Wimbledon Day 2 picks, including Tsonga vs. Muller and Lu vs. Brown

Ricky Dimon of The Grandstand and Jared Pine of the Second Serb preview and pick the four best men’s singles matches on Tuesday at Wimbledon. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has a tough opener against Gilles Muller, while either Yen-Hsun Lu or Dustin Brown could face Rafael Nadal in round two.

(13) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Gilles Muller

Ricky: This is a nightmarish first-rounder for Tsonga, as Muller has a huge lefty serve that is especially potent on grass. Throw the Frenchman’s abdominal injury into the equation and this has upset written all over it. Tsonga had been scheduled to play Nottingham last week, but he ended up withdrawing and therefore has not taken the court since losing to Stan Wawrinka in the French Open semifinals. Muller, on the other hand, reached the semis in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and the third round at Queen’s Club. If Tsonga is close to 100 percent, this will be a competitive clash with multiple tiebreakers. Muller 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(6).

Jared: This is a match that is hard to predict with the questions surrounding Tsonga’s health coming into the tournament. He had an unlikely run at Roland Garros, but typically in his career he has not backed up those kinds of results. Muller has a huge serve and as a left-hander will be able to exploit the biggest weakness in Tsonga’s game, which is his backhand. The Frenchman has a great record at Wimbledon of 25-8, which includes his run to the quarterfinals of the London Olympics. In his seven years playing Wimbledon, he has reached the second week five times and has never lost in the first round. This will be one of his biggest first-round challenges at Wimbledon, but if the favorite is healthy, he will get through it. Tsonga 7-5, 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 6-4.

(Q) Dustin Brown vs. Yen-Hsun Lu

Ricky: This is an awesome grass-court matchup that becomes even bigger–or at least more noteworthy–given that the winner will likely get a shot at Rafael Nadal in round two. Lu upset Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in 2010 to reach the quarterfinals and he is coming off a quarterfinal showing in Nottingham. Brown plays an all-or-nothing, net-charging style of tennis that works well on grass. The Jamaican-turned-German thrashed Nadal 6-4, 6-1 last summer on the slick stuff in Halle. Brown successfully qualified to get in the main draw, so he has to be feeling good about his game. Brown 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4, 7-5.

Jared: Both players in this opening round-clash would have to consider Wimbledon their most successful tournament. In 2010, Lu beat Florian Mayer and Roddick to reach the quarterfinals, and in 2013 Brown reached the third round as a qualifier with wins over Jiri Vesely, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, and Lleyton Hewitt. In 2014 Brown crushed Nadal on the grass in Halle, and the winner of this match would likely face the Spaniard in the second round. Brown’s impressive results on the green stuff have come much more recently than Lu’s and he already has the momentum from having qualified for the tournament. That’s only going to continue when he takes on Chinese Taipei’s No. 1 player. Brown 6-4, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4.

Ernests Gulbis vs. Lukas Rosol

Ricky: Given how bad Gulbis has been playing, he actually will be happy to play some tennis on grass. Although he generally prefers a slower surface, the Latvian can now keep points as short as possible and limit the number of shots he has to hit–the fewer the better no matter what for Gulbis these days. This is a matchup between similar styles; there will be plenty of ball-bashing, impressive winners, and head-scratching errors. The bottom line is that Rosol will be more solid in just about every department other than the backhand. Rosol 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Jared: Rosol will always be remembered for his win over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2012, but the truth is that grass isn’t even his best surface. The good news for the Czech, though, is that it is his first-round opponent’s weakest surface. Rosol has won just six of the 14 matches in his career on grass, but Gulbis has only won 10 of the 26 matches he has played on grass. Rosol’s flat groundstrokes are going to be a problem for the Latvian, who takes a long time to set up from the baseline. Gulbis has been in a major slump since last year’s French Open, and while he has shown signs of starting to emerge from it, it isn’t going to happen for him at Wimbledon. Rosol 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-3.

