By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Angelique Kerber  v Tatjana Maria | Maria leads H2H 1-0
- Nick Kyrgios v Jordan Thompson | First meeting
- Serena Williams  v Giulia Gatto-Monticone | First meeting
WIMBLEDON, UK – Last year’s Ladies’ champion and runner up Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams take to the court, and we see if a tantalising second round of Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal takes shape.
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Angelique Kerber  v Tatjana Maria | Maria leads H2H 1-0
Coming into Wimbledon, Angelique Kerber has been been in pretty decent form this year, reaching the semi-final in Mallorca and the final in Eastbourne, as she starts her bid to be the sixth woman to defend her title.
However, it is never easy to play a compatriot, and Tatjana Maria might only have a Wimbledon best showing of the third round, but last year she ousted the then No. 5 ranked Elina Svitolina in the first round and does lead the head to head over Kerber.
Kerber’s game on grass fully exploits her movement and ability to run and run everything down all day long. While there will be nerves as she opens play on Centre Court, her experience will win through.
Prediction: Kerber in straight sets.
Nick Kyrgios v Jordan Thompson | First meeting
Although this is a 102nd meeting between two Aussies in Wimbledon in the Open Era, it is a first-time meeting between the unpredictable Nick Kyrgios and Jordan Thompson. With just one place in the rankings separating them, all eyes will be on Kyrgios for the chance to set up an enticing clash against Rafael Nadal.
On his Wimbledon debut as a wild-card in 2014, Kyrgios beat the Spaniard in the fourth round, but his grass court outings this year were a second-round exit at Queen’s and out in the first round of Stuttgart.
Thompson is looking for a first Wimbledon win, but reached the Den Bosch final and the semi-finals in Antalya, so this might not be as clear cut as many would think.
Prediction: Kyrgios in four sets.
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Serena Williams  v Giulia Gatto-Monticone | First meeting
Is Slam No. 24 on the cards finally? Serena Williams has declared herself fit and healthy after a bout of illness and injury. On paper, Williams has nothing to prove – the seven-time Wimbledon champion lost to an inspired Kerber last year, and trying to equal Margaret Court’s record has proved to be quite the challenge since her return from the birth of her daughter.
However, Williams is short on matches and Giulia Gatto-Monticone has come through qualifying including coming from a set and a break down in the final round.
However, this is Williams court – and the American needs to ease herself into the routine of winning Slams.
Prediction: Williams in straight sets
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