Wimbledon R4 previews and predictions: Djokovic vs. Mannarino, Thiem vs. Berdych

A fourth consecutive unseeded foe awaits Novak Djokovic on Monday at Wimbledon, where Adrian Mannarino has made the second week. The fourth-round schedule also features Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych.

Adrian Mannarino vs. (2) Novak Djokovic

Djokovic and Mannarino will be facing each other for the second time in their careers and for the second time at Wimbledon when they meet again on Monday. They collided during second-round action last year, when Djokovic survived an especially entertaining third set to pick up a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(5) victory. Mannarino has already progressed two rounds farther this time around, and his success has not exactly come out of nowhere. The 51st-ranked Frenchman finished runner-up in Antalya right before arriving at the All-England Club and he already reached the second week of this event in 2013 (came within one set of the quarterfinals before losing to Lukasz Kubot in five). So far this fortnight Mannarino has defeated Feliciano Lopez, Yuichi Sugita, and Gael Monfils–the latter two both in five sets.

By Djokovic’s standards, his 31-7 record this year is modest at best. But he may be turning things around just in time to make some serious noise at the place where it all started to fall apart for him in 2016. The fourth-ranked Serb, who lost to Sam Querrey in the third round last summer, is coming off a grass-court title in Eastbourne and he has not dropped a set at this tournament while taking out Martin Klizan, Adam Pavlasek, and Ernests Gulbis. Mannarino’s solid grass-court game will once again make things somewhat interesting, but Djokovic looks rejuvenated to the extent that he should not have too much trouble with anyone outside the top 15.

Pick: Djokovic in 3

(8) Dominic Thiem vs. (11) Tomas Berdych

Thiem may be the the No. 8 player in the world and sit in third in the race to the World Tour Finals, but simply reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon can already be considered a smashing success. After all, Thiem had been a mere 2-3 lifetime at the All-England Club prior this fortnight and his grass-court preparation included a 1-2 record with setbacks against Robin Haase (Halle second round) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (Antalya second round). Apparently trying to avoid the distinction of “clay-court specialist,” the two-time French Open semifinalist has picked up the pace on the green stuff to beat Vasek Pospisil, Gilles Simon, and Jared Donaldson–surrendering only one set to Simon in the process.

Awaiting the 23-year-old on the middle Monday is a second career contest against Berdych, who dominated their only previous meeting 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 at the 2014 U.S. Open. These two competitors have gone in mostly different directions since then, but Berdych remains a force on grass. The 15th-ranked Czech is a former Wimbledon finalist (2010) and he advanced to the semifinals last season. Up to his usual tricks at the All-England Club, Berdych powered his way into the second week by disposing of Jeremy Chardy, Ryan Harrison, and David Ferrer. Current form may favor Thiem, but Berdych will be able to take his opponent’s time away on grass with big serves and flat, penetrating groundstrokes.

Pick: Berdych in 4

25 Comments on Wimbledon R4 previews and predictions: Djokovic vs. Mannarino, Thiem vs. Berdych

    • Novak in 3. Thiem in 4. Although I did pick Berdych in my bracket. I think Thiem is good enough to out-last Berdych

  1. Djokovic in 3.

    Wins against Monfils and Lopez surely deserves a chance at winning a set but looks like bad timing for him for obvious reasons.

    Thiem in 4.

    Thiem is another level to Berdych right now and should force him to overplay. Its close because Berdych is arguably on his best surface but Thiem’s competitive advantage should enough to grab the victory.

    Thiem in 4

  2. Berdych in four, Djoko in three or four.

    Berdych’ grass court game is better than Thiem’s. He’s quietly moving through the draw, under the radar. He’s the semi finalist here last year, and playing well enough to just narrowly lost to Feli the eventual winner at Queens. I think Berdych’s big and flatter FH will save his day against Thiem on grass.

    • Fair points, the big flat forehand can certainly be an advantage if Berdych brings his best. I think the top players have a knack for exposing poor recent form even though a player may all-of-a-sudden raise their game during a major. That’s one of the benefits of being consistent on the tour.

