Jun 29, 2022

2022 Wimbledon ATP & WTA Day 4

WTA Singles
Swiatek vs Pattinama Kerkhove :

Slight struggle with form in the second set for Swiatek but a 6-0 first set answered any questions about whether the surface itself would be a decent opponent for her. Fett is solid, but this was no contest. Up next is another match that Swiatek will probably just roll through. Kerkhove got a very late lucky loser spot as Kovinic had to drop out and made the most of it edging past Kartal in two sets. Kartal has some nice pop on her serve for her height (unlisted but I’d guess she’s around 5’3”?) and plays solid from the baseline but Kerkhove was able to impose her offense on the forehand wing enough to get errors. I don’t like to rush through any match predictions, but Swiatek is on a whole different level from Kerkhove right now. I’d guess Kerkhove wins 3-4 games. Swiatek in 2.

Liu vs Cornet :

Credit to Liu, she was able to take down one of the better defensive baseliners on tour. The same type of shotmaking will be even more important here since Cornet is playing at a really high level. Putintseva had chances in her match, but she really missed too many backhands down the line. Cornet is playing the best tennis she has in a long time, and I think this match is much easier than the last. Liu has more variety but less power than Putintseva, and Cornet is hitting with good depth and has been solid on serve and at net. Just different classes of players at this point in the season, Cornet should be a break better in each set. Cornet in two close sets.

Tomljanovic vs Harrison :

I hadn’t seen much Catherine Harrison before this event and I should have considered that. My first clue that I haven’t seen enough footage of this player was I somehow didn’t even realize that she has a two-handed forehand. It was on full display against Rus as Harrison swung for the fences on every single shot and used slices to get herself time to recover position. Rus helped the cause, by sending a ton of forehands long. This is one of a few matches where I think the odds are correct but the underdog is tempting (Harrison is +400). This is a match where both will be hitting the ball hard and whoever can force errors will win. Tomljanovic hits bigger in general but she can make errors and her first round against Teichmann had a number of break points and breaks of serve. Teichmann’s game isn’t great on grass and Harrison seems pretty solid. Ajla should win,but I would not be surprised if it was tricky in stretches where Harrison’s two-handers rush Tomljanovic into overhitting. Tomljanovic in 2.

Golubic vs Krejcikova :

Golubic should win this. Krejickova is returning from injury and didn’t look great at the French. She struggled in patches against Zanevska in the first round who’s pretty much a clay-courter. At some point, Krejcikova’s quality is going to shine through. The question is when and the third match of her return against an in-form Golubic is when she needs it more than can rely on it. Golubic had a tricky round one opponent and was up to the task. When I watch her play it feels like she trained with a lot of dudes growing up because her shot selection can really keep the ball out of her opponents strike zones very well. It’s a more concerted effort to remain safe against big hitters than most WTA players, who look more for depth than height (and lack thereof) unless they’re hitting moonballs. I like it against Krejcikova though, because she has very big swings and can struggle a bit with low balls. Should be a quality match, and if Krejcikova wins this one it’ll be a warning sign to the draw. I don’t think she will. Golubic in 2-3.

Minnen vs Zheng :

There goes my dark horse. Muguruza hit 33 unforced errors in this match and it must have been frustrating having to wait to get this match over with to head to whatever she was late for. Just a solid performance by Minnen but a strange one from Muguruza. It’s on brand for her to crash out early in a bunch of events, but the overnight break down a set should have given her a chance to regroup with her team and bring a better level today. Minnen’s serving gives her a pretty good shot in this next match, and Zheng will be under more pressure here than she was against Stephens. Sloane went with her usual outlast strategy, and Zheng punished her for it. She was up a break in the second, but lack of offense really let Zheng work her way back in. Minnen will rush Qinwen, but this is a serving battle where Zheng is a lot better during the rally. Her backhand is solid enough that Minnen’s approaches may get her in trouble, and I’d expect a close match with Zheng winning in the decider. Full disclosure: beating Muguruza is no small feat even if she’s playing poorly. This is a bad time to fade Minnen. Zheng in 3.

