Karolina Pliskova vs Coco Vandeweghe, Wimbledon R2 Preview

(11) Karolina Pliskova vs Coco Vandeweghe

Two of the biggest servers on the WTA tour will collide in the second round at SW19 on Wednesday when Karolina Pliskova takes on Coco Vandeweghe. This is one of the most even second round matches at the All England Club on Wednesday, featuring two ladies with very similar games.

Despite having good results in the lead to Wimbledon: reaching the final at Eastbourne, Karolina Pliskova made an erratic start to her 2015 Wimbledon campaign. The Czech number 3 survived a second set scare to defeat Irina Falconi 6-4 4-6 6-1.

A bad serving day meant Pliskova had to work harder than expected for her opening round victory. Pliskova had a low first serve percentage and wasn’t winning as many points behind her first serve as she usually would. This match showed that Pliskova is very vulnerable when she doesn’t serve particularly well, luckily for her she wasn’t up against strong opposition on Monday. Karolina will need to play much better if she is to survive a tricky second round match against fellow big server: Coco Vandeweghe.


Coco Vandeweghe has a very dangerous game on grass, the American’s serve is massive and so are her groundstrokes. The American is yet to have a big breakthrough result at a Grand Slam, this could be a big opportunity for her to claim a big scalp and go further in the draw.

Vandeweghe advanced to the second round at SW19 for just the second time in her career with a solid 6-4 6-2 very over Anna Schmiedlova. Coco served well, blasting 9 aces past her opponent, winning a high amount of points behind her first serve and as a result did not face a break point all match. Despite never making it past the second round at Wimbledon, Vandeweghe has shown her potential. The American came agonizingly close to defeating Petra Kvitova in 2013 and defeated Garbine Muguruza in 2014.


In their only previous encounter: Karolina Pliskova claimed a 6-2 6-3 victory over Vandeweghe in the final round of qualifying in Sydney back in 2013. A lot has changed since then, both ladies have improved, especially Pliskova.

There is very little to separate these two. Obviously it is Pliskova who has had much better results in 2015, winning 34 matches compared to Vandeweghe’s 12. However an upset is certainly on the cards here, only because they playing on grass. Vandeweghe is very comfortable on grass, whilst Pliskova is yet to prove herself on the surface. Whoever serves better will this match, it’s as simple as that. I’m going to side with Vandeweghe.

Prediction: Coco Vandeweghe to defeat Karolina Pliskova in 3 sets

Ana Ivanovic vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Wimbledon R2 Preview

(7) Ana Ivanovic vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Ana Ivanovic faces a an early round test when she comes up against Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the second round on Wednesday in London. Ana Ivanovic cruised through her opening match at SW19 but she is unlikely to have things all her own way when she comes up against Bethanie Mattek-Sands for a spot in the third round.

Ana Ivanovic kickstarted her 2015 Wimbledon campaign with a 6-1 6-1 thrashing of Yi-Fan Xu. Ivanovic rocketed 28 wintners past Yi-Fan in a demolition job, requiring a tick over an hour to advance to the second round. Ivanovic was solid behind her first serve and from the baseline, her second serve remains her biggest weakness moving forward, especially on grass where it is very vulnerable.

Grass has been the Serb’s least successful surface throughout her career, somewhat surprisingly given her big game. Ana has failed to reach the quarter-final stage at Wimbledon in her last seven attempts and has only reached the second week of the tournament twice in those seven years.


Bethanie Mattek-Sands hasn’t fared well at Wimbledon, ever since reaching the fourth round in 2008, the American had suffered four consecutive first round exits at the All England Club. The American broke that losing streak with a straight sets victory over Alison Van Uytvanck on Monday. Bethanie remains a dangerous opponent, she is a much better player than her rankings and past results suggest, injuries have played a big part in her underachieving.

Bethanie advanced to the second round with a solid 6-3 6-2 victory over Roland Garros quarter-finalist: Alison Van Uytvanck. The flamboyant American served extremely well, holding all of her service games whilst dropping just 4 points behind her first serve. Bethanie seems to be in a good place at the moment, having claimed two Grand Slam doubles titles alongside Lucie Safarova in 2015. The American is yet to bring that form to the singles court but seems to be enjoying herself and could go on a deep run at any time.


