By Jake Davies

  • Novak Djokovic [12] vs Karen Khachanov
  • Angelique Kerber [11] vs Belinda Bencic
  • Julia Goerges [13] vs Donna Vekic
WIMBLEDON, UNITED KINGDOM – The second week of the 2018 Wimbledon is here and we run down the matches to look out for on a jammed schedule of fourth round action.

 

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Novak Djokovic [12] vs Karen Khachanov H2H: First meeting

After knocking the last British hope Kyle Edmund out of Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic now looks ahead to what could be a very successful Wimbledon for him. He is once again in and amongst the top players in the world, touching shoulders with the players he competed against for the best prizes for so many years, and although there are still some concerning signs of stress and frustration in the heat of the battle, Djokovic’s strength of character and resilience are two characteristics that are shining through in his latest comeback as he tries to get back to the very top of the rankings.

The Serbian now faces a hard-hitter and a risk-taker in Karen Khachanov, who will leave no stone unturned when the two meet in the fourth round. It is a first Wimbledon fourth round for the Russian, who has been touted by many for big things in this sport, but he will have to play with patience and play with a certain amount of maturity when he comes up against one of the best defenders and one of the best movers of a tennis court.

I think Djokovic is far from being at his peak, but his tennis is getting gradually better and it is moving in the right direction. This felt the same at the French Open and then he suddenly lost to Italy’s Marco Cecchinato in dramatic fashion in the quarter-finals, but I think that Djokovic will have too much consistency and will frustrate Khachanov in the amount of his returns he will get into play on the day.

Prediction: Djokovic in four sets.

 

Angelique Kerber [11] vs Belinda Bencic H2H: Bencic leads 3-0

Angelique Kerber in the second round of Wimbledon 2018

Angelique Kerber in the second round of Wimbledon 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

The former World No.1 and double Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber bids for a place in the quarter-finals as she collides with Belinda Bencic. Kerber was excellent in her straight sets win over Naomi Osaka in the third round and really reminded the tennis world that she can play on the grass and that she can also play with enough aggression to really capitalise on the speed of the surface. Not only is she a fantastic defender of the court and of the baseline, but she can redirect and absorb the pace with such effortlessness.

Bencic will be a tough nut to crack in the fourth round. The Swiss has really had such a torrid time when it comes to injuries, suffering an accumulation that has derailed her career after achieving big success at such a young age, but now Bencic is getting a good run of matches, and most importantly, a good run of fortune, which she had not had for a number of years. Bencic was as low as No.312 in the rankings less than a year ago, but she has worked hard to put herself back in Grand Slam main draws and she will not want this tournament to end any time soon.

Prediction: Kerber in three sets

 

Julia Goerges [13] vs Donna Vekic H2H: Goerges leads 1-0

Julia Goerges in the first round of Wimbledon2018

Julia Goerges in the first round of Wimbledon 2018 | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

This match feels like one of the more fascinating matches of the bunch. Julia Goerges has forever been a powerful, brutal striker of the ball that achieved so much away from the majors, but never really found a way to consistently produce that level of tennis in the important moments of a big Grand Slam match.

With a new coaching set-up, Goerges achieved the most successful season of her career last year, regularly competing in finals, playing five finals and winning two of them and she got into the Top-10 for the first time in her career in February of this year.

Goerges now has to deliver at a major. She has a renewed confidence on the grass and she will want to put right that record of being 0-5 in Grand Slam fourth round. For a game that big and that effective, Goerges really needs to have a quarter-final showing to her name.

It will not be easy, though, as Donna Vekic loves the grass and she has a point to prove herself. A career that blossomed from a very early age, but at 22 years of age, Vekic will feel that she is ready to make the jump into the unknown and challenge at the business end of majors.

I actually think that when it comes to performing on the grass that Vekic has the slight edge in this match. I think the pressure is really on both players in different ways, but Vekic should come through in this match-up.

 

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