So it's Day 3 of Wimbledon, and we move into the Second Round, where some real battles start to begin.
THE FEATURED FOUR
MARIA SHARAPOVA V GISELA DULKO
Sharapova opens again today but this time on Centre Court. Sharapova has been excellent on Grass so far this year, and could well win again today. Sharapova put in a decent performance in the first round against Viktoriya Kutuzova. She now faces Gisela Dulko in Round 2 which on paper should be an easy clash. Sharapova seems geared up for a run at SW19, and she could well do that. As I have said already, Sharapova has been excellent on grass, and could well go far at Wimbledon. So Gisela Dulko who is Sharapova opponent today has a real match on her hands. With the form Sharapova is in on Grass, Dulko doesn’t stand a chance. Dulko won her first round match against Stephanie Foretz in straight sets. However Sharapova is on form after coming back from injury and should win again today.
ELENA DEMENTIEVA V ARAVANE REZAI
Number four seed Elena Dementieva is last on Court 2 today. Dementieva faces Aravane Rezai in what could be a difficult match for her. Dementieva did reach the Semi Finals last year, but she always seems to struggle at that stage. Dementieva hasn’t had the best start to the grass court season, as she lost in Round 2 at Eastbourne. On the other hand she did win her first round match at Wimbledon quite easily. Dementieva is a very good player but she still hasn’t won a Grand Slam yet. She could well make the Semis next week but I don’t think she can reach the final. Her opponent today in Aravane Rezai could well give Dementieva a game. She has played well on Grass this year winning 3 and losing 1. In the first round she put in a very good performance against Ayumi Morita. However this is a harder game for Rezai. As her performances show this season, Rezai seems to bottle it against the big names. Most notably she has lost to Dementieva twice this year on hard court. So overall Dementieva should win this one but Rezai might just well nick a set.
JIE ZHENG V DANIELA HANTUCHOVA
Semi Finalist last year Jie Zheng faces a tough opponent in Daniela Hantuchova on Court 3 today. Zheng seeded 16th shocked a few people last year as she was able to reach the Semis of Wimbledon. However is Jie Zheng good enough to make the Semis again? With her performances so far this year I don’t think she can. She has struggled on Grass this year as she lost in the early stages in Birmingham and Eastbourne. Jie Zheng also had a battle on her hands in the first round, as she was made to play two tiebreaks’s to advance into Round 2. Zheng also has a battle today against Daniela Hantuchova. So Hantuchova has made a decent start to the Grass Court season by reaching the Quarter finals of the Ordina Open. However she did seem to struggle in the opening stages of her first round match against Laura Robson. Hantuchova is making decent progress up the rankings as she is just seeded outside of the top 32 in this tournament. This could well be the match of the day in the women’s section and it could go either way between these two.
SANIA MIRZA V SORANA CIRSTEA
The final featured match will be Sania Mirza against Sorana Cirstea for a place in Round 3. This could well be a battle between Mirza and the young Cirstea. Mirza has started the Grass Court season in dramatic fashion. She was able to reach the Semi Finals of the Aegon Classic and she also won her first round match at Wimbledon. However Mirza did have to battle to make it into Round 2 by succumbing Anna-Lena Groenefeld in three sets. Mirza has struggled at Wimbledon though since she made an appearance in 2005. She hasn’t made it past Round 2 yet and that could well happen again today. Her opponent Sorana Cirstea made a name for herself at Roland Garros this year. The young Romanian is seeded 28th for the tournament and could well have a run at Wimbledon. However she hasn’t made the best of starts on Grass by losing in Round 1 of the Ordina open. On the other hand Cirstea won her first round match quite easily against Edina Gallovits. So this match could well be close but I am going for Cirstea in this one.
Other Matches To Catch
Jarmila Groth v Serena Williams – Court 1
Victoria Azarenka v Ioana Olaru – Court 2
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Roberta Vinci – Court 4
Timea Bacsinszky v Marion Bartoli – Court 4
Jill Craybas v Virginie Razzano – Court 7
Francesca Schiavone v Michelle Larcher De Brito – Court 12
Shahar Peer v Nadia Petrova – Court 14
Vera Zvonareva v Mathilde Johansson – Court 18