Wimbledon Day 2 Preview
Published June 25, 2012 08:31
LONDON, England - Petra Kvitova and Serena Williams, who have combined to win the last three Wimbledon titles, are among those kicking off their 2012 campaigns at the All-England Club on Tuesday.
Tuesday, First Round
Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB #96) vs.  Petra Kvitova (CZE #4)
Head-to-head: first meeting
Petra Kvitova is one of just four active Wimbledon winners in the field and she is seeking a return to the form that carried her to her only major here last year. She is the only member of the Top 10 yet to reach a final in 2012, however, she has made four semifinals. Two of those came at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, proving she often raises her game at the Slams. Based on recent history, a deep run is likely, as this century nine of the 11 defending champs have at least gotten to the final four. Four of those - Serena Williams twice and Venus Williams twice - have successfully defended their title.
One of the few players the 6-foot-tall Kvitova has to look up at is 6-foot-3 Akgul Amanmuradova. However, the Uzbek will have her hands full to pull off the upset, as she is 0-8 in her career in main draw matches on grass, including 0-4 at Wimbledon. She did post her second-best win in terms of ranking in April in Stuttgart with a triumph over then-No.16 Dominika Cibulkova.
 Serena Williams (USA #6) vs. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE #62)
Head-to-head: Williams leads 1-0
Serena Williams came into Roland Garros as one of the favorites to take the title, with a 27-2 record on the year including two titles. But not only did she fail in that endeavor, she lost her opener for the first time in 47 career majors. Few would expect that to happen twice in a row, as Williams is especially comfortable on grass, compiling a 60-8 record at Wimbledon to go along with four titles. With a victory on Tuesday, she would break a tie with sister Venus for first place on the list of active players with the most Grand Slam wins with her 212th. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova is 0-20 in her career against Top 10 players. In her only previous match-up with Williams, she lost in straight sets in the second round of January's Australian Open.
Tamira Paszek (AUT #37) vs.  Caroline Wozniacki (DEN #7)
Head-to-head: Wozniacki leads 1-0
What a difference a week makes for Tamira Paszek. She had won just two matches all year prior to competing in Eastbourne last week. But there she caught fire while displaying a remarkable fighting spirit, coming from 64 40 down to beat Marion Bartoli in the semifinals and fighting off five match points at 5-3 down in the third set en route to edging Angelique Kerber in the final. It was her third career title and first at the Premier-level. Bringing her confidence even higher is the fact she had her best career result at a major in reaching the quarterfinals at Wimbledon last year. First round opponent Caroline Wozniacki came into this tournament in 2011 as World No.1. However, a year later she finds herself in the midst of a rough period, having lost prior to the quarterfinals in five straight events while sliding down the rankings.
Around the grounds…
World No.2 and reigning Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka takes on Irina Falconi, Sara Errani plays her first Grand Slam match as a Top 10 player versus Coco Vandeweghe and Francesca Schiavone squares off with Laura Robson, who made her Top 100 debut this week.