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Ricky’s tennis picks for Day 10 at Wimbledon: Nadal vs. Fritz and Kyrgios vs. Garin

Taylor Fritz of The United States celebrates reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

When Wimbledon quarterfinal action wraps up on Wednesday there will be one all-seeded showdown and one all-unseeded matchup. Rafael Nadal is going up against a red-hot opponent in Taylor Fritz, while Nick Kyrgios faces Cristian Garin.

Here are my previews and picks for the two matchups.

(11) Taylor Fritz vs. (2) Rafael Nadal

It will be a rematch of the Indian Wells final when Nadal and Fritz square off in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Wednesday afternoon. Fritz took down Nadal 6-3, 7-6(5) for his first-ever Masters 1000 title, tying up the head-to-head series 1-1 following a 6-3, 6-2 loss in the 2020 Acapulco championship match. Now they collide in a slam, where Nadal is undefeated this season. The 36-year-old Spaniard triumphed in both Melbourne and Paris, and so far at the All-England Club he has defeated Francisco Cerundolo, Ricardas Berankis, Lorenzo Sonego, and Botic van de Zandschulp. Nadal dropped a set to both Cerundolo and Berankis before raising his level in rounds three and four.

Fritz has been dominant all fortnight. The world No. 14 and recent Eastbourne champion has not lost a single set; everyone else in the field has lost at least two. He booked his place in the last eight by coasting past Lorenzo Musetti, Alastair Gray, Alex Molcan, and Jason Kubler. Sure the competition level has been underwhelming, but 12-0 in total sets is impressive no matter the circumstances. Fritz is one of the few members of the younger generation who actually have belief when they face Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The Indian Wells result can’t really be taken into account since both guys–especially Nadal–were less than 100 percent, but nonetheless it can’t hurt Fritz’s confidence level. This is another winnable match for the American.

Pick: Fritz in 5

Nick Kyrgios of Australia plays for a spot in his first Grand Slam semifinal. (Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images)

Cristian Garin vs. Nick Kyrgios

Kyrgios vs. Garin is a rare all-unseeded affair in the quarterfinals of a major. Of course, based on talent alone–especially on the grass courts of Wimbledon–Kyrgios was always a title contender regardless of what his No. 40 ranking suggests. The 27-year-old reached the quarterfinals back in 2014 and now he is through to the semis following victories over Paul Jubb, Filip Krajinovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Brandon Nakashima.

Garin was supposed to face 2021 runner-up Matteo Berrettini in round one, but the Italian was forced out by a positive Covid-19 test and it’s safe to say that the 43rd-ranked Chilean has made the most of his opportunity. He has advanced by taking out Elias Ymer, Hugo Grenier, Jenson Brooksby, and Alex de Minaur. Garin is coming off a five-set battle with de Minaur, but his first three matches were routine so he should have plenty left in the tank for the biggest match of his career. Kyrgios made only one of his first four matches straightforward, so another roller-coaster ride can be expected against an in-form opponent–but the Aussie’s serve will likely bail him out in the pressure-packed moments.

Pick: Kyrgios in 5

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