By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Serena Williams  v Julia Goerges 
- Kiki Bertens  v Barbora Strycova
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Rafael Nadal 
WIMBLEDON, UK – A place in the Manic Monday line-up awaits as the third round concludes after a hectic week in SW19
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Serena Williams  v Julia Goerges  | Williams leads H2H 4-0
The search for the elusive Grand Slam title ‘24’ goes on for Serena Williams who had to come from a set down in her second-round match against qualifier Kaja Juvan to claim her spot in the third round. She ruefully admitted that she still needed to be match sharp:
“It was definitely coming together as the match went on. I’m just low on matches basically. I could feel it. But I’m getting there. Just have to, like I said, take every match as five matches, really learn from every single point.
“I just have to remember that I’m best at closing matches, I’m good at it. I just have to keep the mind frame of where am I, what do I do mentally to close matches. I have to kind of just shut my eyes and get there.
“It’s just experience and match play. In the past two years I haven’t played a lot of matches. I’m just trying to kind of get that back.”
She will get additional match practice playing with Andy Murray in the mixed but will be scheduled late, which is not ideal for play the next day. She can ill-afford a slow start against Julia Goerges, who has been playing some great grass court tennis over the past few weeks, reaching the Birmingham final.
The German admitted that once she had accepted that the play on the grass may not always be perfect, she came to understand the game better. Last time the pair met was at Wimbledon last year in the semi-final and Williams was imperious. Goerges will probably at least stand her chances to grab a set off the 23-time Slam champion. With the quarter-section of that draw opening up, Williams might be eyeing up ‘24’ though.
Prediction: Williams in three sets.
Kiki Bertens  v Barbora Strycova | Strycova leads H2H 1-0
This ‘working things out’ with the grass has been quite the challenge for the No. 4 seed Kiki Bertens. She was almost down and facing a match point in the second set before forcing a tie-break and a change in her fortunes, living to fight another day.
Bertens said, after the match: “I thought I was finished, to be honest. But sometimes I’m the lucky one, I guess. I think today that was it. But I think it was just a great fight. I think she was playing really well, and so there was not really much I could do. Just keep on fighting, keep on believing that I could do it, and, yeah, in the end I did it.”
She faces another tricky player in Barbora Strycova, who has made the quarter-final here in the past. Strycova’s best form this season came at Birmingham, where she made the semi-final, and presents a tough match-up for Bertens.
Bertens is a great all-rounder with great variation, excellent court coverage, and good at the net, but she plays an opponent with a very aggressive game with fierce groundstrokes. But consistency (or lack thereof) can let her down, but not before she makes life difficult for people.
Prediction: Bertens in three sets.
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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga v Rafael Nadal  | Nadal leads H2H 8-4
After all the spice behind the match-up with Nick Kyrgios, Rafael Nadal could face another test in the form of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Having missed seven months of 2018 after having knee surgery in April, he has made steady progress, winning the title in Montpellier and picking up single wins on the grass.
His powerful game has given Nadal problems before, having beaten him on the grass in 2011 (Queen’s Club) and he got the latest win over their head to head, but that was back in 2015 and they have not met on the tour since.
There will, of course, be none of the histrionics of the match with Kyrgios, but he will expect to get free points off his serve and will look to come to the net to disrupt Nadal’s rhythm from the back of the court.
Prediction: Nadal in four sets.
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