For the first time since 2004, and only the fourth time in history, there will be play on Wimbledon's middle Sunday. We preview the key matchups right here at
WTA Staff

LONDON, Great Britain - For the first time since 2004, and only the fourth time in history, there will be play on Wimbledon's middle Sunday. Contributor Chris Oddo previews the key matchups right here at

Third Round

[1] Serena Williams (USA #1) vs. Annika Beck (GER #43)
Head-to-head: First meeting
Key Stat: Williams is bidding for her 300th Grand Slam win

After a hard-fought 6-7(7), 6-2, 6-4 victory over Christina McHale, Serena Williams will look for an easier match against World No.43 Annika Beck on Sunday. Though she appeared flustered and slightly off her game at times during her Centre Court win on Friday, Williams assessed her performance against McHale positively. "I think it was pretty good," she said. "Especially in the second set at least. She played better than I've ever seen her play before. It was good for me to get through that." Next, Williams will face a 22-year-old German that has reached the third round at Wimbledon for the first time. As is typically the case, the American is focused more on herself than externals?she's thinking big picture as the first week of the fortnight winds down. "I do believe that every match I do plan on getting better," she said. "I hope to play more matches to get better. I'm ready for it. I'm ready for any challenge."

Pick: Williams in two

[6] Roberta Vinci (ITA #7) vs. [27] CoCo Vandeweghe (USA #30)
Head-to-head: Tied, 1-1
Key Stat: Vandeweghe is 3-0 against the Top 10 this season.

CoCo Vandeweghe is enjoying being seeded for the first time at a major and thus far she's backed up her seed quite nicely at Wimbledon. But danger lurks in the third round in the form of a crafty Italian by the name of Roberta Vinci. The Italian snapped a two-year Wimbledon losing streak with wins over Alison Riske and Duan Ying-Ying this week, but it's actually Vandeweghe who has the more impressive Wimbledon pedigree. A quarterfinalist last year, the 24-year-old American wants to match that performance this fortnight?at the very least. "I think it's the first [major] that I've really pushed deep in," Vandeweghe said of her Wimbledon past. "I would like to do equal to what I did last year." To do that she'll have to defeat a Top 10 player at Wimbledon for the second consecutive year. Last year she knocked off Lucie Safarova in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals before falling to Maria Sharapova, and tomorrow she'll look to use her aggressive serve and forehand to limit the effect of Vinci's clever tactics and devilish slice.

Pick: Vandeweghe in three

[13] Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS #14) vs. [18] Sloane Stephens (USA #22)
Head-to-head: Kuznetsova leads, 2-1
Key Stat: Three-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist Kuznetsova doubled her Wimbledon win total from the previous four seasons by reaching round three.

Svetlana Kuznetsova is a three-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist but one has to trace back nearly a decade to find the last time the Russian reached the last eight at Wimbledon. That was 2007, this is now. Could it be time for a grass revival for the two-time major champion? It certainly is not out of the question given how strong of a 2016 the 31-year-old is having. She has two Top 2 wins, a title and a final to her name, and it truly feels like she is on the cusp of a breakout performance at a major. She had gone seven straight majors without making the second week until this year's French Open, but will have the chance to do that again when she meets plucky Sloane Stephens for the fourth time on Sunday. Stephens is having a career year having earned three titles and gone 22-6, but success at majors has been elusive. She's only reached the second week of a major once in the last eight majors.

Pick: Kuznetsova in three

[11] Timea Bacsinszky (SUI #11) vs. [21] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS #23)
Head-to-head: Pavlyuchenkova leads, 2-1
Key Stat: Bacsinszky owns 9-1 three-set record in 2016

Timea Bacsinszky came back on Day 6 to finish up a rain-suspended match in style, winning six straight games to close out Monica Niculescu, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. The 27-year-old Swiss says she let the lion out of the cage on Saturday, and she plans to do it again when she faces Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round. "My coach was telling me before I went on court, even at my warmup, he was telling me, 'Well, okay, be like a lion in the cage and just leave the cage closed until you go on court.'" Bacsinszky said. "You can open it. You decide when you open it. But just before, stay still, stay calm." The plan worked for Bacsinszky, and she hopes she can spring out of her cage on Sunday when she tries to avenge a drubbing at the hands of Pavlyuchenkova earlier this season. "I lost my first match [of the season] in Australia against her," she said. "But I wasn't that quick on my legs, and I was just kind of testing my knee because it was still hurting until February." Healthy now, Bacsinszky hopes she can get past the hard-hitting Russian, who is into the third round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2010.

Pick: Bacsinszky in three

[24] Barbora Strycova (CZE #26) vs. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS #35)
Head-to-head: Strycova leads, 2-1
Key Stat: The two veterans have not met since their first-round meeting at Wimbledon in 2009.

Can Ekaterina Makarova knock off two Czech mates in the same weekend? The Russian sent ripples through the grounds when she finished off two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 7-5, 7-6(5) on Saturday, but she'll have to come back down to earth quickly to face a very crafty grass-courter in Strycova. Two years ago both Makarova and Strycova proved their worth on grass when they made quarterfinal runs at SW19, and on Wimbledon's middle Sunday they'll be out to set themselves up for another deep run.

Pick: Makarova in three

By the Numbers:
1-11 - Annika Beck's career record against Top 10 opposition.
10-1 - Coco Vandeweghe's record on grass this season.
6 - Roberta Vinci's seeding this Wimbledon fortnight is the highest of her career.
139 - Number of Grand Slam wins that Svetlana Kuznetsova has achieved. Only three other active players have won more at the majors (Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova).