The third major of the 2021 tennis season gets underway on Monday as the 134th Wimbledon is set to begin. Here are seven very intriguing matchups which fans should keep an eye on.
7) (28) John Isner–United States vs. Yoshihito Nishioka–Japan–Isner, the 2018 Wimbledon semifinalist is best remembered for his five-set, three-day marathon win over Nicolas Mahut of France which went to 70-68 in the final set of the first round in 2010. Isner won the only prior match against Nishioka and that came in the second round of the 2017 Memphis Open where Isner won 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
6) (12) Casper Ruud–Norway vs. Jordan Thompson–Australia–Ruud, the best Norwegian player to ever play professional tennis, is still looking for his first win at Wimbledon. His opponent will be Jordan Thompson of Australia, who is 0-5 in his career at the All England Club.
5) (19) Jannik Sinner–Italy vs. Martin Fucsovics–Hungary–This match has Sinner, one of tennis’s rising stars against Fucsovics, Hungary’s best. Fucsovics has won his opening round match in his last five grand slam events, including a four-set win over Daniil Medvedev of Russia in the first round of the 2020 French Open. Fucsovics also beat Sinner in the first round of the 2020 Australian Open.
4) (11) Pablo Carreno Busta–Spain vs. Sam Querrey–United States–Both of these players have reached the semifinals of a grand slam before. Carreno Busta made the semifinals of the United States Open in 2017 and 2020, while Querrey made the semifinals of Wimbledon in 2017. Carreno Busta won their only prior matchup, a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win in the quarterfinals of Stockholm in 2019.
3) (5) Stefanos Tsitsipas–Greece vs. Frances Tiafoe–United States–Tsitsipas, the 2021 French Open finalist also reached the final four at the Australian Open in February. He will open Wimbledon against Tiafoe, one of the rising American stars, who reached the quarterfinals of the Queen’s Club leading up to Wimbledon.
2) (8) Karolina Pliskova–Czech Republic vs. Tamara Zidansek–Slovenia–This match sees Pliskova, the 2016 United States Open finalist and former world number one, against Zidansek, the 2021 French Open semifinalist. Despite being in the final four at Roland Garros, Zidansek is still unseeded at 47th in the world. This will be their first career meeting.
1)(10) Petra Kvitova–Czech Republic vs. Sloane Stephens–United States–This fascinating first round matchup has two grand slam champions in Kvitova, the 2011 and 2014 Wimbledon champion, against Stephens, the 2017 United States Open champion. Head-to-head Kvitova and Stephens have two victories each.