Archives for July 2024

The picks: 2024 Wimbledon, the men’s final

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic over Carlos Alcaraz

Exactly one year ago, Carlos Alcaraz won Wimbledon, after he beat Novak Djokovic 6-4 in the fifth set. It was a magical moment. But now, he has to try to do it  again, but Djokovic will change it up, and nail it, a lot. The 37-year-old has won Wimbledon seven times, which is incredible, but Alcaraz just won Roland Garros, and he is on fire, once again. 

The Serbian must know that he has to change it up, a little bit more, and attack, early.

“He already beat me here in a thrilling five-setter. A huge battle on the court,” said Djokovic, who beat Lorenzo Musetti in the semis. “He is as complete a player as they come, so it is going to take the best of my abilities on the court overall to beat him on Sunday.”

Alcaraz has also won the 2022 U.S. Open, so in the final, he is very focused. Yes, he can make some odd errors, but he can adjust it, whether he can charge the net, or be more patient. His forehand and his backhand are hard and very steady, and his first serve is getting better all the time. The celebrate man can also find his return, where he is going, and try to slap it back. The 21-year-old knows that he has to figure it out, what he must do.

“Winning Grand Slams is difficult. Obviously changing from clay to a grass court, totally different surfaces, totally different game of play,” Alcaraz said. “Let’s say I’m going to try. I know that’s going to be a really difficult and big challenge for me, but I think I’m ready to do it.  I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me. It’s going to be a really interesting one.” 

Yes it is, and on Friday, he out-though Daniil Medvedev in four sets. He yanked it all around, and he made him tired. However, Djokovic leads Alcaraz 3-2 H2H. After Djokovic lost at the 2023 Wimbledon final, he rose again, beating him at Cincinnati 7-6 in the third, on the hardcourts, and then, he beat him agains, 6-3, 6-2 at the ATP Finals. 

Alcaraz can lock it in, but Djokovic is fancy than he is in his famous backhand, and he is also superior with his first serve. However, the Spaniard is better with his terrific forehand, and he is faster. Yes,  he can try to trip him up, but Djokovic   has won 24 Grand Slam titles, a record. Of course he wants to win another one, and raise the trophy, way up high. Djokovic will do it again,   7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

The pick: 2024 Wimbledon, women’s final

Barbora Krejcikova

Barbora Krejcikova over Jasmine Paolini

Five weeks ago, the Italian reached the final at Roland Garros and she was so happy, but when she went on to the court, Paolini collapsed, early, and she lost quick against the No. 1 Iga Swiatek. This time though, at Wimbledon, the super fast Paolini will try to be more relaxed, and focus, all the time. The Czech  Krejcikova has already done that, when she won the 2021 Roland Garros, with some cool shots. When she is on, she can throw in a bunch of winners, when she moves it around, and she changes the direction. She can go off, but right now, she is composed. Somehow, she edged to beat Elena Rybakina in the semis. She really mixed it up, and deep, too. “I started to get in a zone — and I didn’t want to leave the zone,” Krejcikova said. “Wow … I’m in the final.”

She is an amazing doubles player, too, winning seven Grand Slams. At the net and her return can be terrific, yet in the singles, over the years, she has backed up and lost. However, she badly wants to win the second Slam. She will go for it, but she could lose her lever.

 Paolini has improved so much over the past two years. In fact, in London, she has not won a match ever at Wimbledon, until  this year. That is bizarre, but you can changed, her direction, and her attitude. She always tried, but she didn’t go for it enough. Now she is, with some dramatic forehand and her backhand.

“This match I will really remember forever. I think the last months have been crazy for me,” Paolini said, who edged  Donna Vekic  in the semis 7-6 in the third set. “Two Grand Slam finals in a row was crazy to believe, I think, no? I’m also surprised how at the moment, I’m living this. But I feel also relaxed. I’m the same person. I’m doing the same things. I don’t want to say more because maybe Saturday I’m going to be shaking.”

