The first five days of Wimbledon are in the books, and there’ve been no shortage of surprises. Today, we saw Venus Williams ousted by Kiki Bertens, and Madison Keys fall to Evgeniya Rodina. Venus and Madison are just two more players joining this year’s early exit of seeded players, with more than 10 now out. Let’s not ask Caroline Wozniacki to weigh in on this topic! The men’s side isn’t fairing much better with an unprecedented amount of seeds leaving in the early rounds. Gone are Grigor Dimitrov, Dominic Thiem, Sam Querrey and Marin Cilic. Not surprising, odd-on favorite Roger Federer has found little resistance on his way to his ninth Wimbledon title. Day 6 has some interesting match-ups, and here’s a look at three matches you shouldn’t miss.
Will Kei Nishikori Make It to the Fourth Round?
He’s never made it past the third round at Wimbledon, but this might just be the year we see Kei Nishikori break that barrier. Nick Kyrgios’ fast-playing, big serve game hasn’t proved a challenge for Nishikori yet. In three meetings, Kei Nishikori has always left the victor. The Kyrgios serve won’t stop Kei from getting into every point and he’ll put more balls back in play making Kyrgios uncomfortable and looking to end the point. Kei’s unyielding backhand is much more reliable than Kyrgios’ – a strong advantage in backhand to backhand exchanges. What the #1 Australian lacks in finesse he makes up for in creativity. Yet, consistency has never been his strong-suit and against a player whose groundstrokes don’t break down, Nishikori has the advantage. The mercurial Kyrgios will need the level of focus which seems to come so easily to Kei. It may take five sets, but Kei should prevail in their fourth meeting.
Kyle Edmund versus Novak Djokovic
With Djokovic’s game returning to top form, you’d think tomorrow’s match should be an easy win. But, Kyle Edmund is proving to be anything but easy. Now British #1 men’s player, a result of Andy Murray’s long recuperation following hip surgery, Edmund has demonstrated drive and tenacity. Edmund will enter the court with believe – he’s proved he’s a worthy opponent taking out Djokovic in the second round of the Madrid Open in May. Making improvements to his game, Edmund has been playing the best tennis of his career. But can Edmund execute in the biggest moments? We all know that Djokovic can, and that make be the biggest factor in what will most likely be a Djokovic win in four sets.
Daria Kasatkina versus Ashleigh Barty
Russian rising star Daria Kasatkina won’t find an easy day on the court when she meets Australian Ashleigh Barty. Barty will come into the match well-rested after doubles partner Coco Vandeweghe sustained an ankle injury in her first-round singles match, forcing this successful doubles pair to withdraw. Barty’s heavy topspin and natural power will be Kasatkina’s problem to solve. But, solving problems is what she does best. Able to exploit her opponent’s weaknesses, Daria can craft shots designed to thwart any challenger. It won’t be an easy match on her way to the fourth round, but Kasatkina should win this one in straight sets.