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The Wimbledon third round will conclude on Saturday, when Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic return to action. Federer is facing familiar foe Mischa Zverev, while Djokovic has a date with former training partner Ernests Gulbis. Dominic Thiem and Jared Donaldson are also on the schedule.

Ricky previews three of the best Day 6 matches and makes his predictions.

(27) Mischa Zverev vs. (3) Roger Federer
Federer and Zverev will be squaring off for fifth time in their careers and for the third time this season when they collide on Saturday. All four of their previous meetings have gone Federer’s way and he has never even dropped single set to Zverev. If there is any good news for the German veteran, it’s that he has at least managed to avoid getting bageled in 2017–as he did twice in a 6-0, 6-0 humiliation at the 2013 Halle event against Federer. Zverev recently succumbed 6-1, 7-5, 6-2 in the Australian Open quarterfinals and 7-6(4), 6-4 a few weeks ago on the grass courts of Halle.

A resurgent Zverev has been on display throughout this season. Up to 30th in the rankings after previously having his career derailed by physical problems, the 29-year-old has won 19 ATP-level matches in 2017 and finished runner-up to Stan Wawrinka in Geneva (on clay, his worst surface) as a qualifier. Zverev has advanced to the Wimbledon third round by defeating Bernard Tomic and Mikhail Kukushkin–the latter in five sets. A recent title winner in Halle, Federer has extended his winning streak to seven–and 15 straight sets–by getting past Alexandr Dolgopolov and Dusan Lajovic.
Pick: Federer in 3

Ernests Gulbis vs. (2) Novak Djokovic
Djokovic and Gulbis will be facing each other for the eighth time in their careers. The head-to-head series stands at 6-1 in favor of Djokovic, who has won four straight against Gulbis since losing to the Latvian at the 2009 Brisbane tournament. They have not clashed since the Serb came from behind to prevail 5-7, 7-6(7), 6-1 victory at the 2015 Rogers Cup.

After that, Gulbis completely fell off the map due to both injuries and poor play. The 28-year-old comes in at No. 589 in the world and had not won an ATP-level match since the 2016 French Open prior to this fortnight. Out of nowhere, Gulbis thrashed Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 and then surprised Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(3) in round two. Djokovic earned a place in round three by getting a second-set retirement from Martin Klizan and steamrolled past Adam Pavlasek 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. The Serb has slumped a bit this year, but he reached the semis at Roland Garros and has looked in fine form through four sets at the All-England Club. Asking Gulbis to turn in another impressive performance and to do so against such a tough opponent may be too much.
Pick: Djokovic in 3

(8) Dominic Thiem vs. Jared Donaldson
Thiem and Donaldson will be colliding for the second time in their careers on Saturday. Their only previous meeting came this spring on the red clay of Madrid, where Thiem won 6-3, 6-4. Grass gives Donaldson a better shot–albeit still not much of one. After all, Thiem has emerged as one of the most dangerous clay-courters in the sport and is already a two-time Roland Garros semifinalist at 23 years old. Grass has been a different story, and Thiem’s woes on the surface include recent setbacks Robin Haase (Halle second round) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (Antalya second round). Perhaps more motivated at Wimbledon, the world No. 8 has raised his level to defeat Vasek Pospisil in straight sets and Gilles Simon in four.

Donaldson owns almost half of his career ATP-level victories in 2017 (nine of 20) and he will break into the top 60 for the first time after Wimbledon following wins over Janko Tipsarevic (via a first-set retirement) and Paolo Lorenzi (6-4, 7-6(0), 6-7(0), 6-2). The 20-year-old has now reached the third round in two of the last four majors, including at the 2016 U.S. Open. Donaldson is unafraid of the big stage, but he is simply not at Thiem’s overall level and the Austrian is only growing in confidence on grass.
Pick: Thiem in 3

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