2009 Wimbledon – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Round 2
Every day throughout Wimbledon Nick’s Picks will bring you the latest analysis and predictions. We are also teaming up with The Independent Newspaper in London to cover the event. For the first week, we are coming to you live from Wimbledon so be sure to check our twitter page for information!
Dinara Safina (RUS) vs. Rossana De Los Rios (PAR)
Safina moved through the first round, but it wasn’t as easy as I am sure she would have liked. Nonetheless, winning your first round match is sometimes one of the most difficult things to do. Now that she has that out of the way, she can focus on the task at hand which is winning her maiden Grand Slam title.
De Los Rios defeated NBTA student Nicole Vaidisova in three sets in the first round. She has never been past the second round of Wimbledon, but did reach the fourth round of the French Open previously. She comes in ranked #100 in the world, but was as high as #51.
Safina is 1-0 against De Los Rios, but that match came all the way back in 2003 when Safina was only 17 years old. Six years later, Safina is the #1 player in the world and is still looking for her first Grand Slam title. There may be no one on the WTA tour that is in better shape than Safina physically. She needs to believe in her head that she is the #1 player in the world and that will really help her. She is as strong as anybody, hits her groundstrokes as well as anybody and moves as well as anybody. Once she believes in herself 100%, watch out! De Los Rios moves great around the court and has solid groundstrokes from both sides, but nothing spectacular. I look for Safina to advance and hopefully she will also demonstrate what it takes to win a Grand Slam title!
Nick’s Pick – Safina in 2 sets
Sabine Lisicki (GER) vs. Patricia Mayr (AUT)
Safina picked up a big win in the first round over 32nd seeded Anna Chakvetadze. Lisicki won 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 and is into the second round of Wimbledon for the first time in her young career. The 19-year old Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy student is one of the bright up-and-coming stars on the tour and you should definitely get out and watch her!
Mayr took down the top British woman, Anne Keothavong, in straight sets in the first round. She is making her inaugural appearance at Wimbledon and comes in ranked #80 in the world. A win here would put her in the second round of a Grand Slam for only the second time in her career.
This is the first career meeting between Mayr and Lisicki. Mayr has solid groundstrokes from both sides and hits the backhand quite flat. She has a very good forehand, but overall she lacks consistency. Lisicki plays a very big game. She has a huge serve and killer forehand. Sometimes, when she gets excited, she tends to over-hit her shots on both sides and commits to many errors. If her first serve is on, she will win without a doubt. If she struggles serving and starts feeling the pressure with her groundies she could be in trouble. I love working with Sabine at the Academy because she has a great attitude every day and her father/coach is such a great guy who is very open to advice and working with us. I look for Sabine to advance, but this could go three.
Nick’s Pick – Lisicki in 3 sets
Nadia Petrova (RUS) vs. Shahar Peer (ISR)
Petrova needed just 46 minutes to dispense of Anastasia Yakimova in the first round. Petrova won 6-1, 6-1 and broke Yakimova six times in seven chances. She is a two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist and I think she can get back there again this year.
Peer defeated Maria Elena Camerin 6-2, 7-6(3), and is looking to get back to the fourth round of Wimbledon for the second consecutive year. Her ranking has fallen down to #55 in the world, 40 spots lower than her career high of #15 (which came back in 2007).
Petrova in 3-0 against Peer and actually beat her on grass last year at Eastbourne. Both of these girls are extremely competitive and fight for every point. Petrova has a big game, she’s a veteran, and she understands what it takes to win. Peer was once thought of as a one of the best up-and-comers in the world, but she has definitely fallen short of those expectations. She needs a big tournament to regain her confidence, and there is no better time than now. Both girls are disciplined, but I feel Petrova is a bit more consistent and has too much firepower for Peer. Petrova’s ability to hit penetrating balls constantly will be the difference in this match.
Nick’s Pick – Petrova in 3 sets
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) vs. Urszula Radwanska (POL)
Cibulkova comes in ranked a career high of #13 in the world after a great run to the semifinals of the French Open. This is only her second appearance at Wimbledon, having never gotten past the first round previously. She defeated Julie Coin in the first round in a tough three setter and she is going to need more than 15 winners to beat Radwanska.
Many people know Urszula’s older sister, Agnieszka, but the younger Radwanska is making a name for herself as well. At the age of 18, she is one of the younger players ranked in the top 100 and checks in at a career high of #71 in the world. A win here would put her in the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career.
This is the first career meeting between these two youngsters and promises to be an exciting one. Standing at only 5’3”, Cibulkova is a little spit-fire out on the course. She moves exceptionally well and gets a lot of power from such a small frame. She is brimming with confidence after the French Open and seems to be really coming into her own. Radwanska plays aggressive tennis and is not afraid to put pressure on her opponent. She is still young and has to learn what it takes to win consistently on the tour. I think she could win this match, but I give the edge to Cibulkova because of her experience and her confidence.
Nick’s Pick – Cibulkova in 3 sets