Rybakina vs Andreescu :

Yay. This is the best match of the second round. Rybakina had a pretty comfortable time against Vandeweghe. The power doesn’t seem to bother Rybakina and I think that’s why this next match is so exciting. Andreescu rolled past Emina Bektas, and she’s been back on the tour for a while now without really getting to the championship level that she rose to in the past. It’s been enough time though for her to feel pretty comfortable on the court and with her rehab, so this is the sort of match her team will want to see her start winning. Rybakina has a bigger serve and can really hit big enough to cancel out Andreescu’s defending, but Bianca has traditionally won these battles. She moves a bit better than Elena, and the difference in confidence outwardly will likely get her a bit more crowd support. Andreescu in 3.

Martic vs Kucova :

Pretty impressive stuff from Martic, but as it was pointed out to me by DC user Gillioni, Rogers and Martic are doubles partners. Training together or playing doubles can really make you comfortable with your opponent, and can create some results that are outliers to the naked eye. Martic sliced the ball pretty much 100% of the time on her backhand, and Rogers made enough errors to get her past. Martic is something like -500 in this match, and I’m not sure I agree with the price. Kucova doesn’t hit anywhere near as big as Rogers, but she’s way more consistent in losing efforts. The sentence doesn’t make sense, but Shelby tends to press when she’s having trouble in a match. She’s been sliced through before by Flipkens, and hit something like 25+ unforced errors in that match. It’s a singular approach, and one that looks bad when she loses and great when she wins. Very rarely is there any in-between. Kucova is going to make Martic supply her own offense, and in a year where she’s struggled to find wins, that could be tough. Another match I think the odds are right but very tempting. The good news about Kucova’s lack of offense is Martic is good enough that if Kucova does grab the lead, she’l have time to work her way back. Martic in 3.

Dart vs Pegula :

Harriet Dart played great in round one. Masarova looks a bit like a young Rybakina out there. Her game is huge and her court coverage is better than you’d expect, but she seems a bit tentative at times about when to pull the trigger. That’ll come with time but for now Dart is in great form. Unfortunately, one of the tour’s best players is also. Pegula came into her match with Vekic in unknown form, but she played solid throughout. Vekic constantly fought back into the match, and Pegula broke again each time. I don’t think Dart has the power to upend Pegula, and Jessica is probably not losing here unless she plays a top 10 opponent. Pegula in 2.

Badosa vs Bara :

Badosa seems healthy for once, and only dropped 3 games in her opener against Chirico. Bara was similarly dominant, but Chloe Paquet really didn’t play great today. Bara’s a great defender, and borders on pushing but is a player for whom that’s really the best option. Unfortunately, Badosa’s not the ideal opponent to try to outlast, since she hits heavier and is one of the better defenders on tour. Badosa in 2.

Bogdan vs Kvitova :

This is probably the first upset I see. We all know Yastremska can hit herself out of a match, and she kinda did here. Bogdan played steady though, and this match went much quicker because of how solid she hits the ball. Now she takes on Kvitova, who at 0-0 seems like the dominant force. How Kvitova (coming off a finals run) fares as this match goes to the hour, two hour, three hour mark is a big question though. She’s got a big frame and looked pretty flat in the first set against Paolini. Luckily for her, Jasmine doesn’t really serve big enough to hurt her or hit that big in rallies. Kvitova was able to exert scoreboard pressure and get the win. I think Bogdan’s power will let her edge past the talented server and I’m not sure if Kvitova will have that second gear a second time. Bogdan in 3.

Frech vs Schmiedlova :

I’m not going to admit that I tilted, but I angrily tilted and took Camila Giorgi in the odds competition. Trying to dunk on a favorite ML late in the day is a pretty terrible idea. It’s generally a subconscious thing, but schedulers tend to put the more interesting matchups late in the day and that means more likely upsets (if you ever look at Sunday night football games they’re almost always the hardest game of the day to predict). Again, Polish tennis is in a great place. Frech could win this next round as well if she brings the same level, but it’ll be a different sort of test. Giorgi is trying to beat you, and errors are going to be her undoing. Schmiedlova is trying to knock you over, and she’ll play 5 hours if that’s necessary. Her own height is pretty helpful on grass, and her serving was a decent factor against Peterson. Oddly, I think of Rebecca Peterson as a very consistent player but she’s had some struggles keeping the ball in the court this season. A 6-0 second set win was nice, but she was broken early in the third and AK’s overall level seemed to get stronger as the match neared the finish line. I think Frech probably gets outlasted here. Schmiedlova in 3.

