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Wimbledon Day 3 Preview

Maria Sharapova continues her quest toward a second Wimbledon crown and a fifth major on Wednesday at the All-England Club.

Published June 26, 2012 10:08

Wimbledon Day 3 Preview
Maria Sharapova

LONDON, England - As first round play wraps up and second round action gets underway, World No.1 Maria Sharapova looks to get past a player who is no stranger to pulling off surprises at Wimbledon.

Wednesday, Second Round

Court 1
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL #38) vs. [1] Maria Sharapova (RUS #1)
Head-to-head:
Sharapova leads 3-0
Tsvetana Pironkova's career highlight reel is filled with plenty of Wimbledon moments. In 2010, she upset former Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli and five-time champion Venus Williams en route to the semifinals - her best Grand Slam showing. In 2011, she downed then-World No.3 Vera Zvonareva and Williams once again en route to the quarterfinals. On top of that, she came into this year's event in better form than in past years, having bested World No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska during a quarterfinal appearance last week at Eastbourne. In light of her first round defeat of Vesna Dolonc on Monday, she has been victorious in 10 of her last 12 matches at the All-England Club.

It will be a tall order, though, for Pironkova's Wimbledon winning ways to continue in the second round against reigning French Open champ Maria Sharapova. She has not won a set in their three previous match-ups, and Sharapova knows better than to look past the Bulgarian.

"When you're a Grand Slam champion and you're No.1 in the world, everybody across the net is hungrier to beat you," Sharapova said after her first round triumph over Anastasia Rodionova.

Court 2
[8] Angelique Kerber (GER #8) vs. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS #44)
Head-to-head:
Makarova leads 2-1
Ekaterina Makarova has to like her chances of upsetting Angelique Kerber. She is obviously comfortable on the grass, as her one career title came at Eastbourne in 2010. Also, her 2012 pre-Wimbledon grass court season has consisted of a semifinal showing at Birmingham and a quarterfinal appearance at Eastbourne in which she upset reigning Wimbledon champion and World No.4 Petra Kvitova - her career-best win in terms of ranking. Finally, she has been victorious in two of her three meetings with Kerber, though her lone loss occurred last week at Eastbourne.

Kerber's breakthrough year has included her first time spent in the Top 10, and she has not shied away from the spotlight. Since ascending to that ranking class, she has been a quarterfinalist at the French Open and a runner-up at Eastbourne. Also, her first round defeat of Alberta Brianti here was her WTA-leading 41st win of the season.

Court 3
[3] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #3) vs. Elena Vesnina (RUS #79)
Head-to-head:
1-1
After having a surprisingly easy time with Venus Williams in the first round, the competition gets stiffer now for Elena Vesnina in the form of Agnieszka Radwanska. Although Radwanska is tied with Victoria Azarenka for second-most wins on the WTA this year with 39, she did not come into Wimbledon in top form. She lost in the third round of the French Open and the first round of Eastbourne, though she did right the ship with a routine victory on Monday against Magdalena Rybarikova. Vesnina will be seeking to improve upon her 1-13 record (her one win coming against No.5 Samantha Stosur in Charleston last year) against Top 5 players.

Around the grounds…
Kim Clijsters continues her last fortnight at the All-England Club against Andrea Hlavackova on Centre Court, World No.5 Samantha Stosur plays Arantxa Rus, and Li Na squares off with Sorana Cirstea.

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