By Jake Davies

  • Jelena Ostapenko [12] vs Kirsten Flipkens
  • Angelique Kerber [11] vs Claire Liu [WC]
  • Bernard Tomic vs Kei Nishikori [24]
WIMBLEDON, UNITED KINGDOM – Our matches to look out for on Day 4 of Wimbledon feature  2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko, and former World No.1 Angelique Kerber.

 

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Jelena Ostapenko [12] vs Kirsten Flipkens H2H: Flipkens leads 2-0

The 2017 Roland Garros winner Jelena Ostapenko was taking to the limit in her opening round match against British wildcard Katy Dunne and required a dramatic finish to a second set tiebreak to get the win. The Latvian, who came to prominence during the clay-court season last year, has always played very well on the grass.

A Wimbledon juniors champion and a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon last year, Ostapenko is looking to use some of the experience she gained to win her maiden grand slam as she pushes towards making the 3rd round once again. It will not be easy, though, as she faces Kirsten Flipkens in the second round.

Flipkens nearly dropped outside of the World’s Top 100 this time last year, but put together a stellar start to this year’s grass court season when she made the final of s-Hertogenbosch and actually holds a 5-1 record on the grass this season.

The Belgian’s game suits the grass immensely. She can cut through the grass with her low-bouncing, knifed backhand slice, which she utilises 90% of the time and has the all-court game and court skills to not only win points from the baseline, but also to thrive in the forecourt.

Her game has much more layers than Ostapenko’s, who solely relies on a single approach and a single game-plan of hitting the ball as hard and aggressive as she can, but the question is whether she plays with enough contained aggression to blast past a former Wimbledon semi-finalist in Flipkens.

Prediction: Ostapenko in straight sets.

 

 

Angelique Kerber [11] vs Claire Liu [Q] H2H: First meeting

Angelique Kerber in the third round of the Nature Valley International, WTA Eastbourne 2018

Angelique Kerber in the third round of the Nature Valley International, WTA Eastbourne 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

The second of our three-to-see sees double Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber take on the promising rising star Claire Liu. Liu was a fantastic junior, a Grand Slam champion at Wimbledon and a World No.1 junior, but she is still developing her game and trying to transfer the confidence of her juniors results onto the main tour.

Kerber comes into this year’s Wimbledon with a lot of confidence and with a lot of belief in the process she finds herself in with new coach Wim Fissette. The results have been there and so has the fighting spirit on court and a semi-final showing in Eastbourne sets her up for a successful campaign in Wimbledon. The self-belief really seemed to evaporate from her game when she became the World No.1, but the German seems to thrive when chasing the rest of the field and the upturn in her results seems to show that.

Kerber may have too much for the rising 18-year-old. Sometimes when a former champion returns to a tournament where they achieved their best success they can play above their usual level, but Liu will have to play her best tennis to stand a chance and her forehand side can break down under pressure, which Kerber really should notice in the first couple of games of this encounter.

Prediction: Kerber in straight sets.

 

 

Bernard Tomic vs Kei Nishikori [24] H2H: Tied at 2-2

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The pick of the ATP matches for Day 4 of Wimbledon is the match featuring Bernard Tomic and Kei Nishikori. Tomic has been front and centre in the news in recent years, but mainly for the wrong reasons as he focus has deviated away from the tennis court, but when he puts his mind to it he has a fantastic game for a grass court. Nishikori has never really had the same success at Wimbledon as he has at the other majors, which is what makes this clash that much more appealing.

The Australian has been on the decline for quite some time before a few good results in the lead-up to Wimbledon, but with a backhand slice capable of disrupting the rhythm of any opponent on a grass court and the experience of being in the 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finals, if Tomic really wants it bad enough he could cause a real upset in this match-up.

Prediction: Tomic in four sets

 

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