Wimbledon Day 2 picks, including Rosol vs. Paire and Benneteau vs. Muller

The Grandstand’s Ricky Dimon and Joey Hanf of The Tennis Nerds preview and pick four of the best men’s singles matches on Day 2 at Wimbledon. Among those in action are Lukas Rosol and Julien Benneteau.

Benoit Paire vs. Lukas Rosol

Ricky: The winner will face Rafael Nadal in the second round, which means we could have a Nadal-Rosol rematch on our hands. Not so fast, though, because Rosol is so hit or miss or any given day. Still, he should be able to beat Paire no matter what on Tuesday. The Frenchman has won a grand total of three matches since the Australian Open. Rosol probably wants this one more, too, because he knows he can beat Nadal. Paire on the other hand, is always shark bait for the top players in the world. Rosol 6-2, 6-7(7), 6-1, 7-5.

Joey: This is a battle of very streaky players. Paire, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 24 last year, has a had a rough 2014, winning only six matches after sitting out substantial time with injury. Rosol has also had a bumpy ride this season, holding a 13-15 record at the ATP level. Other than reaching the final of Bucharest, the Czech has struggled. He’s actually done most of his damage at the Challenger level, winning in Dallas and Prague. Both players aren’t afraid to go for their shots, with each having multiple weapons in their arsenal. Paire’s game is suited to grass and you’ll see him in the forecourt often. However, his forehand is a liability and Rosol will expose that over five sets. And let’s be honest; we all want to see a Nadal-Rosol rematch. Rosol 6-2, 5-7, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

Gilles Muller vs. Julien Benneteau

Ricky: The winner of this one, meanwhile, will face Federer in the second round. Benneteau, who had Federer on the brink of defeat at the All-England Club in 2012, has been in mostly dreadful form since strong performances in Indian Wells and Miami. This is the oft-injured Muller’s first tour-level tournament of the year, but he has been cleaning up the Challenger circuit with four titles since late March. He reached a semifinal and a quarterfinal on grass earlier this month. Don’t be surprised if this is another proverbial sixth-setter, not unlike the one Benneteau lost to Facundo Bagnis at Roland Garros. Muller 6-7(3), 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(4), 9-7.

Joey: This match is very exciting in prospect. Muller has quietly stormed back up the rankings this season, winning four Challengers. He had dropped all the way to 364th in the world after shoulder surgery, and at 31 many including myself doubted if he’d ever come back. But he has, and he’s playing very well. He qualified for Wimbledon and all reports from Roehampton were that he was in top form. Meanwhile, Benneteau is looking to recover after a rather brutal five-set loss in Paris to Bagnis. Each guy loves grass, and we might actually see a lot of serve-and-volley tennis in this one, especially from Muller. Ultimately, Benneteau has always been a slightly better player than Muller and he owns the 3-1 advantage in the head-to-head series, so I’m going with the Frenchman. But honestly I have no idea what is going to happen in this; it could go either way. Benneteau 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

Denis Istomin vs. (32) Dmitry Tursunov

Ricky: This is the head-to-head matchup of 2014; not in terms of quality or intrigue, of course, but certainly in terms of quantity. Istomin and Tursunov have already faced each other four times, with the first encounter going to Tursunov and the next three ending with Istomin in the winner’s circle. The Uzbek has already won 21 matches this season (in part because, as usual, he plays more tournaments than just about anyone), including three last week in Eastbourne. Istomin 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3.

Joey: These two know each other’s games quite well by now, as they’ve faced each other four times already in 2014. Istomin has won the last three and has had a solid season thus far, winning 21 matches. Tursunov, seeded 32nd, was probably not very excited when he saw he drew his familiar Uzbek foe. The Russian was forced to pull out of ‘s-Hertogenbosch with an injury and we still don’t know how truly fit he is to play this match. These guys play very similarly, with both trying to be aggressive from the baseline. Istomin had a solid grass tuneup in Eastbourne, so look for him to make it four in a row in this matchup. Istomin 7-6(4), 6-3, 4-6, 6-1.

(30) Marcel Granollers vs. Nicolas Mahut

Ricky: Granollers is actually a solid all-court player, but this is one of the Wimbledon marathon men he is dealing with here. Mahut is by far at his best on grass, with a runner-up performance at Queen’s Club in 2007 and a pair of 2013 titles to his credit in addition to his 2010 exploits against John Isner at the All-England Club. On this surface, this should be a fun one to watch. Mahut 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5).

