Tennis Prose



Focusing On Wimbledon Third Round Matchups

By Scoop Malinowski

We’re now into the stage of Wimbledon where each player has won two rounds and their game levels and confidences are rising. We’re into the meat and potatoes of the tournament. The match-ups in the third round can make or break a tournament and in some cases, a career. Let’s take a look at the third round matchups…

Federer vs Struff: Fed leads the series 2-0 but both matches were of the 64 76 variety, which suggests a shocker is possible. Struff has the firepower and the volleys to trouble Roger.

Mannarino vs Medvedev: The French lefty leads the h2h 2-0 and both wins were decisive straight setters.

Querrey vs Monfils: They’ve only met twice, 11 years ago on clay in Austria and two years ago in Washington DC. Monfils won both.

Anderson vs Kohlschreiber: Anderson leads 3-0 h2h and should continue his mastery of the German veteran.

Pella vs McDonald: First meeting between these two surprise third round debutantes.

Raonic vs Denis Novak: The big serving Canadian has a favorable draw and should be quite pleased to meet the winner of Macpella.

Isner vs Albot: Fourth meeting of the year for these two opposites. Albot won on Long Island but Isner has won the next two revenge encounters.

Tsitsipas vs Fabbiano: 35 ranked Greek won their only meeting in three sets at Roland Garros qualies last year.

Khachanov vs Tiafoe: Heavyweight match up of two fast rising forces. This first meeting could build into an interesting rivalry.


Edmund vs Djokovic: Nole won their first three clashes but Edmund won the most recent in Madrid this year 63 in the third.

Nishikori vs Kyrgios: Kei has won all three matches vs Nick, all in Masters Series events in 2016 and 2015 but this is their first meeting on grass.

Gulbis vs Fritz or Zverev: Gulbis is back on track after a career freefall which saw the Latvian lose to players ranked outside the top 400.

Del Potro vs Paire: Paire won their one meeting in Rome 64 76 five years ago.

Ebden vs Simon: It’s ATP no 53 vs 51 and you wouldn’t know it but the higher ranked Ebden leads the h2h 2-0, with a win last year in Miami and seven years ago in Shanghai, 76 and 75 in the third.

Vesely vs Fognini: Fog is 3-0 vs the lefty Czech including a straight set schooling last year at Wimbledon.

Nadal vs deMinaur: no. 1 vs 80, veteran super champion vs 19 year old wonder boy. The Demon backs down to no one and surely will give Nadal all he can handle. Lleyton Hewitt knows how to motivate this kid who is a natural born fighter.

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  • Michael in UK · July 7, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Gulbis result amazing, even more than Halep!

    In her post match interview on BBC Hsieh came across as super lovely and humble too. My new favourite player.

    I was happy to watch on bbc tv the 4 set match between Gilles Simon and Matt Ebden, lots of terrific approaches and volleying from both players, especially Ebden. Great to see. Simon won.

  • Chazz · July 7, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    I think there is a lot of good to take from Tiafoe’s and Fritz’s results even though the losses were crushing because they were on the cusp of winning. But they went about as far as expected as we talked about pre-tournament, and I think their results show they are very close to making the next step.

    It’s amazing that the young American to go the farthest is McDonald, who no one was talking about and has gone up 23 spots to #80. I can’t see how he would beat Raonic in the next round though.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 7, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Gulbis winning no surprise if you read my comment above that the Russian Zverev would lose.

    I didn’t find Novak behavior too unusual. And if we talk about behavior, Jelena is great at these matches unlike Mirka who Scoop reported cussed out Kyrgios.

    Dan is correct. These Slams are not for kids.
    Zverev, Tiafoe, Kyrgios and the rest need to grow up and understand what a two week tournament is all about.

  • catherine · July 7, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    The German Zverev.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 7, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    Chazz, McDonald is this major’s recipient of the Sandgren effect. Another player who saw Sandgren shine in Australia and now has the belief. McDonald surely played and I bet beat Sandgren and has to think to himself, if he can do it, so can i. Sandgren’s run in Australia is still paying dividends for US tennis and it will continue to do so. All the guys who beat McDonald in the last year – Kozlov and many others – now know that they too can do what Sandgren and McDonald have done this year.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 7, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    Michael, Welcome to the Hsieh fan club. She is the best, unlike any other player. Look up my Hsieh Biofile, it’s one of the best I ever did. She is an amazing player and also interview too. Fascinating person who thinks differently than all other players and it shows in her Biofile.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    Hartt, Kyrgios is a billion $ talent with a ten cent head. Nishikori is the perfect opposite contrast of Nick, hard worker, serious, no nonsense, no BS, no clowning. Just a first class pure professional.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 7, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Tom I love Cibulkova’s fire also and her willingness to speak her mind and go after injustices, she spoke out about Maria’s cheating and the Wimbledon seeding which cost her a seed this year. She is extra fired up this year because of that perceived injustice and she is playing great right now with a lot of fire. Too bad she has to play Hsieh, and one has to lose. It will be a tough match for both. Hsieh is still in the doubles too, won two rounds, hope fatigue does not cost her the singles.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 7, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Hartt, no, she said Hsieh has country club strokes, which is true. Her strokes look casual and amateurish almost, but they are deceptive and she is a master of disguise and trick shots and surprise shots, like the sudden inside out backhand winner, the slice forehand winner, the drop shot, the volley winner. She mixes everything up and surprises the very best players in the world with her unpredictable creativity. Even Evert is awed by her game and doesn’t fully understand it. Nobody does. She is a genius of the tennis court and one of the greatest players of this era, despite her handicap of a slight build and lack of physicality which is so important deeper in tournaments against such big strong opponents.

