By Jake Davies & Ros Satar
- Kyle Edmund vs Alexander Ward
- James Ward vs Marcos Baghdatis
- Brydan Klein vs Yuichi Sugita
- Katie Boulter v Christina McHale
LONDON, UK – The rest of the Brits are in action, led by Kyle Edmund who has yet to advance past the first round at Wimbledon.
Kyle Edmund vs Alexander Ward [Q] H2H: First meeting
The first match over on Court 3 features two British players as Kyle Edmund will come up against the qualifier Alexander Ward. Wimbledon has not been a successful hunting ground for both Edmund and Ward as neither are yet to salvage a single win at this event. This is Ward’s second appearance in the main draw, whereas Edmund has lost in the first round on four years on the trot.
The lack of success on grass seems a puzzling scenario for Edmund. He talks about his contentment of playing on the clay, but rewind 12 months ago and he was pushing Andy Murray to a tight three-set loss at Queens. So Edmund can produce some good tennis on this surface if need be.
The difficulty that Edmund has is the lack of time he has to prepare his strong forehand shot. On the clay he has plenty of preparation to wind up his forehand, but that time is taken away from him on the quicker grass courts.
With that being said, this is Edmund’s moment to gain some points on the grass and boost his ranking marginally before the US Hardcourt swing takes place.
Prediction: Edmund in three sets.
James Ward [WC] vs Marcos Baghdatis H2H: Baghdatis leads 1-0
It feels like a long while since James Ward made that impressive run to the third round of Wimbledon in 2015, where he eventually fell to Vasek Pospisil. The British wildcard is now ranked No.1085 in the world, and last won a match in a Challenger in August of last year, which suggests that he is a long way from playing some of his best tennis at this year’s Wimbledon. Marcos Baghdatis is a difficult opponent, who reached a Grand Slam singles final at the Australian Open in 2006, so I feel like this challenge will be a bit too steep of a challenge for Ward, who has not long come back from a longterm knee injury.
Prediction: Baghdatis in three sets.
Brydan Klein vs Yuichi Sugita H2H: Sugita leads 1-0
Another wildcard in action is Brydan Klein. His opponent, Yuichi Sugita, has just won the title in the inaugural Antalya Open last week, so is feeling fantastic about the positioning of his game right now. The Japanese player already had made some serious strides on the Challenger circuit, but now is at a career-high and performing better on the ATP tour, which is phenomenal to see for a player that does not have any huge weapons when you watch him play.
Prediction: Sugita in four sets.
Katie Boulter v Christina McHale: First Meeting
The last of the British women, Katie Boulter gets her chance to make her main draw debut at Wimbledon. Awarded a wildcard, she faces the vastly more experienced Christina Mchale. Boulter still plays out most of her matches on the lower ITF circuits where she has reached two finals and won a title this year, but the points on offer are small.
The wildcard award can make a big difference to a player looking to kick on from the lower tiers, but this is a tough ask against the American. McHale plays an aggressive baseline game and she is pretty nimble. While McHale bases her game around her forehand, she can be vulnerable on the backhand side.
However, experience counts for everything – playing on a big court, playing in a Slam, and Boulter will most likely learn a lot from this experience.
Prediction: McHale in two sets.
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