This will be the first meeting between Bethanie and Ivanovic on a grass court. Their two previous meetings both came in the opening round on the red dirt in Madrid, Mattek-Sands won the first encounter in straight sets back in 2011 whilst Ivanovic won their most recent clash, a three set victory in 2013.

If Ivanovic has a poor day, Mattek-Sands is the type of opponent that can take full advantage. Ana will need to serve well, otherwise an upset is certainly on the cards. I’m tempted to pick Mattek-Sands in this one, however I’m going to stick with Ivanovic to come through in a tight one.

Prediction: Ana Ivanovic to defeat Mattek-Sands in 3 sets

Venus Williams vs Yulia Putintseva, Wimbledon R2 Preview

(16) Venus Williams vs Yulia Putintseva

In one of Wednesday’s most intriguing matches at SW19, Venus Williams takes on the demonstrative: Yulia Putintseva for a spot in the third round.

Five-time former Champion: Venus Williams made an almighty start to her 2015 Wimbledon campaign, rocketing past compatriot: Madison Brengle 6-0 6-0, the first ‘double bagel’ at the All England Club in 6 years. It was a perfect start to the tournament for the American, Venus Williams totally overpowered Brengle firing 29 winners past her opponent in a 41 minute rout.

Wimbledon is certainly the Grand Slam in which Venus Williams still has a realistic chance of winning. The American is one of the greatest grass court players of all time and remains a significant threat to any opponent on the quick surface. Venus is set to take on Serena in the fourth round in would be a blockbuster encounter, Venus first has to deal with the feisty Putintseva.


Yulia Putintseva advanced to the second round at Wimbledon for the very time in her career with a hard fought 7-6 7-5 upset victory over Marina Erakovic. The energetic Kazakh hasn’t fared well on grass in the past, her game is far better suited to the clay and to a lesser extent, hard courts.

Yulia’s greatest strength is her determination to win and her intensity. Putintseva thrives on the big stages, the 20-year-old will welcome the challenge of playing a 5-time former champion on a show court at Wimbledon. Putintseva has a lot of experience against top players, having played Radwanska twice, Serena, Ana and Venus once. Yulia competed well in all of those matches, having her moments in each, she is certainly capable of matching it with the very best.


Venus Williams defeated Yulia 6-3 6-2 in their only previous encounter which took place in Montreal late last year. The scoreline suggests it was a comfortable victory for Venus, however Yulia certainly had her chances, especially in the first set. Venus was just far more composed when it mattered, utilizing her far greater arsenal of power.

On paper, this is a mismatch. On grass, Venus Williams should be too good for Yulia. The height difference between these two is extreme, Yulia will find it hard to deal with the powerful American. However, Yulia should never be totally written off, she has nothing to lose in this match and is capable of making this match very competitive.

Prediction: Venus Williams to defeat Yulia Putintseva in 2 sets

Kirsten Flipkens vs Victoria Azarenka, Wimbledon R2 Preview

Kirsten Flipkens vs (23) Victoria Azarenka

Two former semifinalists at the all England Club will go head to head on Wednesday for a spot in the third round when Kirsten Flipkens comes up against Victoria Azarenka. Flipkens is capable of causing an upset, however her recent form suggests that is highly unlikely against Vika.

Kirsten Flipkens produced an incredible comeback to reach the second round at SW19. The Belgian was totally outplayed by Annika Beck in the opening set but recovered unbelievably well to record a 0-6 6-3 6-4 victory.

Flipkens has struggled with injury and poor form over the last year. The Belgian’s first round victory over Annika Beck was her first Grand Slam win since Wimbledon last year. If Kirsten is to turn her form around, it will be on grass, however she will have to produce a stunning performance if she is to upset a determined Victoria Azarenka in the second round.


Victoria Azarenka produced a very solid first round performance, recording a 6-2 6-1 victory over promising youngster: Anett Kontaveit. It was a very professional performance by the Belarusian who remained extremely focused throughout the match. Vika’s first serve was particularly effective, winning 24 of 27 points when she landed a first serve. However Vika’s first serve percentage was just over 50%, she will need to improve that as the tournament progresses. The Belarusian’s second serve did look rather vulnerable and remains her biggest weakness.

