Bernard Tomic can continue his promising grasscourt form on Thursday night. Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au/George Salpigtidis
With the carnage wreaked by underdogs, the slippery grass and other injury ailments on day 3, the draw in both the gentlemen’s and women’s singles has opened up significantly. Unfortunately for Bernard Tomic , the seeds haven’t fallen so far in his section of the draw, so a potential third round match-up with Richard Gasquet and then a round of 16 clash with 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych. But before he can even think about those meetings, firstly he has to get through a second round clash with former world No. 4 James Blake .
Tomic showed signs of coming to life when he won his first two matches at Eastbourne in the lead-up to Wimbledon, and on day two at the All England Club he managed to hold against Sam Querrey in a thrilling five-setter . Tomic won the first two sets in tie-breaks , but complained of dizziness in the fourth as the power-packed American levelled the match. He took out the final set 6-3 to advance.
Blake has had an ordinary year so far, but much like Tomic, his game picked up when the grasscourt season started, even though it has hardly been his favourite surface over the years. He beat Sergiy Stakhovsky in the final round of qualifying at Eastbourne, and given the Ukrainian outsed Roger Federer in the second round this week, that win looks better than it first appeared. He hadn’t progressed past the first round at Wimbledon for four years prior to this campaign when he started with a 6-1 6-3 6-2 demolition of Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker in the opening round.
The other Australian in action on day four, Samantha Stosur , comes up against Russian Olga Puchkova , a player she beat easily in their only previous meeting back in 2007. Stosur was untroubled in disposing of teenager Anna Schmiedlova 6-1 6-3 in the first round.
Puchkova struggled throughout the claycourt season but found her game, once again, at Eastbourne, where she beat three quality opponents (Shahar Peer, Lucie Hradecka and Melanie Oudin) in qualifying before she was given a straight sets-shellacking in the first round by Ekaterina Makarova. The 25-year-old knocked over Arantxa Rus in her previous match 6-4 6-2 , but given her opponent has now lost 17 straight matches on the WTA Tour, it shouldn’t fill Stosur with any great fear.
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