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Wimbledon Day 4 Marquee Matches

Day 3 Recap

— All the notable men’s players (Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios) advanced in their matches, with the exception of fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori, who withdrew due to a calf injury he aggravated in his five-set win over Simone Bolelli in the first round. Nishikori was in Cilic’s section of Djokovic’s quarter.

— Madison Keys prevailed in the continuation of her first-round match that was suspended by darkness on Tuesday.

— The women’s draw lost two more top-dozen seeds in Ana Ivanovic and Karolina Pliskova, but the top contenders (Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Lucie Safarova, Andrea Petkovic, Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens) weren’t seriously threatened in second round wins.

 

Day 4 Marquee Matches

TENNIS: JUN 30 Wimbledon

5. Tomas Berdych (6) vs Nicolas Mahut

Berdych was nearly pushed to the brink by Jeremy Chardy in round one, but managed to pull out a fourth-set tiebreaker in near darkness. Mahut is the definition of a specialist, and grass is his surface.

Berdych will need to play well not just to win this match, but for his chances of advancing deep in tournament. A rival of his, Lukas Rosol, looms in round three, and the cumulative toll from a brutal slate of early matches could spell doom for him.

Prediction: Berdych is a tight four-setter

 

4. Garbine Muguruza (20) vs Mirjana Lucic-Baroni

Normally there would be more than one women’s match in this section, but the bottom half of the draw’s second round is fairly lackluster (the third round should more than make up for that) and the top men have intriguing opponents.

This matchup pits two of the more powerful WTA players against each other, though they couldn’t be further apart in their career arcs. Muguruza is just starting her ascent up the rankings, and she should get there once she polishes her game, particularly her serve. On the other hand, Lucic-Baroni made the Wimbledon semis in 1999, beating Monica Seles en route and taking a set off Steffi Graf before losing. She disappeared from the game for years and is now back, her return punctuated by two wins over Simona Halep at majors in the last year.

Prediction: Lucic-Baroni in two sets

 

3. Roger Federer (2) vs Sam Querrey

Federer breezed past his first round opponent and looked like his normal self. Querrey was once an upper level player, but is now run of the mill (relative to his contemporaries) after a freak arm injury caused by falling through a glass table. However, he has enjoyed a strong grass season.

If he finds a strong serving rhythm, he could keep pace with the legend on the scoreboard, especially since Federer is a below average returner at this point. The fly in the ointment is that he struggles under pressure, while Federer is a great tiebreak player.

Prediction: Federer in straights, with a score resembling 6-3, 7-6, 7-5

 

2. Andy Murray (3) vs Robin Haase

Look at Haase’s career stats (never made the fourth round of a major) and this would appear to be a huge mismatch. It is, but Haase has been a giant pain for Murray at majors.

At the 2011 U.S. Open, Haase won the first two sets before Murray staged a comeback, and at last fall’s U.S. Open, Murray narrowly avoided getting taken to a fifth set. The matches haven’t been great quality, but it’s an interesting early test for Murray, especially after a very underwhelming first round performance.

Prediction: Murray in four

 

1. Rafael Nadal (10) vs Dustin Brown

Nadal has been notoriously shaky on grass the last couple years, but aside from double faults, played a very solid match against Thomaz Bellucci. Nadal lost to Dustin Brown on grass in Halle last year, except it’s relatively meaningless because it came just a couple days after the King of Clay won his ninth French Open. He simply wasn’t prepared to switch to grass on such short notice.

Brown is a unique player who can throw Nadal out of his rhythm and get some crowd energy into the match that could provide momentum.

Prediction: Nadal takes a close first set and goes on to win in straights





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