Well that didn’t take long. Wimbledon 2018 just got very interesting.

Petra Kvitova, Dominic Thiem, Maria Sharapova, David Goffin, Caroline Garcia, Marco Cecchinato and Jack Sock were all bundled out in a veritable bloodbath for the seeds on day 2 at the championships.

Particularly for pre-tournament favourite Kvitova, the loss has to sting considering her strong form and championship pedigree here, alas, just like the other names on that list, the quest to prove herself at major-level will have to wait a while longer.

Of course with so many high-profile exits, there is now plenty of opportunity for one of Wimbledon’s patented Cinderella runs through the draw. Will we see another Magdalena Rybarikova? I can’t wait to find out.

Here’s your three to see on day 3 at the championships.

Ivo Karlovic (CRO) v Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) – Second on Court 15

The resident ‘ageless wonder’ of the ATP tour, 39-year-old Ivo Karlovic seems determined to ensure his grandchildren can see him play, and if he can keep picking up the occasional victory at grand slam level, he might just get his wish. Now he comes up against the 28-year-old Jan-Lennard Struff, who at 6’5 possesses a lethal serve not unlike the 6’11 Karlovic’s, and that should make this a contest of classic grass court tennis. Whether it goes three sets or five, expect plenty of first strike action, and more aces than candles on Karlovic’s birthday cake.

Karolina Pliskova (CZE) [7] v Victoria Azarenka (BLR) – First on Centre

As desperate to achieve of grand slam glory as the other is to regain it, Pliskova v Azarenka is about as big a blockbuster as you can get at this stage of the tournament. Already having split two cracking matches this year (Azarenka won in Miami, Pliskova returned the favour in Madrid), the stage is set for a decider that is sure to be an exhibition in power tennis. Similarly equipped with tremendous backhands, each woman’s ability to sustain and create pressure on the forehand wing will be key, but regardless it’s highly likely both women get their licks in. Expect a see-saw three sets and a victor with some serious dark horse momentum.

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) [32] v Lucie Safarova (CZE) – Second on No. 2 Court

Still struggling to regain her form after her 2017 foot injury, 2012 Wimbledon champion Agnieszka Radwanska has had a tough time as of late, and it’s not set to get any easier here against Lucie Safarova. Leading their head-to-head 4-1 (albeit with their last meeting coming in 2011), Safarova knows she has the goods to trouble Radwanska, and will look to control points with the weight and depth of her groundstrokes. The onus is on Radwanska to dislodge the Czech from her attacking position on the baseline, and that will require her to be at her tactical best. Should make for a very entertaining encounter.


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