The third round of the singles draws at Wimbledon concludes on Saturday when the halves of the draw that wasn’t in action on Friday are back on the main courts with the players looking to make it into the second week of the grass court Grand Slam.
There are a couple of very juicy clashes on the schedule on Saturday and hopefully we’ll get a day of competitive tennis to make up for what was largely a disappointing day of action in terms of matches providing drama on Friday.
Day 5 Recap
There were comfortable wins on Centre Court for Ons Jabeur, Novak Djokovic and Cameron Norrie on Friday and things were equally as comfortable for Heather Watson, Elise Mertens and Carlos Alcaraz on Court 1. In fact, the only shock of the day was Maria Sakkari biting the dust. She went out in straight sets but the likes of Jannik Sinner, Jelena Ostapenko and Tommy Paul breezed into the second week of the tournament.
It was the first disastrous day for us from a betting point of view on Friday with the three bets we put up all losing. There were no complaints over the John Isner and Steve Johnson bets. They both failed to perform and were well beaten but the Lesia Tsurenko one was annoying as she was 3-0 up with a double break in both the opening two sets but could only hold on to win one of them before going down in the decider.
There is a controversial schedule on Centre Court on Saturday and it is one which begins with two young American stars battling it out when Coco Gauff meets Amanda Anisimova in a hard hitting battle. Two of the leading lights in the women’s game meet in the second match of the day as the number four seed Paula Badosa takes on the former champion Petra Kvitova in the standout clash of Saturday. The action on Centre Court finishes with a men’s match and that sees Rafael Nadal going up against the Italian player Lorenzo Sonego.
You could certainly make the argument that the schedule on Court 1 is better than the one on Centre Court and it begins with the Australian number one Alex de Minaur. He meets one of just two British men who remain in the tournament in Liam Broady. When they are done the world number one Iga Swiatek will look to extend her winning run to 38 matches when she meets the experienced Alize Cornet. The final match on Court 1 on Saturday was assumed to be a banker for Centre Court as Nick Kyrgios takes on Stefanos Tsitsipas but it is the closer next door instead.
There is also a surprise match to open up play on Court 2 as the only British woman player on show on Saturday is Katie Boulter but rather than get a show court she has been placed as the opening match on Court 2. She will meet the women who dumped Serena Williams out in the first round in Harmony Tan. When they are done the Dutch number one Botic Van de Zandschulp will take to the court. He will face the experienced Richard Gasquet before Simona Halep is back on this court when she faces the unseeded Magdalena Frech.
Court 3 is a day for the Americans on Saturday as there is a star from across the pond on show in all three matches. The first of them sees Jenson Brooksby in action. He meets Cristian Garin to open up the show before the Eastbourne champion Taylor Fritz takes to the stage to take on the Slovakian player Alex Molcan. There is one women’s match out on Court 3 on Saturday and that sees Jessica Pegula looking to make progress. Petra Martic will be the person standing in her way.
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There is just the one match which takes my interest on Saturday and that is for the match between Lorenzo Sonego and Rafael Nadal to head over 34.5 games. This is probably the best surface for Sonego given that half of his ATP Tour finals have come on the grass and although he needed five sets to get the better of Denis Kudla in the first round you have to admire how he fought without his best stuff and then he got rewarded when he found it again in a straight sets win over Hugo Gaston in the second round.
Anyone who has watched Rafael Nadal in this tournament will know that he isn’t playing anything close to his best tennis. You don’t even need to have watched him. He has admitted it in both of his interviews. The longer he goes in this tournament you would expect his level to improve but he’s going to need to be a lot better to beat Sonego in straight sets. I still expect the Spaniard to find a way to win because that is what he does but having dropped a set against weak opposition in Francisco Cerundolo and Rikardas Berankis it is hard to see him beating a much better, cleaner hitting Sonego in straight sets. That makes me think we’ll sail over 34.5 games here.
I’m still far from convinced that Jessica Pegula and grass are a match made in heaven and when you factor in that her opponent on Saturday, Petra Martic, has a 4-1 lead on the American with this being their first meeting on grass then I think we have to take the newest member of the top 10 in the world on here in some way. Martic is much more suited to grass. She has twice been to the last 16 here in the last five years and going further back in time she has won on the grass in Nottingham.
Pegula has come through her two matches here but she has made more unforced errors than winners in both of them and was a set and a break down to Harriet Dart in the previous round. The Briton fell apart from that position but I’m not so sure that Martic is going to do that. I’m going to tread with a bit of caution though because she has slumped down the rankings in recent times so rather than sweat it out about the Croat getting over the line, I’ll back her with the 3.5 game start which should be enough to stay in front of Pegula for a punt to land.
Back L.Sonego vs R.Nadal – Over 34.5 games for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365
Back P.Martic (+3.5 games) to beat J.Pegula for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with William Hill
Back her here: