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Ricky’s picks for Day 3 at Wimbledon, including Sinner and Rublev

Andrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner are among the contenders in the bottom half of the Wimbledon draw, which is home to Novak Djokovic. First, though, they simply have to worry about advancing to the second round.

Here are my picks for two of the more intriguing matchups on Wednesday.

(8) Jannik Sinner vs. Diego Schwartzman

Simply advancing to the second round at the All-England Club is a surprisingly good result for Schwartzman. It’s one he will probably have to be content with, too, because his tournament will almost certainly come to an end on Wednesday. Next for the 98th-ranked Argentine is Sinner, who advanced to the quarters last summer and came closer than anyone to upsetting Djokovic (lost a two-set lead). The 21-year-old Italian has since climbed to No. 8 in the rankings due partly to a 33-10 record in 2023 that includes a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 blowout of Juan Manuel Cerundolo in round one.

This season has been a much different story for Schwartzman, who is 9-16 at the ATP level and is dangerously close to falling outside the top 100. Moreover, the 30-year-old Argentine is 0-3 lifetime in the head-to-head series against Sinner and has never even come close to taking a set. This should be complete domination for Sinner.

Pick: Sinner in 3

(7) Andrey Rublev vs. Aslan Karatsev

Rublev and Karatsev were banned from Wimbledon last summer, but the two Russians are trying to make the most of their reinstatement. Rublev cruised past Max Purcell 6-3, 7-5, 6-4; Karatsev earned a 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 victory Luca Van Assche.

The only previous encounter between these two friends and occasional doubles partners came at the 2021 Dubai event, where Karatsev won 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. However, the 50th-ranked player in the world hasn’t been able to sustain the success he enjoyed in 2021. Rublev, much differently, has been a staple of the top 10 for three-plus seasons now. Crunch these numbers, as well: Rublev is 32-13 this year and 22-12 all time on grass; Karatsev is 12-11 this year and 6-12 all time on grass. The favorite will likely roll in three our four.

Pick: Rublev in 4

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