Wimbledon fourth round preview: Coco Vandeweghe vs Caroline Wozniacki

The hard-hitting American Coco Vandeweghe has thrived on the grass courts at Wimbledon. The 24th seed has paired up with 1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash as the Australian believes that Vandeweghe has the game to win a Slam, and he wants to help her realize her potential. The American reached her first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open by defeating the defending champion Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza back-to-back. Vandeweghe was a set away from reaching her first Grand Slam final but she lost to her compatriot Venus Williams in three sets.

Standing in the way between Vandeweghe and a second quarterfinal at SW19 in three years will be Caroline Wozniacki. The fifth-seeded Dane is competing in her sixth fourth round appearance at Wimbledon. She is yet to reach the quarterfinals, and she will be desperate to join the last eight club this year and complete her set of reaching the quarterfinals or better at every Grand Slam.

Wozniacki is one of three players along with Elina Svitolina and Kristina Mladenovic to reach four finals in 2017. Unfortunately, the former world number one has the been the bridesmaid and lost all four of her singles finals that she has contested this year. The Dane lost to Sabine Lisicki, Petra Kvitova, Dominika Cibulkova, Barbora Strycova and to Garbine Muguruza in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015 respectively. Moreover, the two-time US Open finalist will sense this as a good opportunity to claim her first Grand Slam singles title with her best friend Serena Williams currently not competing due to pregnancy.

Vandeweghe's route to Manic Monday

The 24th seed has not dropped a set en route to the quarterfinals in 2017. Under the watchful eye of Pat Cash, the hard-hitting American dispatched Mona Barthel, 7-5, 6-2. In the second round, Vandeweghe cruised past another German, Tatjana Maria, 6-4, 6-2 advancing to the third round once more. Despite cruising the second set, the American almost crumbled under the pressure against her compatriot Alison Riske. The 25-year-old was in cruise control of the match, leading a set and 4-0 in the second set but Riske battled back to level the second set at 4-4. Nonetheless, Vandeweghe regained her composure and defeated her countrywoman, 6-2, 6-4 booking her place in the fourth round for the third consecutive year.

The American will fancy her chances of beating Wozniacki for the first time (Photo by Julian Finney / Getty)
The American will fancy her chances of beating Wozniacki for the first time (Photo by Julian Finney / Getty)

Wozniacki's route to Manic Monday

It's hard to believe that Wozniacki is just 26 years of age. Furthermore, should the former world number one defeat Vandeweghe, she will be contesting her first Wimbledon quarterfinal on her 27th birthday. Nevertheless, the fifth seed had a tough first round encounter on Centre Court against former world number 25 Timea Babos. Babos has been struggling in recent months but she is still a dangerous opponent. The Dane needed three sets to send the 24-year-old packing. On Thursday, Wozniacki did not get on court until after 7:30 pm local time to complete her second round match. She dispatched 2010 semifinalist Tsevtana Pironkova, 6-3, 6-4. However, Wozniacki suffered an almighty scare in the third round against Anett Kontaveit. The Estonian was on a seven-match winning streak after winning her first title in 's-Hertogenbosch and two matches at Wimbledon. Kontaveit was serving for the match twice, and she was two points away from victory. Moreover, the veteran continued to fight hard and she was rewarded with a 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-2 over Kontaveit.

Their history

Wozniacki and Vandeweghe have met on two occasions, and the fifth seed leads their head-to-head 2-0. Both of their previous encounters have come on hard courts. The former world number one won their first clash in Monterrey in three sets back in 2014 but their second encounter in the first round in Beijing was a lot closer. The Dane defeated Vandeweghe, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in a three-set battle.

The two-time US Open finalist will be desperate to reach the quarterfinals for the first time (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty)
The two-time US Open finalist will be desperate to reach the quarterfinals for the first time (Photo by Shaun Botterill / Getty)

Who reaches the quarterfinals?

The 24th seed's game is tailor made for grass. Vandeweghe possesses a big serve, and she gets a lot of aces on this surface. Moreover, both of her backhands and forehands are devastating weapons on this surface. The American's movement has also improved on grass which is key.

However, Wozniacki is a great defender, and she has tremendous movement on all surfaces. The Dane could get overpowered by Vandeweghe. On the other hand, she will continue to defend and retrieve balls which may frustrate the American and force her to commit more errors. It is vital for the former world number one to hold onto her serve, which has improved this year but her second serve is still weak. Vandeweghe will need to step into the court and punish her.

This fourth round clash will be the second match scheduled on No.3 Court following the clash between Agnieszka Radwanska and Svetlana Kuznetsova. The winner of this third round clash will fancy their chances in the quarterfinals as they will face Magdalena Rybarikova or Petra Martic for a place in the semifinals. If Vandeweghe has a good serving day and remains calm and composed, she should reach her second Wimbledon quarterfinal and inflict more heartbreak for Wozniacki.

Prediction: Vandeweghe in straight sets