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Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Martic to make further magic

Petra Martic celebrates victory in the second round
1 of 1

BBC from 11.30am Saturday

Martic v Diyas
Petra Martic has smiled her way into the third round of Wimbledon in good style and there could be more to come from the Croatian qualifier, whose game is well suited to the demands of grass-court tennis.

Injury saw Martic drop to 266th in the WTA rankings at the end of 2016. But she has fought her way back up to 135th and the way she played in the French Open, where she won three qualifying outings and three main-draw matches before succumbing to Elina Svitolina in the last 16, and is performing at the All England Club suggest it could take a big performance to stop her.

The 26-year-old is likely to be in or approaching her prime and Martic ought to have too much for her round-of-32 opponent Zarina Diyas, who is also fighting her way back after undergoing wrist surgery last year.

The 23-year-old Kazakh was ranked a high of 31st on the main tour in 2015 while Martic peaked at 42nd in 2012.

But Diyas’s scrapping may not match the selection’s easy, economical style on grass and the Split native’s happiness on court, which is a joy to behold, looks set to continue.

P Martic
1pt 7-9 188Bet

Other matches
Agnieszka Radwanska faces an almighty test trying to stop the charge of admirable battler Timea Bacsinszky.

Radwanska, who found only Serena Williams too good at Wimbledon in 2012, has looked both lacklustre and a master of brinkmanship in seeing off Jelena Jankovic and Christina McHale and there will be no let-up against Bacsinszky, who has won their two previous meetings.

Garbine Muguruza, who looks as comfortable on grass as she is on clay, should make short work of Sorana Cirstea. But Angelique Kerber, who has not been showing the form of her annus mirabilis last year, could find Shelby Rogers a feisty opponent.

Magdalena Rybarikova, conqueror of Karolina Pliskova, should have too much for Lesia Tsurenko but the Slovak looks plenty short enough, while Coco Vandeweghe will need to be on top of her game to deny Alison Riske, who took out Kristina Mladenovic in her latest singles start.

Riske has won their last three clashes and with question marks over Vandeweghe’s form, this one could be close.

Svetlana Kuznetsova ought to thwart Polona Hercog, but Caroline Wozniacki faces a tough time trying to stop Den Bosch champion Anett Kontaveit.

The Estonian edged out the former world number one 6-7 6-3 7-5 on grass in Nottingham in their one and only previous clash.

The Split native’s happiness on court, which is a joy to behold, looks set to continue
E.W. Terms
Sky bet