These two have only played each other one time, in 2018, at the Aussie Open, and Krejcikova crushed Paolini  6-2, 6-1. That was quick, but Paolini is now aggressive, and she can be explosive, too. When Krejcikova won the French Open, she did everything in the clay, moving all around  in the box. While Paolini is playing wonderful at Wimbledon, but she will likely be anxious, yet Krejcikova knows that to do, and she will win it 6-3, 7-5. That will be an miracle title.

The picks: 2024 Wimbledon, men’s semis

Daniil Medvedev
Mal Taam/MALTphoto

Carlos Alcaraz vs. Daniil Medvedev

Back in the 2023 U.S. Open, Medvedev beat Alcaraz in the semis and in the final, Djokovic put him down over the Russian. Since then, Medvedev has won many matches, but he has yet to win another Slam again, but the Spaniard has now won three majors, recently at Roland Garros.  

They have played each other six times, and Alcaraz leads Medvedev 4-2. At Indian Wells in March, Alcaraz  edged Medvedev in the final. Yes, the now 21-year-old is younger, but Medvedev is 28-year-old, so he does have more experience. However, from the baseline, if Alcaraz is on fire, and he can be very creative. 

“[Medvedev] is a really great player,” said Alcaraz  “The same semi-final as last year and hopefully I’m going to get the same result. He is in really good shape. I have to play my best. I have to believe in myself and try to keep going if I want to beat him. It is going to be a difficult one, but I’m going to enjoy it.” 

Medvedev can be really steady, and he can hit it down the line and crosscourt, but he doesn’t really like to go into the net. Or maybe he will.

“That’s still the most important thing on grass. You serve aces, you serve on the line, you’re less in trouble, and you feel better,” Medvedev said. “That’s where you can put pressure on his serve.  He’s a tough player. He can hit strong. He can slice. He can dropshot. He can volley. He knows how to play tennis. Just need to be at my best, like kind of how [I beat Jannik  Sinner] and try to win.” 

This is a toss up, to a degree, as on the grass, both of them have to really think what to do, each hour. Medvedev is cranked up, but here at the 2023 Wimbledon, at the semis again,Alcaraz beat him 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, and then he won the tournament. He is aiming again, and on Friday,  Alcaraz will win it 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Another blaster.

Novak Djokovic  vs. Lorenzo Musetti

Surprisingly, the Italian just beat Taylor Fritz 6-1 in the fifth set, and he was so darn good, nailing with his forehand and his backhand on Wimbledon. However, last month at Roland Garros, and in the third round, he played against Djokovic. In the fifth set, he lost, 6-0. Ouch. Yes he was a little bit hurt, but still, the Serbian just kept on chugging. Cleary, the former No. 1 is better against Musetti, but he is only 22-years-old, so he is finally rising. He has though about it when he mentally struggled in Paris on the clay against Djokovic.  Now he has to improve in London.

“I think I analysed that match really well and the key moments where I could do better,” said Musetti. “I put myself in that position. I think in the past weeks, starting from Stuttgart, I started to feel more continuous on that, on the attitude.” 

He certain did that when he beat the Americans, here, such as Fritz, but now Musetti has to figure out against Djokovic, who can be very patient, and smash his forehand. Djokovic is still very fast, and his first serve can go anywhere, and with his forehand and his backhand, he can flat it out, or spin it. Since he won a Slam for the first time, in 2008 at the Aussie, he was very good, but Djokovic was not great at the net. Right now, though, he improved so much, year after year.

Musetti is very logical when he can run side to side, and mix it up, too. He has some slice it, he can whack it. But really, Djokovic is a little bit more experienced, and if he isn’t playing fantastic, he can re-adjust it. Therefore, Djokovic will win another semis, in four sets, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3, 6-2.