Flipkens vs Halep :

Tricky spot for Halep here but a quick search reveals that she’s never lost a set to Flipkens. Why start now? Halep’s physical fitness is the only question surrounding her game at this point,and there’s no reason this should be the round it falters. Muchova is a much tougher test than Flipkens, and Simona was solid there. Halep in 2.

Buzarnescu vs Gauff :

C’mon Buzarnescu I was tryna do a thing. Mihaela showed up and proved that hype doesn’t make a champion. The hype was mine, and Schunk is still a tremendous talent, so I can be happy for Buzarnescu whose wins on tour aren’t coming so frequently anymore. She was just a bit more consistent throughout and experience on grass counts. Her next opponent was one of the favorites in the betting markets to win this event, but perhaps her first round has changed some people’s minds. Elena Ruse played a solid match, but Gauff was a bit impatient at times. When she’s losing on tour, she tends to try to regain control of the points with a single swing. This is something she’s capable of, and heat checks are fine, but constantly trying to go down the line on the run is a bad formula in an early round. Your opponent is fresh and you wind up giving up a lot of open court even if your shots land, which Gauff’s did not. She’ll have the benefit here of a less offensive opponent, and getting past another young player is always tricky since there’s often a comfort level that isn’t there against older opponents. I think Gauff will have enough time to navigate this, but it’s one of those spots where a 3/5 format would make this a super lock for Gauff and 2/3 may feel a bit like a sprint. Gauff in 2.

Davis vs Anisimova :

Anisimova is one of the players who can make a run at the title here. Davis is one of the players who can make you play 1,000 balls and run for two hours to get there. I think that’s what’ll happen here. Davis is probably the WTA’s version of Schwartzman; she breaks serve at a really high clip but doesn’t have a powerful offering of her own. The match should be close in sections but if Anisimova gets a lead she should hang on somewhat easily since her confidence is pretty high this season. Anisimova in 2 close sets.

Sorribes Tormo vs Tan :

Great win for Tormo in round one. McHale came in at a high level, but Tormo was able to unravel her by moving her constantly around the court. Her reward is a young player who’s just had the win of her career. I think it’s great that Serena is hunting for another title, and we know she won’t get there but that overlooks what happened yesterday. For a young player, beating a tour veteran or a big name is a huge confidence boost and a moment that they’ll never forget. Harmony had real joy and disbelief on her face when she won and Serena is likely not happy with her level but that was an extremely long and enjoyable battle. At the end, both players were just rolling the ball in due to the pressure, but sometimes that’s really fun to watch. I’d say Tan made a number of gets that generally would land out, and those were the difference. She was able to lob some backhands and extend rallies, and Serena at this point is excellent with her feet planted, and too wild when she’s stretched wide. Tan’s run probably ends here, as Tormo isn’t going to give her any of the errors. I don’t see a way for Tan to score. Tormo in 2.

Boulter vs Pliskova :

Yup yup yup yup yup. I love a rematch. Boulter has just beaten Pliskova about a week ago at Eastbourne, and she’s about to do it again. I get why Pliskova is still favored (-185), but I don’t see how the situation is more favorable. Boulter was able to put a number of Pliskova’s serves in play, and she’ll have an even larger crowd at her back. She’s played close matches with a number of the tour’s best players, and that ability to elevate to the occasion is really key in these high profile matches. Pliskova’s movement is always her downfall, and Boulter has already solved this puzzle. Since it was a three setter last time, I’d make this an even prospect. Hard to beat a younger player with crowd support and belief though. Boulter in 3.

ATP Singles
Garin vs Grenier :

What a lovely section of the draw. Garin not only got to skip Berretini, he got a guy who’s less comfortable on grass than him. Grenier got a nice bonus also, as he snagged a lucky loser spot and managed to just squeak past Marc-Andrea Huesler. A 5 setter will have him tired, but his match with Huesler was a much better level than Garin and Coria. Garin is always a tough opponent and his serving is solid, but Grenier is a tall and talented server with good enough pop on his forehand to hit past Garin. I expect this to devolve into a shootout as Garin looks to just outlast Grenier in rallies, but Hugo’s percentages should be solid enough to get through. Grenier in 4.

