Nick’s Picks- Wimbledon Round 3
Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Radek Stepanek (CZE)
Djokovic demonstrated the difference between he and many of the players on the ATP tour in his win over Harrison in the second round. He saved his break points and broke Ryan when it counted. He stepped his game up for the big points and that’s why he’s the best. Now, he will have another test in Stepanek (another guy who trains at IMG Academy). Stepanek presents a different challenge than Harrison. He will come in, he will drop you, he will move you around. He’s a bit more unpredictable than Harrison and Djokovic will have to be prepared for that challenge.
Nick’s Pick - I think Stepanek could win a set here, but Djokovic will be the winner in the end!
Roger Federer (SUI) vs. Julien Benneteau (FRA)
Federer has played great tennis so far and in fact, he has won his two matches the quickest of any man. He’s playing aggressive tennis and that is what I like to see from him. He absolutely loves the grass and I certainly think he could win this tournament. Benneteau will not be an easy opponent for Federer. He’s a veteran with a very good serve and excellent groundstrokes. He’s probably a bit more comfy on the clay, but he’s been to the fourth round here before. I look for Federer to come out and continue his aggressive play and I think he will advance.
Nick’s Pick - I’m looking for Federer to advance in three tough sets.
Andy Murray (GBR) vs. Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)
Right now Baghdatis is dangerous, he moves well and the audience always seem to get behind him. He can get emotional and lets them take over. Andy Murray is doing everything very good. He has been alot better in the controlling of his emotions. Ivan Lendl has been helping him immensely.
Nick’s Pick- I have to give the edge to Murray in 4 sets in this one.
Andy Roddick (USA) vs. David Ferrer (ESP)
This is a very interesting match, Roddick is picking up his enthusiasm and confidence, which has been lacking lately. Ferrer is playing against a guy who does well from the baseline. He will not miss, he is always there for the ball and is very strong mentally. Roddick will have to force the issue, he cant just keep the ball in play. A lot of the outcome will depend on Roddick’s ability to go for it and attack.
Nick’s Pick- Have to go with David Ferrer in this one, expect an interesting match.
Vera Zvonareva (RUS) vs. Kim Clijsters (BEL)
It was just two years ago that Zvonareva faced off against Clijsters in the finals of the US Open and now it’s a third-round match! Clijsters is on her farewell tour and has flown under the radar through the first two rounds. Although she hasn’t been healthy recently, she is still a contender and could win this tournament. Zvonareva isn’t the same player she was a few years ago. She isn’t as mentally strong and if you’ve watched her play you can see this. She’s been a finalist here before, but I don’t think she is playing at that level right now.
Nick’s Pick - Both girls have the talent to contend for a title, but I feel Clijsters is a bit stronger mentally and therefore I have to give her the advantage.
Sabine Lisicki (GER) vs. Sloane Stephens (USA)
This has all the makings of a very interesting match. Stephens comes off the French Open where she reached the fourth round. She’s playing with a ton of confidence, she’s extremely athletic, she can hit just about every shot, but sometimes her court strategy isn’t the best. More often that not, she is able to make up for this with her great athleticism. Lisicki will definitely have her work cut off for her in this match. She needs to get a high percentage of first serves in play and she needs to keep the unforced errors down. If she can do these two things, then I think she will be okay, if not Stephens will jump all over her.
Nick’s Pick - Going with my girl Sabine to win this match, but Sloane could definitely give her a good battle.
Serena Williams (USA) vs. Jie Zheng (CHN)
Expect Zheng to play right on top of the baseline. She has excellent ground strokes but a very tentative second serve. Serena will be able to jump on her defensive serve. Serena is healthy and is moving well. I expect Serena will be able to take good advantage of Zheng’s 2nd serve. If Serena is healthy it is hard to pick against her.
Nick’s Pick- Have to go with Serena in this one.
Roberta Vinci (ITA) vs. Mirjana Lucic (CRO)
Lucic has practiced at the Academy. She is a very hard worker, likes to hit the ball flat and stands very close to the baseline. Vinci will try to change the pace of the match. She wont miss much but she also wont overpower you. The rankings say this should go to Vinci but Lucic is very good and if she is on, she will give Vinci problems.
Nick’s Pick- I have to give the edge to Vinci, but I think this will be a very close match and Lucic is very capable of winning.