Joey: You won’t believe the luck: marathon man Mahut could face Isner in the semifinals of Wimbledon! I’m kidding, of course. But Mahut is always very capable on grass, and he took two titles on the turf last year. But this is actually a really bad matchup for the Frenchman, because Granollers return’ game is very strong and he also likes to serve and volley. Granollers’ backhand return has turned into something special and that was on display at the French Open, where he reached the doubles final. The Spaniard is very crafty and will slice and dice his way around the grass. Granollers 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(7), 6-2.

55 Comments on Wimbledon Day 2 picks, including Rosol vs. Paire and Benneteau vs. Muller

  1. it’s clear by now in which instances Rafa can struggle in early rounds…it’s due to two reasons: if he has a nagging injury and thus not able to play his best or if he plays someone for the first time and is not familiar with his opponent’s game…this time around Rafa does not have an injury, at least this is what it seems to be the case, and since he has played Rosol before, Rafa and Uncle T- the famous and one of the best (if not the best ever!) in the area will certainly not let Rosol play his game again…Rafa and Uncle T. have explored Rosol’s game and would certainly make use of the weaknesses in his game…

    Rafa will dispatch Rosol and will send him packing…the only obstacle that may lead to Rafa possibly losing the first set is his nerves and déjà vu effect…I certainly hope it isn’t going to happen and Rafa deals with Rosol in an easy way…

    Overall a promising match today from our Rafa! Nothing like we have seen in the last two early loses…I really think Rafa is playing much better this year…keep it going Rafa!

    Vamos Rafa!

  2. Yes!! I just checked the score – had to leave the match at the beginning of the third set and I’m so glad (and relieved), Vamosssss Rafa! bring on Rosol !! whohoo!

  3. Interesting that the scoreline for this match is exactly the same as the one previous time they met, which was RG 2013 in the second round. Hard to draw any conclusion from just 2 matches, but the consistency in the scoreline might suggest that Rafa vs Klizan isn’t just an issue of surface, but also one of matchups. The match ran just over 3 hours, which gave Rafa a good workout….just what he needs for the next round.

      • Reminds me of an interview Rafa did a few months back where the interviewer fires off a series of statements and Rafa’s supposed to give the first answer that comes to his mind. It was done in Spanish. Most were about tennis, but then one of the statements was, “In the world, there are approximately the same number of humans and rats.” Rafa’s response was, “What are you talking about, dude?” lol. He wasn’t having any of it.

      • ^^^^^Absolute hoot. Understandable. The person putting the question made a liaison between ofumpires.

  4. I thought it was significant to see Rafa fall on the grass and get right back up and win the point! That’s a good sign. He’s not afraid because his knee is good. I thought that Rafa’s movement on the grass was very good in this match. He seemed much more comfortable than he did the last two years.

    I think that Rafa started reading Klizan’s serve much better as the match went on. Along with his good movement, I thought Rafa’s ROS was good for his first match here. He’s only going to get better.

  5. Rafa Nadal on his early exits the last two years

    “When you go on court and you lost last year in the first round, the year before in the second round, no, I don’t going to lie nobody, sure, it stays in your mind.”

    • @vamosrafa,

      That’s a great quote from Rafa. I love his honesty. He’s right. It can get into your head. That’s only natural. I wonder if that was part of why he seemed to have some trouble closing out the match. But getting that win should help erase the ghost of last year’s Wimbledon.

      In his next match, he can erase the ghost of the 2012 Wimbledon!

      • exactly NNY ! If rafa can win his next match, he will be back to his normal-self at Wimbledon…

  6. Mueller will take out Federer and that nut Rosol will hopefully take out Nadal since Klizan missed a golden opportunity. Bye bye Fedal. Bring on the new blood!

    • I bet you @filter is the anti-Fedalista who tunes into EVERY Fedal match to “vent his spleen!” Some people do have a weird way of showing their affection……………

  7. What an ugly match that was from Klizan & Rafa..

    Klizan never seemed to realize that he was overdoing things and never seen Rafa this much under-confident in any match. The way Klizan was playing, Rafa should have rolled over him in straights. let’s see how he plays going forwards.

    Dr.Ivo out..
    Muller won the match comfortably.

  8. Oh filter, I like you a bit more if you’re boding for a Fed loss
    Rosol has no chance against Rafa this year

  9. RT @AmerDelic: “@darren_cahill @theljubicic @SI_Tennis (Balls are so heavy. Tough to add spin when you have to drop the racket tension 20lbs or more.)”

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