Wimbledon Day 6 picks, including Isner vs. Lopez and Kyrgios vs. Vesely

The Grandstand’s Ricky Dimon and Jared Pine of the Second Serb preview and pick four of the best men’s singles matches on Saturday at Wimbledon. Youngsters Nick Kyrgios and Jiri Vesely are going head-to-head for a surprising spot in the fourth round.

(19) Feliciano Lopez vs. (9) John Isner

Ricky: This one obviously won’t feature long points, but it should be an extremely competitive and high-quality affair. Isner has done well to conserve energy by winning back-to-back Grand Slam matches in straight sets for just the third time in his career. Lopez finished runner-up at Queen’s Club, won Eastbourne, and has had no trouble so far at the All-England Club. The surface advantage goes to the Spaniard, who has always been extremely dangerous on grass. Look for him to be just slightly more untouchable on serve than Isner, outlasting the American in five just like he did at the 2012 Australian Open. Lopez 6-7, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3, 10-8.

Jared: The last time these two played, there was a total of one break in a three-set match on clay. In their first two matches at Wimbledon this year, Isner has not had his serve broken and Lopez has only been broken once. Also, seven of the 12 sets played between the two have been settled in a tiebreaker, so it’s safe to say that opportunities to break will be few and far between. Lopez enters this match in great form, having won 12 of 13 matches in the last three weeks since the grass-court season began. However, Isner’s serve will keep him in a match against anyone. His serve can be especially effective against left-handers. He faced one in the second round and fired an ace on 28 percent of of all points on his serve. This is the kind of match that will be determined by one or two points. Lopez 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6.

(WC) Nick Kyrgios vs. Jiri Vesely

Ricky: Kyrgios’ third-rounder was epic, as he saved match points all over the place before stunning Richard Gasquet deep in a fifth set. He looked gassed at times, just as he did in an Australian Open five-setter during which cramps contributed to a loss to Benoit Paire. On the bright side, Kyrgios’ opponent also went five on Thursday; Vesely upset another seeded Frenchman, Gael Monfils. The Czech may have more left in the tank physically and mentally and would probably win a five-setter, but Kyrgios’ game is slightly bigger and better-suited for grass so I believe he can finish the job in four. Kyrgios 7-6, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6.

Jared: While nothing that has happened in 2014 compares to Wimblegeddon last year, only three of the eight seeded players in the bottom quarter of the draw reached the third round, leaving lots of opportunities for the unseeded contingent. The two youngest players remaining in the draw have a chance to take advantage of that with what will be a first trip to the second week of a slam for whoever advances. Both Kyrgios and Vesely pulled off thrilling five-set wins over seeded opponents in the second round to get to this point. Many players suffer from a drop in intensity in matches following an upset, so the one who avoids a letdown will be the winner of this match. Kyrgios showed his toughness back in January in a five-set loss to Benoit Paire in Melbourne and reaffirmed it by saving nine match points en route to defeating Gasquet. Kyrgios is now on a 10-match winning streak after coming through qualifying to win a Challenger title in Nottingham, which earned him a wild card into Wimbledon. Kyrgios 4-6, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4.

(15) Jerzy Janowicz vs. (23) Tommy Robredo

Ricky: Janowicz is healthy and finally starting to win a few matches. He was decent at the French Open and on Friday he finished off his biggest win in quite some time by defeating Lleyton Hewitt in five sets. This obviously is not the same Hewitt who won Wimbledon back in 2002, but it is still an impressive scalp–especially on grass and after losing both the fourth and fifth sets. Robredo would definitely win this matchup on clay, but on grass he will be at the mercy of an opponent who is gaining confidence and coming off a semifinal showing last year at the All-England Club. Janowicz 7-6, 2-6, 6-2, 7-5.

Jared: It hasn’t been pretty from Janowicz, but the Pole reached his third consecutive third round at SW19 with a pair of five-set wins to boost his five-set record to 4-1 at this event. The grass at the All-England Club provides the perfect conditions for Janowicz’s unique serve-and-dropshot style. For Robredo, the conditions aren’t quite as ideal. He has not beaten a player ranked in the top 80 at Wimbledon since 2003 and has never won a completed match against a player in the top 50. Robredo’s tactic of blocking returns and then defending from 10 yards behind the baseline will play right into Janowicz’s hands. Robredo has been attempting to change his court positioning, but it is clear that he is not comfortable being close to the baseline. Janowicz should be able to hit through his opponent’s defense at will. Janowicz 7-5, 7-6, 1-6, 6-3.

Stanislas Wawrinka vs. Denis Istomin

Ricky: Wawrinka is now a major champion (2014 Australian Open), but he has actually been mediocre at best since winning the Monte-Carlo title. Additionally, grass in the Swiss’ worst surface–even though he is certainly capable on it. The combination of those two factors gives a huge opportunity to Istomin, who is one of those players who generally beats whom he is supposed to but rarely pulls off upsets; he is due for a signature win. The Uzbek’s flat serve and backhand can really penetrate through the court on grass, like they did in a five-set Wimbledon win over Wawrinka back in 2010. Istomin 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 2-6, 6-4.

Jared: Wawrinka struggled in his four-set win over Lu, who actually has an impressive grass-court resume. Still, Wawrinka has struggled really since his title in Monte-Carlo. Meanwhile, Istomin was impressive as he dismissed No. 32 seed Dmitry Tursunov and Julian Reister on his favorite surface. Wawrinka complained of a back problem after his loss to Tommy Haas in Rome and even though he would not confirm it in post-match interviews, the back appeared to be an issue against Lu. Balky back or not, Wawrinka will have to play better to counter the power from Istomin’s serve and flat groundstrokes, which are perfectly-suited for grass. Istomin took out the Swiss in the Wimbledon first round in five sets four years ago and the opportunity is there for the Uzbek to claim another big upset. Istomin 7-6, 3-6, 7-5, 6-7, 6-4.

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