Wimbledon R2 previews and predictions: Wawrinka vs. Del Potro, Kyrgios vs. Brown

An extremely intriguing Friday schedule at Wimbledon will feature both Stan Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios in second-round action. Wawrinka is taking on Juan Martin Del Potro, while Kyrgios has a date with Dustin Brown.

(PR) Juan Martin Del Potro vs. (4) Stan Wawrinka

Wawrinka and Del Potro will be squaring off for the sixth time in their careers and for the first time since 2012 when they finally meet again in round two of Wimbledon on Friday. The head-to-head series stands at 3-2 in favor of Del Potro, but Wawrinka won their only previous grass-court encounter 7-6(5), 6-3, 7-5 at this same tournament; of course, that came way back in 2008 so the result is hardly relevant now. Much his changed since then, and not a lot in a positive way for Del Potro even though both players have become Grand Slam champions. The 27-year-old Argentine has been plagued by injuries since his 2009 U.S. Open triumph, but his latest comeback from another wrist surgery is off to a solid start. Del Potro is 12-7 this season after hammering Stephane Robert 6-1, 7-5, 6-0 on Tuesday.

Wawrinka is aiming to win a major for a third consecutive season, having previously prevailed at the Australian Open in 2014 and at the French Open last spring. Wimbledon is certainly not his best chance of the remaining two slams, as the fifth-ranked Swiss has never reached the semifinals at the All-England Club. His grass-court preparation included nothing more than an opening Queen’s Club loss to Fernando Verdasco, but Wawrinka beat Taylor Fritz 7-6(4), 6-1, 7-6(2), 6-4 on Tuesday. Del Potro took advantage of a fatigued Dominic Thiem to pick up a big win in Madrid, but his next two highest-ranked opponents of 2016 took care of him in straight sets (Tomas Berdych in Indian Wells and John Isner at Queen’s Club). At this point in his comeback, winning a three-out-of-five battle with Wawrinka may be too tough for Del Potro.

Pick: Wawrinka in 4

(15) Nick Kyrgios vs. (WC) Dustin Brown

The entertainment factor could be off the charts when Kyrgios and Brown go head-to-head for the first time in their careers on Friday. Intermixed with understandably common errors give his high-risk style of play, Brown is a human highlight film whose YouTube collection is more impressive than his actual tennis resume. The 31-year-old German has always done his best work on grass, and Kyrgios–even though he is clearly an all-court player–may end up achieving more success at Wimbledon than at any other major when it is all said and done. Both players have extremely compact backhands and hit the ball hard and flat to go along with huge serves, a recipe that is tailor made for for lawn tennis and one that has carried each to an upset of Rafael Nadal at the All-England Club.
This matchup came close to being denied on Tuesday, but Brown outlasted Dusan Lajovic 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The world No. 85 is now 9-2 on grass in 2016 (a Challenger title is included in that record) and 5-5 lifetime in main-draw action at Wimbledon. Kyrgios scraped past Radek Stepanek 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(9), 6-1 for his first grass-court victory of the year after having drawn Milos Raonic in round one at Queen’s Club (a 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 loss). The 18th-ranked Australian is 24-9 on the season and has the first ATP title of his career under his belt (Marseille). Kyrgios thrives in the spotlight of Grand Slam tournaments and the 2014 Wimbledon quarterfinalist appears due for more success in London on the heels of disappointing third-round exits in Melbourne and Paris.

Pick: Kyrgios in 4

15 Comments on Wimbledon R2 previews and predictions: Wawrinka vs. Del Potro, Kyrgios vs. Brown

  1. So Djokovic is down two sets to love!!! Can Querry do this here or choke like Anderson? Or, can Novak find a way somehow? he is lacking the fight here

    • What? I just checked the score on my phone because I am out.

      Is this for real?

      I cannot believe it! Querrey of all people!

  2. Very glad to see Delpo winning a big match again. If he countinues to play like that he might have a deep run here, as the draw is not exactly that hard.

    Also, I loved Querrey’s performance in the first two sets. Fantastic serving, same terrific forehands plus ever his backhand looked good. It’s a shame if he loses to rain 🙂

    What I found very suprising is that being 1-4 down in the second Djokovic was like “fuck this shit i’m out” lol. Therefore, it’s a shame that it started raining. Hope Sam countinues his, by far, best match he has ever played. However, tomorrow is a different day and everything might happen.

  3. What’s Jim Courier talking about? Fed is playing against some nobody and its 2 sets up; Courier talks as if Fed is playing some excellent tennis; saying that Rafa seems older (than Fed in terms of how he plays now) despite Fed being 5 years older! What a load of BS! Hadn’t he watched how Rafa played during European clay season and if not for wrist injury, was looking in imperial form at RG?

    Fed is either overhitting or hitting into the net; its more to do with how his opponent plays that makes Fed looks good.

    • Tennis commentators are the worst of any sport. They are full of propaganda promoting players they want to promote and engaging in gossip half the time. There are times when they don’t even comment on the match on court but just go on chatting among themselves.

  4. Novak seriously looked listless out there, and Querrey was serving like a master. Well, it is a long way back, not impossible but highly unlikely if Querrey serves like that again tomorrow. He shouldn’t have thron away those last two games in the second, terrible move.

    • I think stopping play is advantage Novak. He can hit the reset button tomorrow. Querrey needs to stay focused and continue to play well if he wants to get the big upset.

      • definitely! Querry was crushing serves and groudstrokes and Novak looked kind of listless…

  5. Rain came to Djokovic’s rescue in the nick of time.. He can now reset the button and come out fighting.. Querrey on the other hand will have too much time to reflect on what might have been if it hadn’t rained. I doubt either of them will take up where they left off when play was suspended..

    • yeah agreed… the only positive Querry can take is that he will enter the court tomorrow knowing he is more than capable of winning this if he plays his game. When players get two sets to love up against top players, they get nervous and loosen the grip. Querry’s coach needs to give him encouragement.

      This will be very interesting.

      • We don’t know if Querrey will be able to come out playing well tomorrow. I have to believe that Novak will come out playing better and being determined not to get knocked out in such shocking fashion.

        Never would I have thought that Querrey could go up two sets against Novak. We have seen Novak come back and win matches that he should have lost.

        Murray had those struggles in the early rounds of RG. He came through

        Querrey us going to have to stay focused and not have any letdown.

        I am looking forward to seeing what happens.

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