Wimbledon Friday: Kvitova On Court
Published June 27, 2013 12:01
LONDON, England - After a plethora of upsets on Wednesday, several darkhorses like Petra Kvitova, Marion Bartoli and Sloane Stephens can now consider themselves contenders if not favorites to get through the bottom half of the draw.
Friday, Third Round
 Petra Kvitova (CZE #8) vs.  Ekaterina Makarova (RUS #27)
Head-to-head: Kvitova leads 2-1
Petra Kvitova suddenly finds herself the on-paper favorite to make it through to the final. She certainly will be itching to get on court again, as she received a walkover in her second round match, so hasn't played since Monday's tight first round defeat of Coco Vandeweghe - her 50th Grand Slam match win. The only former Wimbledon champion besides Serena Williams left in the draw, Kvitova has had her greatest Grand Slam success at the All-England Club, highlighted by a title in 2011 and semifinal showing in 2010.
Fellow lefty Ekaterina Makarova likes the grass too, as her lone WTA title came at Eastbourne in 2010. Though she also had to endure a tight three-setter in her last match against Garbiñe Muguruza, she finds herself in the third round here for the first time. Kvitova and Makarova have already played twice on grass, with each of them winning one close two-setter in Eastbourne. If Makarova is able to emerge victorious, it would be her ninth Top 10 win and fourth this year.
 Marion Bartoli (FRA #15) vs. Camila Giorgi (ITA #93)
Head-to-head: Giorgi leads 1-0
One of four Italians still in the draw, Camila Giorgi is proving her 2012 Wimbledon showing was no fluke. A year after recording two of her four career Top 20 wins en route to her best Grand Slam performance, she is a win away from matching that result. After withstanding a challenge in getting past No.22 seed Sorana Cirstea in two tie-breaks in second round play Wednesday, Giorgi is unlikely to be intimidated by Marion Bartoli, considering she surrendered just five games to her in their one previous encounter last month in Strasbourg.
The second highest seeded player left in the bottom half of the draw, Bartoli is also one of just four players remaining to have been to a Wimbledon final. The Frenchwoman lost in the third round of the year's first two Grand Slams, so will be looking to end that trend. She was tested in her first two matches this week, but came through both of them in straight sets.
 Sloane Stephens (USA #17) vs. [Q] Petra Cetkovska (CZE #196)
Head-to-head: Stephens leads 1-0
Sloane Stephens started the fortnight with a tough draw, having to get past World No.25 Jamie Hampton and former Top 10 player Andrea Petkovic to reach the third round. But now after successfully doing that and with No.3 seed Maria Sharapova, No.5 seed Sara Errani and No.9 seed Caroline Wozniacki all eliminated from her quarter of the draw, she has to like her chances to at least do as well as she did at January's Australian Open - where she went all the way to the semifinals.
A right ankle injury she suffered after the 2012 Olympics has sent Petra Cetkovska's ranking tumbling, but she should not be overlooked, as she won all of her qualifying matches here in straight sets and has lost only eight games combined in her two main draw matches - including just four to Wozniacki in the second round. On top of that, she has been to the fourth round here before and has 11 wins over Top 20 opponents. Her one previous clash with Stephens came in the second round at Wimbledon last year, with the American coming through in a tight three-setter. Cetkovska is looking to become the first player outside the Top 150 to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon since 2008.
Around the grounds…
Michelle Larcher de Brito looks to follow up her upset of Sharapova with a win over Karin Knapp, and Eugenie Bouchard aims to become the first Canadian to make the fourth round here since 1997.