10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Ricky’s preview and picks for Day 2 at Wimbledon, including Federer vs. Dolgopolov and Gasquet vs. Ferrer


The Wimbledon first round resumes in Tuesday and the schedule is highlighted by the beginning of Roger Federer’s bid for an eighth title at the All-England Club. Federer is kicking off his campaign against Alexandr Dolgopolov, while Richard Gasquet and David Ferrer are also in action.

Ricky previews three of the best Day 2 matches and makes his predictions.

Alexandr Dolgopolov vs. (3) Roger Federer

Federer has not lifted the Wimbledon trophy since 2012, but he is the odds-on favorite to do so for an eighth time in 2017. The fact that he is a seven-time winner of this tournament is just one reason. Additionally, Federer is an awesome 24-2 this year and coming off a title on the grass of Halle. The 35-year-old has held a match point in all 26 of his outings in 2017, losing only to Evgeny Donskoy in Dubai and to Tommy Haas in Stuttgart.

Up first for Federer on Tuesday is a fourth career contest against Dolgopolov, who trails the head-to-head series 3-0 and 7-0 in total sets. The Ukrainian most recently lost to Federer 6-3, 7-5, 6-1 in the second round of the 2016 Australian Open. Nothing suggests the tide is about to turn, because Dolgopolov is struggling down at No. 84 in the world with a modest 11-11 record in 2017. Even worse, Dolgopolov’s most recent outing ended in retirement because of an ankle injury (against Vasek Pospisil in ‘s-Hertogenbosch). This is an exciting matchup on paper, but in reality it should be nothing more than one-way traffic.

Pick: Federer in 3

(22) Richard Gasquet vs. David Ferrer

Gasquet and Ferrer will be squaring off for the 13th time in their careers on Tuesday. Ferrer is dominating the head-to-head series 9-3, but the two veterans have not faced each other since early in 2015. At 35 years old, Ferrer is no longer the same player that he was when he was running circles around Gasquet–and many other befuddled opponents. The Spaniard has plunged to No. 39 in the rankings and his 2017 record stands at a dreadful 8-13, including 0-2 on grass.

Gasquet appears to be past his prime, too, but the 31-year-old has at least played well enough to maintain a top 30 ranking and there be seeded at Wimbledon with room to spare. He is a solid19-9 this yearand 8-2 in his last 10 completed matches (not including a retirement versus Gael Monfils in the Roland Garros third round). The Frenchman recently advanced to the Eastbourne semis and went up against Monfils again, this time succumbing 6-2, 6-7(7), 7-6(4). Based on current form and the surface, Gasquet has a distinct advantage in this one.

Pick: Gasquet in 4

(8) Dominic Thiem vs. Vasek Pospisil

An extreme contrast in styles will be on the menu when Thiem and Pospisil clash for the second time in their careers. Their only previous encounter came two seasons ago on the clay of Munich, where Thiem survived 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(9). The world No. 8 is emerging as one of the top clay-courters in the game and perhaps even a clay-court specialist. He is already a two-time French Open semifinalist and six of his eight career ATP winner’s trophies have come on the red stuff. Thiem, who lost to Jiri Vesely in three tiebreakers in the 2016 second round, suffered recent grass-court setbacks at the hands of Robin Haase (round two in Halle) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (round two in Antalya).

Pospisil, by contrast, is at his best on grass. The 73rd-ranked Canadian made a run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2015 and he successfully qualified for all three of his grass-court appearances this summer. He ended up reaching the ‘s-Hertogenbosch quarterfinals, lost to Dustin Brown in a third-set tiebreaker in Halle, and advanced one round in Eastbourne before succumbing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. Making a serious move back up the rankings, Pospisil is full of confidence and should give Thiem a grass-court lesson complete with aggressive, net-charging tactics.

Pick: Pospisil in 4

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.