Wimbledon 2017 – Three to See on Day 1

 

By Jake Davies

  • Venus Williams [10] vs Elise Mertens
  • Simona Halep [2] vs Marina Erakovic
  • Jerzy Janowicz vs Denis Shapovalov [WC]
WIMBLEDON,UK – Day One of Wimbledon sees Venus Williams, Simona Halep and Jerzy Janowicz star in our three matches to see on Day 1 of the event.

 

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Venus Williams [10] vs Elise Mertens H2H: Williams leads 1-0

The five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams opens her account against Belgium’s Elise Mertens on Day 1 of Wimbledon 2017. It is surprising to many that these two have already met at a major where the more experienced Williams won straightforwardly in a straight-sets win at the French Open this year, but I think Mertens has the game to really trouble one of the all-time greats on this surface.

Williams’ year has been nothing short of breathtaking. Not only is she competitive in the twilight of her career, but she is also still making Grand Slam finals in singles. Mertens, who is still only 21-years-old, won her maiden WTA title in Hobart earlier this year on the hard courts, where she has found her greater success, but I think her game can excel on the grass as well. Her forehand has the potential to be a very good weapon that can win her matches in years to come, but the real question mark is whether her backhand can hold up under pressure. It does tend to break down, especially on the quicker surfaces.

One of the most important aspects of playing on the grass is having the ability to get a lot out of the serve. Winning cheap points and inflicting more pressure on the opponent, which is what Mertens can do. But can she bring her best game on a big show court against someone as good as Venus Williams? It will be a fascinating watch.

Prediction: Mertens in three sets

 

Simona Halep [2] vs Marina Erakovic H2H: Halep leads 1-0

Understandably, Simona Halep may not be in the best headspace right now after losing the Roland Garros final for the second time in her career from a set and a break up no less, but now it is all about reseting ready for the third major of the year. Halep starts her quest for that elusive slam by facing New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic in the first round. Erakovic has gone as far as the third round at Wimbledon on three occasions and you can see why her best results often come on grass. She possesses a big serve backed up with a devastating forehand to follow, but her issue is maintaining the solidity of the serve and forehand when she is under pressure. Regularly when Erakovic feels the pressure, her serve completely falls apart.

Prediction: Halep in two sets.

 

Jerzy Janowicz vs Denis Shapovalov [WC] H2H: First meeting

This is a tremendous first round encounter to really keep an eye on. A former Wimbledon semi-finalist against last year’s Wimbledon juniors winner as Jerzy Janowicz faces Denis Shapovalov. After Janowicz breakthrough tournament in the Paris Masters in 2012, where he made the final, losing to David Ferrer, many felt that the big-serving Pole would go on to be a regular presence in the Top 10, because of how dangerous his game can be on a fast surface. An accumulation of nasty injuries and not enough dedication has really curtailed any progress, but Janowicz will be hoping he can win his first Grand Slam match for two years against the talented Shapovalov.

I think this match may have many changes in momentum, but I still think Shapovalov may struggle in a Best-of-Five format, which is a format that the Canadian is still trying to learn and get used to.

Prediction: Janowicz in four sets.

 

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