Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon 2014 Files: Holy mackerel! Bouchard-Petkovic and Lisicki-Ivanovic will be cracking matches at an interesting time for women’s game

This is not a tournament that favours safety-first – look how well Lisicki does here

It’s show time. There is a treat in store in the women’s draw, a couple of real-life crackers to keep you on the edge of your seats and they will show up plenty that is good about the women’s game.

We have four very different players on show for you. Eugenie Bouchard, the young Canadian, one of a crop of girls who are threatening the established order, taking on Andrea Petkovic, the steady-eddy from Germany, and then it’s wham-bam Sabine Lisicki against Ana Ivanovic, the ice-cool Serb. Wow.

The women’s game is going through an interesting time. At the top is still Serena Williams and on her day there is still nobody to match her sheer power. Below her, Maria Sharapova can still go toe-to-toe with anybody and then there are the likes of Li Na and Agnieszka Radwanska, the consistent types who have earned their places up the rankings and are good across a range of surfaces.

Now here come Bouchard and the new breed. I think Madison Keys is the pick of these guys (holy mackerel, if I could pick one woman and one man to coach right now then it would be Keys and Grigor Dimitrov) but Bouchard has real talent, and the ability to become a force on all surfaces.

She and Petkovic both made it through to the semi-finals at the French Open so have form on their side but they are contrasting players. Petkovic, who is six years older than Bouchard, is a baseliner. At 26 her game is established, she stands back and plays, plays a little safe actually, and this is not a tournament that favours safety first – look how well Lisicki does here and that is one girl whose idea of a safety shot is to swing and fire at will.

Bouchard, a former junior champion here, is a remarkably cool, calm and collected tennis player for a 20-year-old. I like the look of her and she is certainly fun to watch. She has the game, so what she needs is to have the mental strength to go out there and play on the big stage. She did that in Paris and took Maria Sharapova to three sets so it does look as if she has all the tools, mental and physical. Petkovic lost to Simona Halep in Paris but clay is her preferred surface and I think Bouchard will have enough to beat her on grass.

The contrast between Lisicki and Ivanovic will be even greater. The key here is for Ivanovic to try and keep Lisicki on the court. The longer the rallies the more likely it is that Lisicki will make a mistake and one of those smashing forehands will go long or wide. It is crucial for Sabine that her serve holds up, she gets that first serve firing and so wins points quickly – bang, bang, move on. Sometimes Lisicki’s game can disintegrate and if that happens, there go her chances. But boy, oh boy, does she love this place, the surface, the crowds, just everything about it – and I am absolutely on her side there, this is one special place.

She is comfortable on the grass and it suits her style, but if I had one wish for Sabine, who we know so well at the academy, it is just for her to learn to be at times a little more defensive with her offensive shots. Sure, go for it, but play the game, play the situation, play the point. You can’t hit a home run every shot, Sabine.

Having said that, she is darn good to watch on the tennis court and we are in for a shoot-out of an afternoon. Enjoy it, guys.

Before I finish, I just want to say a word about a women who is no longer out there. I’ve spent some time this week up in the BBC commentary box with Marion Bartoli: what a fighter she was out on that court, and she is one hell of a nice guy.

It’s a tricky time making the switch from being a player to an ex-player and she is making a good go of it. It’s been a pleasure to spend time with her.

Saturday’s big game: Petkovic v Bouchard

Andrea Petkovic/Eugenie Bouchard

German Nationality Canadian

26 Age 20

Darmstadt Residence Montreal

5ft 11in Height 5ft 10in

Right-handed Plays Right-handed

20 World ranking 13

3 Career titles 1

$3.74m Prize-money $1.74m

6-5 Wimbledon record 4-1

Third round (2011) Wimbledon best Third round (2013)

Won 3 Lost 0 Head-to-head Won 0 Lost 3

Bolly’s prediction Bouchard in three

Coaching report: The slippery slope here is a real snake in the grass

Listen guys, grass is a dangerous surface. Bang, down went Lleyton Hewitt on Court Two. Kapow, down went Novak Djokovic on Centre. Two of the best movers in the game with fantastic balance and they both hit the dirt. This is a tough surface, one slip can mean the end of your Wimbledon.

Both guys were OK but this is what adds an extra dimension on grass, one wrong turn and it’s on to the slippery slope. That’s why you don’t count your chickens at Wimbledon, not until the last ball is hit.

Djokovic played well today because that was a decent test for the guy. Gilles Simon is a better player, and better server, than many give him credit for and he stretched Djokovic over those first two sets. But you don’t beat Djokovic from the baseline. Nobody beats him from the baseline. He is so damn good from there and he has legs made of rubber – he gets back to everything.

There are some pretty good young players emerging in the women’s game and young is exactly what Ana Konjuh is. The Croatian gave Caroline Wozniacki a darn good run-out. But she is only 16 and once Wozniacki had got to grips with her – and it took her getting all her weapons out and using all of her experience as well – there was only going to be one winner.

I like Konjuh, like her one hell of a lot. What she needs now is time. Just leave her be for a couple of years and then come back and have a look. She needs to mature physically and mentally and if she does then she has the game to be one hell of a player, a real force on the women’s tour and at the Slams as well.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star