion! its kind of ironic/fatalistic-that Roger should start and end his Wimbledon streak with a serve and volley player-I was thinking he'd win since the experience was there with his very first Wimbly title knocking out the serve and volleying of Sampras. I didnt C Brown will have to catch up since you mentioned it Moo! Yeah I think many of the underdogs certainly deserved their wins! except as you said Gulbis but am glad to see him continue-too bad Tsonga is out since he seems to have taken a more serious approach to the game-he looked amazing in the first set which is really strange! will have to wait another year to see him in Wimbledon-what a waste-this time its not his fault.

    2. Correction didnt win Wimbly until 2003 but he upset Sampras in 2001

  4. wow read every prediction, everyone was saying how li na was gonna lose im surprised

  5. lets face it Li Na is a typical pisces-spectacular wins and just as spectaular are the losses-like Kvitova! you might even say that about Jankovic. You might say Leyton Hewitt is an exception but just as unpredictable-hot and cold from set to set and match to match. Just my 2 cents. I mean look at Li Na's scoreline which included a bagel and breadstick for and against-hot,cold,hot. I'm sure it wasn't Halep's doing.

  6. I think leyton hewitt use to be a great player but has gone downhill. True li na's form hasnt been that great but she played great today even doh she looked in trouble in the 2nd set due to a lack of concentration. Form in wimbledon is what counts,so many top players are out, she has a good chance of reaching the final if she stays consistant