Wimbledon: Day 4 Preview

The Queen is coming to Wimbledon on Thursday; who will rule the courts?

Published June 24, 2010 12:00

Wimbledon: Day 4 Preview
Anastasia Rodionova

LONDON, United Kingdom - For the first time since 1977, when Britain's own Virginia Wade coincidentally won the ladies' singles title, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will grace the Royal Box at Wimbledon on Thursday. Who has been practising her curtsies?

Centre Court
[3] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN #4) vs. Chang Kai-Chen (TPE #89)
First meeting
Grass W-L Record (2010/career): Wozniacki (1-1/14-6) ... Chang (2-3/8-5)
Just five teenagers remain in the draw, and after this match there will be one fewer. Looking fresh as a daisy, Wozniacki was in scorching form in the first round against Tathiana Garbin, showing no sign of the ankle injury that has hampered her in recent months, nor any hint of fatigue after a heavy playing schedule all year. For her part, Chang is playing her first Wimbledon, completing a set of appearances at all four majors. It's early days in her career, and this is only her second meeting with a Top 5 player. But she won the first, against Dinara Safina in Tokyo last year. She may not have the artillery to beat Wozniacki today, but she's the next big hope of Asian tennis, and certainly one to watch for the future.

Court 2
[1] Serena Williams (USA) vs. Anna Chakvetadze (RUS)
Chavetadze leads 1-0
Grass W-L Record (2010/career): Williams (1-0/53-8)... Chakvetadze (4-2/32-14)
There's no getting around the fact that former world No.5 Chakvetadze hasn't been the same since she was tied up and robbed at the end of the 2007 season. But still only 23, she shows fleeting signs of her best form, and her first round win over Andrea Petkovic should provide a deserved confidence boost. As it happens, Chakvetadze is 6-16 lifteime against Top 5 players, with the last of those wins coming against Serena at the Tour Championships in 2007 (albeit the American retired with a knee injury after the first set). She's also comfortable on grass, having reached the quarters here in 2007 and the fourth round in 2008. But Serena was all business in the first round, which is an ominous sign.

Court 12
Anastasia Rodionova (AUS #74) vs. [19] Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS #19)
Kuznetsova leads 4-0
Grass W-L Record (2010/career): Rodionova (5-2/19-20)... Kuznetsova (3-1/31-13)
If Fed Cup success can do wonders for a player's self-belief on Tour (think Francesca Schiavone) then Rodionova is the latest shining example. The 28-year-old became an Australian citizen last December; making her Fed Cup debut for her adopted country in April, she set the scene for her team's 5-0 whitewash of Ukraine with a gutsy, come-from-behind win over Alona Bondarenko. Since then she's gone from strength to strength, reaching two quarterfinals, the third round at Roland Garros, and winning the doubles at 's-Hertogenbosch last week. She might be 1-22 against Top 20 players but having clawed her way back from a 4-0 final set deficit against Anne Keothavong, she could pose a threat to the struggling Kuznetsova.

More to watch: Maria Sharapova kickstarts proceedings on No.1 Court against Romania's Ioana Raluca Olaru. Having finished off Vania King yesterday, Daniela Hantuchova faces Barbora Zahlavova Strycova on Court 5. Alexandra Dulgheru, the No.31 seed playing her first Wimbledon, takes on Italian qualifier Romina Sarina Oprandi on Court 8. Victoria Azarenka, the No.14 seed, plays Serbian teenager Bojana Jovanovski on Court 12.

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