The picks: 2024 Wimbledon, third round

Frances Tiafoe

Carlos Alcaraz vs. Frances Tiafoe

The American scored two fine wins, and while Tiafoe has not had a good year, but soon, he will rise again. That is, if he really does. However, Alcaraz is such a tremendous hitter, with his blasting forehand and his heavy backhand. He won Wimbledon last year, so clearly, he understands on the the low grass.  

The Spaniard just crushed Aleksandar Vukic, so he is already rocking. Tiafoe will try to go for it, early, and  drag him on the heels, but Alcaraz will be patient, and come up into the net, frequently. Therefor, Alcaraz will take in four, fun sets.

Ugo Humbert vs. Brandon Nakashima

Who would have thought that the American, Nakashima, is still there? He has not had a good year, but he does try to re-think about how he hits it. He can be steady, but at times, it is too short, and it is hard to attack.

The Frenchman Humbert can play terrific, and he is currently No. 13, but over the last four months, he has done very little. At least in February, he won Marseille, and also, in Dubai, beating the two Slammers, with Andy Murray and Daniil Medvedev, on the hardcourts. Then he disappeared. However, Humbert can leap on the ball, and punch it, side to side. There will be some fine rallies, but Humbert will touch it on the corners and win it in four, savage sets.

Tommy Paul vs. Alexander Bublik

Paul had a very tough match, with five severe sets, but he survived, yet now, he has to face against Bublik. He had a solid couple month, winning Montpellier, and reaching into the final in Dubai. He was the same thing, when in March, he started to lose, early, for four months. At least Bublik has been somewhat befitting, year after year, and in 2023, he won a number of wins, winning Halle, on the grass, just before Wimbledon. So if he can ratch it up, with his forehand, and try to hop on his return,  then he could really blend it up. Both if them are very close, but in the fourth set, Paul will throw in some impressive forehands, and he will win it, in three hours, plus.

Emma Navarro vs. Diana Shnaider 

Who would have seen that when Navarro would stepped on the former No. 1 Naomi Osaka 6-4, 6-1?  Maybe Osaka doesn’t like on  the grass, but the American Navarro is flying, high. She is on fire, yet Shnaider is also doing the same thing. 

The 20-year-old Shnaider destroyed Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-1, and she is ready to beat almost everyone. She just won Bad Homburg, beating Navarro in the semis, which was close. They have actually play the doubles, together, and they are friends. But on the court, they have to put it away.

“We had a lot of fun playing doubles together.She plays very courageously, and she goes for her shots, which I think is a big part of her game,” Navarro said.  “She’ll go for it.  Obviously she’s a lefty, which makes it tough. But I feel just excited for the challenge.”

Yes it will be. Navarro does know how Shnaider plays, but the most important thing is to really try to split her forehand, and to keep it in. This is a toss up, but on grass, Navarro will trip up Shnaider right at the end, and in the third set, the American will win it 7-5.

Coco Gauff vs. Sonay Kartal

The Britain Kartal had a couple wins here, but she is not ranked in the top 200, and while she has been solid in the ITF’s, she has a long way to go. But not Gauff, who has had a pretty good year, but not tremendous, yet. Yes, she is ranked No. 2, which is passional, but she has only won one event, back in the beginning of January in Auckland. After that, she would go deep, but not enough. Maybe she will in the next 10 days, but right now, she has to swing away, especially with her up and down forehand. Her backhand is excellent, almost all the time, so against Kartal, she will ruin her, in two, quick sets.

Maria Sakkari vs. Emma Raducanu

The Greek Sakkari can really hustle, and she can play for many hours. She has been in the top 10 for a while, and she is fast, and bring it back. However, she isn’t that tall, so it is hard to shatter the ball. Either way, she will be very excited to go on the court against the famous Britain,  Raducanu. If you watch her, now, her strokes are better, and her revolt. But really, the former 2021 U.S. Open still has work to do, a lot. However, in Eastbourne, Raducanu beat Jessica Pegula, one of her best wins this year. In front of all the fans, she will out hit 

Sakkari 6-4 in the third set. What a win!