The first round of Wimbledon will finally conclude on Wednesday and the second round will get underway across the grounds at SW19 as we begin to build up speed in the third of the four Grand Slams of the year.
The tournament is still reeling from the exit of Serena Williams in an incredible match on Tuesday. Her demise will keep the big names on show on Wednesday on their toes and it looks like another competitive and dramatic day is in store for us.
Day 2 Recap
It was a great day of tennis on Tuesday with drama, tension and excitement everywhere you looked. Nearly every big name was troubled too. The drama began before a ball was hit when Matteo Berrettini exited the tournament with Covid. On the court the likes of Rafael Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Denis Shapovalov all made it through but had to go longer than three sets to do so but the same couldn’t be said for the likes of Felix Auger-Aliassime and Dan Evans who were spectacularly dumped out. Iga Swiatel and Maria Sakkari were among the straight sets winners in the women’s draw, along with Simona Halep, Jelena Ostapenko and Paula Badosa while Petra Kvitova and Coco Gauff came through deciding sets but Serena Williams went out in a three-hour epic in a match tiebreak to Harmony Tan.
It was another profitable day for us on Tuesday even though one of our bets didn’t get onto the courts. The two matches which were held over from Monday both provided winners when Christian Harrison and Yanina Wickmayer came through in straight sets. Alize Cornet then got the Tuesday bets up and running in the same fashion before Felix Auger-Aliassime and Maxime Cressy easily covered the game line between them. Unfortunately our first loser came for the week when Denis Kudla went down in a deciding set. Donna Vekic was pushed back to Wednesday.
It is déjà vu for the Centre Court schedule on Wednesday as the three players who headlined it on Monday do so on Wednesday and in the same order as well. That means the defending champion Novak Djokovic gets us up and running when he takes on Thanasi Kokkinakis. Once they are done the US Open winner Emma Raducanu will be back on centre stage. She meets the champion from Bad Homburg last week in Caroline Garcia. The final match on the Centre Court schedule on Wednesday sees Andy Murray looking to make it back into the last 32 when he takes on the big serving John Isner.
The number two seed in the women’s draw is first onto the second court on Wednesday when Anett Kontaveit is in action. She has a date with Jule Niemeier. Karolina Pliskova will then come back and look to finish off her match with Tereza Martincova before the British number one gets to grace a show court for the first time this week. That is Cameron Norrie and he will meet Jaume Munar for a place in the third round. When those two are done it will be the Greek star Maria Sakkari who rounds off the action when she takes on Viktoriya Tomova.
The action has been frantic out on Court 2 this week and the French Open finalist Casper Ruud will begin another day of action when he takes on the former Halle champion Ugo Humbert. Garbine Muguruza lost the opening set of her match against Greet Minnen before darkness fell on Tuesday. They’ll be back second on court to finish things off before the former champion Angelique Kerber goes up against Magda Linette. Carlos Alcaraz came through a five set epic in the first round and he’ll hope things are a little easier against Tallon Griekspoor on Wednesday. The British number two Heather Watson will get to finish off the show when she faces Qiang Wang who has already taken care of Belinda Bencic this week.
Ryan Peniston is beginning to make a big splash in the tennis world at the minute and he will be first onto Court 3 on Wednesday. He meets Steve Johnson, who was the beneficiary of the injury to Grigor Dimitrov in the first round. Yanina Wickmayer did us a favour on Tuesday and she will meet Jelena Ostapenko in the second game on this court on Wednesday before Jannik Sinner looks to build on his victory over Stan Wawrinka in the first round when he faces Mikael Ymer. Ons Jabeur then rounds off the show on this court when she meets Katarzyna Kawa.
Best of the Rest
The doubles action begins around the grounds at SW19 on Wednesday but mixed in with the doubles on the outside courts are some singles matches. There will be a poignancy in the air when Anna Kalinina meets Lesia Tsurenko given all their country is going through. Tommy Paul, Elise Mertens and Reilly Opelka are all on show over on Court 12 while on Court 18 the likes of Frances Tiafoe, Sorana Cirstea and Alison Riske will keep us entertained. David Goffin, Miomir Kecmanovic, Oscar Otte and Jessica Pegula are some of the other seeds who are on show.
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There is only the one bet which catches my eye in the men’s draw on Wednesday and it comes first up on Court 2 where I think Casper Ruud is vulnerable against an admittedly out of form Ugo Humbert but one which has shown in the past that he can play on this surface. That is always a big thing and Ruud is the first to admit he doesn’t enjoy the surface. That showed at Queens when he lost in the first round and it wouldn’t have taken much more for Albert Ramos-Vinolas to have pushed him closer in the first round here.
Humbert had to go five sets to come through the opening round but that might not be a bad thing. Often when a player is in a slump they find ways to lose rather than ways to win so the fact he got over the line in that one should give him a lot of confidence. Now that expectation here isn’t as high as when he was a favourite in the first round he might be able to relax and bring out his best tennis. Ruud is there for the taking this week and the Frenchman has a better than even shot at being the one to take him.
Marie Bouzkova was good for us in the opening round when she took care of Danielle Collins in a match where she made just six unforced errors in three sets of tennis. Admittedly the radar of Collins was losing configuration way too much but Bouzkova played one of the cleanest matches I’ve ever seen at Wimbledon. She now meets Ann Li who had an easy win in the first round but in two sets she made 21 unforced errors so against a better opponent she could have been punished more. She meets that better opponent here and I expect the Czech player to be too for the American who will need more than just a big engine to win this.
Heather Watson eventually came through in the first round but she was only a few points away from going out and just didn’t look comfortable at all. I won’t go into the details as to why that was the case in a betting preview but it is out there for those who are inquisitive. Nevertheless, the physical issue she is experiencing can’t possibly help against Qiang Wang who has already laid out her credentials when beating Belinda Bencic in the first round. Wang has made the third round here in 2019 and pushed Venus Williams close in the first round prior to that so she is no stranger to playing well on the Church Road grounds. Although her form leading up to this tournament wasn’t up to much, she went down in a three-setter to the hugely in form Haddad Maia in Nottingham and then lost to Ruse who should have beaten Coco Gauff here on Tuesday so the form is better than her results suggest. Whacking it all in the mix and I’m expecting a comfortable Chinese win here.
Back U.Humbert to beat C.Ruud for a 3/10 stake at 2.25 with Coral
Back him here:
Back M.Bouzkova (-2.5 games) to beat A.Li for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with William Hill
Back her here:
Back Q.Wang (-1.5 games) to beat H.Watson for a 3/10 stake at 1.80 with Bet365