The picks: 2024 Wimbledon, the women’s semis

Elena Rybakina

Jasmine Paolini vs. Donna Vekic

The Italian Paolini is playing so much better than she did last year. She was always quick, running, and she was consistent, but she wasn’t to make an attempt to nail it on the lines. Sometimes she did, and other she did not, but now she is swinging away, with her forehand and her backhand. Yes, the 28-year-old Paolini serves are mediocre, and she is not that great at the net, but each week, she is trying to get better, all the time. That is why because last month, she reached the final at Roland Garros, and while she lost, at least she was there. 

On Thursday in the semis, she could do it again, this time on the grass versus Vekic .

Another 28-year-old, the Croatian, finally reached into the semis at the Slams, and that took her a very long time. Try 42 times.  She finally reached into the semis, and now, she must be thrilled. She almost stopped because she was losing a lot.

“It’s crazy how in tennis things turn so fast. Those couple of years [2021 and 2022] were very tough,” said Vekic, who was injured. “I didn’t think I was ever going to come back to the level that I even had last year. So this now, reaching my best result ever at a Slam, I’m really proud of myself, of the work that I’ve done, of the work that my team has done.”

They last time they played was 11 months ago, in Montreal, when Paolini beat  Vekic 7-6(3), 6-2. The current No.7 Paolini was more fitting, and Vekic  missed too many errors. They haven’t played each other on the grass, so it will be different to change the tactics.  Paolini is so thorough, and she can mash her backhand, crosscourt. Therefore, Paolini will take it 6-4, 7-5.

Elena Rybakina vs. Barbora Krejcikova 

The Kazakhstan is on fire, when Rybakina is blasting his first serve, and his forehand, too. Rybakina out-hit Jelena Ostapenko, stroke to stroke. There are times when she gets angry, and she is irritated, but she does try to come back, mentally. Many times, she does.

Krejcikova also knows how to battle, even when she missed some critical errors. Both of them have won a Grand Slam, so when they start, to play, at times, they rarely  get nervous, but not that much, anymore. The Czech Krejcikova is a terrific doubles player, and she can also trick it in the singles, dancing, all around. She can hustle, and mix it up. They are both powerful, and they can attack, early. “She has big weapons. On the other hand, I do have big weapons as well,” Krejcikova said. “I expect that it’s going to be a big fight.” 

Yes, Krejcikova can make an attempt to frustrate her, but in the third set, Rybakina she will snag a bunch of winners, and she will take it 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.

The picks: 2024 Wimbledon, semis/quarterfinals

Jelena Ostapenko
Alexander Scheuber

Jelena Ostapenko vs. Barbora Krejcikova 

They both won at the Grand Slams, so when they are totally locked in, they can jump on the lines. Yet  seven years ago, Ostapenko won Roland Garros, when she hit some many winners, constantly. However, Krejcikova grabbed it, too,  when she won in Paris, in 2021. However, since then, both of them have been pretty good, but not fantastic, all the time. The Czech Krejcikova can do anything she wants to, but when she is not playing well, she can become sad, on the court. 

Ostapenko is still trying to dominate with the opponents, even when she is missing a lot. Yet when she is on, she can hit her backhand and her  forehand into the corners, super hard. They are both veterans, and they also really want to win Wimbledon for the first time. Ostapenko leads the head-to-head 5-2, and the last time they played was last year in Birmingham, on the grass, and the Latvian won it 7-6, 6-4. Krejcikova is very intelligent, especially in the doubles, but Ostapenko will walk on the court and immediate attack, very deep. Ostapenko will win it 6-3 in the third set, yelling, happy.

