We have come upon the traditional middle Sunday off at Wimbledon. Week 1 provided lots of drama and a few shockers including another head scratching loss by (10) Rafael Nadal and the self-destruction of ladies defending champion (2) Petra Kvitova against veteran Serbian counterpuncher (28) Jelena Jankovic. Kvitova was also my pick to win the event. The most dramatic moment of week 1 was the VERY near defeat of (1) Serena Williams by young British speedster Heather Watson. The home town girl was just 2 points away from ending all the “Serena Slam” talk. Serena once again found a way to scrape across the finish line. With no play today, all 16 players still alive in both singles draws will play tomorrow. Here are my top 3 matches to watch tomorrow.
(1) Serena Williams vs. (16) Venus Williams
Head to head- Serena leads 14-11. The match is first on Centre Court tomorrow and will begin at 8 a.m. on ESPN.
I don’t need to hype this one much. They are both 5 time Wimbledon champions. Serena is playing for history, and her big sister is one few people capable of taking it away from her. Their matches are always tough on them. From a tactical standpoint, this match will be all about who lands the first big shot in the rally. The pressure of history almost derailed Serena in Paris, and her last match here. If she comes out tight, I can’t imagine her sister letting her off the hook. Venus is playing with less on line, and may even be in better form. She hasn’t struggled to get here like Serena. This is probably her last go around in terms of a deep run at a major, she will make the most of it. Enjoy this one folks, who knows how many more time we will see this. Prediction: Venus in 2 close sets.
(3) Andy Murray vs. (23) Ivo Karlovic
Head to head- Murray leads 5-0. This will follow the Serena vs. Venus match on Centre Court (ESPN)
Don’t let that head to head fool you, Karlovic has a massive serve that is only accentuated on a grass court. He is a comfortable matchup for no one. His massive serve and ability to collect aces in bunches give him a punchers chance to upset Murray and sending all of Britain off a cliff, but I expect the hometown hope to defend his own serve well and make the most of the few chances he will get on Karlovic’s serve. This will be entertaining if nothing else. Prediction: Murray in 4 sets.
(13) Aga Radwanska vs. (30) Jelena Jankovic
Head to Head- Radwanska leads 4-2- This match is 2nd on Court 3 and will be one of several matches on the outer courts throughout the day on ESPN2.
Upsets have made the ladies draw ridiculously top heavy. The 8 ladies remaining in the top half have a combined total of 34 major titles to their names, the 8 players in the bottom half? Zero major titles. However, this battle of veterans features 2 of the best defensive minded players on the planet. Both have held runner-up trophies at majors before, expect long rallies. Radwanska is fresher and more comfortable on grass. I actually like Radwanska to reach the final from this half. Jankovic has had a nice run, but it come to an end here. Prediction: Radwanska in 2 sets.
You may have figured out from reading this, that TV coverage is unique tomorrow. ESPN will exclusively cover the 3 Centre Court matches starting at 8 a.m. ESPN2 will cover all other courts starting a half hour earlier. Matches on the outer courts will feature Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic, as well as young Americans Coco Vendewehge and Madison Keys. Tomorrow is arguably the best day of the tennis year, tune in or use your DVR to find out why.