Wimbledon 2021: Manic Monday preview
;Photo: AELTC - Pool/Getty Images

Manic Monday. The official start of the second week of Wimbledon. For most tennis fans, it's the best day on the calendar. All 16 ladies and all 16 gentlemen that are left will take to the lawns of the All-England Club to pursue the title.

However, with the recent announcement that starting next year, there will be play on the middle Sunday, another of tennis' great traditions will slip into history. As the players get ready for the second week of The Championships, VAVEL takes a look at the matches that will comprise the final Manic Monday. 

The Ladies' draw

1. Ashleigh Barty vs 14. Barbora Krejcikova

The world number one, former Roland Garros champion and oddsmakers favorite to win here takes on the current Roland Garros champion, who is riding an 11-match winning streak in majors and a 15-match winning streak overall.

There will be a lot of shot making in this match as both players are comfortable at the back of the court. The key will be how well Barty can mix up her spins, slices and angles while Krejcikova will have to protect her second serve well. Come to net as often as possible and use her backhand to dictate points.

WC Emma Raducanu vs Ajla Tomljanovic 

There has been no greater surprise in the Championships so far than the play and progress of the 18-year old Brit. Having not played a tour-level event before receiving a wild card into the main draw here, Raducanu has made the most of her opportunity with three impressive wins.

In facing Tomljanovic, she goes up against a player that has always had talent, but often comes up short in the big moments. With this being a show court match (No. 1 Court), the biggest question surrounding this one may be whose nerves get in the way first.

30. Paula Badosa vs 19. Karolina Muchova

It's been a breakout year for both players as Badosa reached the quarterfinals in Paris while Muchova made the Australian Open semifinals, defeating Barty along the way. The Spaniard has the more powerful game with the ability to hit winners from anywhere on the court while the Czech has great variety and can play classic old-school grass-court tennis, having been a former quarterfinalist here.

If you happen to be attending the tournament, check this match out on Court 12 as you'll be looking at two future stars of the sport, each possessing the ability to not only to go far here, but in majors for years to come.

20. Cori Gauff vs 25 Angelique Kerber

Speaking of future stars, that's exactly what Gauff is. The 17-year old American has equaled her best result at the Championships by reaching the fourth round and has looked imperious in not dropping a set so far. However, she takes a severe step up in class now, facing the 2018 champion.

The power of Gauff against the precision and counterpunching skills of Kerber will be one of the great contrasts of the tournament as who can impose their style of play on the other will determine the outcome of this match. This is likely the pick of the bunch today and certainly worthy of being on Center Court. 

8Karolina Pliskova vs WC Liudmila Samsonova

Perhaps the Czech is benefitting from somewhat flying under the radar as she isn't being talked about as a title contender after so many years of not meeting expectations, but she hasn't dropped a set yet and her powerful serve should play well on what seem to be quicker courts this year.

In facing Samsonova, the eighth seed will encounter someone who is hot, having won her first career title in Berlin during the grass-court season, has defeated three quality opponents in Kaia Kanepi, 22nd seed Jessica Pegula and Sloane Stephens. The Russian says grass is her favorite surface and her serve is her primary weapon. If she can hold often, Court 12 fans may witness another surprise.

23. Madison Keys vs Viktorija Golubic

This has the potential to be the biggest mismatch of the day. Keys is playing solid tennis, has not lost a set in the tournament so far and can overpower the Swiss with relative ease. Golubic has a very fine backhand, but not much else and the American will look to attack every chance she gets.

The only thing that can interrupt the progress of Keys is nerves. She's often gone off the rails in key moments and big matches with unforced errors, but if she can keep that to a minimum, this could be the quickest match of the day. Credit to Golubic for taking advantage of her draw, but this may be as far as she goes.

21. Ons Jabeur vs 7. Iga Swiatek

Out on No. 2 Court, This is one for tennis fans to savor. The craft, guile and story of the Tunisian against the power of the Pole. Jabeur took her first career title on the grass at Birmingham and has beaten former champions Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza on her way to the fourth round here.

Swiatek has rolled through the first three rounds, dropping just 13 games on her way to the second week at the All-England Club for the first time. She'll look to dictate with her serve and powerful groundstrokes as often as she can. Admittedly still learning on grass, she may be the one giving out lessons in her current form.

18. Elena Rybakina vs 2. Aryna Sabalenka

This is an interesting match. Rybakina has looked very good so far, more like the early 2020 version when she was one of the best players on tour. She has the height, weapons and game suited for grass and is the clear underdog here, which may serve her well. Her backhand is also a beautiful shot.

