The picks: 2024 Wimbledon, second round

Gael Monfils
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Stan Wawrinka vs Gael Monfils

Talk about the veterans. They have played each other six times, and it is split, but there combined age is 72-years-old. And they are still there, on the court. They have never played against each other in the grass, but they did it  at the Aussie Open and Roland Garros, which was won by the creative Swiss.  Wawrinka has won three Slams, and Monfils did reach into the semis at RG, and  he is super fast, yet he could not reach the finals. Oh, well, he probably won’t do it, but he can win a number of matches. 

Monfils totally loves in the rallies, but on the grass, the points are short. Yes, Wawrinka is declining, yet he has his tricky one-handed backhand, He will win it in four, wild sets.

Frances Tiafoe vs. Borna Coric

Well what do you know, it is back in town, again. Or maybe not. The American Tiafoe has had a medicare year, but eventually, if he understands exactly what he has to do, then he should go into the top 15 again. He has to do it, though.

Coric is another person who can play terrific at an event, and then he disappears. He is very steady, and he will try to nail it down the line, but it could be too short. Seven years ago, he reached into the top No. 12, and it looked like that he could go even further, in the Slams, but he could not. Who knows why, and there for, Tiafoe will take it in five, brutal sets. 

Tommy Paul vs Otto Virtanen

The Finland Virtanen has played a lot in the Challenge Tour, and he beat a number of wins, learning how to play. Yes, he hasn’t reached into the top 100, but he did qualify, so he must have played excellent. 

However, Paul just won a tournament at Queen’s, so he is flying, high. Last year, here, he lost in the third round at Wimbledon, losing in five, brutal sets. This time, he has to push himself, early, and put the opponents into the wall. It is hard to say how he will do at the Slams, but on Wednesday, Paul will take it in three, OK sets. 

Emma Raducanu vs. Elise Mertens 

Raducanu  had a solid when,  beating Renata Zarazua 7-6(0), 6-3, but her opponent, Ekaterina Alexandrova, pulled out, just before, due to an injury.  So Raducanu figured it out against Zarazua, and she looked pretty decent. There is a lot of pressure now, as many people want to see that the former U.S. Open champion Raducanu has returned. She has to play really well, immediately, as she has to play against Elise Mertens, an intelligent person. Mertens can look solid, but at times, she can back off, and then eventually, she can lose. Last year, the current No. 33, was pretty good, but recently, she has lost a lot. Therefore, Raducanu will win it in  two, tight sets.

Bianca Andreescu vs. Linda Noskova 

Noskova is coming up early and often, just like the Czechs do, each year.  She is only 19-years-old, so she still has a lot of work to do, but she is already in the top 30, so on the court, she can crush the ball. Yes, this year, in the past four months, she lost to early. Perhaps she was confused, but she did go deep in January, in Brisbane and Melbourne. Now she has to do it again, fast.

Andreescu just came back, as last year she was hurt again, and she was gone for a while. She can be very consistent, and she can be aggressive, but she doesn’t blast her serves, or to sprint at the net. It is a toss-up, yet Noskova will grab it it in three, bizarre, sets.

Emma Navarro vs. Naomi Osaka

The American Navarro has had a good year, improving herself, and while she has lost in some tough matches, but at least she is there, battling. She does have some cool rallies, and she can also attack with her backhand. However, on grass, it is different, and she is going to have to put it away, as she has to play against the former No. 1, Osaka. She is not quite there, yet, but Osaka is coming, gradually. She is a little erratic, but already, she is darn good. She has won four Grand Slams, yet the Japanese has never gone into the third round at Wimbledon. She must do it ASAP, as on the court, she can be brilliant. Osaka doesn’t love grass, yet, but she will out last Navarro 7-5 in the third set.