The picks: 2024 Wimbledon, third round

Holger Rune

Holger Rune vs. Quentin Halys

The Frenchman Halys is certainly struggling, month after month, but in the qualifying, he does throw it all around. Maybe he can reach into the top 50, someday, but in order to do that, he has to improve his return, and at that net, too. But at least Halys has won five matches in a row, so he must be feeling good.

The Denmark, Rune, can smash the ball, side to side, and he also can chuck in some cool shots. He can be steady, and he can be forceful, too. Last year he was ranked No. 4, which was terrific, but now he is No. 15, so he slipped, a little bit. But things can chance, so on the grass, he can bend down and pick it up. Rune will keep it in, and he will win it in three, interesting sets.

Novak Djokovic vs. Alexei Popyrin

Yes, the multiple Grand Slam winners Djokovic is starting to play well, again. A month ago, he was hurt, and he could not play in the events, but last week, he began to feel very good, so now, his famous backhand was much more steady. Maybe he will get a sting, again, but he is pleased, so he will try to dominate in the first week, so in the second week, he will be able to play for many hours, and put it away.

Djokovic will try to thrash against the Australian Popyrin, who has had a very decent year, but he is not there, yet. In Melbourne, in January, in the second round, Djokovic beat him in four tough sets. In the court, Popyrin will try to attack him, early, yet the Serbian will mix him up a lot, and Djokovic will win it in another four sets, 6-3.

Elena Rybakna vs. Caroline Wozniacki 

The one-time Grand Slam champion edged Leylah Fernandez 7-5 in the third set, and she almost lost, but she hit two huge serves, and her confidence climbed. Now she has to face against Rybakna, another former champ, and she is extremely powerful. Wozniacki is very steady, and she is quick, but Rybakna can go for the lines, when she has a legitimate shot to try to go for it. Her forehand and her backhand almost  goes deep, but this year, she lost some key matches, when it was damn close. The veteran Wozniacki knows that, so she wants to play loyal, and move her around with her massive backhand. Wozniacki is feeling good, but assuming that Rybakna won’t get hurt, she will GRAB it in three, fascinating sets.

Danielle Collins vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia

We all know that Collins will retire at the end of the year, but currently, she has to play ball, and win it, each day. It is impossible for everyone, yet during the matches, it is possible to slap the lines.

The No. 20 Haddad Maia had a fine 2023 year, but over the past five months, she has struggled, losing a lot. Maybe the Brazilian will spread, finally, but Collins is highly aggressive, and she can bombardment when she can. Yes, the American can throw in a lot of errors, but this time, she will be more controlling, and Collins will win it two, long sets.