Some second round matches still need to be finished Friday, but the bottom half of the draw will start their third round, and the draw is WIDE OPEN. The opportunity to make a deep run may never be better for many of these players, so it will be interesting to see who steps up.
Dimitrov and Zemlja Resume- Down 8-9 in the 5th set, Grigor Dimitrov will look to come out strong and win a match he should win 9 times out of 10. You have to give credit to Zemlja though, as he has given everything he has in this match. He’s usually the one playing defense, but if Dimitrov can’t finish points like Thursday, he could pull off the upset. Already made my pick yesterday, but I’ll take a guess at the final score. Dimitrov 14-12 in the 5th.
Dustin Brown vs Adrian Mannarino- What an opportunity for these two. Dustin Brown has quickly become a fan favorite after beating Lleyton Hewitt, playing some unreal serve and volley tennis. I’ve followed him for a few years, and if you don’t yet know his story, it’s inspiring. He traveled with his family from future to future in camper van, using the little prize money he got to pay for gas. These two actually played earlier this year on the challenger tour, with Mannarino coming out on top. Brown’s forehand is crazy. It can leave you speechless, out of admiration, or shock. However, on this surface, with the crowd at his back, Brown will ride the wave of momentum to reach the round of 16 in 4 sets.
Ernests Gulbis vs Fernando Verdasco- Both of these players have outrageous amounts of talent, and are really great shotmakers. Gulbis was playing well and leading Jo Wilfried Tsonga before Jo Willy retired with a knee injury, and Gulbis is a great character. I love this guy, and this is a pretty good matchup for him. Verdasco has a huge forehand, but he usually hits it cross-court; which feeds right into Gulbis’ strength, his two-handed backhand. I’m taking Gulbis in 5.
Andy Murray vs Tommy Robredo- Great Britain’s hopes for a Grand Slam champion may never be better than this year. With the hope, comes extreme expectation for Andy Murray. As the saying goes, “when he wins he’s British, when he loses he’s Scottish.” Tommy Robredo is playing remarkable tennis at his ripe old age of 32. After becoming the first ever player to win 3 straight matches from 2 sets to love down, Robredo went down to Ferrer at the French Open. His game on grass isn’t great, so Murray should roll in straight sets.
Nicolas Almagro vs Jerzy Janowicz- This one could be match of the day. Janowicz has a shot to make the semi’s if he can take out the Nico. I’m thinking Jerzy boy in 5 sets.
Victor Troicki vs Mikhail Youzhny- Youzhny in 4.
Jurgen Melzer vs Sergiy Stakhovsky- Melzer in 4.
Juan Monaco vs Kenny De Schepper- Monaco in 3.
Benoit Paire vs Lucasz Kubot- Paire in 4.
Here we go!