Wimbledon: Day 3 Preview
Published June 23, 2010 12:00
LONDON, United Kingdom - Second round action gets underway at The Championships on Wednesday, with a certain former champion facing the form player of the grass court lead-ups.
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS #67) vs. Venus Williams (USA #2)
H2H: First meeting
Grass W-L record (2010/career): Williams (1-0/69-10)…Makarova (10-1/25-9)
Thanks to her title breakthrough at Eastbourne last week and two quarterfinal efforts there before that, Makarova owns a grass court record many more celebrated players surely covet. What that means on Wimbledon's Centre Court, against a five-time champion, remains to be seen. Makarova is left-handed, so she boasts all the advantages that come with that, and as she showed at the AEGON International she can serve bombs with the best of them. She also has nothing to lose. But Venus hasn't lost this early at Wimbledon since 2004, and given the season she's had - reaching a Tour-leading four finals and returning to No.2 for the first time since 2003 - an upset feels unlikely.
 Yanina Wickmayer (BEL #18) vs. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL #59)
H2H: Wickmayer leads 1-0
Grass W-L record (2010/career): Wickmayer (3-2/21-9)…Flipkens (4-2/16-9)
Given that she's a former runner-up at both Birmingham and 's-Hertogenbosch, it's surprising that Wickmayer's first round defeat of Alison Riske was her first-ever match win at Wimbledon. But with that monkey off her back, the powerful, determined Belgian might just be ready to push deep into the draw. There will be few secrets left between these two, who admirably carried Belgium's Fed Cup hopes in the absence of Clijsters and Henin, and fans can expect a fascinating clash of styles. Flipkens, a former Wimbledon junior champion, possesses a game ideally suited to grass. However, she'll have to be brave to chip and charge against Wickmayer's onslaught.
Jarmila Groth (AUS #92) vs.  Melanie Oudin (USA #35)
H2H: First meeting
Grass W-L record (2010/career): Groth (6-3/35-16)…Oudin (1-1/7-2)
Oudin, who was promoted to No.33 seed after Dinara Safina withdrew from the tournament, snapped a five-match losing streak by beating Anna-Lena Groenefeld in the first round. And while the American teenager is remembered for her heroic quarterfinal run at Flushing Meadows last summer, she'll also have happy memories of the All England Club: last year, having never previously won a Grand Slam main draw match, she upset Jelena Jankovic on her way to the last 16. She can expect a real tussle today, though, for Groth is coming off a fourth round run of her own, at Roland Garros. Born in Slovakia, the 23-year-old became an Australian citizen at the end of 2009; has she absorbed the Aussie affection for grass?
More to watch: Eighth seed Kim Clijsters opens on No.1 Court against Croatia's Karolina Sprem, while No.17 seed Justine Henin is first up on Court 2 against Germany's Kristina Barrois. Also on Court 2, fourth seed Jelena Jankovic plays Aleksandra Wozniak. Shahar Peer, the No.13 seed, takes on Angelique Kerber on Court 5, to be followed by the completion of the first round match between Daniela Hantuchova and Vania King, who split tie-break sets late on Tuesday night.