Before each day's play at Wimbledon 2019, we'll preview three must-see matches.
Stan Wawrinka vs. Reilly Opelka
In theory, Opelka should be a nightmare to play on grass. The latest in a serve-machine family tree that includes Ivo Karlovic and John Isner, the 21-year-old American is 6’11” and can rain aces for days. At his age, he can also move pretty well for his height, and he’s the steadiest ground-stroker of the three giants. Opelka may also be effective against Wawrinka, whose one-handed backhand return is his most exploitable vulnerability. Once the points start, of course, Stan will have the advantage, so making returns—especially in the inevitable tiebreakers—will be key for him. Will the momentum Wawrinka finally started to build on clay transfer to grass? He hasn’t been past the second round at Wimbledon since 2015. Winner: Opelka
Cori Gauff vs. Magdalena Rybarikova
The 15-year-old Gauff’s gutsy win over Venus Williams was the story of the opening day, and began a story that may still be unfolding two decades from now. But how will she do on Wednesday? As well as Gauff played in her opener, Venus was not at her best. In that sense, while the pressure level may be a little lower in the second round, Gauff’s opponent will likely be a little tougher; Rybarikova is a veteran grass-court specialist who reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2017. Gauff should still have the power advantage, but how will she handle Rybarikova’s finesse? It will be fun finding out. Winner: Rybarikova
Anastasija Sevastova vs. Danielle Collins
The Latvian will bring the craft, the American will bring the crush: It’s hard to imagine a starker contrast in styles. That’s particularly true from the backhand side. Sevastova can do anything with her backhand—drive it; slice it; drop it; carve it with sidespin. Collins can do one big thing with hers: rip it flat and into the corners. What these two do share is an emotional edge on the court; neither is prone to hiding how they’re feeling. Whoever wins, their first meeting shouldn’t lack intensity. But Sevastova, who reached the semifinals in Mallorca two weeks ago, should have an advantage on grass. Winner: Sevastova