  • Chazz · July 7, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    How great would it be if Nishikori shocked the tennis world and won his first major at Wimby this year?

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 7, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Duke you could be right about the Serena intimidation factor but it could also be the unseeded unknwon players see players like Cecchinato, Sandgren, Buzarnescu, etc making big results. Everyone has belief now. All these seeded players in the ladies draw are shaky and have shown shaky results during Serena’s absence. Everybody is shaky and vulnerable and it been proven again this year at Wimbledon.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 7, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Kyrgios most definitely has a 10-cent head. Trying trick shots against a Slam finalist like Kei. Also showed his lack of professionalism by not being ready to play with the late start and the 16-minute first set.

    He’s another guy who isn’t cutthroat enough. All he had to do was win the third set and come back Monday and maybe be in a better frame of mind but he couldn’t fight through that and understand that the last thing Kei wanted was to continue Monday. That’s evidence of Kyrgios as a mental midget.

    As Scoop noted, Cibulkova used a perceived slight as motivation. Kyrgios, meanwhile, picked a fight with a retired Wimbledon women’s champion and then got destroyed on court. It’s sad although also entertaining.

    I feel like Novak has the fire back with his screaming and yelling. I can see Jelena doesn’t like how it makes him look but Djoker needs to believe things are against him to fight for trophies. He may be back.

    Meanwhile, Jerk Sock is still in both doubles draws.

  • Tom Sawyer · July 7, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    After watching Novak’s interview and overall disposition during Edmund match, he definitely seems to have that chippy edge back. Feels like he is hungry again.

    Somehow I ended up watching Hseih and Strycova win Indian Wells dubs and Hseih was mesmerizing at how effective her game was against #1 seeds.

    No tennis, no World Cup tomorrow…darn no excuse not to do yard work..

  • catherine · July 8, 2018 at 3:34 am

    In the absence of any actual play to view (thanks AEC) I watched Kerber’s press conference and after a few tedious English questions they switched to German and it was interesting how much more relaxed, friendly and articulate Angie instantly became. She didn’t say anything remarkable far as I could understand but her whole demeanour changed. Just a reminder how important language is and how players who aren’t fluent in English can often give a misleading impression of themselves.

  • catherine · July 8, 2018 at 5:03 am

    I hate to keep harping on this but why the AEC has blocked highlights in Britain is a mystery to me. As if Wimbledon needs any more publicity or has trouble selling tickets.

    I’ll vote for the party that promises free tennis for all 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 8, 2018 at 8:55 am

    The stupidest thing Kyrgios could do at Wimbledon was spark a dumb controversy with a woman (Bartoli). Monfils didn’t bother to respond to Bartoli’s opinions. If Nick was smart, he would have said nothing and proved Bartoli wrong by ACTIONS. Kyrgios is too immature, too sensitive and he obviously has too many yes men around him who are afraid to offend him or know they can’t break through his rock wall of ignorance and immaturity. No matter how well he plays and how good his chances are to roll through a major draw, it seems Kyrgios will always find a way to self destruct. I think we will sooner see Nick bring his dog on center court wimbledon than hold up the trophy.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 8, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Tom, Novak with his edge back is a very good sign. He’s at his best when he’s annoying Roger, not parroting his lines at press conferences. If Novak plays Roger my guess is he will subconsciously defer, to give the fans what they want. Novak will get more love for losing to Roger than beating him, that’s what he seems to want most right now.

  • Tom Sawyer · July 8, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Spot on! I can’t believe I am rooting for the old Djoker to fully surface. At this stage of the tournament, he is the most compelling player in the draw, with a nod to a potential Delpo-Nadal quarter.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 8, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Because the intimidating Djoker is someone that Fed is scared of is why we need him back. Fed isn’t scared of Murray or Stan in comparison.

    Some quality players in Winnetka challenger. Fratangelo, Tommy Paul, Opelka, Escobedo, D-Young, Krajicek, Eubanks, Aragone. The top seed is Smyczek.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 8, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Tom, I think Djokovic will get more love and respect for being his true self, the beast mode mad man who tears his shirt off and bulges his eyes out like crazy Jack Torrance in The Shining. The peace and love Djokovic is nearly unbearable to endure.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 8, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Did anyone notice that Sascha Zverev played his worst tennis when the sun went down? Struggled against Fritz and Gulbis both matches. In between he blistered Fritz in broad daylight.

    I wonder if he should get his eyes checked. That could be part of his problem.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 8, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    Scoop you have nailed part of the problem with Kyrgios. His team has too many yes men who tell him this nonsense is OK and can’t help him get his head straight.

    Kyrgios would fit in well with the women’s tour and their mad obsession with social media, according to catherine. Of course, I doubt he would even win a women’s event since he doesn’t have an ounce of the championship fiber of a Serena.

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