  3. Can Mannarino last 3 sets? Got a hunch he’ll retire and give Nole his 2nd pass into the next round.

  4. Who said Thiem couldn’t play on grass??
    I think this one is pretty close and hard to pick.the higher bouncing ball should help Thiem .
    I originally picked Gasquet to come through here,Thiem plays similar so I’ll go for him in five.

    • Agree with you Big Al. But I was claiming Thiem to be terrible on grass from what little bit I watch of him in was it Halle? One match and he lost. Then he went off to Antalya – where I couldn’t watch him. So I picked Pospisil to beat him first round. And since that match, I just see him getting better. I think he’ll beat Berdych but not sure about the score and number of sets.

      • Oh it was you rc! Well ,you’re right about Thiem this year he was terrible on grass . You’d be forgiven for forgetting he won a tournament beating Federer last year.
        ‘Grass’ can be very different from one place to another. They’re saying Wimby grass is slower than RG Clay. Which makes me think Nadal’s going to win …but I’m a Murray / Federer fan.

        • Well, I’m a Novak/Murray supporter ahead of Rafa and Roger but I can’t say i’d be disappointed if Rafa or Roger win this because it’sprobably going to be Rafa,imo. He’s just stronger than shit lol…

          But Andy Murray completely fooled me. He’s supposed to be weak and sick. Not that I question that he did have shingles but there is probably an anti-retroviral that’s helping him with shingles, at least for now. I’m very suggestive to rumors of injury and illness.

          It wouldn’t surprise me if Andy is getting stronger from match to match and Rafa v Andy will be a humdinger like Fed vs Novak will be. The big four are all on an upward trajectory lol it’s true. Any one of them could win this Wimbledon and I don’t doubt each one wants it badly, despite how cool and low key they try to be 😀

          • Yeah Andy has a habit of doing this. Not a surprise if he’s at his very best in a couple of matches time.
            I don’t know if I’m a bigger Murray or Roger fan but living in Britain I don’t mind if Murray wins .However,Ive always felt Roger had one more Wimbledon I him, and would love to see him beat Rafa in a classic final before he retires.
            I like Nole as well , and appreciate Rafa but not much of a fan.

            • Just had a peek at your Tenngrand tourneytopia bracket and you are Numero Uno ? along with Nny! Of course you and Nny picked a different champion. I regret not picking a Murray bracket! Should have had all big Four represented lol

              And didn’t get the turnout in that Bracket because Ricky didn’t advertise it! And because Hawkie is mysteriously absent. Ricky has to be extremely busy these days.

            • I doubt Fed could do that; there’s a Djoko lurking around. Fed doesn’t look impressive so far, he beating Djoko and Rafa consecutively is too much to ask for, even on grass. Fed did look a beat slow by his normal standard.

    • Who did Thiem beat on grass? It’s Donaldson, not that he’s beating some good grass court players. He’ll have his test against Berdych next.

    • Yeah RC, I’m mystified about the Grandstand ATP one, I never knew about it ! Picks must have been copied over from the main comp which I did enter.
      Yeah, Ive noticed absence of Hawk and Ricky, now that you mention it.

    • Can’t feel sorry or pity for Gulbis. He has issues that are beyond my comprehension. I’m just happy when he comes around to seriously compete — because he does make a draw more interesting.

      • Agree, no pity for Gulbis himself. Just such a waste of talent .Theres a few others like him ,who could have made the game so much richer.

  5. Thiem is now starting to expose the poor Berdych form and mentality. You cant just turn up to grand slams against the top players and expect to deliver when the pressure is really on. Berdych had 2 break points at 4:4 2nd set.

    • Jim, Berdych won in the end. I had all except one of my picks right( the winners not the score line though). I had Fed, Raonic, Murray, Querrey, Berdych, Cilic to win, all correct, except Rafa who lost narrowly. Poor Djoko didn’t even get to play his match!

  6. Muller’s specialty playing on the Wimbledon grass really showed up today. Nadal could’nt break serve much today and it appeared that this hampered his ability to win today. It was definitely a epic victory for Muller.

  7. Mario Ancic is more handsome than ever ?

    Novak having right elbow and shoulder issues, apparently; barely can do enough, it appears, to get by Adrian Mannarino. Novak has not been able to serve full strangth. At least he’ll make the QF. It’s going to be tough v Berdych.

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