The collapsing women’s draw leaves a whole host of players with a great opportunity to go deep into the tournament. With just two out of the top ten seeds remaining, the likes of Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka will fancy their chances of a run to the semi finals or better. They play second up on Centre Court following the Rafael Nadal-Alex Di Minaur match.
Kerber was a finalist two years ago as part of her stunning 2016 that saw her make three slam finals and win two of them. The German has come back down to earth a bit but is in good form right now, having made the Eastbourne semi final. She beat two qualifiers with wildly differing levels of experience to make it this far – Vera Zvonareva in round one and Claire Liu in round two. “It was a quite tricky match. I was not playing actually my best today. I was not feeling my rhythm from the beginning. She played well.” she said after the three set win against the young American.
“She’s serving good. She playing really hard from the, yeah, ground. It’s just about I think one, two points. You have to be actually aggressive because she is always aggressive. You have to [be] moving good.” Kerber said on Osaka. The Japanese player finally got on the radar of many casual fans with her Indian Wells title and has done okay on the grass so far this year. A retirement in Birmingham doesn’t seem to have impacted her through the first two rounds, which were comfortable wins over Monica Niculescu and wildcard Katie Boulter.
“Since she’s such a great mover, I think just staying really calm and accepting if she makes a really good winner or if I make a mistake. Because playing against her, you have to expect long rallies because she doesn’t really miss.” the No.18 seed said on Kerber. Osaka will be hoping for a repeat of their previously slam meeting, where she won easily at the US Open – 6-3 6-1.
Prediction – Naomi Osaka in three sets