One of the most interesting third round matches on Saturday will see Anett Kontaveit, the rapidly improving Estonian, take on fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki on Court One for a place in the second week at Wimbledon.
The two have met once before, with the Estonian upsetting the Dane on this surface in Nottingham last year in a tight three-set encounter, and Kontaveit has progressed massively since then, though Wozniacki is now nearer her best than she was then and will be tough to beat. Both women have done well on grass leading up to this tournament, with Kontaveit winning her maiden WTA title at the Ricoh Open, and Wozniacki reaching the final in Eastbourne.
The winner of this match will face Alison Riske or 24th seed Coco Vandeweghe in the fourth round.
So far at Wimbledon
So far it has been Kontaveit who has been the more comfortable of the two, with the Estonian yet to drop a set, though Wozniacki has arguably faced tougher opposition.
The Dane, who has never made the quarterfinals at the All England Club, started against Timea Babos, battling past the Hungarian in three sets on Centre Court. Following that, Wozniacki put in an extremely impressive performance, easing past dangerous grass court player Tsvetana Pironkova to reach this stage; she’ll be fairly satisfied with her progress so far.
Kontaveit had lost in the opening round in her previous three Wimbledon appearances, but it was fourth time lucky for the Estonian this year as she eased past Lara Arruabarrena in straight sets. Following that, she put in an extremely strong performance to knock out 29th seed Daria Kasatkina for the loss of just five games, and she’ll be confident coming into this.
The biggest contrasting in this match will be the different styles of the play the two possess, with Kontaveit being a powerful and generally aggressive, whilst Wozniacki is generally more defensive (especially against powerful opponents, such as the Estonian) and is extremely quick round court. It will be interesting to see if Kontaveit can be patient enough to break down Wozniacki and if Wozniacki is able to consistently deal with Kontaveit’s power.
A key aspect for Wozniacki will be how often she can be aggressive. The success she has had in recent years has been down to the fact that she has been willing to break out her defensive mode and attack often, and this could be important for her chances of victory against an opponent who may be nervy and is fairly inexperienced at this level.
Kontaveit must look to attack as much as she can, but mustn’t give the fifth seed too many opportunities; if she makes too many errors, Wozniacki will grow in confidence and will believe that she can break down the Estonian. However, whilst the Estonian has played well this tournament and has beaten Wozniacki before, many will still see her as an underdog for this clash; though she may be nervous, she may have little pressure on her.
This is likely to be a highly exciting encounter, especially considering the contrasting style between the two, and many people will be interested to see the outcome of this match. It could seemingly go either way, but it seems that the recent form of Kontaveit could see her pick up a big win here.
Prediction: Anett Kontaveit in three sets