2010 Wimbledon – Nick’s Picks – Women’s Singles Round 2
Venus Williams (USA) vs. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)
It took Venus only 64 minutes to beat Rossana De Los Rios in the first round. The elder Williams is looking for her sixth career Wimbledon title and her third in the last four years. Is there anyone out there that can beat her? Maybe Serena? Only time will tell.
Makarova is playing in her third Wimbledon and is looking to get past the second round for the first time. She’s been to the quarterfinals twice in doubles, but never past this point in singles. Despite that, she just won the title, on grass at Eastbourne, as a qualifier, beating Pennetta, Petrova, Kuznetsova, Stosur and Azarenka!! Talk about the run of a lifetime!
This is the first career meeting between the 22-year old Makarova in the 30-year old Williams. Makarova comes into the tournament riding a massive hot streak and with that confidence she will be ready to fight. Having said that, beating Venus on grass is next to impossible. She takes the ball early, controls the points with her serve and forehand and her wingspan at the net is extremely intimidating. I know that Makarova is playing well and may test Venus, but I cannot pick against her.
Nick’s Pick – V. Williams in 2 sets
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) vs. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL)
Flipkens beat Stephanie Dubois in the first round and is looking to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the third time in her career. She played at ‘s-Hertogenbosch last week on grass and reached the semis before falling to Andrea Petkovic in three sets.
Wickmayer comes into the tournament ranked #18 in the world and fresh off of a first-round loss at Eastbourne to fellow Belgian, Kim Clijsters. This is actually the first time that Wickmayer has been past the opening round at Wimbledon, but she has the goods to make a deep run.
Wickmayer is 1-0 against Flipkens with that win coming last year on the hard court of Luxembourg. These two know each other extremely well. Not only are they both from Belgium, but they are playing doubles together in this tournament! Flipkens is only 5’5”, but she moves extremely well making her opponents hit an extra shot or two. Wickmayer will go for her shots more than Flipkens. She plays extremely offensive, has big groundstrokes and should fare well on the grass. Look for a competitive match, but for Wickmayer to advance.
Nick’s Pick – Wickmayer in 2 sets
Anastasia Rodionova (AUS) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
Rodionova downed British hope Anne Keothavong in three sets in the first round to advance to the second round of Wimbledon for the second time in her career. She is a good doubles player, having reached the quarters here before, but has never been past the third round of any Grand Slam.
Kuznetsova dropped like a rock in the rankings after she failed to defend her French Open title and is down to #19 in the world. She hasn’t been this low in years! She’s a three-time quarterfinalist at Wimbledon, and it will be interesting to see if she can replicate those results.
Kuznetsova is 4-0 against Rodionova, including a win over her earlier this year at the Australian Open. I am interested in this match to see how Kuznetsova plays. She made an early exit at the French Open and has definitely had a disappointing year, posting a 12-11 record. We all know what she is capable of doing, but is she ready mentally and physically. Rodionova certainly doesn’t have the weapons to beat Kuznetsova when both are playing at their best, but Kuznetsova is vulnerable right now and if she shows any negative signs she could be in trouble. I look for Kuznetsova to advance, but keep an eye on her emotions.
Nick’s Pick – Kuznetsova in 2 sets
Serena Williams (USA) vs. Anna Chakvetadze (RUS)
Serena looked fantastic in her opening round win over Larcher de Brito and served notice that she is here to win! She was disappointed with her quarterfinal loss at the French Open and she is on a mission to avenge that defeat. Right now, she is the favorite in my mind.
Chakvetadze is a former top-ten player but comes into the tournament now ranked #118 in the world. She played at Birmingham and Eastbourne on grass before Wimbledon, reaching the third round at Birmingham and failing to qualify at Eastbourne.
Chakvetadze is 1-0 against Serena, but the two haven’t played since the end of 2007. I was very impressed by Serena in her opening match, and I am keen on watching to see if she can repeat a performance of that quality. Chakvetadze has solid groundies but can’t do anything to hurt Williams. If this match were a couple of years ago it would have been in the fourth round, but Chakvetadze isn’t that player anymore and Serena has just gotten better. Look for Serena to advance.
Nick’s Pick – S. Williams in 2 sets