(6) Petra Kvitova vs (30) Venus Williams
The match of the tournament thus far will see two former champions come up against each other for a spot in the round of 16.
Petra Kvitova has been in ominous form in her opening two matches, dropping just 5 games across both matches. For Kvitova this is a very big deal given her usual erratic performances involving mid match lapses in intensity resulting in numerous needless three set matches. Venus Williams has overcome two solid challenges in her opening matches but will need to significantly step up her game if she is to be competitive in this match.
These two have met on four previous occasions, Kvitova leads the head-to-head 3-1. All four of the previous meetings between these two have gone to three sets, the last two have been epics, both being decided by a third set tiebreak with Kvitova coming out on top on both occasions. This will be the first time Venus and Petra come up against each other on grass, so it will be interesting to see how this match unfolds. Kvitova’s form is too good to ignore, she should be too strong for Venus once again.
Prediction: Petra Kvitova to defeat Venus Williams 6-4 7-6
(23) Lucie Safarova vs (10) Dominika Cibulkova
Day 5’s toughest match to call sees Lucie Safarova take on Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova. Safarova has won two tight straight set matches against decent opponents whilst Cibulkova came from behind to win a marathon match against Van Uytvanck in the second round 8-6 in the third.
Domi has defeated Lucie in all three of their previous encounters, however they haven’t played each other since 2011. Both ladies have had rather average results at Wimbledon in the past, Cibulkova has done slightly better and is a former quarter-finalist. This section of the draw is wide open for on of these ladies to come through after Victoria Azarenka was knocked out in the second round. The winner of this match will be the favourite to reach the quarter-finals. Cibulkova started the year so well but her form has deteriorated over recent months. Lucie has been typically up and down all year but at her best she is capable of matching it with any opponent. It’s hard to ignore Domi’s head-to-head domination over Lucie, Domi has been more consistent this year and she is my pick to come through this section of the draw.
Prediction: Dominika Cibulkova to defeat Lucie Safarova 4-6 6-2 6-3
(4) Agnieszka Radwanska vs (Q) Michelle Larcher de Brito
2012 finalist Agnieszka Radwanska will continue her quest for a maiden grand slam title when she comes up against qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito in the third round at Wimbledon. Radwanska has been clinical in her opening two matches; her second set domination of Casey Dellacqua was particularly impressive. Larcher de Brito, who famously knocked out Maria Sharapova last year at this very stage of the tournament defeated Kuznetsova in the opening round before edging past Gajdosova in a tight three set match.
Interestingly Larcher de Brito defeated the Pole in their only previous encounter, however this took place way back in 2008. Radwanska is too solid and determined to slip up at this stage of the tournament against this type of opponent. Radwanska will frustrate de Birto and eventually break her spirits in a straight set victory for the Pole.
Prediction: Agnieszka Radwanska to defeat Michelle Larcher de Brito 6-3 6-2
Other Match Predictions:
(2) Li Na to defeat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in three sets
(16) Caroline Wozniacki to defeat (Q) Ana Konjuh in straight sets
(22) Ekaterina Makarova to defeat Caroline Garcia in straight sets
Shuai Peng to defeat Lauren Davis in three sets
(Q) Tereza Smitkova to defeat Bojana Jovanovski in three sets