Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams & Serena Williams feature in R32 action on day 5 at the Wimbledon Champions. Here's a look at some of the standout matchups complete with tennis picks.
Irina-Camelia Begu +900 vs. Maria Sharapova -2000
Maria Sharapova looks to advance into the fourth round of Wimbledon at the expense of Irina-Camelia Begu. By the tennis odds, her chances look good to say the least. The statuesque Russian is matched as the prohibitive -2000 at Bet365 favorite to win outright.
Former Wimbledon champion Sharapova comes into this tournament having not played a single match on grass. Yet, the lack of preparation doesn't seem to have hindered her progress through the early rounds. She made quick work of Johanna Konta and Richel Hogenkamp, dropping four games in both matches.
Of course, the gap in quality and experience between her and her first two opponents is so vast that those wins must be taken within the appropriate context. It's unlikely that she'll have it as easy against the 29th seed Irina-Camelia Begu, despite the Romanian's long shot tennis odds. Begu is a better seasoned opponent than the previous two Sharapova faced, and a player that mightn't be overwhelmed by the occasion or the champion standing over 6'ft tall across the net.
Begu edged Tsurenko in the second round 7-5, 6-7 (4), 7-5 to earn her spot in the third round. Indeed, this is her third R32 appearance at a major this season, with her best coming at the Australian Open where she reached the R16 this January. Expecting Begu to duplicate that result at Wimbledon is a stretch, but expect her to give Sharapova a run for her money nonetheless.
Tennis Picks: Sharapova to win in straight sets at -500
Venus Williams -700 vs. Alexsandra Krunic +450
Venus Williams looks to advance into the fourth round and, thereby, set up a blockbuster showdown with Serena Williams. Venus got off to an impressive start, steamrolling American Madison Brengle with all the sensitivity of a lawnmower in a 6-0, 6-0 win. In the second round, Venus had to fight harder to get the win over Putintseva but she got there in the end 7-6(5), 6-4. Next up is a diminutive Alexsandra Krunic of Serbia,who captured the imagination of tennis bettors with her Cinderella run into the fourth round of the US Open. What the Russian-born Serbian lacks in height, she more than makes up for in speed and movement. Oh and she also packs a mean punch too. In her breakout major, she upset some big-hitters, including Madison Keys (R64) and Petra Kvitova (R32) before she lost to Azarenka in three sets. Venus Williams may be the tennis betting favorite at -700 tennis odds, but don't be surprised if Krunic crashes the Williamses party everybody is hankering after in the R16.
Tennis Picks: Krunic +450
Victoria Azarenka -400 vs. Kristina Mladenovic +300
Kristina Mladenovic is playing inspired tennis this year as she reaches the R32 in the third straight major in 2015. Can she go one better at the expense of Victoria Azarenka? By the tennis odds, her chances are slim at +300. Azarenka is a former World No.1 player and two-time Aussie Champions. Granted the Belarusian is far from top form these days, but she's steadily making her way back up the ladder. Many consider her to be one of the dangerous floaters in the draw, a player that could give Serena Williams trouble should they collide in the quarterfinals.
Predictably, Azarenka is the firm favorite at -400 to win outright. She really should win this match and advance. That said it would be a total shocker if Mladenovic did pull off the upset. She's a player that has been working hard on her game and reinventing herself of the WTA Tour. It's bound to yield impressive results eventually.
Tennis Picks: Azarenka in three sets +275
Heather Watson +1000 vs. Serena Williams -2500
Home favorite Heather Watson is flying the British flag at Wimbledon for the ladies, but not for long though if the tennis odds were any indication. Serena Williams looms in the next round. Need one say more?
Watson, who is priced at +1000 tennis odds, will have plenty of crowd support. she's also coming into Wimbledon behind some good results and could potentially crack the Top 50 for the first time in her career. But against Serena, she really doesn't have a prayer. Expect Serena to advance in clinical fashion as the -2500 favorite at Bovada. Take Serena at -550 as tennis pick to win in straight sets at Bet365.
Tennis Picks: Serena Williams -550 in straight sets