Wimbledon 2017 Third Round Preview: Angelique Kerber vs Shelby Rogers

Previewing World No.1 Angelique Kerber’s third round match in Wimbledon against American Shelby Rogers.

1. (1) Angelique Kerber [No.1] vs Shelby Rogers [No.70]

Overview: Is Angelique Kerber finally finding her footing at the top of the game? There are a few small signs in the last few weeks in what has been a really mediocre season for the World No.1. Amassing a 23-14 win-loss record for the year, Kerber actually has not won a title since last year’s US Open, coming closest in an International event in Monterrey, losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. After a miserable clay court swing, the German made the quarterfinals of Eastbourne and now the third round of Wimbledon after solid but unspectacular victories over Irina Falconi and Kirsten Flipkens. She will have to improve vastly against a big hitter like Shelby Rogers who has reached the second week of a Grand Slam before.

After reaching the quarterfinals of the French Open last year, Shelby Rogers hasn’t produced any breakthrough results since but the American has been having a solid season so far, having sustained her spot in the Top 80 since that run. Rogers’ best results were quarterfinals in Hobart, Charleston and Strasbourg. Rogers’ lead-up tournaments to Wimbledon included playing in Nottingham and Mallorca, but she only claimed one victory in those two weeks. She has already tripled the number of grass wins this year in Wimbledon, moving past Julia Boserup and Lucie Safarova, the latter having saw doubles partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffer a hard fall before the match and wasn’t really in the right mood throughout.

Head to head: Kerber won their previous encounter in Miami this year in straight sets.

Stat: This is the first time Rogers had reached the third round of Wimbledon, having failed to get past the first round in three appearances at the Grand Slam. Compared to Kerber, she has reached the third round at the All England Club every year from 2014 onwards.

Thoughts: This is probably going to be a tough match for Kerber as Rogers can hit those balls hardddd. On a normal day, Kerber would feed off the pace from Rogers, but she was hitting the ball pretty short and soft in the win against Flipkens. This would be the time that Rogers start dictating play, but as a big hitter, inconsistencies can creep up into her game and that’s the time where the German’s experience could be the key. Still, I’m going for Rogers to win in three, but I’ll be rooting for Kerber and hopefully she can gain some confidence coming into the US hard court part of the season, whether be it win or lose.

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