Elena Rybakina vs. Elina Svitolina

Now the pressure is on by Rybakina, as the top three players are gone, so the No. 4 is right there, trying to win another Slam. However, it is 2 – 2 between Rybakina and Svitolina, and a month ago, they clashed at Roland Garros. There, on the clay, Rybakina beat her 6-4, 6-3 in the fourth round. Whether she can do it again is totally different, playing on the slow clay, versus the fast grass. However, the Russian can strike the ball, close to the lines, and she can adjust it, too. Svitolina is another gigantic hitter, and she will go for it, too, but over the years, she has come close to reach into the final at the Slams, but she has panicked. This time, she will try to be calm, and really focus. Rybakina  can drop down when her forehand can collapse, but on Wednesday, she will play terrific, and she will win it 7-5, 7-5.

Novak Djokovic vs. Alex de Minaur

The multiple champion Djokovic is favored here, pretty much every time, but at least  de Minaur is playing much better at the Slams. After Djokovic easily beat Holger Rune, and then on the court,  he started to talk about his fans, who were way to loud, and the voices. That was a bizarre event. So on Wednesday, he might get upset immediacy. That we never know about him, period. However, Djokovic has a terrific backhand against the Aussie, and his return is more solid. De Minaur can be scrappy, and he can also nail his forehand. At the start of the year, he did beat the Serbian at the United Cup, on the hardcourt, but then at Monte Carlo, Djokovic beat him 7-5, 6-4 on the clay. But this is on the grass, which is quicker, and Djokovic has won it at Wimbledon seven times, so he knows what to do. However, when the former No. 1 can become ticked off, then he can lose. The thing is, though, is he wants to show that he is brilliant on the court, with the fans, and hopefully, they will cheer him. Therefore, Djokovic will win it, but it will take four hours, and in five sets, it will be brutal, yet the victory will come, 7-5.

Taylor Fritz vs. Lorenzo Musetti

Who would have known that Fritz and Lorenzo Musetti played each other for the first time at the 2022 Wimbledon, when the American beat him in the first round. What a difference, now. Fritz did beat him again at the Davis Cup, but this year, the Italian Musetti  took him down  at Monte-Carlo, at the start of  the event. Well now, at  Wimbledon, it will be in the quarterfinals, and both of them are playing really well, finally. They like to rally, and they like to set it up. Fritz put together one of his best matches when he beat Alexander Zverev in five sets, and  Musetti out-though Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard in a four sets, and he really fooled him. Fritz has never gone into the semis at the Slams, so he really wants to, but he has to push himself even more harder, and try to attack, ASAP. Musetti has had a good year, but he has yet to go to the Slam semis, period. They both will attend to dig it out. Musetti is younger, and he is improving each month, but Fritz will serve better, and more creative. As he said: “I’m a very chill person. I don’t do anything that could rub people the wrong way, so when someone kind of just goes out of their way to take a shot at me, then I’m not just going to take it,” said Fritz. “It gave me the extra fire to win.” The American will win it in four, entertaining sets.

The picks: 2024 Wimbledon, semis/quarterfinals

Jelena Ostapenko vs. Barbora Krejcikova 

They both won at the Grand Slams, so when they are totally locked in, they can jump on the lines. Yet  seven years ago, Ostapenko won Roland Garros, when she hit some many winners, constantly. However, Krejcikova grabbed it, too,  when she won in Paris, in 2021. However, since then, both of them have been pretty good, but not fantastic, all the time. The Czech Krejcikova can do anything she wants to, but when she is not playing well, she can become sad, on the court. 

Ostapenko is still trying to dominate with the opponents, even when she is missing a lot. Yet when she is on, she can hit her backhand and her  forehand into the corners, super hard. They are both veterans, and they also really want to win Wimbledon for the first time. Ostapenko leads the head-to-head 5-2, and the last time they played was last year in Birmingham, on the grass, and the Latvian won it 7-6, 6-4. Krejcikova is very intelligent, especially in the doubles, but Ostapenko will walk on the court and immediate attack, very deep. Ostapenko will win it 6-3 in the third set, yelling, happy.

