Wimbledon Ladies' Singles - round 4 Preview
So we've reached the 4th round of the 2015 Ladies singles draw, play will resume on Monday after the traditional Sunday off for everyone.
Top of the shop sees the match up between Serena Williams (1/5) and Venus Williams (7/2), plenty of H2H action to look at going back unbelievably to a couple of meetings in 1998, strangely more recent encounters are much fewer in number, mainly due to injuries which forced Venus out of the game for while. Whilst Venus has gone quietly through the opening week not losing a set, Serena had a big scare against the British number 1 Heather Watson in round 3 finally coming through 7-5 in the final set. Whilst Serena should have too much for her older sibling I can see Venus taking a set here with Serena winning 2-1 (10/3).
Completing the first quarter 2 time Wimbledon semi finalist Victoria Azarenka (4/11) takes on the Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic (21/20), whilst Azarenka has come through 3 matches without dropping a set, Bencic has had a somewhat more difficult route through to round 4. Bencic is definitely one for the future, but Azarenka looks just too strong at this stage of her career and I take her to win in straight sets (Evens)
Russian Maria Sharapova (1/12) takes on unseeded Zarina Diyas (13/2). Sharapova has plenty of pedigree here at Wimbledon being a former winner, and whilst Diyas also reached this stage in 2014 there only previous meeting ended up in victory for Sharapova at this years Australian Open for the loss of only 2 games - hand on heart cant really see much beyond another easy victory for the Russian player.
Completing the top half of the draw French Open finalist Lucie Safarova (4/7) takes on American Coco Vandeweghe (13/10). Safarova reached the semi finals here in 2014, and whilst Vandeweghe did win a tournament of Grass in 2014 her record at Wimbledon reads only 1 main draw victory in 4 attempts prior to this year, although she has been handed some tough looking draws in the past. The 4/7 on the Czech player certainly looks appealing here and is the play in the top half of the draw.
With both the 2nd seeded Petra Kvitova and 3rd seeded Simona Halep failing to reach the second week the bottom half of the draw has opened up significantly - but who can take the final spot from this half of the draw?
Opening match features the former world number 1 Caroline Wozniacki (4/7) who takes on Garbine Muguruza (11/8). History suggests this is as far as the Dane will go (she has fallen at this stage on 4 previous occasions), and whilst she has one previous victory in a grass court tournament it was some 6 years ago. The Spaniards record here is nothing to shout about either, but a 2-1 lead H2H tips the balance in her favour and at the prices i think she is the play here, albeit in a tight encounter.
Timea Bacsinszky (2/7) takes on Monica Niculescu (13/5) in the next match with Niculescu holding a 4-1 H2H lead, although their last encounter was in 2011 and since then their rankings have gone in significantly different directions. Neither player has much history here, but the fact that Bacsinszky had to come through the qualifying draw here last year shows just how much she has improved in the last 12 months to be seeded 15 here, and that fact alone gives her my vote in this encounter.
American 21st seed Madison Keys (1/4) takes on unseeded Olga Govortsova (3/1). In my mind Keys is a Wimbledon winner in the making, her game seemingly made for the grass courts. Her form however this year has been a little disappointing following her semi final appearance in the Australian Open but she will have too much for the player from Belarus who has done extremely will to reach this stage. A straight sets victory for Keys (4/6) looks a solid play here.
Final match features another former world number 1 in Jelena Jankovic who put out number 2 seeded Petra Kvitova in the third round. Jankovic (6/4) takes on the solid Polish player Agnieszka Radwanska (1/2) who herself went as high as world number 3. Plenty of H2H matches to consider here with Radwanska leading this particular statistic 5-2, however Jankovic won their last encounter and although she blows very hot and cold seemingly from match to match I can see her prevailing here at the quoted prices.
Follow all the action here at William Hill In Play from Monday lunchtime.