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Ricky’s Preview and Picks for Day 2 at Wimbledon, including Federer vs. Mannarino

By Ricky Dimon

First-round action at Wimbledon continues on Tuesday, when hopefully there will be better weather throughout the day than there was on Monday. Of course, Roger Federer knows he will be playing no matter what thanks to the benefit of a roof on Centre Court. Also on Tuesday’s schedule are Nick Kyrgios, Ugo Humbert, and Daniil Medvedev. Ricky previews some of the top matchups and makes his picks.

(6) Roger Federer vs. Adrian Mannarino

Federer and Mannarino will be going head-to-head for the seventh time in their careers and for the third time at Wimbledon. Their most recent meeting also came at the All-England Club, where Federer cruised 6-0, 7-5, 6-4 in 2018. Their first-ever encounter was at Wimbledon, as well, with the Swiss securing a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 victory back in 2011. Overall, Federer has won all six contests and is 15-1 lifetime against Mannarino in total sets.

It is true that Mannarino won’t be facing the best version of Federer. At 39 years old, the 20-time Grand Slam champion has played sparingly over the last two seasons. His 2021 comeback has featured only one positive result: a fourth-round showing at the French Open before withdrawing. Still, nothing about this matchup bodes well for Mannarino even with Federer no longer at his best. The 32-year-old Frenchman isn’t in peak form either, as he heads into Wimbledon with a horrendous 9-17 record for the year. Mannarino has no offensive weapons with which to hurt Federer, so another straight-set affair is likely.

Pick: Federer in 3

Nick Kyrgios vs. (21) Ugo Humbert

Outside of Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray, this Humbert-Kyrgios matchup will likely command more attention than any other in the Wimbledon first round. Humbert is in great form, Kyrgios is Kyrgios, and this a rematch of an epic Australian Open battle from earlier this year. During second-round action Down Under, Kyrgios treated the home crowd to a 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 victory.

Kyrgios certainly isn’t the favorite this time around, and not just because he doesn’t have home-court advantage. In fact, the 60th-ranked Australian has not played since the Aussie Open–and has not won a match since he beat Humbert. Kyrgios unsurprisingly has not appeared to be in great shape on the Wimbledon practice courts, which doesn’t bode well for his chances against one of the hottest players on tour. Humbert is 8-1 on grass this summer, with a quarterfinal showing in Stuttgart and the biggest title of his career in Halle. Anything close to that same level will be more than enough for the 25th-ranked Frenchman to see off Kyrgios.

Pick: Humbert in 4

Other top matches

Jan-Lennard Struff vs. (2) Daniil Medvedev – This is a dreadful draw for both players and it’s a shame that one of them will be out in the first round. Struff pulled off the upset in Halle, but in a Grand Slam situation I’ll put my eggs in Medvedev’s basket. Plus he has grass matches under his belt now after capturing the Mallorca title. Medvedev in 5.

Fernando Verdasco vs. (18) Grigor Dimitrov – There’s no telling what could happen in this match. These are two of the least reliable players on tour even when they are playing decent, and these days neither one has been playing much at all. But if Dimitrov is close to 100 percent physically, he should get the job done. Dimitrov in 5.

(14) Hubert Hurkacz vs. Lorenzo Musetti – Hurkacz is 1-6 since triumphing in Miami, including 0-6 in his last six matches. Musetti is 0-0 lifetime on grass. That’s right; the Italian has never played a professional match on the green stuff. Needless to say, this will likely be a disaster of a match. Hurkacz will probably be less bad. Hurkacz in 3.

Sam Querrey vs. (11) Pablo Carreno Busta – Some matchups all come down to the surface. This is one of those matchups. Querrey is basically a grass-court specialist. He is coming off a runner-up showing in Mallorca and he reached the Wimbledons semis in 2017. Carreno Busta has never won a single match at Wimbledon. Querrey in 4.

Kei Nishikori vs. Alexei Popyrin: Nishikori can never be trusted from a physical standpoint, especially not in a best-of-five situation. Plus he has been dealing with a wrist injury. Popyrin is a power player who can take advantage of this opportunity on grass. Popyrin in 4.

(20) Aslan Karatsev vs. Jeremy Chardy: The Cinderella story of Aslan Karatsev may not be permanently over, but it is definitely on a leave of absence. He went 1-3 in his last four matches on clay and is 1-1 on grass so far this summer. The Russian has never played in the Wimbledon main draw. Chardy has the edge on grass right now. Chardy in 4.

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