Another day, another top women’s player out. So long, Caroline Wozniacki.

Up against a swarm of flying ants and an opponent who seemingly has the wood on her, the reigning Australian Open champ fell in three tumultuous sets 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 to Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova, marking the fifth top-8 seed eliminated in the first three days.

Incredibly, that means that the women’s draw is already guaranteed at least one unseeded quarterfinalist, and we’ve still got a day to go in the second round! Gotta love grand slam tennis.

Here’s your three to see on day 4 at the Championships:

Angelique Kerber (GER) [11] v Claire Liu (USA) – First on Court 12

If you’ve yet to get on board with Claire Liu, the time is now. Following up her 2017 girls title here with a first-round victory over fellow top prospect Ana Konjuh, the 18-year-old American now gets to test her mettle against two-time major champion Angie Kerber. Not the sort of player who can simply blast her off the court, Kerber is the ideal high-profile opponent for Liu at this stage in her career, and one it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see her do relatively well against. Expect a contest involving every possible inch and angle on the court, one that is likely to serve as a solid foundation for Kerber’s immediate future as it is Liu’s long-term one.

Kei Nishikori (JPN) [24] v Bernard Tomic (AUS) – Fourth on No. 2 Court

Still yet to really make a dent on tour in his comeback from injury, Kei Nishikori gets an interesting test here in part-time tennis player and full-time bad-boy Bernard Tomic. A Wimbledon quarterfinalist back in 2011, Tomic is at his most comfortable on the grass and can take additional confidence from having won the two most recent meetings (of four total) with the Japanese, both in 2016 in Brisbane and Cincinnati. If Nishikori is to make it to turn the tables, he’ll need to be at his aggressive best, not allowing Tomic to get comfortable on serve, and constantly looking to pull the Australian across the baseline and stop him from easing his way into rallies where he can counter-punch with his much flatter groundstrokes. In any case, we should be treated to some electrifying exchanges, and maybe, just maybe even a five-setter.

Benoit Paire (FRA) v Denis Shapovalov (CAN) [26] – Fourth on No. 3 Court

A 2016 junior Wimbledon champion, if there’s any major Denis Shapovalov is best suited to make his breakthrough at, it’s this one. First however, he’ll have to make his way past Benoit Paire, who when not moonlighting as an Australian bushranger can be a very tricky opponent. As he showed in his near-win over Roger Federer two weeks ago in Halle, Paire has the grass court goods, and for all his shotmaking ability it will be Shapovalov who will be under the most defensive pressure from the big serving Frenchman. Of course, there’s always the chance Paire forgets to mentally show up, but if he does, this encounter provide some of the most high-octane, all-court tennis out there.


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