Justine Henin (BEL) vs. Nadia Petrova (RUS)
The reason that Henin came back to the tour was Wimbledon. She's won every other Grand Slam tournament, so winning this would complete the career Grand Slam for her. Twice (2001 and 2006) she's been a finalist, and another three times she has reached the semis. Will this be the year that Henin does it?
Petrova knocked off Yung-Jan Chan in the second round in straight sets to advance to the third round of Wimbledon for the eighth time in her career. She's been a quarterfinalist here twice before, but never further. A win here would certainly give her a big boost in 2010!
Henin is 13-2 against Petrova and beat her twice earlier this year on the hard courts down in Australia. They've met once on grass before, back in 2003 and Henin won that match in three sets. Petrova will come out and attack Henin from the beginning. She plays aggressively, has a very good serve, moves well and knows how to win. On the other hand, while Henin will play an aggressive brand of tennis, she has a lot more variety in her game and will keep Petrova off-balance throughout the match. I see this one going three sets, but in looking at their past history and taking into account Henin's desire to win this tournament I give the edge to her.
Nick's Pick - Henin in 3 sets
Kim Clijsters (BEL) vs. Maria Kirilenko (RUS)
Clijsters missed the French Open due to an injury she sustained during the Fed Cup back in April, but she did play Eastbourne before Wimbledon to get some grass-court matches in before Wimbledon. She's a two-time semifinalist here, but just like she showed at last year's US Open, she has the tools to win this tournament.
Kirilenko has already had two good Grand Slam results this year with a quarterfinal showing at the Aussie Open and she reached the fourth-round at the French Open. She has never been past the 2nd round at Wimbledon, so beating Clijsters here would be huge for her!
Clijsters is 2-0 against Kirilenko, but they haven't played since 2006 and both of those matches were on clay. Kirilenko has a very solid game from both sides, is extremely smart on the court and isn't afraid to come to the net. She also moves well, but she cannot really hurt Clijsters. I look for Clijsters to move in and take the ball early which will keep Kirilenko on her heels. Clijsters' serve and her movement are top-notch and she seems to be healthy again after missing the French Open. I look for Clijsters to advance which will set up a dramatic battle between her and Henin!
Nick's Pick - Clijsters in 2 sets
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
Despite being the third seed, there hasn't been much talk about Wozniacki. Since reaching the finals of last year's US Open, Wozniacki has failed to reach the semis of both the Australian Open and French Open. She played at Eastbourne before Wimbledon and lost her first match there to Aravane Rezai.
Pavlyuchenkova is playing in her third Wimbledon, with her best result coming back in 2008 when she reached the third round. If she wins this, it will be the first time she has reached the Round of 16 of any Grand Slam tournament.
Wozniacki is 3-0 against Pavlyuchenkova and has beaten her twice already this year. This is a battle between two of the young stars on the WTA Tour. While Wozniacki has already cracked the top five, Pavlyuchenkova is still looking for her first big break. She plays an aggressive style, has a big forehand and backhand and moves pretty well. Wozniacki doesn't have the huge game that some of the other top players have, but what she lacks in power, she makes up for in speed, quickness and smarts. She has beaten Pavlyuchenkova before and knows how to do it again. I look for a tough match, but for Wozniacki to advance.
Nick's Pick - Wozniacki in 3 sets