All the key facts and talking points as third-round action begins at The Championships.
Alex Macpherson
July 5, 2018

LEARNING

No.9 seed Venus Williams's match against No.20 seed Kiki Bertens is a rematch of an epic third-round clash in Miami this March, in which Williams retrieved a 1-4 final set deficit and saved three match points to win 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. Bertens's run this week has matched her career-best third-round showing at Wimbledon in 2016, where she fell to Simona Halep - and she is seeking to become the first Dutch player to reach the second week of Wimbledon since Michaella Krajicek's quarterfinal run in 2007.

No.7 seed Karolina Pliskova takes on No.29 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu today - the first time either has reached the third round at Wimbledon, but the second time they have met as seeds in a grass-court event. In their sole previous meeting, Pliskova was the 20-year-old No.2 seed at the Nottingham ITF $50,000 tournament in 2012, and defeated No.8 seed Buzarnescu 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals before falling to Ashleigh Barty in the subsequent round. Ranked No.121 at the time, Pliskova would crack the Top 100 nine months later; Buzarnescu was the World No.141, but it would be over five years before she would have her own Top 100 breakthrough.

Of the six mothers competing in this year's main draw, only two have made the third round: Serena Williams and Evgeniya Rodina. Tatjana Maria and Victoria Azarenka lost in the second round, while Vera Zvonareva and Kateryna Bondarenko fell at the first hurdle.

Before this week, Katerina Siniakova had never played an overtime final set match - but the Czech has now made the third round of Wimbledon for the second time by defeating No.16 seed CoCo Vandeweghe 6-7(3), 6-3, 8-6 and wildcard Ons Jabeur 5-7, 6-4, 9-7. Her previous defeat of Camila Giorgi, her opponent today, was also a marathon - 7-6(3), 4-6, 7-5 in the 2014 Moscow quarterfinals, though the Italian got a rather more straightforward revenge in Cincinnati last year, 6-2, 6-2.

Lucie Safarova - Wimbledon 2014 - Getty
Lucie Safarova reacts after defeating Ekaterina Makarova to reach the 2014 Wimbledon semifinals (Getty)

Ekaterina Makarova and Lucie Safarova will reprise their 2014 quarterfinal as the No.22 and No.23 seeds in the third round today, both now unseeded. 2014 marked career-best Wimbledons for both players, with the Czech winning 6-3, 6-1 to make her only SW19 semifinal to date. Safarova also owns a 4-1 overall head-to-head lead over Makarova, with the Russian's only win coming on the clay of Madrid in 2013.

Yanina Wickmayer will bid to make the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2015 Australian Open, and of Wimbledon for the first time since 2011, against Donna Vekic. The Belgian is 1-0 against her opponent, having beaten her 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 in Toronto qualifying in 2015. Vekic is seeking to make the second week of a major for the first time.

Evgeniya Rodina has reached the third round of a major for the second time on the decade anniversary of her first run to this stage, at Wimbledon 2008 - the Russian's SW19 debut.

No.13 seed Julia Goerges broke a six-match losing streak at Wimbledon to win her first round this year, and is now in the third round for the first time since 2012. This is the only Slam at which the German is yet to reach the fourth round. Today, she plays No.23 seed Barbora Strycova, who is bidding to make the second week at SW19 for the first time since her career-best Slam showing of the 2014 quarterfinal. The Czech leads the head-to-head 6-4 in a rivalry going back to 2007, although this will be their first grass meeting.

No.25 seed Serena Willams won her only previous meeting with Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 7-6(10) in the third round of Roland Garros 2016. Serena has lost in the third round of Wimbledon three times before: via retirement in her 1998 debut to Virginia Ruano Pascual, to Jill Craybas in 2005 and to Alizé Cornet in 2014.

TRENDING

READING

Last year's junior champion Claire Liu has been making waves in the senior draw this year after qualifying, reaching the second round and taking a set off former runner-up Angelique Kerber. In an interview with Christopher Johnson for the South China Morning Post, Liu and her mother Wen Zhou discuss the 18-year-old's Chinese roots, American upbringing - and why Li Na was her role model growing up.

Team Australia are having a good time in SW19 so far - and Kim Clijsters has tipped Ashleigh Barty as a possible champion. Read what the Guardian has to say about it.

ORDER OF PLAY

For full Order of Play and to watch live streaming, visit Wimbledon's official site.