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Ricky’s Picks And Previews For The Wimbledon Third Round, Including Monfils vs. Querrey • Federer vs. Struff

By Ricky Dimon

 

The business end of week one at Wimbledon is upon, with Roger Federer playing his third-round match on Friday and Nadal set to resume his campaign on Saturday. Federer is facing Jan-Lennard Struff, while Nadal is going up against Alex De Minaur. Another intriguing showdown features Sam Querrey and Gael Monfils.

 

Ricky takes a look at some of the best third-round matchups.

 

(11) Sam Querrey vs. Gael Monfils

Both of their previous meetings have gone Monfils’ way; 6-4, 7-5 on the clay courts of Poertschach in 2007 and 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 at the 2016 Washington, D.C. tournament. Grass, of course, will give Querrey a much better shot. The American has made back-to-back runs to the Wimbledon quarterfinals and semifinals with two wins over world No. 1s (Novak Djokovic in 2016 and Andy Murray in 2017). Monfils has done well just to reach the third round, in part because he had to play fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the opening round. He had done next to nothing since beginning the season with a title in Doha. Querrey in 4.

 

(1) Roger Federer vs. Jan-Lennard Struff

There are a couple of guys in the draw who look like they could potentially pose a threat to Federer later in the event, but nothing suggests the No. 1 seed will have any trouble prior to the quarters or even the semis. Federer trounced Dusan Lajovic and Lukas Lacko without facing a single break point or donating more than four games in any set. Struff is a surprising third-round participant who may not be able to offer more resistance than either Lajovic or Lacko. The German has done incredibly well to come back from two sets down in both the first and second rounds, but that also means he may be running on fumes. Federer should have no problem improving to 95-11 lifetime at Wimbledon. Federer in 3.

 

Alex De Minaur vs. (2) Rafael Nadal

Nadal had lost in the first two rounds in three of his last five Wimbledon appearances, but he did not come close to such a fate this time around. The world No. 1 is 32-2 this season and he is showing no signs of slowing down on a more uncomfortable surface following yet another dominant clay-court run that included his 11th title at RG. Nadal has advanced so far in SW19 by making routine work of Dudi Sela and Mikhail Kukushkin. De Minaur advanced to two grass-court Challenger finals (one title, one runner-up) and has posted four-set victories at the All-England Club over Marco Cecchinato and Pierre-Hugues Herbert. A steep step up in competition will likely be the end for the young Aussie. Nadal in 3.

 

(15) Nick Kyrgios vs. (24) Kei Nishikori

Grass is ideal for Kyrgios’ style, and he reached semifinals in Stuttgart and at Queen’s Club before losing only to Roger Federer in a third-set ‘breaker and Marin Cilic in two ‘breakers. The volatile Australian did not get broken once by Denis Istomin in four sets during his opening match and it was his return game (five breaks) that did damage against Robin Haase in a straight-set, second-round victory. Nishikori has never been in peak form on grass and he did not exactly turn in virtuoso performances against either Christian Harrison or Bernard Tomic. If Kyrgios serves well he can hit Nishikori off the court. Kyrgios in 3.

 

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

 

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