Thursday, 27 June 2013

Wimbledon 3rd Round Predictions, Day 5: Kvitova-Makarova, Almagro-Janowicz, Verdasco-Gulbis

1. Petra Kvitova v Ekaterina Makarova
Petra Kvitova
Black Wednesday, as it was so aptly coined, saw a wave of shocks and withdrawals, which has certainly weakened Friday's schedule.  The highlight in the womens draw features Petra Kvitova, who remains the one player who can save the integrity of the bottom half.  She played flawless tennis to win the Wimbledon title in 2011 and is the  biggest threat to Serena on her day, but we cannot overlook her shaky recent form as she wobbled past Coco Vandeweghe in three sets on Monday.  She had a lucky break on Wednesday as Yaroslava Shvedova was one of seven players to withdraw.

Kvitova's opponent in round three, Ekaterina Makarova had a dramatic second rounder as she failed twice in serving out her match to Garbine Muguruza before eventually progressing, 6-2 6-7 6-4.  Kvitova and Makarova last met at Eastbourne in 2012 when Makarova prevailed in a tight two setter.  Both love the grass, but both also know how to lose their concentration.  The interest has certainly raised in Kvitova as she is now the highest seed left in the bottom half.  Can she come through a depleted bottom half? I am not yet 100% convinced, but I think she has the beating of Makarova.

Prediction - Kvitova to beat Makarova in 3 sets

2. Nicolas Almagro v Jerzy Janowicz
One of just two mens matches from the bottom half that has stuck with the seedings will see Nicolas Almagro take on Jerzy Janowicz.  Almagro had a four set win over Guillaume Rufin on court 3, meanwhile Janowicz benefitted from a withdrawal as most did on Wednesday, progressing past an injured Radek Stepanek, who retired at 3-6 2-5 down.  Janowicz though looked to be playing well and a surprising loss to the world number 240 in the first round of Halle looks to have been a one-off.  As my 4th round tip of Stepanek is on his way home and this section of the draw is WIDE open, I will likely be jumping on the Janowicz bandwagon for the rest of this tournament.

Prediction - Janowicz to beat Almagro in 4 sets

3. Fernando Verdasco v Ernests Gulbis
Fernando Verdasco
On paper it looked like we would get a third rounder between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Julien Benneteau, but both seeds fell on day 3 and we are left with an equally intriguing match featuring Ernests Gulbis and Fernando Verdasco.  I have always liked Gulbis and he did get lucky yesterday when Tsonga retired with a knee injury having lost the third set.  Verdasco meanwhile produced one of his best performances in quite sometime to defeat a very handy grass courter, Benneteau, in straight sets, 7-6(1) 7-6(4) 6-4.  Verdasco leads the head-to-head by two wins to one, but Gulbis won their last match in Barcelona on the clay.  Verdasco though has turned his season around of late and with a new racquet and a new coach, he does look dangerous  However I am a fan of Gulbis's game and I think he will snap up his chance in this section.

Prediction - Gulbis to beat Verdasco in 5 sets

4. Sloane Stephens v Petra Cetkovska
In one of the best matches of the Wednesday that rather unfortunately got sweeped under the carpet with all the drama, Sloane Stephens edged past Andrea Petkovic, 7-6(6) 6-2 8-6 in a brilliant second round match.  Sloane has performed really well at the Grand Slams this year, but gets a toughie in the next round against Petra Cetkovska, who took out a struggling Caroline Wozniacki, 6-2 6-2.  The Dane was obviously not 100% having slipped early in the first set, but it still took a solid performance from Cetkovska to get the job done.  This will be a closely contested match and I am very impressed to see Cetkovska making inroads on the tour so soon after her comeback from injury.  I would say this one is 50/50; however I did like the way Sloane edged past Petko so I am backing the American to make her 3rd consecutive 4th round showing at a Grand Slam.

Prediction - Stephens to beat Cetkovska in 3 sets

There are a number of 2nd round matches still to be completed because of the rain so please check yesterday's post for those predictions.

Best of the rest: 3rd round womens predictions
Monica Puig to beat Eva Birnerova in 2 tight sets
Marion Bartoli to beat Camila Giorgi in 3 sets
Michelle Larcher de Brito to beat Karin Knapp in 3 sets

Eugenie Bouchard to beat Carla Suarez Navarro in 3 sets
Kirsten Flipkens to beat Vesna Dolonc in 2 sets
Flavia Pennetta to beat Alize Cornet in 2 tight sets

Best of the rest: 3rd round mens predictions
Benoit Paire to beat Lukas Kubot in 4 sets
Dustin Brown to beat Adrian Mannarino in 4 sets
Jurgen Melzer to beat Sergey Stakhovsky in 5 sets

Juan Monaco to beat Kenny De Schepper in 4 sets
Mikhail Youzhny to beat Viktor Troicki in 3 sets
Andy Murray to beat Tommy Robredo in 3 sets

1 comment:

  1. Shooting stars bye bye Michelle Larcher de Brito, Dustin Brown and Sergey Stakhovsky