(31) Jack Sock vs. Sam Groth

Ricky: This is a danger zone for Sock. He has not played a tournament since the French Open and Groth is a scary opponent on grass. The Australian arguably has the biggest serve in the game; not necessarily the best, but the biggest. Unfortunately for Groth, he does not really have anything else. He is starting to implement a better all-court game in 2015, but he will still have little chance in this one unless he serves unbelievably well. Even if rusty, Sock is simply playing too well right now. The American is brimming with confidence and can even come close to matching Groth in the power department. Sock 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-7(7), 6-4.

Jared: The forecast for the first week of Wimbledon seems to massively favor big servers, and there is nobody with a bigger serve than Groth, who holds the world record for fastest serve. Meanwhile, Sock is putting up some of the worst serving numbers on tour for anyone that stands at 6-foot-3 or higher despite having a great year. He is winning just 65 percent of points on serve with more double-faults than aces. Despite registering at No. 31 in the world, he is ranked outside the top 50 for aces this season. He has still found a way though to hold serve 84 percent of the time–against opponents this year who almost all have a better return game than Groth. Since Groth likes to play a lot of serve-and-volley on the grass, Sock will only need to guess right on return a few times in a row to get a break. It’s a tricky first-round match for the American, but he should be able to solve it. Sock 7-6(3), 6-7(4), 7-5, 6-3.

9 Comments on Wimbledon Day 2 picks, including Tsonga vs. Muller and Lu vs. Brown

  1. The only match I am not sure of is Tsonga/Muller. If Tsonga was 100% healthy, then I would feel more comfortable picking him. I will only say that it could go either way, but in the end I will go with Tsonga in four sets. The only caveat is if he’s not totally healthy. Then I can see Muller pulling off the win.

    I agree with all the other picks. Brown, Rosol and Sock to win.

    • NNY, what is up with how Tsonga is feeling? I have heard ab muscle trouble, but nobody will confirm it for me.

      • Yes, he hasn’t played since he lost in the semis at RG. It’s some kind of abdomen muscle issue, I am not sure of the exact nature of the injury. He didn’t play in Nottingham last week, so I assume he felt that he needed the time to deal with the injury.

        We most likely won’t know how he is until we see him on the court.

  2. I go with Gulbis against Rosol. The Latvian showed some good tennis at Halle. It seems that he is finding a bit of form at the right moment. Rosol was quite poor at Halle and Stuttgart. Tsonga will do it against Muller if he is healthy. Beside I go for Sock and Lu. I think he make less mistakes. Could be a five setter…

  3. Even when healthy Tsonga’s game is like a yo-yo. Given his lack of match play plus no grass court warm up it’s hard to see him warding off Muller.

    Muller in 4

  4. This promises to be high in entertainment value if nothing else. Gulbis has looked somewhat chastened after bigging himself up and then falling flat on his face.

    Rosol in 4


  5. Wimbledon sexism row as organisers offer players 10-minute ‘heat breaks’ in soaring temperatures – but only to the women

    Fans have been sweltering in 27C of Wimbledon heat – and temperatures are set to reach 36C as the week goes on
    Organisers say 30,000 bottles of champagne and 12,000 boxes of strawberries will be consumed during tournament
    But selfie-sticks have been banned and police officers are patrolling in plain clothes amid heightened security threat
    Celebrities led by One Direction’s Niall Horan, singer Ella Eyre and actress Gemma Chan spotted out and about
    British hopes once again rest on Andy Murray. The number three seed begins his quest for glory on Tuesday

    PUBLISHED: 11:44, 29 June 2015 | UPDATED: 22:32, 29 June 2015

    As the blazing sun beats down on Wimbledon, spare a thought for the men as they sweat it out on court.
    Because they will have to carry on with their matches however hot it is – while the women can take a break to cool off.
    Cue an inevitable volley of cries of sexism over the rules at the All England Club.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3142967/12-000-boxes-strawberries-30-000-bottles-champagne-ready-serve-Tennis-fans-arrive-day-Wimbledon-good-news-s-going-dry.html#ixzz3eXTha5rk
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