By Jake Davies

  • Three matches to look out for on Day Three of Wimbledon
  • Tsvetana Pironkova vs Belinda Bencic
  • Julian Benneteau vs Kei Nishikori
  • Sabine Lisicki vs Samantha Stosur

WIMBLEDON, UK – Belinda Bencic, Sabine Lisicki and Kei Nishikori all star on Day Three of Wimbledon

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Tsvetana Pironkova vs Belinda Bencic [7] – H2H: Bencic leads 2-0

One of the first round matches that got rolled over to Day 3 of Wimbledon was Pironkova vs Bencic. The Bulgarian No.1 player is the more experienced of the two on this surface, but her opponent also responds great to the grass court conditions at Wimbledon.

Bencic, a former Wimbledon junior grand slam winner in 2013, is someone that enjoys the fact that the ball really does come to her racquet at a faster pace on a grass court. The qualities of a grass court has given the less powerful players like Angelique Kerber and Agnieszka Radwanska to hit through the court.

The No.7 seed Bencic leads the head to head 2-0. She also beat Pironkova in the first round of Wimbledon in 2015 3-6 6-1 6-3, which is a big deal for Bencic coming into this match.

Prediction: Bencic in 3 sets.

Julien Benneteau vs Kei Nishikori [5] – H2H: Nishikori leads 3-1

Nishikori has shown steady progress under the influence of Michael Chang. Following an impressive showing at Masters level, he has solidified his place inside the World Top 10 of the ATP Rankings.

Unfortunately for Nishikori, the injury troubles that have been a common feature of his career, have now started to reappear during the grass court season. Nishikori struggled with a rib injury during his brief appearance in a tournament in Halle and that same injury hindered his service motion in the first round against Sam Groth.

There’s a very good chance that Benneteau can produce an upset victory over Nishikori. His unpredictable serve and volley game style really responds well to grass court tennis, as he showed in the epic five set loss to Roger Federer at Wimbledon four years ago.

If Benneteau makes this match a physical contest then could prevail the victor, but I sense that Nishikori might edge this match up in four sets.

Prediction: Nishikori in 4 sets.

Samantha Stosur [14] vs Sabine Lisicki – H2H: Stosur leads 5-2

The previous meetings between Stosur and Lisicki offer some of the most fascinating results on the WTA. Stosur leads the head to head 5-2, but surprisingly the Australian also edges the grass court meetings. Stosur won two matches in Birmingham and Eastbourne, while in Lisicki’s run to her first grand slam final in 2013, she beat Stosur in a good three set encounter.

The former Wimbledon finalist has only won 9 tour matches all year and currently sits No.81 in the WTA rankings. Even with the drawbacks in Lisicki’s mental game, she is always expected to conjure up her best level of tennis when she enters the gates of SW19.

Despite the lopsided head to head, I expect Lisicki to win this second round match. Stosur’s kick serve is a great asset on the clay, where she made the semi-finals last month, but it becomes less effective on a low-bouncing grass court.

Prediction: Lisicki in 3 sets.

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