After a day heavily impacted by rain on Tuesday, Wimbledon will be playing catch up on Wednesday where the first round is due to conclude and the second round to get underway on what will be a busy day at SW19.
We are still waiting for our first truly big shock in the tournament and it will be interesting to see if that comes along on Wednesday or whether we are kept waiting. Thankfully the forecast for Wednesday is a whole lot better than on Tuesday.
Surprisingly given the amount of first round matches that there are to be played in the tournament, the three matches on Centre Court on Wednesday all come from the second round. We begin with the British player Jodie Burrage going up against Daria Kasatkina before the world number one and top seed Iga Swiatek takes to the main court to meet the defensively astute Sara Sorribes Tormo. There is only one men’s match on the Centre Court on Wednesday and it closes off the show when Novak Djokovic meets Jordan Thompson.
It is a mixture of first and second round matches over on Court 1 with the action beginning with the first round clash between Daniil Medvedev and the British player Arthur Fery. When they are done the first round continues as a second British player takes to the court when Heather Watson meets the former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova before we conclude proceedings in this part of the grounds with a second round match. That sees the exciting Italian player Jannik Sinner meeting the Argentine veteran Diego Schwartzman.
It is a busy day over on Court 2 with five matches scheduled on the card. We begin in the first round with Maria Sakkari going up against Marta Kostyuk before Taylor Fritz and Yannick Hanfmann return to conclude a fifth set which they have been waiting to finish since darkness fell on Monday. When they are done the box office first round clash between Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas, which began on Tuesday but couldn’t finish, is played to a conclusion. Alexander Zverev is involved in the final first round match on this court when he goes up against Gijs Brouwer before the action concludes with a second round clash between Victoria Azarenka and Nadia Podoroska.
We have a busy schedule over on Court 3 on Wednesday as well. That begins with the clash between the Stuttgart champion Frances Tiafoe and Yibing Wu. We remain in the first round for the conclusion of the match between Holger Rune and George Loffhagen which began on Tuesday but was unable to go beyond the first set. Another Brit follows Loffhagen onto court when Sonny Kartal meets the Eastbourne winner Madison Keys before the last of the first round matches on this court sees the former champion Petra Kvitova going up against Jasmine Paolini. The second round clash between the Russian pair of Andrey Rublev and Aslan Karatsev rounds off the day.
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Best of the Rest
The outside courts all have full schedules on Wednesday as the tournament attempts to catch up with the schedule. So many seeds are on show around the grounds in either first or second round action with Beatriz Haddad Maia, Denis Shapovalov, Karolina Muchova and Hubert Hurkacz all on the Court 12 schedule. Grigor Dimitrov, Karolina Pliskova, Alex de Minaur and Lorenzo Musetti are all on Court 18 with Donna Vekic, Tommy Paul, Nicholas Jarry, Alexander Bublik, Roberto Bautista Agut, Francisco Cerundolo and Jelena Ostapenko some of the other seeds on show.
I’ll go with just the one bet over the course of the day in the men’s draw and that comes in the match between Zhizhen Zhang and Botic van de Zandschulp where I fancy the Chinese player could be a touch of value in what is a fairly even match in terms of the rankings. The Dutch player is the more established of the pair but his form is absolutely rotten and he hasn’t even looked like winning a match on the grass this season.
Zhizhen Zhang had a couple of good wins in Eastbourne last week to do his confidence the world of good. He beat Lorenzo Sonego and Maxime Cressy and the latter might be important as there are similarities between Cressy and van de Zandschulp in terms of an aggressive serve. Van de Zandschulp had a good grass court season a year ago but there have been no signs of a repeat of that and I think the odds against on Zheng is the way forward here.
I’ll go with a couple of bets in the women’s draw on Wednesday with the first of those coming in the opening set of matches where I’ll take on Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian has declared that due to a chronic back issue this will be the last tournament of her career and that injury has to make her a little vulnerable on what will be a greasy court against an opponent who showed she was capable when she took care of Su-Wei Hsieh in the final round of qualifying. Lucrezia Stefanini has won five matches on grass in the last couple of weeks whereas Kontaveit hasn’t played on the grass this term. Kontaveit is the better player but if she takes some time to find her feet and her timing her Italian opponent could steal a march. I’ll take Stefanini in that one.
The pick of the matches in the women’s draw on Thursday is the one between Elise Mertens and Elina Svitolina and while we don’t know which court this one will be on just yet, you would imagine it will be on one of the two show courts if one of them finishes early, which is perfectly possible. I think that will suit Svitolina because she has just played on Centre Court against Venus Williams. Svitolina is a former semi-finalist here so we know all about her grass court credentials. Mertens withdrew from Eastbourne last week and laboured in the opening set of her first match here. Svitolina looked in decent order in the opening round and at her best she is the better of the two players. I think she is overpriced here.
Back Z.Zhang to beat B.van de Zandschulp for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with William Hill
Back E.Svitolina to beat E.Mertens for a 3/10 stake at 2.30 with William Hill
Back them here:
Back L.Stefanini to beat A.Kontaveit for a 3/10 stake at 2.63 with Boylesports
Back her here: