The second week of Wimbledon 2012 gets underway on Monday, with some of the biggest names in tennis in action at SW19.
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After a superb opening six days of Wimbledon the second week is all set to become one of the best in recent memory and with the likes of Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova (2/1 Wimbledon outright) in action, Monday is certain to be another great day of tennis.
The most eye-catching of the day’s ties sees reigning champion Kvitova take on former French Open winner Francesca Schiavone (Match odds Schiavone 5/1, Kvitova 1/9). After a nervous few moments in her opening match, Kvitova now appears to be enjoying her status as the champion and is yet to drop a set in this year’s event.
Once again, her rangy style appears to be paying dividends on the courts of the All England Club and she will fancy her chances of progressing though to the quarter-finals. However, she certainly won’t have it all her own way and in Schiavone she will certainly come up against a worthy opponent.
The Italian has struggled somewhat since winning the French Open in 2010, but is an extremely tricky customer and will not be overawed by the occasion. This one could turn out to be quite close, but Kvitova’s speed often makes a massive difference on grass and she should come through in straight sets.
Another match to keep an eye on is the clash between the in-form Sharapova and Sabine Lisicki (Match odds Sharapova 1/7, Lisicki 4/1). The Russian famously shot to prominence when she won this title in 2004 and after struggling over the last few years with a persistent shoulder problem, appears back to the form which saw many tip her for greatness at an early age.
Sharapova suffered somewhat of a scare in her second round match as she was taken to a decider by Tsvetana Pironkova but looks to be back on track after her comfortable third round win over Hsieh Su-wei. However, like in the first match, she won’t have it all way and in Lisicki, she faces somewhat of a grass court specialist.
The German reached the semi-finals of this tournament in 2011 and despite not hitting those heights so far this year, will relish the opportunity of taking on the world’s best. With two explosive hitters, this is sure to be a fiery encounter but her extra class should just see Sharapova shade it in two sets.
Elsewhere on Monday, Kim Clijsters will be looking to continue her comeback against the impressive Angelique Kerber (Match odds 8/11, Kerber evens). The Belgian has once again looked strong in London, despite her recent break from the game, but will certainly not be able to take anything for granted against the eight seed.
In the other big games of the day, Williams should just have enough to overcome the plucky Yaroslava Shvedova (Match odds Williams 1/6, Shevdova 7/2), while perhaps the biggest chance of an upset on Monday comes in the match between Ana Ivanovic and Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, where the Serb will confident of upsetting the odds and continuing her resurgence (Match odds Ivanovic 5/2, Azarenka 2/7).