Before each day's play at Wimbledon 2019, we'll preview three must-see matches.
With Ash Barty making her Centre Court debut, Serena is first up on Court 1. That may be slightly unusual scheduling for a seven-time Wimbledon champion, but if her record against Goerges is any indication, this should be business as usual for her. The American and the German have faced each other four times, and Williams has yet to drop a set—that includes a 6-2, 6-4 win in last year’s Wimbledon semifinals. Goerges, of course, is no slouch, on grass or anywhere else. She’s a Top 20 player who has continued to improve even after a decade on tour, and she reached the final in Birmingham two weeks ago. But we’ll need more evidence than that to pick her over Serena. Winner: S. Williams
It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for Nadal. After surviving the grudge match of the fortnight against Nick Kyrgios in his last round on Centre Court, he’ll be back there to face another difficult opponent in Tsonga. Rafa will be favored, of course; he leads his head to head with Jo 8-4, and is currently ranked 71 spots higher than the Frenchman. But there are reasons to think this one might get complicated. Tsonga won their only previous meeting on grass, at Queen’s Club eight years ago; Tsonga pushed Roger Federer deep into a third set two weeks ago in Halle; and Nadal might suffer a bit of a letdown after getting past Kyrgios. Or, this being Rafa, he might not. Winner: Nadal
Stephens admitted on Thursday that she’s had her struggles against Konta. What else can you say when you’ve already lost three times to an opponent in a single season? In the last of those meetings, at the French Open, the American couldn’t make any inroads at all on the Brit’s serve. And that was on clay, Stephens’ favorite surface; will she be able to do any better on grass, her least-favorite surface? The fans on No. 1 Court will be in Konta’s corner, and that 3-0 record says she’ll know how pick apart Stephens’ tricky game. But that record also might inspire Sloane, who has looked better on grass this week, not to get picked apart again. Winner: Stephens