Dustin Brown shocked Lleyton Hewitt in the second round. Image courtesy of tennisworldusa.org
Lleyton Hewitt’s departure leaves Bernard Tomic as the only Australian left in the men’s singles. At least Australia is going better than the United States; for the first time since 1912 no American male has advanced to the third round after Tomic’s straight sets victory over James Blake.
Hewitt’s conqueror, former Jamaican now German, Dustin Brown , has the chance to extend his best run at a Grand Slam event when he takes on Frenchman Adrian Mannarino . Just three seeds remain in this quarter of the draw, and none of those (Nicolas Almagro, Benoit Paire and Jerzy Janowicz) has advanced to the round of 16 previously. Brown is the most comfortable of the section on grass, although if Sergiy Stakhovsky produces the same brilliant serve-volley tennis he used to disrupt Roger Federer in round two, he should account for veteran Austrian claycourter Jurgen Melzer .
Brown and left-hander Mannarino have faced off three times previously with the latter holding a 2-1 advantage. Notably, Brown’s win came six years on carpet in a lower-level tournament in Switzerland, so he has won the only match-up on a fast surface. He is also riding high after taking out five straight matches in SW19, and the only set he has dropped was the third set breaker against Hewitt. His record against southpaws on the ATP Tour isn’t good, though, having lost the four times he has faced lefties.
Mannarino crushed dirt specialist Pablo Andujar in three sets in the opening round, then had big-serving American John Isner retire just two games in to their second round match. He has limited experience on grass, but his two Wimbledon wins are his first on the ATP Tour all year, as he has been roaming around on the Challenger tour for most of the season.
Janowicz and Almagro also face off this evening, which means at least one more seed will drop out before the fourth round. The pair has met just once before, also at this stage of a slam, with Almagro getting up in straight sets at this year’s Australian Open.
In the best of the women’s singles matches tonight, 2011 champion Petra Kvitova takes on dangerous Russian Ekaterina Makarova in a battle of the lefties. This pair has split its head-to-heads on grass after meeting at Eastbourne in 2011 and 2012. Both matches were tight two-set contests. Kvitova struggled to overcome lowly American Coco Vandeweghe in three sets in the opening round before getting a walkover in the second. Makarova was also pushed to the brink in her last encounter before closing out 6-4 in the third set against Spanish up-and-comer Garbine Muguruza.
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