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The Wimbledon second round will conclude on Thursday. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are back on the schedule, but more competitive encounters are likely to feature Dominic Thiem, Gilles Simon, Grigor Dimitrov, and Marcos Baghdatis. Meanwhile, Juan Martin Del Potro and Ernests Gulbis will go head-to-head possibly for the right to meet Djokovic in round three.

Ricky previews three of the best Day 4 matches and makes his predictions.

(29) Juan Martin Del Potro vs. Ernests Gulbis
The clock will be turned back when Del Potro and Gulbis clash for the sixth time in their careers on Thursday. For various reasons, these two former top 10 performers have never been able to sustain success and they have taken turns disappearing off the tennis map. As such, it is hardly surprising that they have not squared off since early in 2014. That’s when Gulbis got the job done 6-3, 6-4 in the Rotterdam quarters, but he still trails the head-to-head series 3-2.

In fact, the Latvian trails just about anyone in everything these days. He has plunged to No. 589 in the rankings due to physical struggles, a disastrous forehand, and general poor play. Gulbis picked up his first ATP-level victory since the 2016 French Open when he shellacked Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 on Tuesday. Del Potro had a tougher opener against more difficult competition, beating Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4. The 32nd-ranked Argentine is 14-7 this year and coming off a clay-court swing that included a quarterfinal run in Rome and a third-round showing at the French Open (lost to Andy Murray). Del Potro remains under-ranked because of relative inactivity so his draw will get more difficult in a hurry (potential third-rounder against Novak Djokovic), but for a now a date with Gulbis is just about as favorable as it gets.
Pick: Del Potro in 3

(8) Dominic Thiem vs. Gilles Simon
Only 23 years old, Thiem has already battled Simon seven times–an especially large number given that Simon has not advanced very far in many draws since Thiem has become a force at the top of tennis. They will now square off for eighth time on Thursday. The world No. 8’s place in round two was never a sure thing given his relative woes on grass compared to his prowess on clay, but he clobbered Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday. A two-time French Open semifinalist, Thiem had previously come up short against Robin Haase (Halle second round) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (Antalya opening match).

The Austrian is 5-2 lifetime against Simon, including 4-0 in their last four contests, 2-0 this season, and 6-0 in their last six sets. Thiem recently prevailed 6-4, 7-6(4) indoors in Rotterdam and 7-6(7), 6-3 shortly thereafter in Acapulco. At No. 36 in the world, Simon has a current 11-14 record in 2017 to blame for just barely missing out on a seed at the All-England Club. Although the Frenchman lost his opening matches in Stuttgart (to Feliciano Lopez) and Halle (to Karen Khachanov), he easily dismissed qualifier Nicolas Jarry in straight sets on Tuesday. Based on their past history against one another, the relative slow-playing grass courts, and Thiem’s level against Pospisil, this could be a tough one for Simon.
Pick: Thiem in 4

(13) Grigor Dimitrov vs. Marcos Baghdati
Dimitrov and Baghdatis will be facing each other for the ninth time in their careers. The head-to-head series between the friends and sometimes doubles partners stands at a convincing 7-1 in favor of Dimitrov, but they have not completed a full match since the 2015 Australian Open (Baghdatis retired after the first set when they battled at last fall’s Paris Masters). Their only previous grass-court contest also came in round two at Wimbledon in 2012, when Dimitrov retired while trailing 7-5, 4-1. The Bulgarian has since reeled off six wins in a row at Baghdatis’ expense, including 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 Down Under two seasons ago.

It has been an up-and-down year for Dimitrov so far–but for the most part successful. This fortnight’s 13th seed won two titles in the first two months, advanced to the semifinals of the Aussie Open, and showed signs of getting back on track by making a recent run to the Queen’s Club semifinals (lost to eventual champion Lopez). Dimitrov opened on Tuesday by defeating Diego Schwartzman 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-2, while Baghdatis dismissed James Ward 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. The world No. 65 is just 8-9 in 2017 and a decent 4-2 on grass. But the fact that his last two grass-court setbacks have come by retirement does not bode well for Baghdatis’ chances of winning another best-of-five tilt.
Pick: Dimitrov in 4

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