After a lengthy time on the sidelines, Azarenka has steadily improved in season 2015. The Belarusian looked very solid from the baseline in her opening round victory. Kontaveit was unable to mix her play and as a result, Vika dictated play from the centre of the court. Vika’s second round opponent certainly has the ability to mix things up and will provide a different challenge on Wednesday.


Vika has a perfect 3-0 head to head record over Flipkens. All three of their previous matches were played on a hard court, their last two both played at Indian Wells. Vika prevailed 6-2 6-4 in their most recent encounter earlier this year.

Flipkens is always an awkward opponent, especially on grass. However it’s hard to see the Belgian causing Vika too many problems on Wednesday. Vika’s strengths override Kirsten’s strengths, whilst Vika will be able to expose Flipkens’’ weaknesses. The Belarusian will be too solid from the baseline and will be able to hold serve with greater ease. Vika should come through this one in straight sets.

Prediction: Victoria Azarenka to defeat Kirsten Flipkens in 2 sets

Jarmila Gajdosova vs Sabine Lisicki, Wimbledon R1 Preview

Jarmila Gajdosova vs (18) Sabine Lisicki

Sabine Lisicki will open her 2015 Wimbledon campaign against the always dangerous: Jarmila Gajdosova. Sabine Lisicki has been a serial giant-killer at Wimbledon over the past couple of years, the German looks set for another deep run at SW19.

Jarmila Gajdosova arrives at Wimbledon with a good number of grass court matches under her belt. Jarka successfully battled through qualifiers in Nottingham in Eastbourne, but failed to make it past the second round in both events.

Jarka has reached the second round at Wimbledon on one previous occasion, the Australian reached the fourth round at SW19 back in 2010. Jarka has had a typically erratic season, her best is very good, however we very rarely see her best tennis displayed consistently enough.


Sabine Lisicki has been one of the most consistent performers at Wimbledon over the past 5 years, Sabine has reached at least the quarter-finals in her last 5 appearances at the All England Club. Sabine’s best result was in 2013 where she reached the final, however the German was overwhelmed by the occasion and lost to Marion Bartoli in straight sets.

Sabine’s lead up to this years event has been promising. The German reached the semifinals in Birmingham where she succumbed to the eventual champion: Angelique Kerber. It was in the opening round at Birmingham where Sabine created headlines, firing 27 aces past Belinda Bencic in her 6-1 7-6 victory, breaking the WTA record for the most aces in a match. Sabine’s serve is one the biggest weapons on tour, especially on grass, if she serves well she is always going to difficult to beat.


This will be the first career meeting between Sabine and Jarka, two of the most explosive players on tour, expect to see a lot of big hitting and short rallies.

Sabine Lisicki been surprisingly consistent at Wimbledon over the years. The German feels right at home on the grass, it will take a big effort for anyone to defeat her over the next fortnight. Gajdosova is capable of challenging Lisicki, however the German does everything a little better and will come through this one.

Prediction: Sabine Lisicki to defeat Jarmila Gajdosova in 2 sets

Eugenie Bouchard vs Ying-Ying Duan, Wimbledon R1 Preview

(12) Eugenie Bouchard vs (Q) Ying-Ying Duan

Eugenie Bouchard enters Wimbledon 2015 under an extreme amount of pressure. The Canadian has a large chunk of her points to defend over the next fortnight after the reaching the final in London last year. Furthermore, Bouchard enters the tournament totally deprived of confidence after a horror run of losses.

Eugenie Bouchard has lost 11 of her last 13 matches, including a first round exit at Roland Garros. As a result, the Canadian’s ranking has slipped outside the top 10. Bouchard will need a dramatic reversal of form if she is to avoid another big slip down the rankings.

Bouchard has looked slightly better in the last couple of weeks, however she has still been unable to gain any momentum. The Canadian suffered opening round losses in s-Hertogenbosch and Birmingham. Genie did pick up a good win in Eastbourne, defeating Alison Riske in straight sets, however she was forced to retire during her next match with Belinda Bencic because of an abdominal injury.


Ying-Ying Duan will be competing in her first Wimbledon main draw in 2015. The 25-year-old was forced to come through qualifying, she did so in style, winning all three of her matches in straight sets. Ying-Ying Duan’s game was famously compared to Lindsay Davenport’s during her 2013 US Open match against Caroline Wozniacki, she was then nicknamed, ‘Chinese Davenport.’

