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Wimbledon Friday: Former Champs Face Off

It's anyone's guess as to who will be victorious in the third round match-up between 2011 Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova and five-time champ Venus Williams.

Published June 26, 2014 12:14

Wimbledon Friday: Former Champs Face Off
Venus Williams

LONDON, England - Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams have engaged in thrillers in the past, so more of the same can be expected in their third round showdown at Wimbledon.

Friday, Third Round

Centre Court
[6] Petra Kvitova (CZE #6) vs. [30] Venus Williams (USA #31)
Head-to-head: Kvitova leads 3-1
If Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams' fifth battle is like their first four, fans are in for a treat. Each of them has gone three sets, with the last two being decided by a third set tie-break that Kvitova pulled out. But this will be their first clash on Williams' favorite surface, grass. Of course, 2011 Wimbledon champ Kvitova is no slouch on grass either.

Williams has been playing like the five-time Wimbledon champion that she is so far this fortnight, particularly in her straight set defeat of Kurumi Nara in her last match that put her into the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2013 Australian Open. Kvitova has dropped just five games combined in her two matches, showing she is fully recovered from a right thigh strain that caused her to withdraw from her quarterfinal match in Eastbourne last week.

"She's big champion here," Kvitova said. "She likes to play on the grass, and I'm totally the same. I'm looking forward to this match. I think it's going to be great fight. We have always had very tough matches, so I'm expecting the same."

"I know I'll have to get out there and play better than her," Williams said. "That's really what it boils down to. The last point, make sure I'm winning it instead of losing it."

No.2 Court
[4] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #4) vs. [Q] Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR #102)
Head-to-head:
Larcher de Brito leads 1-0
Michelle Larcher de Brito is no stranger to pulling off big upsets here, having shocked then-World No.3 Maria Sharapova in the second round last year as a qualifier for the best win of her career. After again coming through qualifying this year, the Portuguese upended two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first round and then got past Jarmila Gajdosova in the second round to match her best Grand Slam outing.

Larcher de Brito's first Top 20 foe of the year, 2012 Wimbledon runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska, has yet to be challenged this fortnight and was particularly impressive in her 6-4, 6-0 victory over Casey Dellacqua in the second round. Though it was six years ago, Larcher de Brito did win her one previous encounter with Radwanska in Miami in a tight three-setter.

Stat to watch: With her 73-11 Wimbledon record, Williams has the most wins here among active players (one ahead of sister Serena) and is in fourth place in the Open Era behind Martina Navratilova's 120 wins, Chris Evert's 96 and Steffi Graf's 74.

Also on court...
No.2 seed Li Na faces Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, No.10 seed Dominika Cibulkova plays No.23 seed Lucie Safarova and No.16 seed Caroline Wozniacki takes on Croatian qualifier Ana Konjuh.

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