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  • Naomi Broady [WC] v Garbiñe Muguruza [3]
  • Gabriella Taylor [WC] v Eugenie Bouchard [Q]
  • Katie Boulter [WC} v Veronica Cepede Royg
  • Jay Clarke [WC] v Ernests Gulbis [Q]
  • Katy Dunne [WC] v Jelena Ostapenko [15]
WIMBLEDON, UK – The curse of the British wild-cards seems to have reared its head quite spectacularly as Naomi Broady kicks off Tuesday’s action against defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza.

 

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Naomi Broady [WC] v Garbiñe Muguruza [3] | H2H: Muguruza leads 1-0

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Defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza looks calm and relaxed as she approaches her second Slam defence in her short career. Preferring to view it as a chance to win a third title, as opposed to defending her current one, she seems serene enough to pull off a solid win.

It has been seven long years since the pair have met, their only other meeting coming in a $25K lower tier event in Wrexham. Since then it is fair to say they have had differing fortunes, but the heavy serving and solid groundstrokes of Broady could still potentially do some damage.

However, Muguruza is a big-occasion player and the opportunity to strike hard and fast as she walks out on centre court to start her title defence will be as much a weapon as her own style of play.

Broady might be able to stay with her, but experience will be key.

Prediction: Muguruza in straight sets.

 

Gabriella Taylor [WC] v Eugenie Bouchard [Q]

Gabriella Taylor in the qualifying rounds at Eastbourne, 2017

Gabriella Taylor in the qualifying rounds at Eastbourne, 2017 | (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for LTA)

Considered by some as the next best player between the established few, Gabriella Taylor has a great chance to cause an upset. She is not averse to turning the tables – she beat Heather Watson at the start of the ITF grass court season in Surbiton, and while she could not get much traction on the WTA tour level tournaments, she picked up some good match-play at the lower tier.

Eugenie Bouchard’s fall from grace has hardly been met with much angst or wailing as her ranking plummeted and the former finalist found herself having to play through Wimbledon qualifying. She did but was cool and distant with media throughout, which will hardly garner her any more fans.

If any of the current crop of Brits could tip the balance, it ought to be Taylor, and she might have to play the tennis of her life to do it, but many think she is good for at least one round to her name.

 

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Wimbledon 2018 | Konta and Watson have tricky openers as they start their SW19

 

Katie Boulter [WC] v Veronica Cepede Royg | H2H: Boulter leads 1-0

Katie Boulter in the quarter-final of the Nature Valley Open, WTA Nottingham 2018

Katie Boulter in the quarter-final of the Nature Valley Open, WTA Nottingham 2018 | (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images for LTA)

Katie Boulter has been enjoying some main draw attention in the warm-up events and has a level head about her. She has been part of the Team GB Fed Cup set up and has said that she draws her inspiration from having been around Johanna Konta and Watson.

Certainly, her grass court credentials might stand her in a little more stead than for Veronica Cepede Royg who has struggled for match wins this year.

Prediction: Boulter in three sets.

 

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Wimbledon 2018 | Edmund opens against tricky lefty qualifier Alex Bolt

 

 

Jay Clarke [WC] v Ernests Gulbis [Q]

Jay Clarke in the Nature Valley Open, ATP Challenger Nottingham 2018

Jay Clarke in the Nature Valley Open, ATP Challenger Nottingham 2018 | (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Although tour veteran Ernests Gulbis played his wat through qualifying to reach the Wimbledon main draw, Clarke has been putting in the time on the turf, from the Surbiton Challenger to Eastbourne, where he came through qualifying, losing out to his Wimbledon doubles partner Cameron Norrie in the first round.

Another hard worker, he should be one to watch in the coming years, but Gulbis’ experience will most likely carry him through this one.

Prediction: Gulbis in straight sets.

 

Katy Dunne [WC] v Jelena Ostapenko [15]

Katy Dunne Nottingham, United Kingdom

Photo by Matt West/BPI/REX/Shutterstock | Katy Dunne

In an encounter to be scheduled at some stage on Tuesday, deposed former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko will take in the last of the British wild-cards, Katy Dunne.

The Latvian delayed her stint on grass in the warm-up to Wimbledon by only competing at Eastbourne. She picked up a couple of wins before bowing out to the returning Agnieszka Radwanska, but she showed last year her Grand Slam win was not a flash in the pan as she progressed to the Wimbledon quarter-final for the first time.

Once more, experience on the big stage will most likely shorten the experience for Katy Dunne.

Prediction: Ostapenko in straight sets.

Play continues on Day Two of Wimbledon 2018, starting at 11:30am on all courts except Centre Court & No. 1 Court, which starts at 1pm (all times BST).

 

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