Elena Rybakina vs. Elina Svitolina

Now the pressure is on by Rybakina, as the top three players are gone, so the No. 4 is right there, trying to win another Slam. However, it is 2 – 2 between Rybakina and Svitolina, and a month ago, they clashed at Roland Garros. There, on the clay, Rybakina beat her 6-4, 6-3 in the fourth round. Whether she can do it again is totally different, playing on the slow clay, versus the fast grass. However, the Russian can strike the ball, close to the lines, and she can adjust it, too. Svitolina is another gigantic hitter, and she will go for it, too, but over the years, she has come close to reach into the final at the Slams, but she has panicked. This time, she will try to be calm, and really focus. Rybakina  can drop down when her forehand can collapse, but on Wednesday, she will play terrific, and she will win it 7-5, 7-5.

Novak Djokovic vs. Alex de Minaur

The multiple champion Djokovic is favored here, pretty much every time, but at least  de Minaur is playing much better at the Slams. After Djokovic easily beat Holger Rune, and then on the court,  he started to talk about his fans, who were way to loud, and the voices. That was a bizarre event. So on Wednesday, he might get upset immediacy. That we never know about him, period. However, Djokovic has a terrific backhand against the Aussie, and his return is more solid. De Minaur can be scrappy, and he can also nail his forehand. At the start of the year, he did beat the Serbian at the United Cup, on the hardcourt, but then at Monte Carlo, Djokovic beat him 7-5, 6-4 on the clay. But this is on the grass, which is quicker, and Djokovic has won it at Wimbledon seven times, so he knows what to do. However, when the former No. 1 can become ticked off, then he can lose. The thing is, though, is he wants to show that he is brilliant on the court, with the fans, and hopefully, they will cheer him. Therefore, Djokovic will win it, but it will take four hours, and in five sets, it will be brutal, yet the victory will come, 7-5.

Taylor Fritz vs. Lorenzo Musetti

Who would have known that Fritz and Lorenzo Musetti played each other for the first time at the 2022 Wimbledon, when the American beat him in the first round. What a difference, now. Fritz did beat him again at the Davis Cup, but this year, the Italian Musetti  took him down  at Monte-Carlo, at the start of  the event. Well now, at  Wimbledon, it will be in the quarterfinals, and both of them are playing really well, finally. They like to rally, and they like to set it up. Fritz put together one of his best matches when he beat Alexander Zverev in five sets, and  Musetti out-though Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard in a four sets, and he really fooled him. Fritz has never gone into the semis at the Slams, so he really wants to, but he has to push himself even more harder, and try to attack, ASAP. Musetti has had a good year, but he has yet to go to the Slam semis, period. They both will attend to dig it out. Musetti is younger, and he is improving each month, but Fritz will serve better, and more creative. As he said: “I’m a very chill person. I don’t do anything that could rub people the wrong way, so when someone kind of just goes out of their way to take a shot at me, then I’m not just going to take it,” said Fritz. “It gave me the extra fire to win.” The American will win it in four, entertaining sets.

The picks: 2024 Wimbledon, quarterfinals 

Daniil Medvedev


Jannik  Sinner vs. Daniil Medvedev

They have played each other 11 times, which is a lot, and the Russian is up 6 to 5. How about this one? The former No. 1 Medvedev beat  Sinner six times, when the Italian was very young, but then the No. 1  Sinner beat the Russian five times in a row. This year,Sinner took it at the Australian Open and Miami. Clearly, it is almost even.

They are both very powerful, and they like to rally. They can change it up, and they can also decide where they serve, in the first serve and the second serve. Neither of them are terrific at the net, but they also can return pretty darn good. Medvedev badly wants to beat him, but Sinner  will once again hit some stunning shots. Sinner  will win it in five, glorious sets.

Donna Vekic vs. Lulu Sun

The Croatian is now playing much better in the third sets. Vekic  took it 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 against Paula Badosa, and at the last minute, she rose, with some massive backhands. She may not win Wimbledon, but the 28-year-old will have a chance to go even deeper. She wants to be  spectacular.

