Benjamin Bonzi v Jenson Brooksby
Brooksby is a rising star of the ATP Tour, no question, but the jury is still very much out on his grasscourt ability.
His first-round win in SW19 ended a run of three straight losses on the surface but now he’s facing another tricky opponent in Bonzi, a player who has really improved in 2022.
The Frenchman reached his second ATP semi-final of the season in Mallorca last week where Denis Shapovalov for among his victims. He’s also a two-time title winner on the Challenger Tour this year and looks to have a strong chance in this first-time match-up.
He’s prepared to come forward and attack and Brooksby’s more defensive game doesn’t look particularly well suited for progressing to round three.
Bonzi has already beaten three top-50 players this season and can add another such scalp here.
Alex de Minaur v Jack Draper
In a similar vein to the Bonzi match, we’ve got defender v attacker in this one.
De Minaur is the more established player but he also plays a more conservative style of tennis – his game is built largely on his ability to chase balls down and get lots back.
He’ll need those skills here as Draper has much bigger weapons – a considerably bigger serve and crunching, powerful groundstrokes, particularly on the forehand side.
He was impressive in easing past Belgium’s Zizou Bergs in round one on Tuesday and looks sure to put de Minaur under pressure.
Draper caught the eye at Queen’s Club and then Eastbourne (where he made the semis) in the run-up to Wimbledon and, having also taken a set off top-five star Andrey Rublev on the Madrid clay recently, it’s seems clear he’s going to climb much further up the rankings.
He could well boost his position further by winning this as the underdog.
De Minaur struggled at Queen’s and while he did also make the last four in Eastbourne, he was very much second best to Taylor Fritz in that semi-final, a player whose game isn’t dissimilar to Draper’s.
With the home crowd also firmly behind him on Court One, Draper looks a decent bet at 11/8.
Maxime Cressy v Jack Sock
At 1/2, Cressy may look a pretty skinny price but there’s a good argument to suggest he should be shorter.
He’s serving superbly at the moment, as highlighted in his first-round upset of Felix Auger-Aliassime – the American conceded just one break point and saved it.
Auger-Aliassime was certainly impressed, suggesting Cressy was on course for the top 20.
“I have played the likes of John Isner, Milos (Raonic), (Reilly) Opelka, but he’s with these guys,” he said.
Having also shone during a run to the final in Eastbourne last week, a match which brought a final-set tie-break defeat to Taylor Fritz, Cressy’s hold percentage on grass this season is now up above 95% but it’s not only simply the power in the delivery that causes problems for opponents.
He’s also a player prepared to serve-volley a lot and that’s something returners rarely face these days.
Sock is next in the firing line. He’s a former top-10 player but resides outside the top 100 these days and so will be attempting to close a wide ranking gap here.
To be fair, he’s won 11 grasscourt matches in the last few weeks on this surface but only one has been at tour level and this is a significant step up. At the very least, Cressy looks to be a good cornerstone for any multiples being put together on
Jordan Thompson v Stefanos Tsitsipas
Tsitsipas is in the phase of working out how to play on grass still. This is something that he himself has admitted and is completely understandable. He’s still young and has played only 30 matches on the surface so far. Thompson has played 45 matches on grass on the main tour, so is actually the more experienced player on the green stuff.
Despite the difficulties the Greek admits that he faces, he should still be the victor here. However, I think that he’s too short in the match betting. Thompson is very capable on grass and has a game that can trouble Tsitsipas. It wouldn’t be a surprise for me to see the two share the opening two sets and then see what happens from there.
Thompson is also unlikely to give in if Tsitsipas does go two sets up so I expect him to be there to capitalise on any let up from the higher ranked player. This is what happened to Tsitsipas in the opening round against Alexander Ritschard, a player who is certainly not at Thompson’s standard.
Bianca Andreescu v Elena Rybakina
This is one of the big matches on the fourth day and both players are ones I would usually love to side with, but the Canadian is the one I want to be backing in this encounter.
There are a number of reasons for this, Andreescu is someone that I like to back in big matches because she has shown a preference for playing in high pressure situations. Sometimes she can throw matches away, like any player can, but in general I think that she will scrap for everything. Rybakina is not a player that I associate with this at all.
The Kazakh has a big game with an authoritative serve and powerful groundstrokes. However, her movement isn’t the best and if Andreescu can get her on the move then the match should be in her favour. Rybakina has had a tendency to go out of tournaments at this stage regularly over the last year or so as well.
Just to add the icing on the cake, Andreescu has won four of her five matches when priced in this ‘narrow favourite’ position by the bookmakers. I think that she can come through again here when required.
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How to watch Wimbledon?
📅 When is Day 4 of Wimbledon? / Thursday, 30th June 2022 from 11am
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