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Five to Follow: Ivanovic-Lisicki clash and march of Canadians

Ana Ivanovic pumps her first on No.3 Court
by Nicholas McCarvel
Saturday 28 June 2014

A former world No.1 and last year’s finalist lead the list of must-watch matches at Wimbledon on Day Six.

Can the Canadians continue their march at the All England Club? And will Serena Williams gain revenge against a woman who beat her just months ago. Those stories and more in the five to follow for Saturday.

What are the five to follow each day? They’re five matches that provide the most intrigue around the grounds – from top of the line down to a couple of wild cards meeting for a spot in the fourth round, as in the case of Kyrgios-Vesely (see below). But Saturday’s best picks at Wimbledon don’t include Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer (who both should advance easily) and instead five matches that could produce some of the best closing chapters in what has been an active week one at The Championships.

[11] Ana Ivanovic (SRB) v [19] Sabine Lisicki (GER)
No.1 Court, Second match after 1pm
The surprising part of this rivalry is that these two players have met just once in their careers, a match Ivanovic (above) won just a couple of months ago on red clay (with ease). Lisicki will look to channel the kind of confidence that has left her feeling nearly unbeatable on these courts in the last year, save the final with Marion Bartoli. Ivanovic won her first-ever title on grass two weeks ago in Birmingham, while a third-round appearance here from Lisicki marked just the second time this year that she’s won back-to-back matches at one event.

[8] Milos Raonic (CAN) v Lukasz Kubot (POL)
No.2 Court, 11.30am
The 6ft 5in Raonic has worked his way up the men’s tennis food chain, having broken through at the Australian Open in 2011 and just weeks ago making his first-ever quarter-final at a major in Paris. Seeded No.8 here, the Canadian is drawn against the Pole Kubot, who comes into Wimbledon ranked No.72 a year after making an inspiring run to the last eight in SW19. They have never met, but it’s Raonic who has the upper-hand in both confidence and skill, a rising talent ranked the highest he ever has been with a game that fits perfectly on the grass.

[13] Genie Bouchard (CAN) v [20] Andrea Petkovic (GER)
No.3 Court, 11.30am
The two losing semi-finalists from the French Open square off in an intriguing Wimbledon round of 32 bout, which pits the up-and-coming Bouchard against a resurgent Petkovic, trying to claw her way back into the top 10. Petkovic actually owns a 3-0 head-to-head record against the 20-year-old, the last two between the Canadian and German have gone the distance, most recently 7-5 in the third in Charleston. Both players will have their minds on a likely fourth-round clash with Serena Williams looming, though the winner will have to be the risk taker and the consistent force in this match.

[WC] Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v [WC] Jiri Vesely (CZE)
Court 17, 11.30am
Two wild cards at The Championships have had respective fairy tale runs, one of them looking to extend the dream a little further with a win on Saturday. The side court promises to be brimming with plenty of support for both of these up-and-comers, Vesely a 20-year-old from the Czech Republic and Kyrgios the much-followed Australian who is just 19. It was Kyrgios who saved a sensational nine match points in a five-set win over Richard Gasquet on Thursday. Vesely, not to be outdone, went the distance with Gael Monfils. The victor on Saturday will advance to his first-ever Grand Slam fourth round and officially throw his hat into the I-can-do-this-next ring.

[1] Serena Williams (USA) v [25] Alize Cornet (FRA)
No.1 Court, 1pm
It’s a somewhat unspectacular match-up on paper, but the Serena-Cornet battle on Saturday will have this fact hanging over it: in their most recent meeting, it was the Frenchwoman who prevailed. That was nearly five months ago on a hard court in Dubai, but the world No.24 will no doubt take that confidence onto the court with her when she faces the game’s most dominating and fearless figures on a Wimbledon show court. Serena is 3-1 vs. Cornet in her career, and has lost just five games in two matches while Cornet has worked her way through two three-setters.

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