Laura Robson (GBR) v Mariana Duque-Marino (COL) – 4th on No.2 Court
British number one Laura Robson has already defied expectations by knocking out number ten seed Maria Kirilenko in the first round on Tuesday. But today the nation’s eyes will be on her as she squares up to qualifier Mariana Duque-Marino, ranked 79 places below her at 117, in a match she should statistically win. Long have we been bereft of a viable British women’s singles player capable of generating some excitement at Wimbledon so Robson will invariably be in the spotlight when she takes to No.2 Court this afternoon. The 19-year-old Brit has proven she can beat some of the best players in the world but shouldn’t underestimate the threat of Duque-Marino who dismissed world number 36 Julia Georges in her opener. This should be Robson’s chance to reach the third round at SW19 for the first time if she can hold her nerve and match the form we all know she’s capable of.
Serena Williams (USA)(1) v Caroline Garcia (FRA) – 1st on No.1 Court
Before this year’s competition even started Serena Williams was an overwhelming favourite for a sixth Wimbledon title but following yesterday’s string of injuries and major upsets she’s practically a shoo-in. After Azarenka’s withdrawal through injury, seed after seed went crashing out with Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic among the high profile casualties. Ranked 99 places below her at number 100, Caroline Garcia should be no threat to Serena’s booming baseline game so all bets will be on the younger Williams sister marching one step closer to the title. At this stage, the only person who can beat Serena is herself so unless the unfocused version we occasionally catch glimpses of turns up on court today, the world number one will likely progress into the third round.
Novak Djokovic (SRB)(1) v Bobby Reynolds (USA) – 3rd on Centre Court
Number one seed Novak Djokovic must have been rubbing his hands with glee when he was placed in isolation in the top half of the draw while his three rivals battled it out for a place in the final. But following Federer and Nadal’s dramatic early exits in the last few days number two seed and British hopeful Andy Murray’s route has become substantially easier and the playing field is once again level. With his advantage all but gone, Djokovic will come into today’s match against Bobby Reynolds with an eye to expending as little energy as possible. Aged thirty, the American qualifier took five sets to overcome steve Johnson in round one and is unlikely to have enough in the tank to produce the goods required to overcome Djokovic. The Serb should have this in three – but then we said that about Nadal and Federer…
James Blake (USA) v Bernard Tomic (AUS) – 2nd on Court 18
While neither Blake nor Tomic are seeded, they both have reputations that precede them. Blake’s powerful baseline game has been blighted by injury setbacks during his 14-year career which saw him reach a peak ranking of 4th back in 2006. At his best he was reaching Grand Slam quarter-finals but nowadays he’s more of a doubles specialist. That said, he’ll still pose a threat to young Australian Tomic whose Wimbledon campaign has been overshadowed by controversy after his father and coach was banned from the grounds after assaulting his former hitting partner. The promising 20-year-old took five sets to defeat 21st seed Sam Querrey so will need to dig deep to produce his best tennis today. He’s expected to win but don’t expect Blake to go down without a fight.
Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN) v Alexandra Cadantu (ROU) – 1st on Court 12
At 42 years of age, Date-Krumm is the oldest player in the competition, seeking to better her semi-final appearance at SW19 back in 1996. After returning to tennis in 2008 following a 12-year hiatus, the Japanese veteran has proved she can do battle with the best in the game and is currently ranked at 84 in the world. She dispatched with her first round opponent Carina Witthoeft 6-0 6-2 and today her powerful ground strokes will be aimed at 23-year-old Alexandra Cadantu who is three places below her at 87. The Romanian took just two sets to overcome 28th seed Tamira Paszek so expect a close tussle between these two hopefuls out on Court 12.