Wimbledon Day 3 picks, including Tsonga vs. Querrey and Gulbis vs. Stakhovsky

The Grandstand’s Ricky Dimon and Jared Pine of the Second Serb preview and pick four of the best men’s singles matches on Wednesday at Wimbledon. Among those in action are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Ernests Gulbis.

Sam Querrey vs. (14) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Ricky: Tsonga managed to scrape past Jurgen Melzer on Monday, but it was a thoroughly unconvincing win that required five sets. That has been pretty much the norm this year for Tsonga, who has been racking up losses and has generally been less than impressive even in wins. Grass may be his best surface, but the struggle against Melzer proved that it does not really matter what is under the Frenchman’s feet right now. Querrey, also stellar on grass, reached the third round at Queen’s Club and the semis in Eastbourne. The American has played five-setters in each of his last four Wimbledons and those experiences may help him in what is sure to be another close one. Querrey 6-7, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 8-6.

Jared: For the third straight day at Wimbledon, both Tsonga and Querrey will be taking the court. Both players needed two days to complete their first-round matches, but neither took long to finish on Tuesday. Both men have one win in their previous meetings and on both occasions the player that won the first set in a tiebreaker cruised in the second for a straight-set victory. Despite having accumulated a modest 15 wins on the season, Querrey has won the first set in 20 of his 29 matches. If the American can win the opener, Tsonga will be in a lot of trouble. Ultimately, the Frenchman has reached the second week of both majors in 2014 and has a more complete game than Querrey. Tsonga 7-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

(12) Ernests Gulbis vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky

Ricky: Given his outstanding current form that has him in the Top 10 for the first time in his career, Gulbis would almost certainly dominate this matchup on anything other than grass. The slick stuff, however, is Stakhovsky’s friend. The Ukrainian famously upset Roger Federer at the All-England Club last summer and he thrashed Carlos Berlocq 3, 3, and 3 in the first round on Monday. He also played well at Queen’s Club, winning twice before falling to Kevin Anderson in a third-set tiebreaker. Gulbis may have reached the French Open semifinals, but he will have to do a lot more than that to prove that the Paris performance was an aberration to what has been a rule of Grand Slam failures for the Latvian. Stakhovsky 7-6, 4-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-3.

Jared: Gulbis is competing in his first major as a Top 10 player, but Wimbledon has been the Latvian’s worst slam historically (he owns a 6-6 career record at SW19). Stakhovsky, despite his win over Federer, has won just three main-draw matches at Wimbledon in seven appearances. This match lies in a part of the draw in which many players have a good shot at reaching the second week, so both of these guys could make their deepest run at this tournament. Gulbis has won four of their five meetings, which have all been contested on hard courts. Stakhovsky is going to have to take time away from his opponent, which he is capable of doing by getting to the net. However, Stakhovsky played just 39 net points in his opening-round match. Gulbis should be able to beat him from the back of the court. Gulbis 7-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Bernard Tomic vs. (6) Tomas Berdych

Ricky: These two also faced each other last season at Wimbledon, with Berdych winning a fourth-round showdown 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4. Fast forward a year and neither man is in particularly great form. Tomic did not win a match in between Sydney and Queen’s Club in part due to a hip injury. Berdych at least made it to the Roland Garros quarters, but he got eradicated by Gulbis. Tomic’s convincing win over Evgeny Donskoy on Monday suggests that he can at least be competitive in this one…for a while. Berdych, however, should take control before Tomic loses hope. Berdych 7-5, 6-7, 6-3, 6-1.

Jared: Berdych and Tomic met during the second week last year, but because of injuries Tomic is unseeded and thus forced to play this one in the second round. Berdych won last year’s contest in four sets, which is their only previous meeting. Tomic has won his first-round matches at every grass tournament he has played this year, but none of his wins has come against a player in the top 50. Berdych struggled to defeat Victor Hanescu in four sets to reach the second round, but the Czech has generally lacked dominance in major openers throughout his career. When he advances past the first round, he has a record of 97-33 at all slams. There were only four breaks in the entire match the last time Berdych and Tomic squared off. Breaks will be a rarity in this match, too, but Berdych will get enough to advance. Berdych 7-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6.

Gilles Simon vs. Robin Haase

Ricky: This may be the biggest tossup of the entire second round. The head-to-head series is tied 1-1, both players are in mediocre form at best (Simon is 13-14 in 2014, Haase is 11-16), and they scored decent but unspectacular wins in round one. The Dutchman has the bigger game, obviously, and he can push his opponent around–especially on grass–if he serves well. If it gets tense, though (and it likely will), any kind of pressure situation or long match would heavily favor Simon. In the end, the Frenchman will win with his tenacity and by keeping balls in play. Simon 5-7, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-3.

Jared: It had been three years since either player had won a completed match at Wimbledon before play began Monday, but on Wednesday one of these two unseeded floaters will advanceto the round of 32. Simon entered the year in the top 20, which is where he had been since May 2011. His struggles, though, have forced him out of the top 40. Haase claimed just his eighth career grass-court win on Monday, taking out No. 31 seed Vasek Pospisil.  Haase benefitted from 52 unforced errors by the Canadian; he won’t get that many gifts from the Frenchman. Simon 6-4, 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.

30 Comments on Wimbledon Day 3 picks, including Tsonga vs. Querrey and Gulbis vs. Stakhovsky

  1. I need to mix it up with my predictions of the scores. Three of them were win first two sets, lose third, finish in four. Maybe it will actually work out that way.

    • Same journeyman who beat Federer last year it seems. I wonder what you would call Rosol and Darcis if not journeymen? Journeymen are doing quite well against Fedal these days. Hence my picks of Muller and Rosol tomorrow.

  2. Ricky and Tsiggy Tsaking Querrey over Tsonga.

    Speaking of Ricky, just wondering how he’s feeling about his Fed pick now and who he thinks will stop Rafa from making the final?


  3. First Roger now Gulbis (who beat Roger at RG). Is that like beating Roger all over again? Deja vu.

  4. There was an pre-Wimby interview on the ATP site where Djokovic talked about the problem with his arm. When asked about his health issues after the first round match he said he didn’t understand why anyone was concerned about him. There was nothing wrong.


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