But first she has to beat against Lulu Sun, who came out of nowhere, but now, she is so consistent. She did upset Emma Raducanu here, and the 23-year-old was so solid, but before last week, she had not beaten the top 50 competitors, ever. The New Zealand person is finally playing much elite. She said that on court, she can just hit the ball and send it back. 

“I think the qualies in general, it’s not that big of a difference in the main draw,” Sun said. “In terms of the tennis, we’re not that much different, far off, from the top hundred. It’s just that little you have to get far in some tournaments, obviously in the big tournaments, to make that jump.” She did, but on Tuesday, Vekic will win it quickly, 6-3, 6-2 and advance into the semis.

Jasmine Paolini vs.  Emma Navarro

It was somewhat surprising, as the American, Navarro, beat Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-3. Not that she won, but she was totally in control. Her forehand and her backhand went deep, and Navarro hit it close on the baseline. She has had a terrific tournament, but Paolini has also been more aggressive. She is very quick, and the Italian can  allow it, all over the place. However, over the past 10 years, Paolini has lost against some critical matches, and this time, Navarro will nail her forehands, into the corners, and she will win it 7-5, 6-2.

Carlos Alcaraz vs. Tommy Paul

They are both playing  swanky, during Wimbledon, even though they had some medicare sets, but still, they can lock it in, against. They are 2-2, head to head, and last year, they played three contests. The Spaniard won it twice, and the American took it once, on the hardcourts. They split in Canada and Cincinnati, with some wild, fantastic shots. However, they both like to call it up, and set it up, until they can see that they can put it on the lines. Really, it is fascinating. Alcaraz  has won three Grand Slams, and Paul never has. Alcaraz  wants to win another major, while Paul wants to get into a final at a Grand Slam. They know each other pretty well, but not all of it, yet this time, Alcaraz will once again take another five setter, which he will, so Alcaraz will seize it, 6-4 in the fifth set. Glorious?

The picks: 2024 Wimbledon, fourth round

Taylor Fritz

Alexander Zverev vs Taylor Fritz 

The American has never gone deep at Wimbledon, but now,Fritz  is starting to lock it in. He has to, as they have played each  other at Wimbledon, and the German, Zverev, took it, twice. Zverev leads Fritz 5-3, but Fritz beat him at Indian Wells and the United Cup on the hardcourts. However, two months ago, Zverev kicked him in Rome. 

Yes, Zverev is better than he is, but slightly, and perhaps Fritz will be more patient, and charge to the net, too. He does really like to rallie, but also, he can push him closer to the baseline, and smash it. Zverev is always super steady, and when he is feeling very good, he can attack. His first serve is big, and his return is comprable. Both of them are thoughtful, on the court,  but at times, they cannot think, when they are losing. Fritz does believe that he can beat him, when it goes deep, but Zverev just reached into the finals at Roland Garros, so he really wants to continue to try and win a Slam for the first time. There, Zverev will take it 6-4 in the fifth set, touching on the lines.

Novak Djokovic  vs. Holger Rune 

These two have played five times, and it was very tight, all three sets. The former No. 1 Djokovic is leading 3-2, and at the end of the tournament in the 2023 ATP Finals, he won it 7-6, 6-7, 6-3. They know each other pretty well. Plus, occasional they practice together, so they know each other, on the court, and off.

The  21-year-old Rune is much younger, but Djokovic is a little bit more experienced.

“I’m expecting a tough battle. I think that’s always how it’s going to be when you play Novak,” Rune said. “He’s one of the toughest competitors of all time and one of the most successful players, so I’m expecting nothing but a great level from him.”

Djokovic is playing pretty well, as at Roland Garros, he had to stop as he was hurt, physically. But he became better, and it looks like he can run fast, and be healthy. But it is hard to say whether he won’t injure his sore leg, again. However, he is ready to battle, for hours.

