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Wimbledon Day 6 Preview

The third round draws to a close on Saturday, with Serena Williams' clash with Zheng Jie the pick of the action.

Published June 29, 2012 09:06

Wimbledon Day 6 Preview
Serena Williams

LONDON, England - The third round draws to a close on Saturday, with Serena Williams' clash with Zheng Jie the pick of the action in the bottom half of the draw.

Saturday, Third Round
Centre Court
[6] Serena Williams (USA #6) vs. [25] Zheng Jie (CHN #27)
Head-to-head:
Williams leads 5-0
In the first match on Centre Court, four-time champion Serena Williams takes on Zheng Jie in a repeat of the 2008 semifinal. On that occasion, Williams was triumphant, putting an end to the wildcard's fairytale run in straight sets. Since then the two have met a further three times, and while the American has won on each occasion, two of these have gone the distance.

If Zheng is to break her duck on Saturday, she will require one of the performances of her career; Williams' win-loss record at the All-England Club is a staggeringly good 62-8 and in her last 11 visits she has only once failed to progress beyond the third round. But Zheng will not be daunted by the challenge, and, as her eight career Top 10 wins testify, is more than capable of springing a surprise.

No.1 Court
Varvara Lepchenko (USA # 53) vs. [4] Petra Kvitova (CZE #4)
Head-to-head:
Kvitova leads 2-0
For Varvara Lepchenko, the route to tennis' top table has been anything but straightforward. However, now she is there, she is certainly making the most of it. A standout year, highlighted by deep runs at both Roland Garros and Madrid, sees her on the verge of a Top 50 debut and now into the third round for the first time at SW19.

Here she faces the daunting challenge of a match with defending champion Petra Kvitova. The two last met less than a month ago when the Czech came out on top in a one-sided encounter in Paris, and Lepchenko will have her work cut out turning the tables. Yet while Kvitova is at times unplayable, her propensity to go off the boil mid-match offers a glimmer of hope to the American.

No.3 Court
[WC] Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ #65) vs. [10] Sara Errani (ITA #10)
Head-to-head:
Shvedova leads 2-1
Any suggestion that the wheels were about to come off Sara Errani's spectacular season after a surprise first round defeat in 's-Hertogenbosch have been quashed in some style this week. The Italian has dropped just seven games in the opening two matches, taking her through to the third round for just the second time.

Things are likely to get trickier from her on in, though, starting with Yaroslava Shvedova. Like Errani, Shvedova brings plenty of momentum into Wimbledon from the clay court season, where she reached her second Slam quarterfinal at the French Open. Having previously lifted the doubles title here, she also knows her way around a grass court, and if she manages to keep Errani on the back foot with her aggressive all court game then an upset could be on the cards.

Around the grounds…
The remaining third round matches include a potentially explosive affair between Ana Ivanovic and Julia Goerges, Victoria Azarenka taking on qualifier Jana Cepelova and Tamira Paszek against Yanina Wickmayer.

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