Ying-Ying Duan has never won a Grand Slam main draw match, despite Bouchard’s recent woes, that is highly unlikely to change here. Bouchard may take a little while to get going, she may be a little nervy closing it out, but ultimately she should definitely progress to the second round.

Prediction: Eugenie Bouchard to defeat Ying-Ying Duan in 2 sets

Ana Konjuh vs Alize Cornet, Wimbledon R1 Preview

Ana Konjuh vs (25) Alize Cornet

Tuesday’s most intriguing 1st round match at the Championships sees Ana Konjuh come up against Alize Cornet.

Ana Konjuh arrives at Wimbledon on a high after claiming her first WTA title in Nottingham. Konjuh did not drop a set on route to the final, defeating Rogers, Dellacqua and Riske on her way to the final. The 17-year-old’s most impressive performance came in the final, she didn’t play her best tennis, but she did extremely well to overcome a slow start a tricky opponent, defeating Monica Niculescu 1-6 6-4 6-2.

Konjuh’s most successful Grand Slam result was at Wimbledon last year, the Croatian came through qualifying and reached the third round before being ousted by Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets. Konjuh is certainly one to look out for over the next week, however she first has to deal with an extremely tricky first round opponent.


After a memorable season 2014, Alize Cornet has failed to really get going in 2015. Alize arrives at Wimbledon on the back on three consecutive losses, including first round losses in Birmingham and Eastbourne. The manner in which she was defeated is particularly concerning, Cornet was thumped by Alison Riske 0-6 3-6 in Eastbourne and suffered a surprising loss to Christina McHale in Birmingham.

It’s not all doom and gloom for Alize, the frenchwoman can draw upon her experiences at the Championships last year where she famously upset Serena Williams in the third round. Alize’s victory over Serena at Wimbledon last year was by far the biggest win of her career, showing that she is capable of mixing it with the best.


This will be the first career meeting between Alize and Ana. Konjuh possess much more power from the baseline and her game is better suited to the grass. However, Cornet has much more experience and has shown that she can trouble the very best on her day.

Surprisingly, Konjuh will enter this match as the favourite on the back of her recent form. This should be a really close match, I’m going to stick with Alize. The Frenchwoman is a tricky customer, especially at a Grand Slam, she will find a way to win this one.

Prediction: Alize Cornet to defeat Ana Konjuh in 3 sets

Agnieszka Radwanska vs Lucie Hradecka, Wimbledon R1 Preview

(13) Agnieszka Radwanska vs Lucie Hradecka

After a hugely disappointing start to 2015, Aga arrives at Wimbledon with confidence after a strong showing at Eastbourne. Radwanska suffered a humiliating first round exit and Roland Garros and saw her ranking slipped outside the top 10 for the first time since 2011. The Pole has recovered well in the lead up to Wimbledon, reaching the semifinals in Nottingham and the final at Eastbourne.

Aga claimed three impressive victories in Eastbourne, defeating Karolina Pliskova, Tsvetana Pironkova and Sloane Stephens. Aga’s victory over Tsvetana Pironkova was particularly encouraging, Aga looked close to her best in a vintage performance, showing that she can still be very dangerous on grass. It was however a disappointing ending to the tournament, Aga capitulating to a 4-6 6-4 0-6 loss to Belinda Bencic in the final.


Wimbledon has been Aga’s most successful Grand Slam, Aga became the first Pole in the open era to reach a Grand Slam final in 2012 where she was defeated by Serena Williams in 3 sets. However it was in 2013 that Aga saw her biggest opportunity to win a Grand Slam slip through her fingers. Aga lost an epic three set battle to Sabine Lisicki in the semifinals, Marion Bartoli went on to win the title.

Lucie Hradecka has never made it past the first round at Wimbledon, suffering 5 first round exits in her career. This is surprising given Lucie possess a massive serve and punishing groundstrokes. Lucie’s lead up to Wimbledon hasn’t been great, suffering early round exits in Nottingham and Birmingham.


This will be the first meeting between these two in almost in 10 years. Interestingly, Aga has never defeated Lucie. Hradecka holds a 3-0 head to head record, however these results are quite irrelevant.

Radwanska will be desperate for another deep run at Wimbledon this year, to prove to herself that she still has what it takes to compete with the very best. The Pole must be questioning herself given her horrible results this year.

Aga should be far too classy for Lucie, a comfortable straight set victory is likely.

