Wimbledon R2 previews and picks: Tomic vs. Herbert, Isner vs. Ebden

Tomic Bernard Tomic and John Isner will be two of the seeds in second-round action on Wednesday. They are set for respective meetings with Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Matthew Ebden.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert vs. (27) Bernard Tomic

Heading into just the third day of main-draw action at Wimbledon, Herbert has already played two five-setters. The 24-year-old Frenchman defeated Inigo Cervantes at the final stage of qualifying before outlasting Hyeon Chung 1-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 10-8 on Monday. That was the first ATP-level match victory of the season for Herbert, who now owns seven in his career.

Next up for the world No. 151 is a second career meeting with Tomic. If their only previous encounter is any indication, Herbert could be in for another thriller. He prevailed over Tomic 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7) on the indoor hard courts of Kuala Lumpur last fall. Tomic, though, is a stellar grass-court player who reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2011 and the fourth round in 2013. The 26th-ranked Aussie also survived his opener in five, beating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3. On this surface, Tomic will have too much guile and is likely to put an end to Herbert’s commendable run.

Pick: Tomic in 4

(WC) Matthew Ebden vs. (17) John Isner

Isner and Ebden will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers on Wednesday. They faced each other in the fourth round of the 2012 Indian Wells Masters, with Isner getting the job done 6-4, 7-5. The 17th-ranked American avoided what would have been just his second first-round loss of this season by taking care of Go Soeda 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4 on Monday. Isner is now 22-14 for his 2015 campaign and he has plenty of momentum following an early-season slump. Positive results include a fourth-round performance in Indian Wells, a semifinal in Miami, and quarterfinals in Madrid and at Queen’s Club.

Ebden had been a bit of a disappearing act in the past few years, but a recent stretch of strong play at the Challenger level–especially on grass–earned him a main-draw wild card for this fortnight at the All-England Club. The 148th-ranked Australian advanced to consecutive Challenger finals on the slick stuff earlier this month, splitting the two championship matches against Denis Kudla. He opened on Monday by destroying Blaz Rola 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 for his first ATP-level win of the season. Ebden is a tough customer on grass, but it is going to be a struggle if Isner serves anywhere close to the 82 percent that he turned in against Soeda.

Pick: Isner in 4


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