Thursday September 1st, 2011

I don't see too much drama for the top seeds Thursday, so it's all about the undercards on Day 4.

Victoria Azarenka vs. Gisela Dulko (fourth match, Armstrong): You never want to draw Dulko early at a Grand Slam. While the recently married Argentine rarely backs up her big-ticket wins, she's always game to bust a bracket by pulling off a huge upset, as she did in defeating Sam Stosur at the French Open. Dulko ended Azarenka's Slam run twice last year, first at Roland Garros and then at the U.S. Open when Azarenka fainted when trailing 1-5. On top of all that, Dulko hasn't even dropped a set to Azarenka since 2008. I expect Vika to get through, but so much of tennis is belief and Dulko sure does seem to have her number.

Bernard Tomic vs. Marin Cilic (third match, Court 17): A tall guy who wants to hug the baseline (Cilic) vs. a tall guy who wants to junk you into submission (Tomic). All I want to know is what the over/under is on the time it takes Tomic to drive Cilic absolutely batty. Court 17 is the perfect venue to watch the Aussie's unique game. Grab a seat up close and you'll see why the establishment and fans have stuck by Tomic even through all of his father's idiocy and his penchant to check out of matches. The kid has tremendous touch and feel and he can hit shots you couldn't even conceive of.

Ana Ivanovic vs. Petra Cetkovska (third match, Court 17): A rematch of their third-round match at Wimbledon this year, in which Cetkovska surprised everyone by knocking out a seemingly in-form Ivanovic. Ana said she wanted to win here for her grandfather, who died a few days ago. Sometimes those aspirations can be inspiring and sometimes they can be crippling. This could be an emotional one.

Shahar Peer vs. Sloane Stephens (fourth match, Grandstand): Can Stephens follow in Christina McHale's and Irina Falconi's footsteps and bounce another seed? It's doable, but this will be a big test of her heart and guts. The 23rd-seeded Peer doesn't always bring her A-game, but she fights hard every time.

Ivo Karlovic vs. Richard Gasquet (fourth match, Court 11): Talk about a contrast in styles. The Croat serves big and ... well, that's about all he does, really. Gasquet, on the other hand, can do it all, and you sometimes wonder if that's his problem: too many options. If Gasquet doesn't return well and finds himself in a tiebreak, that's where this match will get interesting. The Frenchman isn't exactly clutch.

Juan Carlos Ferrero vs. Gael Monfils (second match, Armstrong): Come for the insanity that is the Gael Monfils Show, stay for the dashing good looks and clay-court style of Ferrero.

Elena Baltacha vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova (third match, Court 11): I don't know. Put simply: I'm feeling an upset here. Courtney's Pet Picks: Philipp Petzschner vs. Janko Tipsarevic (first match, Court 11); Vania King vs. Jarmila Gajdosova (fourth match, Court 17); Stosur/Lisicki vs. Hercog/Danilidou (second match, Court 14); Peng/Zheng vs. Hantuchova/A. Radwanska (fourth match, Court 14).

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