Prediction: Aga Radwanska to defeat Lucie Hradecka in 2 sets

Belinda Bencic vs Tsvetana Pironkova, Wimbledon R1 Preview

(30) Belinda Bencic vs Tsvetana Pironkova

Perhaps the most intriguing first round matchup this year sees Belinda Bencic take on Tsvetana Pironkova. The Bulgarian is one of the most dangerous unseeded floaters in the draw, it’s unfortunate that she has been drawn against Belinda in the opening round.

Belinda Bencic arrives at Wimbledon full of confidence on the back of reaching the final in s-Hertogenbosch and claiming her first WTA title at the Aegon International in Eastbourne. The 18-year-old produced a stunning performance to rocket past Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 4-6 6-0 in her third career final.


Radwanska played a stunning second set, hitting an incredible 24 winners, it seemed as though the Pole would cruise to the finish line. However it was Bencic who raised her level in the final set, totally outplaying her more experienced opponent.

The former junior Wimbledon champion has shown that grass is clearly her most dangerous surface, her serve is particularly more effective on the grass courts. There is still room for improvement when Bencic begins to be more proactive and comes to the net more often.


Tsvetana Pironkova has also shown good form in the lead up to Wimbledon. Pironkova defeated Dominika Cibulkova and Samantha Stosur on route to the quarter-finals in Eastbourne before succumbing to Agnieszka Radwanska.

Wimbledon has by far been Pironkova’s most successful Grand Slam, the Bulgarian famously reached the semi-finals in London back in 2010 and reached the quarter-finals in 2011.


This will be the first career meeting between Tsvetana and Belinda, it promises to be a fascinating match between two ladies that thrive on the grass courts.

Although Bencic’s form has been great, I think she has probably played too much tennis in the lead up to Wimbledon, Belinda has played three weeks in a row leading up to Wimbledon and will only have two days to recover for her opening round match.

This is a tough match to call, however I’m going to side with Tsvetana. It could be hard for Bencic to regroup and prepare for such a tough opening round match.The Bulgarian has more experience on the big stages and will be the fresher of the two heading into this one.

Prediction: Tsvetana Pironkova to defeat Belinda Bencic in 3 sets

Karolina Pliskova vs Irina Falconi, Wimbledon R1 Preview

(11) Karolina Pliskova vs Irina Falconi

Karolina Pliskova has been handed a seemingly comfortable opening round fixture, the Czech will open her 2015 Wimbledon campaign against American: Irina Falconi. Pliskova enters Wimbledon as a genuine contender, the first time such expectations have been placed on Karolina heading into a Grand Slam. It will be interesting to see how Karolina handles the pressure over the next fortnight, her strong mentality suggests she will handle the pressure quite well.

Despite having a booming serve and punishing groundstrokes, Karolina hasn’t made an impact on the grass courts in the past. Pliskova has only managed to reach the second round in her past two Wimbledon campaigns, Karolina will want to go much further this time around.


Pliskova’s preparation for Wimbledon has been close to perfect. Pliskova arrives at Wimbledon full of confidence after reaching the final in Birmingham and getting a few more matches under her belt in Eastbourne. Pliskova defeated Carla Suarez Navarro and Kristina Mladenovic on route to the final in Birmingham where succumbed to Angelique Kerber in an epic final.

Despite losing the final to Kerber in a third set tiebreaker, Pliskova’s Performance in that match was extremely encouraging, she matched one the tours most competent grass court competitors, a good sign heading into Wimbledon.

Irina Falconi is also yet to go any further than the second round at Wimbledon. That is unlikely to change this year. The American has had a typically lacklustre season, yet to pick up any notable victories. Furthermore, the American’s game isn’t suited to the grass, Irina has only picked up one main draw victory on grass over the past three seasons.


Karolina Pliskova won the only previous encounter between these two, a 7-6 6-3 victory in the final round of qualifying at the Sydney International back in 2013. A lot has changed since then, Karolina has improved dramatically and is now one of the tour's biggest stars.

This should be a rather comfortable victory for Karolina to open her 2015 Wimbledon campaign. Falconi doesn’t have the weapons to trouble Pliskova, the Czech is likely to be all over the American and will come through this match in straight sets .

Prediction: Karolina Pliskova to defeat Irina Falconi in 2 sets