Wimbledon 2017 Day 3 Preview: Murray vs. Brown

published: Jul, 05, 2017

by: Ben Stevens

Well they can’t all be classics… or even complete matches, apparently.

A day that saw both men’s matches on centre court end with second-set retirements, Tuesday at Wimbledon wasn’t exactly the most memorable, however it does raise once again the question: what to do about pre-existing injuries?

Both Martin Klizan and Aleksandr Dolgopolov retired as a result of injuries sustained before the tournament, yet attempted to play if for no other reason than to insure they received their full prizemoney for a first-round appearance. Nothing against them of course – £35,000 is nothing to laugh at – but ideally the players on the court would be able to actually, you know… play.

A solution that has started to make its way onto the ATP tour – and has been discussed for the 2018 Australian Open – is to award full first-round payouts for being entered into the main draw, while allowing lucky losers to take their place. The players get their money, the fans get their tennis. Seems like a no-brainer.

Hopefully this issue gets resolved in the near future. In the meantime, here’s your three to see on Day 3 at the Championships.

Elena Vesnina (RUS) [15] vs Victoria Azarenka (BLR) – 1st on No. 3 Court

A match where seeding means less than the previous form of Stan Wawrinka, Azarenka might be at the start of a truly extraordinary run. With seven losses in as many matches, Vesnina will be hard-pressed to find answers against an Azarenka that if not in full flight, at least found her footing in her 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory over CiCi Bellis. If Vesnina is to have any chance, she’s going to have to stretch the court continually, mixing her sharp cross-court forehand with penetrating backhands down the line, but even that might not be enough. Azarenka will inevitably get her licks, and should be primed to take control of the match, and her destiny in this tournament.

Andy Murray (GBR) [1] vs Dustin Brown (GER) – 2nd on Centre Court

Readers of my Australian Open and Roland Garros previews will know I have a soft spot for Dustin Brown, and with shots like this, who can blame me? The man is simply incapable of playing routine tennis, and especially on grass, that leads to some outrageous shots. No, the German doesn’t pose any particular threat to Murray, but the Scot’s counter-punching style will present opportunities for Brown to paint the lines, while also giving him some fun situations to work his magic with during one of his many ill-timed forays to net. Will it be close? Probably not. Will it be brilliant? Absolutely.

Jerzy Janowicz (POL) vs Lucas Pouille (FRA) [14] – 3rd on No. 3 Court

If his run to the 2013 Wimbledon semifinals showed us anything, it’s that Jerzy Janowicz can be a force on grass. If his form since has shown us anything, it’s that he’s as inconsistent as he is talented.

That said, he’s got a shot against Lucas Pouille. The two have met only once previously – a 7-6, 7-6 win for Pouille in St. Petersburg 2015 – and possess different but equally dangerous styles of ball-striking, with the Frenchman utilising more spin to Janowicz’s raw power. If Janowicz can find a modicum of consistency, his style should be more potent on the grass and keep Pouille firmly on his toes. Expect plenty of winners, a similar number of errors, one or twelve brain farts, and a whole lot of fun.

Ben Stevens

Contributor to TennisConnected. Long time player, coach and fan. Still waiting on Mark Philippoussis to break through at a major.

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