Bonzi vs Brooksby :

Solid win for Bonzi, who’s been one of the best players this grass swing. Brooksby picked up his first solid performance with a weird straight sets win against Kukushkin. Kukushkin looked off and confused from start to finish. The overall quality was pretty bad, and Mikhail started off missing and continued to struggle to find his range. Twice in the final set Brooksby gave the break of serve back but Kukushkin couldn’t keep the ball in the court. Very strange performance given how solid he was in qualifying. Brooksby in a second round here is a bonus for him, but I think it’s the end of the road. Bonzi this month has been a top 10 player (no joke) and Brooksby largely got past Kukushkin by pushing. Bonzi in 3-4.

De Minaur vs Draper :

Ooo. I was wondering who Draper was playing this round because I pretty much expect him to win against any name you insert. It may have been that they matched up incredibly well, but Bergs and Draper played probably the highest quality tennis of anyone today outside Cressy/FAA. Every ball was hit solid, the serving was top tier, and Draper reflected power on his backhand wing expertly. He’s shown in this grass season that he’s able to consistently send back offensive offerings with interest and to upend a guy on an 8 match win-streak in straight sets is pretty incredible. There were some issues with double faults in the third set but a healthy Draper looks like a threat in any grass-court match. His opponent will be a really tough test for him. De Minaur has found his game again this June and has already beaten names like Sonego, Paul, and Opelka.

De Minaur’s trouble on tour has always been against opponents with a great deal of power, and I think this gives Draper a good chance. De Minaur’s serve is a lot smaller than Jack’s, and his backhand can break down against power since he doesn’t hit huge off that wing. Should be a really great match, but I’d give a small edge to Draper with the hometown crowd and a cannon of a left arm. Draper in 5.

Broady vs Schwartzman :

Tremendous grit for Broady to finish off the tough serving challenge Lukas Klein presented. Broady is one of those accurate baseliners who gives you no pace to work with and employs a ton of low bouncing slices to get his opponents off-balance. Will this work against Diego Schwartzman? No. This is bad matchup for Broady, because Diego is suited to holding off everything he does and he won’t panic or force shots himself. I see a long and frustrating 4 set loss for Broady. Diego in 4.

Shapovalov vs Nakashima :

Everyone picking Rinderknech looked pretty smart in the first round, and Shapovalov is becoming reliably unreliable. Tons of 5 setters were the hallmark of FAA’s runs at majors, and it seems like the quality is there for the Canadian juniors but not the decision-making. Shap has a great serve, a huge backhand, solid speed, good hands at net, and a forehand motion that’s perfect for adjusting to whatever comes and well hidden as far as directionality. He’s just a bit of a baby bird when it comes to strategy. It’s weird watching people mature on camera, so I won’t overanalyze it. This is a match he should win easily, but will likely lose. Nakashima is the opposite of Shapo. His forehand isn’t huge, his backhand is mostly solid, and his serve isn’t a huge weapon. He’s worked on all those things in the past season or two though and they’ve all seen improvement. The result is a guy who’s very hard to beat. Momentum here will be very important. Denis is the type of player who will elevate his game if he goes down in the scoreline, so it’ll be important for Nakashima to get one of the early sets. His physical fitness will get tested, because Shapovalov plays at a singular pace (tends to play his opponents into form) but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of running involved in beating him. I really would never bet on Shap here, but he’s the guy who can actually beat RBA in the next round so it’s almost better for the tournament if he wins. Nakashima in 4 or Shapo in 5.

Galan Riveros vs Bautista-Agut :

It’s funny the straight set wins that come in these low-profile round ones. Daniel Elahi played great and Koepfer just didn’t have answers. This next one is a bit too much for Galan to really hope for, as RBA is one of the best players on tour and found his form last week. He smoked Balasz in round one, and he should win here. Only caveat being that Galan has a lot of power and is adept from the baseline, so he will likely break serve here and there. RBA in 3-4.

