Panelists Predictions Wimbledon Women’s Day 3 Matches–Including Azarenka vs Vesnina

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For Day 3 of 2017 Wimbledon, our panelists are here to predict five of the best matches on the women’s tour. Today’s panelists are writers Finn Ranson, Brett Margolies, and Vithun Illankovan.

Panelists Predictions Wimbledon Women’s Day 3 Matches

Jelena Ostapenko vs Francoise Abanda

Finn:
Ostapenko had to dig deep in her first round match against Sasnovich, but then fighting spirit makes up the bedrock of her game, as we all saw in the French Open final. Abanda is cut from the same cloth, a grafter through and through, but she lacks the firepower to really trouble Ostapenko. Her forehand in particular has a tendency to pop up rather than penetrate through the SW19 grass – fine against the diminutive Nara, but surely a crucial vulnerability against the hyper-aggressive Latvian whose forehand, by contrast, boasted greater velocity on average than Andy Murray’s throughout Roland Garros.
Prediction: Ostapenko in 2

Brett:
After splitting the first two sets in her opening match, Jelena Ostapenko returned to the form that helped her win the French Open. She’ll have to show more consistency to beat the young Canadian who looked impressive in her win over Kurumi Nara. I like Abanda to pull off the upset and advance to the 3rd round of a slam for the first time in her young career.
Prediction: Abanda in 3

Vithun:
I think Ostapenko will be able to cope better with winning her maiden Slam win at the French Open than Li Na and Gabrine Muguruza were because there seems to less pressure. There may to be less attention due to randomness of her win, like with Francesca Schiavone’s 2010 and because I don’t think she is as marketable as Li or Muguruza. I don’t think Abanda is a player with a significant skill-set and I think Ostapenko should overcome her.
Prediction: Ostapenko in 2

Johanna Konta vs Donna Vekic

Finn:
Whilst Konta’s chances at Wimbledon are being immensely overstated, there seems to be little reason to think she will fall foul of an upset here. Vekic may have defeated her in the final of Nottingham, but Konta has since had a thoroughly impressive run on the grass of her hometown and a scalp over Angelique Kerber. Her health also does not seem to be a concern; indeed, I would be inclined to think that the gloomy rhetoric surrounding her fall was simply a coping mechanism ahead of the Wimbledon pressure cooker. Although a little mechanical on the surface as John McEnroe has observed, the weight behind Konta’s ground strokes coupled with her fantastic knee-bend (not far from Radwanska’s distinctive habit of hitting on her haunches, which has certainly served her well over the years) puts her in good stead on grass. Vekic will test the Briton’s movement, not afraid to vary the pace and throw in drop shots, but there will be no repeat of the Nottingham final.
Prediction: Konta in 2

Brett:
After the scary fall in Eastbourne I wasn’t sure what to expect from Konta on the opening day of Wimbledon. Her 6-2 6-2 win showed that she’s a real contender to win her home slam and looked good physically.
Prediction: Konta in 2

Vithun:
In a rematch of the Nottingham final, I believe Konta will learn from her mistakes and for the second match in a row get revenge on an opponent for a recent defeat.
Prediction: Konta in 2

Heather Watson vs Anastasija Sevastova

Finn:
The Watson renaissance is on. Tidy, composed tennis took her to the semi finals of Eastbourne, and although Sevastova took the title at Mallorca, there is little semblance between the baked Spanish grass and the soft turf of SW19. But then Sevastova has had a quietly impressive season, and is exactly the kind of player – imbued with self-assurance – that could overcome the partisanship of the British crowd and the wave of momentum that carries Watson at the moment. Tight, but dogged determination and hustle will be conquered by savviness.
Prediction: Sevastova in 3

Brett:
Heather Watson continued her form from Eastbourne in a straight set victory in the 1st round. I like her chances to get past Sevastova and advance to the 3rd round after an early exit last year.
Prediction: Watson in 2

Vithun:
Sevastova is probably the most unknown Top 20 player in the history of tennis. I believe she is the type of player that will struggle to cope with a hyped crowd against her. Watson plays her best in England and if this match is on a big court I think she can pull off the upset.
Prediction: Watson in 3

Ana Konjuh vs Irina-Camelia Begu

Finn:
Begu is far more comfortable on a clay court, and she looked less than convincing against a misfiring Broady. Konjuh is hardly the epitome of consistency either, but Begu’s impotent groundstrokes will give the young Croat ample time to manoeuvre onto her forehand and dictate play. Konjuh’s terrifically powerful baseline game will come to the fore in this match, and it may even serve as a statement of the threat she poses this fortnight.
Prediction: Konjuh in 2

Brett:
I was surprised how well Begu played today against Naomi Broady in her 6-4 6-2 win. Look for Konjuh to make Begu play a little more and get through relatively easy.
Prediction: Konjuh in 2

Vithun:
After Konjuh’s impressive win over Lisicki, I believe she will be fine against Begu who is much more comfortable on the clay than grass. Having said that, Konjuh can be erratic and this could go the distance.
Prediction: Konjuh in 3

Elena Vesnina vs Victoria Azarenka

Finn:
Across seven meetings, Azarenka is yet to drop a set against Elena Vesnina. Although Wednesday’s meeting takes place in unique circumstances, Wimbledon being just the Belarusian’s second tournament back after giving birth, this surely will be a statistic both will be conscious of. Azarenka enters with the psychological edge, and her imperious accuracy off both flanks against Bellis in Round One would suggest that her time out of the game has had few negative repercussions for her technique. It is also worth noting that since winning Indian Wells, Vesnina has suffered first round exits at Miami, Charleston, Madrid and the Italian Open. She is not a woman in good form. Nevertheless, Vesnina’s doubles pedigree arguably makes her a natural fit for the grass, and her net play will upset the rhythm of Azarenka’s baseline game. Whether Azarenka will be ruthless in closing out a meeting like this with her lack of match practice is also equivocal. It won’t be straightforward.
Prediction: Azarenka in 3

Brett:
Victoria Azarenka struggled in the early stages against Cici Bellis. The way she played the last two sets would lead you to believe that maybe the rust will be gone against Vesnina. Vesnina did make the semifinals at Wimbledon last year but I still like Azarenka in a close match.
Prediction: Azarenka in 3

Vithun:
I really don’t rate Vesnina’s recent successes – they have been more of a right place, right time scenarios than her actually being good. Azarenka holds a 7-0 head-to-head record and her superior star power alone should see her through this match.
Prediction: Azarenka in 2

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