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Ricky’s tennis picks for Day 9 at Wimbledon: Djokovic vs. Sinner and Norrie vs. Goffin

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic (left) greet each other on centre court ahead of the 2022 Wimbledon Championship at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

Novak Djokovic’s second seeded opponent of the fortnight will come in the form of Jannik Sinner when quarterfinal competition gets underway on Tuesday. Cameron Norrie and David Goffin are also aiming for a place in the last four.

Here are my previews and predictions for the two matchups.

(1) Novak Djokovic vs. (10) Jannik Sinner

Djokovic and Sinner will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they clash in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Tuesday afternoon. Their only previous meeting came last spring in Monte-Carlo, where Djokovic cruised 6-4, 6-2. Of course, another year on tour and a switch to grass should help Sinner. Even though the 20-year-old Italian is inexperienced on this surface, he will have a better chance of minimizing rallies–which he doesn’t want to get into with Djokovic. So far at the All-England Club Sinner has ousted Stan Wawrinka, Mikael Ymer, John Isner, and Carlos Alcaraz without going to five sets on any occasion.

If not dominant (mainly because he hasn’t had to be), Djokovic has been efficient as he bids for a fourth consecutive Wimbledon title. The top-seeded Serb booked his spot in the last eight by beating Soonwoo Kwon, Thanaski Kokkinakis, Miomir Kecmanovic, and Tim van Rijthoven. Both Kwon and van Rijthoven took a set, which should give Sinner some inspiration. However, Djokovic followed up his hiccup against Kwon by destroying Kokkinakis 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 with a ruthless performance two days later. Look for the 35-year-old to answer another wakeup call and win a straight-set but at times competitive contest.

Pick: Djokovic in 3

Cameron Norrie of Great Britain plays a backhand at Wimbledon. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

David Goffin vs. (9) Cameron Norrie

Norrie has taken advantage of a favorable draw, but he shouldn’t have to apologize for finding himself in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. The world No. 12 was a Queen’s Club finalist last year and his game in general works well on grass–specifically a backhand that stays extremely low and an effective lefty serve. Norrie has improved to 31-15 this season with victories over Pablo Andujar, Jaume Munar, Steve Johnson, and Tommy Paul. Munar pushed the 2021 Indian Wells champion to five sets, but the others were straight-set affairs.

Goffin has advanced with victories over Radu Albot, Sebastian Baez, Ugo Humbert, and Frances Tiafoe. The 58th-ranked Belgian had previously reached the fourth round in SW19 twice, so this run is no fluke. The bad news is that Goffin is coming off an absolute battle against Tiafoe that the 31-year-old won 7-6(3), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 after four hours and 36 minutes. It won’t be easy to recover in time for what will be another baseline slugfest against Norrie, so look for the crowd favorite to keep going all the way to the semis.

Pick: Norrie in 4

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