“When it comes to playing on the court and competing, obviously we both have that fire,” Djokovic said. “I’m sure that on Monday we’ll see a lot of fireworks on the court. He’s a spectacular player, no doubt. He loves the big stage, loves playing on grass. I think he’s a very, very tricky opponent. It’s going to take my best tennis to win.”

Four years ago, Rune looked pretty decent, but he was still trying to add some new shots. Also, he was he steady, but not powerful enough. He can be erratic, yet currently, he is playing excellently. They have never played against each other on the grass, so while Rune will try to assault with his forehand, rather than his famous backhand. However, Djokovic is more calm. Rune will put together some fantastic shots, with some big weapons, but Djokovic will mix it up, a lot, and he will win it in five, crazy sets.

Danielle Collins vs. Barbora Krejcikova 

For the millionth time, Collins will retire at the end of the year, so currently, she threw away with the pressure, so now, Collins will just swing away, and to try to snare it. The 30-year-old has had her best season, which is surprising, but she knew that when she leaves, she can be satisfied. She will find it out, eventually. On the court, though, she can collapse, when she gets upset. Here at Wimbledon, though, Collins has to be set, bend down, and rake the ball.

She is the same thing with  Krejcikova, as last year in San Diego, she beat Collins on the hardcourts 6-2 in the third. Krejcikova is a terrific doubles player, as she has won seven Slams,  and three years ago, in the singles, she won Roland Garros, so when she is on, the Czech can chop anyone. However, this year, she has not gone deep over the past five months. Maybe she is back, but the consistent player is up and down. This time, Collins will win it in another three sets, pushing to the wall.

Jelena Ostapenko vs. Yulia Putintseva

No one really knows how the Latvian is hitting on the courts, and pulp it with her forehand and the her backhand.  Six years ago, Ostapenko won Roland Garros, and then it looked like that eventually she will become No. 1. But she didn’t, and while she also went measureless at the Aussie Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, she couldnt go back into the final. Close, though.

On Monday, she will have another chance to dash Wimbledon.  Over the past four months, the veteran Putintseva has been very sensible. She has beaten a number of very good players,  and two weeks ago, she won Eastbourne. She is scrappy, and her backhand can be huge, but to win it, Putintseva will have to try to fool with Ostapenko. She will test it, but she won’t be able to. Yes, Ostapenko can have so many errors, but in a match, when she is sense a bull, she can have dozens of winners. Ostapenko will take it, in two, insane sets.

The picks: 2024 Wimbledon, third round: Gauff vs. Navarro

Coco Gauff
Mal Taam/MaltPhoto

Coco Gauff vs. Emma Navarro

The so-called “news” is playing very well, as Navarro has gone somewhat deep throughout the events, and now she is ranked No. 17, pretty good. However at the start of the year, in the Auckland, New Zealand, she lost against Gauff 6-3, 6-1, in the semis. Cleary, the huge hitter Gauff is the favorite. Or maybe not.  Navarro just edged  Diana Shnaider 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, who she lost against her last weeks. Now she must be out of the moon. “In this sport you deal with a lot of emotions,” she said. “It’s high stress at times. So it’s something that obviously I have to deal with, but I would say that calmness, I’ve always had.”

On the court, on Sunday, she is going to have to link  to try to nail it, crosscourt . The former U.S. Open champion Gauff can crush her backhand, and she can also put it away at the net. However, while she has gone deep in 2024, but she has only won one tournament. Now she needs to try it again, and perhaps, to be rehabilitant. Gauff will win it in three, tremendous sets.

Jannik Sinner vs Ben Shelton

The American won another five setter, so when it is very deep, he really concentrated. He is darn swift, and he can try to wreck it both sides, but this year, he has been so-so, here and there, so the young player has to be locked in. 

The problem is that the No. 1 Sinner is much more fitting, and now he rarely gets angry, to lose control. Now he can throw in some errors, but the next point, he tries to forget it, and move on. The Australian Open champion has evolved his return, and at the net, too. Without a doubt, Shelton loves the big stage, but currently Sinner is better than Shelton is, at least for now, and the Italian will win it in four, leathery  sets.

