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The matches to watch at Wimbledon 2019

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Roar Guru
28th June, 2019
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The men’s and women’s draws at Wimbledon have been released, and it has thrown up a large number of potential match-ups that will keep you glued to the television over the next fortnight.

We start in the men’s draw where, as is convention, the top two seeds in Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are on opposite sides of the draw, meaning they cannot face each other until the championship match.

As always, we start at the top of the draw, where Djokovic will start his title defence against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber. He is seeded to face compatriot Dusan Lajovic in the third round, and French showman Gael Monfils in the fourth.

Also in this section of the draw is former ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov, who is unseeded after struggling for form over the past eighteen months. He looms as a possible third round opponent for Monfils, who has yet to get past the fourth round at SW19.

The other leading name in the top quarter of the draw is Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas, the seventh seed who will start against Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano and could then strike Croatian serving machine Ivo Karlovic in the second round.

Former Wimbledon quarter-finalist Fernando Verdasco, Russian eleventh seed Daniil Medvedev and promising young Australian Alexei Popyrin, who has qualified for the main draw, are also other names to watch out for in this part of the draw.

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The second quarter of the draw is anchored by last year’s beaten finalist, Kevin Anderson, who will start against France’s Pierre Hugues-Herbert, with either 2016 finalist Milos Raonic or Swiss veteran Stan Wawrinka looming as his possible fourth round opponents.

Wawrinka and Raonic are not expected to be threatened in their first two matches ahead of a possible third round meeting.

Sixth seed Alexander Zverev is likely to await in the quarter-finals; the German, who has gained notoriety for underachieving at the Majors, starts against Czech qualifier Jiri Vesely and is seeded to face Russian tenth seed Karen Khachanov in the round of sixteen.

We now move over to the other side of the draw, where fifth seed Dominic Thiem will start his bid for a maiden Grand Slam title with a potentially tough first round clash against former Wimbledon semi-finalist Sam Querrey.

Not only did Querrey reach the last four here in 2017, he did so beating then-defending champion Andy Murray en route, while he also possesses a win over Novak Djokovic in the previous year, too.

Thiem should not be threatened any more until the fourth round, where Italian twelfth seed Fabio Fognini is likely to await.

Should he reach the quarter-finals, then he is likely to face reigning French Open champion Rafael Nadal, who despite being ranked second in the world was demoted to third owing to his mostly poor record on grass courts in recent years.

Rafael Nadal hits at Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP).

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After facing Japanese qualifier Yuichi Sugita in the first round, the Spaniard could then run into nemesis Nick Kyrgios in the second round in a clash that is sure to generate fireworks, though this is dependent on Kyrgios beating his countryman, Jordan Thompson, in his first match.

Former Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic is also in this part of the draw, as is 2011 semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who faces Bernard Tomic in his first match, and 2016 boys’ champion Denis Shapovalov.

We now move to the seventh section of the draw, where eighth seed Kei Nishikori is up against Brazilian qualifier Thiago Monteiro in his first match, with Australian Alex de Minaur and last year’s semi-finalist, ninth seed John Isner, loom as his major pre-quarter-final obstacles.

de Minaur, who reached the third round last year, is up against former French Open semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato in his first match, while Isner faces Casper Ruud in his opener and could run into either 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych, or rising Italian Matteo Berrettini, in the third round.

At the bottom of the draw, second seed and eight-times champion Roger Federer will begin his 21st Wimbledon campaign against South Africa’s Lloyd Harris, with France’s Lucas Pouille looming as his first seeded threat in the third round.

The Swiss Maestro is also seeded to face Croatia’s Borna Coric in the fourth round, though Coric could face a second round assignment against Marcos Baghdatis, who has announced he will retire from professional tennis after this year’s Championships.

Without any major upsets, the quarter-finals onwards could look like this:

Quarter-finals
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs [7] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)
[4] Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs [6] Alexander Zverev (GER)
[5] Dominic Thiem (AUT) vs [3] Rafael Nadal (ESP)
[8] Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs [2] Roger Federer (SUI)

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Semi-finals:
[1] Novak Djokovic vs [4] Kevin Anderson (RSA)
[3] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs [2] Roger Federer (SUI)

Predicted championship outcome: [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) defeats [3] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

In the women’s draw, the two Grand Slam champions so far this year, Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka, are on opposite sides of the draw meaning they will be kept separated until the championship match.

