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Ricky’s Preview and Picks for Day 3 at Wimbledon, including Murray vs. Brown and Muller vs. Rosol

The Wimbledon second round gets underway on Tuesday and the schedule is highlighted by an intriguing second-rounder between Andy Murray and Dustin Brown. Gilles Muller, Lukas Rosol, Lucas Pouille, and Jerzy Janowicz are also in action with spots in the last 32 at stake.
Ricky previews three of the best Day 3 matches and makes his predictions.

(1) Andy Murray vs. Dustin Brown

Brown is a veteran of Wimbledon second-round drama as he heads into a Wednesday showdown with Murray, the world No. 1 and defending champion. In three of the last four seasons Brown has advanced to at least the second round, with victories at this stage over Rafael Nadal (2015) and Lleyton Hewitt (2013) to go along with a five-set setback against Nick Kyrgios (2016). The entertaining German is back in round two after he recovered from a set and a break down to defeat Joao Sousa 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-4 in his opener.
This marks the second career battle between Murray and Brown, and first since round two of the 2010 U.S. Open. Murray cruised through that encounter 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 one year before finally capturing his first Grand Slam title in New York City. He is now a three-time major champion, having at Wimbledon twice. The Scot is dealing with a minor hip issue right now and has struggled most of the way this year, but he still crushed lucky loser Alexander Bublik 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 on Monday afternoon. This may be a fun matchup, but it is not a good one for Brown because Murray is one of the best in the sport and breaking down big servers with his return. Grass at least gives Brown a chance, but Murray looked healthy is his first-rounder and will likely put too many returns back in play.
Pick: Murray in 3
Lukas Rosol vs. (16) Gilles Muller
Muller and Rosol will be squaring off for the third time in their careers. Both of their previous encounters have gone Rosol’s way; 7-5, 6-4 at the 2013 Miami event and 7-6(4), 6-2 a few months later on the clay of Bucharest. Fast forward almost exactly four years, though, and it is Muller who is still going strong at 34 years old. The left-hander has captured each of his two career ATP titles in 2017 (Sydney and a couple of weeks ago in ‘s-Hertogenbosch) and is up to a career-high ranking of No. 26. Muller maintained his impressive form by coasting past Marton Fucsovics 7-5, 6-4, 6-2 on Monday.
This is a contest between two veterans who have both ousted Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon and are currently on a collision course with the Spaniard for the fourth round this fortnight. Muller accomplished the feat in 2005, while Rosol more famously downed Nadal in 2012. It has been downhill ever since for the 31-year-old, who comes in at No. 212 in the world and obviously had to qualify in order to get into the main draw. He did so successfully and then the Czech overcame Henri Laaksonen 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. But the bottom line is that Muller is playing far better tennis these days and is one of the most confident players in all of tennis on grass.

Pick: Muller in 4
Jerzy Janowicz vs. (14) Lucas Pouille
Janowicz likely has a long way to go before he can think about someday making another appearance in the Wimbledon semifinals (previously in 2013), but he is at least starting to resurface to relevancy. After reaching a career-high ranking of No. 14 in the world four years ago, the towering Pole fell off the map due to both physical issues and some mental problems. Janowicz, currently the world No. 141, reached the Stuttgart quarters in June and dismissed Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2) on Monday.
Next up for the 6’8” Janowicz is a second career meeting with Pouille. Their only previous collision came two seasons ago on the indoor hard courts of St. Petersburg, where Pouille got the job done in two tiebreakers. The Frenchman has quarterfinal points to defend this year at Wimbledon, where his run last year featured defeats of Donald Young, Juan Martin Del Potro, and Bernard Tomic. Pouille survived his opener after saving two set points in the fourth to beat Malek Jaziri 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(2). This is a big step up in competition level for Janowicz, who must serve better than 60 percent and win more than 46 percent of his second-serve points (stats against Shapovalov) if he wants to score an upset.

Pick: Pouille in 4

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