Sabalenka is at her highest seeding at a major, has already overcome a stiff challenge in the second round against Katie Boulter and is ready to finally break through at a Slam after so many disappointments in the past. Her tremendous power gives her a chance to win any match she plays and she'll look to overpower the Kazakh, no lightweight herself.

The Gentlemen's draw

1. Novak Djokovic vs 17. Cristian Garin

Credit to the Chilean for making it this far. He's trying to shed the label that he's only good on grass and he is a terrific mover, not fazed by the likelihood that he will need to play long rallies here. His forehand is very heavy and he has quite a solid backhand, as well.

The issue for Garin is that Djokovic seems invincible right now. He's playing at an extremely high level, is serving better than ever and any time he loses a set, it's newsworthy. As we saw in the first round against Jack Draper, the Serb could lose a set, but anything more would be a massive surprise at this point.

Marton Fucsovics vs 5. Andrey Rublev

This is already the fifth time in the last eight and a half months that these two have met. When you watch Fucsovics play, you wonder why he isn't ranked higher. His aggressive style, ability to hit winners off of both style and movement for a fairly big guy are all assets.

Unfortunately for the Hungarian, he's lost all four previous meetings against Rublev, with the Russian receiving a walkover in what was to be a sixth meeting in Doha. The fifth seed is all about power. He'll want to overpower Fucsovics as much as possible and has the confidence of all the success he's had against him.

25. Karen Khachanov vs Sebastian Korda

With all of the great action going on, it's likely this match will be overlooked, but it shouldn't. Flying under the radar as compared to his compatriots Rublev and Daniil Medvedev, Khachanov is equipped with all the tools necessary to continue his run at the All-England Club. 

Korda is having a breakout week, his fourth round appearance matching his best run at a Slam. He likes to play fast points and will want to use his own serve to dictate, a mix of power and placement is what will put him in good stead. The underdog here, he's in with a real chance.

10. Denis Shapovalov vs 8. Roberto Bautista Agut

Regardless of the outcome, this may go the distance. Shapovalov may not be the fans' favorite after he dismantled Andy Murray in the third round. If he can keep his game under control, he's certainly got all the tools to win this one. His lefty serve will slide off the court, his groundstrokes, especially crosscourt, have a sharpness to them and he is a decent mover.

What he faces here is that Bautista Agut gives nothing away, is consistent off of both sides from the ground and is a former semifinalist at the All-England Club. The Spaniard is one of the most consistent players on tour and will look to force Shapovalov into a barrage off errors. 

7. Matteo Berrettini vs Ilya Ivashka

Like Keys vs Golubic on the ladies' side, this looks to be the biggest mismatch on the gentlemen's side. It's not that Ivashka doesn't have the ability to trouble Berrettini. He has a big game off of the ground which, like so many other players of his style, suits the grass. 

What makes me say this is that Berrettini has the game, experience this late in Slams and is playing with a tremendous amount of confidence at the moment. He's looked solid through three rounds so far with the loss of just a single set and has his sights set on the final weekend.

16. Felix Auger-Aliassime vs 4. Alexander Zverev

There will be talent oozing all over the court when these two come out and do battle. Auger-Aliassime has an advantage with his serve, a shot that Zverev has notoriously struggled with and should he have issues here, double faults plaguing him, that swings this match in the Canadian's favor.

The German has been playing much better in Slams recently, having reached the US Open final and Roland Garros semifinals. He can use that recent success to his advantage if the match is, as expected, close. With winners coming from all over the court, this will be a treat to watch.

6. Roger Federer vs 23. Lorenzo Sonego

The fans will be firmly behind the Swiss as he pursues his record eighth Wimbledon title and 21st Grand Slam to break the tie he is currently in with Rafael Nadal for most all-time. After a first-round scare against Adrian Mannarino, he's looked marvelous in his last two matches.

Sonego has a huge serve and will look to be aggressive on the first shot after it, which is really the only way he knows how to play. Federer will look to put him on the defensive and test his retrieving skills, making him uncomfortable. The Italian needs to win the first set if he is to stand a legitimate chance of pulling off the huge upset.

14. Hubert Hurkacz vs 2. Daniil Medvedev

This has the ability to be a fascinating encounter. Hurkacz took home his first Masters 1000 title earlier this year in Miami and possesses a huge serve and, as Marin Cilic showed last round, that's something that could trouble Medvedev.

The Russian showed great heart in rallying from two sets down against the former finalist on what is his weakest surface. His consistency off the ground and his backhand will give him a solid chance of moving on. Protecting his serve will be paramount as one break against Hurkacz may be all the Pole needs.

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