Ashleigh Barty

Current World No.1 Ashleigh Barty. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Barty, who earlier this week usurped Osaka at the top of the rankings, will begin life as world number one with a clash against China’s Zheng Saisai, before it really gets tough – she could then face two-time Major champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round, and 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza in the third.

Also in a packed top quarter of the draw are 2013 junior champion Belinda Bencic, as well as last year’s two finalists, Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams.

Kerber and Williams, seeded fifth and eleventh respectively, could face each other in the fourth round on Manic Monday should both successfully navigate their way through the first week of the tournament.

Last year’s semi-finalist, Julia Goerges, could face a rematch against Williams in the third round, while 2004 champion Maria Sharapova is also in this part of the draw and could face Samantha Stosur in Round 2 and Kerber in the third.

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The second quarter of the women’s draw is led by Dutch fourth seed Kiki Bertens, who begins against Mandy Minella, as well as 2014 finalist Eugenie Bouchard, former Major champions Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova, and local favourite Johanna Konta.

Bertens isn’t expected to be threatened until the quarter-finals, where she is seeded to face two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova, whose major obstacles to the quarter-finals include 25th-seeded Amanda Anisimova (third round), as well as Stephens and Konta (fourth round).

Stephens and Konta are drawn to face off in the third round, which is two rounds earlier than when they met at Roland Garros earlier this month, where Sydney-born Brit prevailing there in straight sets.

Moving further down the draw now, where eighth seed Elina Svitolina will begin her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title against Australia’s Daria Gavrilova before possibly striking Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the third round, and then 12th seed Anastasija Sevastova in the fourth.

Third seed Karolina Pliskova is expected to await in the quarter-finals; the Czech former world number one is up against Zhu Lin in her first match and is projected to face Hsieh Su-wei in the third round, and French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova in the last sixteen.

Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko is also in this part of the draw (up against Su-wei in her first match), as is former Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig, who could run into Pliskova in the second round.

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Seventh seed Simona Halep and reigning Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka are the leading names in the bottom quarter of the draw, and both will face tricky opponents if they are to meet each other in the final eight.

Halep starts off against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, and is projected to face Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in the third round, though she could also face former world number one Victoria Azarenka there too.

This section also features a special clash between the youngest player in the draw and the oldest – with American qualifier Cori Gauff to come up against the legendary Venus Williams, who recently celebrated her 39th birthday and is showing no signs of slowing down (yet).

Tenth seed Aryna Sabalenka, who has battled poor form in 2019, will await the winner of that match, though she will need to get past 2017 semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova in her opener first.

At the bottom of the draw, second seed Osaka will start her bid for a third Grand Slam title against Yulia Putintseva, and will face some tricky obstacles on her path to the quarter-finals, with American Sofia Kenin and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki among the opponents she could face.

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Kenin, who upset Serena Williams at the French Open, is up against Australia’s Astra Sharma while Wozniacki, who has also struggled in 2019, takes on Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in her opening match.

Without any major upsets, the quarter-finals onwards could look like this:

Quarter-finals
[1] Ashleigh Barty (AUS) vs [5] Angelique Kerber (GER)
[4] Kiki Bertens (NED) vs [6] Petra Kvitova (CZE)
[8] Elina Svitolina (UKR) vs [3] Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
[7] Simona Halep (ROU) vs [2] Naomi Osaka (JPN)

Semi-finals
[1] Ashleigh Barty (AUS) vs [6] Petra Kvitova (CZE)
[3] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) vs [2] Naomi Osaka (JPN)

Predicted championship outcome: [6] Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeats [3] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) in an all-Czech final.

Matches to watch on Day 1
[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER)
Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) vs [7] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)
[4] Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs Pierre Hugues-Herbert (FRA)
Jiri Vesely (CZE) vs [6] Alexander Zverev (GER)
[8] Elina Svitolina (UKR) vs Daria Gavrilova (AUS)
[7] Simona Halep (ROU) vs Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)
Alize Cornet (FRA) vs Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
[17] Madison Keys (USA) vs Luksika Kumkhum (THA)
Venus Williams (USA) vs Cori Gauff (USA)
Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) vs [10] Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) vs [2] Naomi Osaka (JPN)