Wimbledon 2017 Day 3 – Three to See

 

By Jake Davies

  • Elena Vesnina [15] vs Victoria Azarenka
  • Donald Young vs Rafael Nadal [4]
  • Camila Giorgi vs Madison Keys [17]
LONDON, UK – The ladies lead the way for today’s Three-to-See as Victoria Azarenka leads our pick of the best of the rest of the matches on Day Three of Wimbledon 2017.

 

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Elena Vesnina [15] vs Victoria Azarenka H2H: Azarenka leads 7-0

The first of our matches to watch on Day 3 of Wimbledon features the two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka and a former semi-finalist at Wimbledon in Elena Vesnina. It is an interesting match-up in truth as Vesnina really brings her A game to the grass courts and has had some of her best wins on this surface. She has outstanding volleying skills around the net, but she can also operate from around the baseline, too.

Azarenka’s comeback did not start particularly well, but many feel that those experiences in Mallorca, where she was far from her best, could set her up nicely for a decent tournament at SW19 and more importantly for the upcoming hardcourt swing, which is obviously the priority.

I think the former World No.1 Azarenka will get through this match in straight sets. She is one of the best players at sensing the danger and moving forward from the baseline into the forecourt to finish with the drive volley and she almost makes her opponent feel like they have no time on the court to prepare for their shots. That is why the Belarusian is a very difficult opponent to overcome when her game is clicking. The only question mark is her serve. It has changed significantly since we last saw her on tour and it still can be a weakness during the big moments in matches.

Azarenka leads the head-to-head 7-0 and has never dropped a single set to Vesnina in previous match-ups.

Prediction: Azarenka in two sets

 

Rafael Nadal [4] vs Donald Young H2H: Nadal leads 2-0

Rafael Nadal displayed some of his best stuff in the first round match against John Millman. His forehand was at its spectacular best and he was covering the court with considerable ease, which is the one thing that many people were looking out for upon his return to Wimbledon. Would Nadal be able to master the different footwork required on a grass court in comparison to his beloved clay and could his knees respond well to the physical demands on grass? He answered some of those questions in his first round, but sterner challenges will lie ahead for the Spaniard over the course of the two weeks in London.

Donald Young is his next opponent, who is playing some rejuvenated, inspired tennis after a considerable dip following a successful juniors career. He made the quarter-finals in Queen’s and in Eastbourne, so he really is one of the form players. The issue is that he does not tend to play well against fellow left-handed players.

The problem with playing Nadal is that players really have to adjust their game in order to adapt to the challenge. That requires players like Young going out of their comfort zone just to try to do well on the day. In most circumstances, Young would choose to look for his forehand down the line shot with regularity, but against Nadal, he will be playing into his stable, secure backhand shot. Nadal is naturally a right-handed player, so he really does take advantage of that when letting rip on the backhand side.

Prediction: Nadal in four sets

 

Camila Giorgi vs Madison Keys [17] H2H: Keys leads 2-1

In a battle of the hard-hitters, Italy’s Camila Giorgi will try to keep up her surprising run of good form when she plays Madison Keys in the second round. Keys leads the head-to-head 2-1, but one of the American’s toughest losses came at the hands of Giorgi at Fed Cup in 2014. Keys is a much different player since then, while Giorgi seems to have been the same player ever since she turned pro in 2006.

This one is very hard to call. Giorgi made the quarter-finals in Birmingham at the Aegon Classic, but she really is the most unpredictable player on tour. Keys normally would be the heavy favourite, but she has only just returned from second wrist surgery, so it is difficult to see Keys making a real impression or statement of intent at Wimbledon this year.

Prediction: Giorgi in three sets

Play begins on the outer courts at 11:30 and on Centre & No. 1 Courts at 1pm, all times BST.

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