Wimbledon Day 5 picks, including Dimitrov vs. Dolgopolov and Berdych vs. Cilic

The Grandstand’s Ricky Dimon and Joey Hanf of The Tennis Nerds preview and pick four of the best men’s singles matches on Friday at Wimbledon. Among those in action are Grigor Dimitrov and Tomas Berdych.

(11) Grigor Dimitrov vs. (21) Alexandr Dolgopolov

Ricky: Get your popcorn ready for this one, which features two wildly talented players who likely still have their best years on tour ahead of them. This is a big opportunity for both men, because neither one has a habit of reaching the second week of Grand Slams. Aside from a 2011 Aussie quarterfinal, Dolgopolov has made it to the fourth round of a slam only once. Dimitrov is playing the best tennis of his career at 23 years old and his season includes his first decent slam result, a quarterfinal Down Under. As for the surface, Dolgopolov’s loopy forehand swing is not well-suited for grass. Dimitrov, on the other hand, is coming off an impressive title at Queen’s Club. Dimitrov 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.Joey: Two of the hottest players through the first two rounds will face each other Friday. Dimitrov and Dolgopolov were actually supposed to play at Queen’s Club a couple weeks ago, but the Ukrainian was forced to withdraw due to injury. With David Ferrer being taken out of this quarter of the draw, this match is an even bigger opportunity for both players. Outside of the top 4, Dimitrov is probably at the top of the list for favorites at Wimbledon, and Dolgopolov is not too far behind, given his current form. These guys have split their first two meetings and a great match should be expected. With each player possessing a great serve, we could easily see at least a couple of tiebreakers. The difference for me is that Dimitrov looks extremely motivated to do well here, especially given his first-round exit at Roland Garros. His forehand will dictate a few more points in key moments and he can defend better than Dolgopolov on this surface. Dimitrov 7-6(4), 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3.

(26) Marin Cilic vs. (6) Tomas Berdych

Ricky: This is one of the most intriguing third-round matchups, pitting a Top 10 player against an opponent who could be in the Top 10–or at least close–if not for a suspension during the second half of 2013. Cilic now looks poised to seize his biggest win since that suspension. The Croat is in fine form (32-12 this season), has reached the fourth round of Wimbledon twice, and made back-to-back appearances in the Queen’s Club final in 2012 and 2013. He knows what he’s doing on grass. So does Berdych, but the Czech really has not been playing particularly good tennis since Miami. Cilic 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(6), 2-6, 7-5.

Joey: Court 1 will be treated to two great men’s matches in a row, with Berdych taking on Cilic. Cilic is very capable on grass and he beat Berdych at Queen’s Club just one year ago. The biggest change in the Croat’s game has been his serve, which he is now cracking about five mph harder on average than in years past. With Goran Ivanisevic as his coach, Cilic is swinging away on more balls and trying to use his height to his advantage. Berdych is also strong on the turf, having beaten Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in 2010 during his run to the final. He dropped the opening set both Victor Hanescu and Bernard Tomic but stormed back to win each match in four sets. I’m tempted to pick Cilic, but unfortunately the matchup (Berdych leads 5-2) is just not that good for the underdog. Berdych is a little better off both sides and they are about even on serve. This one could be long and either player could win, but the match will be on Berdych’s racket. Berdych 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-5, 5-7, 8-6.

(20) Kevin Anderson vs. (16) Fabio Fognini

Ricky: Fognini has spent his first week of Wimbledon making obscene gestures, getting fined, and winning what should have been routine matches in ridiculously difficult fashion. To say Fognini does not strike me as someone who enjoys the decency and tradition at the All-England Club would be an understatement. He probably wants to be on the fast track back to clay instead of toiling at an event in which he has no chance of making real noise. The big-hitting Anderson, meanwhile, has cruised so far and can be extremely dangerous on this surface. Not surprisingly, Fognini won their only previous meeting on clay while Anderson took their one prior grass-court encounter. Anderson 6-1, 7-6(2), 6-2.

Joey: If you’re a tennis fan, the word Fognini is not necessarily a name. It’s more of a word that we all associate with streaky (at best) temperament. However, love him or hate him, you cannot deny that he is entertaining. Every time the guy is on the court, he will give the crowd something interesting. Whether it’s “visual obscenities” or jaw-dropping play, you never really know what to expect with the Fog. His opponent, Anderson, is quite literally the exact opposite. Anderson, a University of Illinois product, is the consummate professional who always gives great effort throughout his matches. The matchup itself is great. The attacker, Anderson, against the counter-puncher, Fognini. Grass should give Anderson the advantage, because he will get way more free points on serve. I can guarantee that something crazy will happen in the match, because…well…Fognini. Anderson 7-5, 7-6(4), 6-1.

Sergiy Stakhovsky vs. Jeremy Chardy

Ricky: Stakhovsky upset Roger Federer in the second round last year then promptly flamed out to Jurgen Melzer two days later. A win over Ernests Gulbis is not the same emotionally, of course, so the Ukrainian should have a better chance of parlaying his latest Top 10 scalp into additional success. Chardy is a tough opponent, but he struggled against Daniel Cox in the first round and is coming off a five-set war against Marinko Matosevic on Wednesday. These two faced each other in the U.S. Open first round last year, with Chardy surviving in five. Grass should be more than enough to tip the scale in Stakhovsky’s favor. Stakhovsky 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Joey: 2013 Federer-slayer Stakhovsky has reached the third round at Wimbledon for the second year in a row, this time upsetting Gulbis in the second round. The Ukrainian’s serve-and-volley game is extremely effective on grass and I think he might be one of the best volleyers on tour. Chardy, the big-hitting Frenchman, has been okay on grass but not great, never getting past the third round at the All-England Club. Chardy is a streaky returner and if he catches fire during a return game he will have chances to break. However, Stakhovsky has proved that he’s becoming pretty reliable on grass, so I’ll go with him in five. Stakhovsky 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(8), 6-7(5), 6-4.

15 Comments on Wimbledon Day 5 picks, including Dimitrov vs. Dolgopolov and Berdych vs. Cilic

  1. I also fancy the Berdych v Cilic upset… Cilic in 4 sets. Dimitrov v Dolgo should be a great match and going for Dimitrov in 4. Stakhovsky should win so naturally, i’m going Chardy in 5.

  2. Berd/Cilic match concludes at 9:38 pm local time. Cilic wins in straight sets. Berdych was not pleased to be playing in the dark.

  3. This shows the fall more clearly from several different angles.


    He lost his footing and stumbled but he didn’t hit the ground very hard. His left hand touched down first but he’d already gone into the roll then you see his forearm touch the ground during the roll. This was why the commentators were so puzzled by his subsequent rolling around apparently in sever pain holding his shoulder.

    • One can get a jerk at his shoulder the way Nole fell on his outstretched palm with an acutely flexed elbow. He could have received a sudden impact on his shoulder due to that jerk resulting in sudden pain, but gradually faded off.

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