Krajinovic vs Kyrgios :

Two five setters here against lower tier opponents but zero shame in the quality. Krajinovic easily could have lost to Lehecka and Jubb had a tremendously close servers battle with Kyrgios. Kyrgios did spend a lot of time mumbling “Crazy, crazy” while Jubb was going through his service prep but he was pretty composed in this one. He said in the press conference the day before he knew on paper he should win but that it would be tougher than he expected. Jubb needs some wild cards on hardcourt because his serve is really excellent and his movement and defending were good enough to play almost even with Kyrgios. I’d say the edge in the match was simply that Kyrgios hit the ball a bit heavier throughout. Jubb put balls into the net trying to match the pace. Kyrgios could win this event, but I think he’ll have a hard time navigating this match. Krajinovic is a good returner having trained with Djokovic for so long, and his shots are very flat and he’s good at redirecting pace so I think he’ll be able to break Kyrgios once they get into rallies. Kyrgios’ fitness is never perfect either so a second long match in a row may see him slump a tiny bit. Should be an almost dead-even contest with Kyrgios relying on his serve and Krajinovic being slightly more consistent. Someone in 5.

Thompson vs Tsitsipas :

Thompson won way easier than I expected. I hate on his game, but he really is becoming a grass specialist. His inside out backhand slides through the court in a really annoying manner, and his serve has gotten better over the years. Will that matter here? Probably. Ritschard played his best tennis in round ne and it was enough to bother Tsitsipas. The problem seems to be that Tsitsipas has extra levels. When his opponents play well he finds his best tennis. One of the only things that still seems to really create the upset opportunity for Tsitsipas is playing lockdown defense, and on grass that’s nearly impossible. Tsitsipas should win this in a sort of vague shootout match. He’s serving better than Thompson, and this would be a monumental upset, literally the win of Thompson’s career. Tsitsipas in 4.

Cressy vs Sock :

Someone American tennis makes me cheer for the French guy. Maxime Cressy played the best tennis he ever has in round one against Felix Auger-Aliassime. Losing the first set for a server can be a disaster, especially when they managed to get it to a tiebreaker. Cressy just maintains his level throughout though, and his aggressive nature during rallies and on return makes his opponents prone to errors and defensive choices that they wouldn’t normally go for. In the end, this was anyone’s match. FAA hit an inside in forehand long to lose the advantage late and Cressy closed out with an ace. Sock had a straight set win against Zapata Miralles that wasn’t really ever simple. The entire match was probably decided by a few big points, and Sock happened to win them. Zapata Miralles makes some extra noise on his shots sometimes, but Sock really showed himself to be a douchebag here. No other way to put it, he was sarcastically saying “Vamooooo” when he won a set or a big game and mumbling about his opponents game for a good chunk of the points he lost. Not a huge deal, but I always thought Sock looked like a bit of a toolbox so it’s decent to get some confirmation. I don’t think Sock can win here. This is one of those “you would have been Cressy if you’d kept working” spots and I think Sock will be the same notch behind that Zapata was. Cressy in 3-4.

Novak vs Kubler :

Nice solid win for Bagnis,but Kubler stole the show here. Beating Evans in straight sets on any surface is pretty impressive, and Kubler was able to do it convincingly. He broke early in each set and held onto it. I think it makes him a pretty firm favorite here. Novak is a strong server with a big forehand, but Kubler is looking like he’s at another tier. Jason’s hovered around the tour for quite some time, but he looks fitter and more efficient at this event. He’s hitting his groundstrokes huge and nailing his targets. Both come into this at their sharpest, but Kubler’s just beaten a guy who would beat Evans. Kubler in 3-4.

Molcan vs Giron :

This one is really tough. So tough that I somehow skipped it when I first posted this. Maybe subconsciously I know that I don’t know? Molcan has had a better season than Giron, and I think he’s more suited to playing top tier competition. There’s a lot of pop on all his shots and he covers the court really well. Giron is a very smooth player but his game is mostly about his forehand and his footspeed. It’s the classic USTA strategy, and it just doesn’t work year round on tour since so many of the top 100 have tremendous forehands AND backhands. I’m a little confused in this one on why Giron is the slight favorite. I could see him outserving Molcan, and since Molcan plays pretty simple lefty patterns this could become a long and drawn out affair. That’s in Giron’s benefit since he’s really fast and isn’t going for as much from shot to shot. He also has a slightly better serve, but I don’t think it’s enough to really carry him through. A first round win against Rune is fine, but most players have been beating Rune on grass. I expect Molcan’s recent exploits on tour to have him feeling comfortable here, and I think he’ll win a close one. Molcan in 5.

