Wimbledon Day 1 picks, including Tsonga vs. Melzer and Brown vs. Baghdatis

Wimbledon gets underway on Monday at the All-England Club. The Grandstand’s Ricky Dimon and Steen Kirby of Tennis East Coast pick four of the best men’s singles matches, including Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Jurgen Melzer and Dustin Brown vs. Marcos Baghdatis.

Jurgen Melzer vs. (14) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Ricky: Tsonga just disposed of Melzer at the French Open. I’m sure I had Melzer winning that one and I’m sticking with him despite that result. The bottom line is that this is not the Tsonga of old (ie, the one who consistently went deep at slams). He may be at his best on grass, but he is not at his best anywhere right now. Melzer is 0-4 lifetime in the head-to-head series and 1-9 lifetime in sets against Tsonga, so almost nobody else is going to get this pick correct. Current form, decidedly in Melzer’s favor, will rule the day. Melzer 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 8-6.

Steen: Tsonga easily dispatched Melzer just recently in Paris, but this meeting could be a bit closer if the Frenchman’s form continues to be poor. He is a former Wimbledon semifinalist, but he lost early at Queen’s Club while Melzer is coming off a semifinal showing in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Although this one could go either way, I think Tsonga will be fit and will wear down the Austrian lefty. Tsonga 6-4, 6-7, 6-3, 6-3.

Dustin Brown vs. Marcos Baghdatis

Ricky: Brown now is what Baghdatis was back in his prime–or really even before his prime: flashy, flamboyant, fun; a guy everyone wants to watch live. Baghdatis is currently a shadow of his former self, seemingly with very little to no motivation. Brown, on the other hand, will be chomping at the bit to get back out on his favorite surface after crushing Rafael Nadal in Halle and losing an epic third-set tiebreaker to fellow German Philipp Kohlschreiber. Brown 6-3, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3.
Steen: Both players have darkhorse potential here and the winner could make the second week. Baghdatis is an accomplished grass-court player but is over the hill at this point in his career. Brown, meanwhile, beat Nadal in Halle and with his serve he generally does well on this surface. I expect it to be close, which favors Baghdatis. If Brown does not win in straights, I like Baghdatis (if healthy) in five sets because of the experience factor. Baghdatis 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2.

(11) Grigor Dmitrov vs. (Q) Ryan HarrisonRicky:Add this to Harrison’s perpetually-increasing list of bad first-round draws at Grand Slams. Relatively speaking, this is actually a winnable match compared to some of the other one’s the American has endured. He finally has some confidence after qualifying for the main draw and Dimitrov, too, has had more than his fair share of struggles at majors. That being said, the Bulgarian just triumphed at Queen’s Club and will be focused after getting bounced right away at Roland Garros by Ivo Karlovic. Dimitrov 7-6, 6-1, 7-5.

Steen: Dimitrov is a darkhorse favorite for many, but he will have to avoid another round-one exit like he had in Paris. The Bulgarian appears set for grass with a recent title at Queen’s Club. This is his first meeting with Harrison, who qualified with three solid wins to perhaps turn around what has been overall a rough season in which he has fallen way outside the Top 100. Harrison has the game to trouble Dimitrov if the underdog is really on, but I don’t think this will be that much of a match. Dimitrov 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

Donald Young vs. Benjamin Becker
Ricky: His recent French Open performance notwithstanding, Young is by far at his best on hard courts stationed on the friendly confines of U.S. soil. Becker, by contrast, could not ask for a better setting to contest this matchup than on a European grass court. The German has to make a quick turnaround following a runner-up finish in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, but this should not be a physical match. Becker can keep points short with his big serve and flat, penetrating groundstrokes. Becker 4-6, 7-5, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3.
Steen: Becker is a veteran grass-court player who is coming off a final performance in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Young had a good French Open showing and is looking to build up his slam results, but he is not at his best on grass. I think at his age Becker is going to be fatigued given he just played a three-set title match on Saturday and had to travel after that. Young should wear him down and win in five. Young 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0.

24 Comments on Wimbledon Day 1 picks, including Tsonga vs. Melzer and Brown vs. Baghdatis

  1. Tsonga in 5, Brown in 5, Dimitrov in 4 and Young in 5.

    Brown v Baghdatis is the match of the day and should be fantastic. I can see Melzer being a threat to a Tsonga, but even in his recent form, I think JWT will raise his game at Wimbledon.

  2. Ricky, was really surprise to see you pick Brown over Baggy!

    Anyway, glad that Brown lost and hope Rosol follows cause Im just tired of all the talk about then being a threat to Rafa in his bid for his 3rd Wimby! Lets see who next is going to be picked to kick Rafa out in the early rounds!

    • Rosol, Soderling and Darcis have turned into heroes because of their Rafa slaying act. Even Verdasco’s claim to fame is the 5 setter he played vs Rafa. Its so much now that the pressure must be immense on Klizan, Rosol to take Rafa down at Wimbly

      • I have never heard of anything Darcis related, anywhere, ever. Heck, I never even heard mention of him later on that same Wimbledon.

  3. Would have been nice if Dimitrov v Harrison would have been competitive. Two young talents who years ago were touted to be future stars. 1 of them is living up to it, 1 of them isn’t.

      • He was one of few players in history to win an atp match at 15, and was one of the youngest players ever to win a masters 1000 level match as well. He was seen as the future no. 1 American by some, and I used to read a lot of press saying so as well. I personally never thought he would make it inside the top 25 after watching a few of his matches though.

      • yeah…I know …there was quite a lot of buzz … I personally never thought Harrison would reach great heights..he is still young so who knows but he does not look so promising

      • I remember watching his USO match against Ljubcic. He looked very passive and almost like he wasn’t taking tennis seriously at all. I did see some improvement next season but nowhere near what is needed to excel these days. You’re right though, he is still young. But I see him more as a second coming of Donald Young than someone with the ability to make US tennis a real threat once again.

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