Jasmine Paolini vs. Madison Keys 

She is almost 30-years-old, and Keys has gone deep a lot, but she has yet to win a Grand Slam. On the hardcourts, she is super powerful, and she can crush her forehand and her backhand, but she is not that fast, running. In a  sense, she cannot do much now, because the older you get, you can’t really fix it. However, Keys can insert  some very good shots, with her serve, at the net, and being willingness, too. Keys did reach into the 2017 U.S. Open in the final, and she lost, but she still has a chance to make it again, and maybe to win it. But Keys hasn’t yet, and maybe she never will, but she does have a legitimate shot. 

Now though it is in Wimbledon, on the grass, and Keys does like it, when she doesn’t have to play with the long rallies. Last year, she reached into the quarters, which was decent, so this time, she has to chop down against Paolini.

However, the Italian has had a stunning year, not that Paolini isn’t solid, but this year, at certain events, she decided to hit the ball, very hard. Yes, she can just shove it, but whenever she gets a chance, she can rake it. She reached the final at Roland Garros, and she was on fire, but then, she was so nervous, and she lost, quickly, against Iga Swiatek. Now Paolini is enthusiastic, but really, before this week, she had not won a match here, ever. The 28-year-old Paolini   will battle, but Keys will out-hit her in three sets, and win it with unbroken, shots.

Emma Raducanu vs. Lulu Sun 

Clearly, Raducanu is playing terrific, and here, she could crush Sun with less than an hour.  Raducanu has won a Grand Slam, but Sun is ranked outside of the top 123, and while she is playing better for sure, but over the past one year, she has beaten inside the top 70, until this week. Then she stunned the No.8 Zheng Qinwen 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. At the end, she finally rose.

The 23-year-old New Zealand did look good when she went to the University of Texas, but it will still take a while to upset the excellent competitos. 

Raducanu is having a great time, on the Center Court, and she is wandering on the ball. The Britain is still not playing 100 percent, but she is healthy, and each day, her confidence is uprising. Raducanu will win it in two, easy sets.  

Daniil Medvedev vs. Grigor Dimitrov

Clearly, the Russian has beaten Dimitrov seven times, and three losses. Medvedev has won the 2022 U.S. Open, and the former No. 1 loves to rally, on the hardcourts. But on the grass, he gets caught, when the ball is. He can beat anyone when he is playing astonishing, but he can also panic, inside his head.

There are some wonderful points from Dimitrov, who can mix it up with his one-handed backhand. He has gone deep over the past 12 years, but he has also collapsed, and he lost against even the medicare players. But right now, they do want to win Wimbledon, so they are going to attack, and skip into the net. They have played on the grass, just once, in Queen’s Club in 2017, and Dimintov won it in three sets. Maybe he can try it again, but Medvedev beat him at Indian Wells in March, so he knows how to play. It will be tight, and it will  go into the fifth set. Then, Medvedev will survive, 6-4 in the fifth set.

Tommy Paul vs Roberto Bautista Agut 

The Spaniard Bautista Agut  beat Paul  three times in a row, but then, the American began to add his strokes. Paul played a lot, all the time, and he lost quite a bit, but two years ago,  he changed with the rallies. Yes, he can go for a long time, but he can push closer to the baseline and try to touch it into the corners. The 27-year-old Paul is now  in the top 13, beating a lot of prime players. He then beat Bautista Agut twice, later, and this season at the Australian Open, Paul beat him in four tight sets.

Bautista Agut  plays all the time, week after week, but the 36-year-old rarely gets tired, so there is no question that he really likes to play, even when he is sleeping. Hahaha? However, Paul will take him down, going versus  forehand versus forehand, and the first serve to. Paul  will take it 6-4 in the fourth set.

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.

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!