Gray vs Fritz :

Alistair Gray was a surprise for me, but Tseng didn’t look ready to play his best tennis. This could be tricky since Gray is a good server, but Fritz is playing his best tennis and his best tennis is enough to make me almost believe my Fritz wins Wimbledon one day predictions. With the draw falling apart, maybe this is that day? Being unfamiliar with his opponent might give Fritz some problems but he’s in a good service rhythm and that’ll be hard for someone outside the top 20 to beat. Fritz in 3-4.

McDonald vs Gasquet :

Borges did well in his lucky loser showing, but he was always a tiny bit behind the pace on grass. McDonald was able to gain court position fairly easily and he won this match behind errors from Borges. Getting to net was a big key for Mackie and it’ll be important to keep up his aggession against his next opponent. Grassquet is back, and a 3-2 win against Sousa may seem like a middling performance but Richard was at his best for this one. He was able to extend rallies with slices retrieves and Sousa made forehand errors to give away the early sets, but he made a late surge to win the 3rd and 4th. What I really liked from Gasquet, whose ball toss looks like a parent preparing to show their toddler a magic trick, was how willing he was to swing big when he had control. He pressured Sousa into errors and once he’s inside the baseline with time, Gasquet almost always picks the right shot. I think he can win this match, but Mackie seems to get a boost from grass. His forehand is sliding through the court nicely and he’s serving fairly well. This feels like the exact same match honestly, Gasquet against a guy looking to challenge his movement and push the pace with forehands. This is probably McDonald in 5, but Richard is in great form.

Ruusuvuori vs Van De Zandschulp :

Ruusuvuori has continued to improve on grass and he’s a very popular player, so it’s not surprising that oddsmakers have slated him as near even against Botic. I don’t exactly buy it though. All these close estimates are talking about a level of win that he hasn’t really brought, despite being capable of it. On the flipside, Van De Zanschulp has played an extremely high level of tennis for two seasons now and just dispatched a tricky server (Lopez) in fairly easy fashion. This will probably be a really skilled affair, and that means multiple sets. Ruusuvuori definitely needs less time to produce his swings from the baseline, and he’s a tiny bit better at court coverage than Botic. Botic has the better serve and tends to create opportunities to get to net though. I don’t know if I buy Ruusuvuori shutting down his offense often enough to win, but it should be close. Botic in 5.

Sonego vs Gaston :

Sonego and Kudla was as advertised. They were inseparable for most of the match and headed to the fifth at the same even odds that they started. Sonego’s serve gives him a little edge in a dogfight though, and he’ll probably make the third round here. Gaston was gifted a win several times by Popyrin. He tried to give it back, and Popyrin respectfully declined. Streaks of brilliance are promising, but Popyrin needs to do some strength and fitness training or the errors are going to continue. Balls into the bottom half of the net are really concerning for a pro player who’s supposed to be more than a big serve. I’d expect him to have a good hardcourt season, but when he plays guys like Albot and Goffin who push the pace I think he’ll always cough up the goods. Gaston is crafty, but he was giving up in the first round and Sonego will pounce on that. Sonego in 3-4.

Berankis vs Nadal :

Hehe. Ok Sam. Querrey seems like he’s not playing tennis outside of tournaments. Berankis is no grass-court terror, and he won in straight sets. This is a gift to Nadal who had his own troubles adjusting to grass against Francisco Cerundolo. I do think Cerundolo’s only problem is impatience which leads him to swing for winners too soon in the rallies, so that not being present here may have thrown a wrench in Nadal’s gameplans. Nadal looked to be working on his own strategies early, and he made a handful of errors trying to hit his backhand aggressively down the line. Great champions work during early rounds, and he was definitely trying to force himself to play more aggressively at the expense of a simpler and quicker win. As many times as he got broken, I almost believed he was going to wind up in a 5th, but Nadal is nearly impossible to close out when you have the lead, and he reeled off three games in a row to close out. Berankis will be a simpler task for him, and it’ll give him a chance to play a number of balls at the same speed. Berankis’ serve isn’t nearly as tricky as Cerundolo’s, and his variety of shot isn’t really the same either. I think Nadal will look a bit behind the pace for a round or two more, but he’s indicated he’s pain free, and this section of the draw is all full of players he should beat. In the second week when the grass gets worn down, I’d expect him to really step things up. Nadal in 3.