Wimbledon 2012: BBC pundits on British quartet

WIMBLEDON

  • Venue: All England Club, London
  • Date: 25 June - 8 July

Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC HD Channel, red button, BBC Radio 5 live, mobiles, tablet and the BBC Sport website

Heather Watson is the first British woman in a decade to reach the third round of Wimbledon - and on Thursday another four home players have the chance to join her there.

Andy Murray and Elena Baltacha have done it before, but for James Ward and Anne Keothavong victory would take them into new territory.

BBC pundits Virginia Wade, Greg Rusedski, Sam Smith and John Lloyd give their verdicts on a crucial day for the host nation.

Andy Murray v Ivo Karlovic

Virginia Wade: "This will be comfortable. Karlovic has a massive serve but Andy has a phenomenal return. The Croatian doesn't come into the match with any expectations, while the man on the other side of the net is playing very well indeed." Verdict: Murray in straight sets

Smith says Murray to shine on day four

Greg Rusedski: "It all depends on how Murray starts the match. If he wins the first set easily then it could be comfortable, but Karlovic is dangerous and I can see a couple of tie-breaks. It's Murray's first test of these Championships because Davydenko was an absolute gimme in the opening round." Verdict: Murray in four sets

Sam Smith: "Andy will beat Karlovic. He might drop a set but, ultimately, his return is just too good. It will be tough and the butterflies will be there, but I do feel it's Andy's match." Verdict: Murray in four sets

John Lloyd: "It's a tougher match on paper than it is in reality. Karlovic has the big serve, but he hasn't got a great Wimbledon record. It's not going to be as easy as the Davydenko match for Murray, but he'll be fine." Verdict: Murray in straight sets

James Ward v Mardy Fish

Virginia Wade: "What an opportunity this is for James. It will, of course, be difficult because his opponent is the 10th seed. But Mardy has not played much recently - he missed the French Open after suffering heart palpitations - and even if he starts well he might run out of steam. I've been impressed by James, he could push Mardy all the way." Verdict: Fish in four or five sets

Brit schedule

  • Murray v Karlovic: second on Centre Court
  • Ward v Fish: first on Court One
  • Keothavong v Errani: first on Court Two
  • Baltacha v Kvitova: third on Court One

Greg Rusedski: "It's going to be very difficult for Ward to come through, even though Mardy has only just come back. It will be interesting to see how James recovers from winning his first round in five sets . I hope I'm wrong, but I think Fish will be too strong." Verdict: Fish in three or four sets

Sam Smith: "Mardy didn't feel well after his first-round match while James played some of his best-ever tennis. In the past I thought his groundstrokes were a bit brittle, but now they're looking solid. If he can get Fish into a fifth set he'll have the crowd on his side and you never know." Verdict: Ward in five sets

John Lloyd: "It's more interesting than it would have been if Mardy hadn't had his health problems. He's desperately short of match practice. Ward can play on grass - big serve, a very good two-handed backhand and an excellent first strike." Verdict: Fish in four or five sets

Anne Keothavong v Sara Errani

Virginia Wade: "I think Keothavong has a fantastic chance. She's got nothing to lose because everybody's looking at Errani after she played so well at the French Open. Keothavong is on her favourite surface and I'm taking her to cause an upset." Verdict: Keothavong in straight sets

Greg Rusedski: "Keothavong has the weapons to trouble Errani, but the Italian played so well to reach the French Open final and she's a plucky fighter who moves well and has a little bit more variety than Anne." Verdict: Errani in three sets

Sam Smith: "Anne's got a great shot against Errani on a grass court. It will be tight, but Anne can edge it. This is Errani's worst surface and Anne's best. She's got confidence, she's in that Olympic team and probably feels on top of the world." Verdict: Keothavong in three sets

John Lloyd: "This will go the way of Errani, I feel. Anne's a very good competitor, such a hard worker, she's done extremely well and maximised her ability. But Errani has a few more gears and that will probably see her through." Verdict: Errani in straight sets

Elena Baltacha v Petra Kvitova

Virginia Wade: "You have to go with Kvitova. Bally might manage to get a set but Kvitova has too much power and she's always going to have that left-handed serve to rely on if she's in trouble." Verdict: Kvitova in three sets

Greg Rusedski: "You have to go with the defending Wimbledon champion. She just has too much in her game but it's going to be tight. The Czech's power will see her play through Baltacha." Verdict: Kvitova in straight sets

Sam Smith: "I don't think Bally will be wiped off the court. If she makes a good start, serves well and gets on a roll she'll be very loose and may push Kvitova hard. But I can't go against the defending champion." Verdict: Kvitova in straight sets

John Lloyd: "This is going to be rough. Baltacha is going up against someone who is my third-favourite for the title behind Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. She won the title last year and her game is tailor-made for grass with that lefty serve and aggression. Elena is going to give it a real go - she always does - but I just don't see her winning." Verdict: Kvitova in straight sets