Wimbledon Day 4 Preview

Pre-tournament favorites Victoria Azarenka, Petra Kvitova and Serena Williams look to book their spots in the third round at Wimbledon.

Published June 27, 2012 10:35

Wimbledon Day 4 Preview
Victoria Azarenka

LONDON, England - Two former World No.1s - Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams - and defending champion Petra Kvitova are among those in second round action at the All-England Club on Thursday.

Thursday, Second Round

Court 2
[2] Victoria Azarenka (BLR #2) vs. Romina Oprandi (SUI #87)
Head-to-head: Oprandi leads 1-0
In their only previous clash, Romina Oprandi dropped just two games against then-No.67 Victoria Azarenka at Amelia Island. But that was over five years ago, and how things have changed since then. Azarenka now has 12 titles to her name, including her first major at January's Australian Open. And she climbed all the way to No.1 in the world, though she has since fallen one spot.

Oprandi proved she could play on grass at 's-Hertogenbosch last year, posting her career-best win over then-No.2 Kim Clijsters en route to the semifinals. She put a scare into Clijsters again at 's-Hertogenbosch last week by taking a set off the Belgian in the first round. Azarenka was tested a bit in the second set of her first round victory on Tuesday over Irina Falconi, while Oprandi won a tight two-setter over Irina-Camelia Begu.

Court 1
Elena Baltacha (GBR #101) vs. [4] Petra Kvitova (CZE #4)
Kvitova leads 2-1
Despite being the defending champion, Petra Kvitova will certainly not be the crowd favorite in her meeting with Great Britain's Elena Baltacha, who will be in especially good spirits after being informed on Tuesday she will play singles at the Olympics next month.

"Thank you to everyone for their lovely tweets," Baltacha tweeted. "I still can't put into words how happy I am about being an Olympian."

Kvitova looked vulnerable in launching her title defense Tuesday by losing the first three games against Akgul Amanmuradova, but rallied to triumph in straight sets. An upset would give Baltacha her greatest career win, her best so far being a victory over then-No.8 Francesca Schiavone at Istanbul in 2010.

Centre Court
[Q] Melinda Czink (HUN #98) vs. [6] Serena Williams (USA #6)
Williams leads 2-0
Serena Williams put the ghosts of her first-ever first round Gland Slam loss at Roland Garros behind her with a relatively comfortable defeat of Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in her opener here. Melinda Czink dropped just two games in her first round match against Johanna Larsson, but fell in straight sets to Williams in each of their two previous match-ups. Czink will be looking to improve upon her 2-13 record against Top 10 players.

Around the grounds…
World No.9 Marion Bartoli takes on Mirjana Lucic, World No.10 Sara Errani squares off with Great Britain's highest-ranked player - Anne Keothavong - and World No.14 Ana Ivanovic looks for her first victory in her third career encounter with Kateryna Bondarenko.

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