Tennis Prose



Todd’s Tennis Takes: Wimbledon First Round Popcorn Matches

By Todd Robinson

Jannik Sinner vs Stan Wawrinka – Now 37, Stan has only won 3 matches on tour all year (4 losses). Sinner is still just 20 yrs old, pushing to break into the Top 10, but is just 0-1 lifetime here. A fading legend vs a rising star with a new coach (Sinner recently hooked up with Darren Cahill) who’s still trying to figure out tennis on grass. Great contrast, should be an interesting one.

Alexander Bublik vs Marton Fucsovics – We mentioned Fucsovics earlier – a big, strong, meat-n-potatoes type player who broke through here last year. Bublik is a quirky guy with a quirky game, willing to hit lots of drop-shots and different slices. Clash of styles here, I think the 5 yrs younger Bublik (25 to 30) will take it.

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Maxime Cressy – I’ve mentioned Felix in many past TTT pieces – a world of talent and still not quite 22 yrs old yet, and now residing inside the Top 10. Made the QFs here last year, beating Zverev in the R16. Cressy is a late-blooming throwback serve-n-volleyer who played at UCLA, winning the NCAA doubles in 2019. He qualified into Halle before losing to Hurkacz 6-4 in the third set last week, and is in the finals of Eastbourne this week after beating Wimby #15 seed Reilly Opelka, Dan Evans (#28 seed), and Eastbourne #1 seed Cameron Norrie (Wimby #9 seed). Potentially tricky for Felix, who will be the #6 seed at Wimby this year.

Holger Rune vs Marcos Giron – 19 yr old Rune stormed to the QFs at the French last month, beating Tsitsipas along the way, but has little to no experience playing on grass…though he’s loaded with talent. Giron is yet another Bruin who played grass tune-ups for 3 straight weeks leading up to Wimby, recording wins over 26th ranked Botic van de Zandschulp and yet another fellow Bruin Mackie McDonald (R16 at Wimby in 2018) this week at Mallorca before losing to Tsit in 3 sets.

Lorenzo Musetti vs Taylor Fritz – Musetti has plateaued between 55-70 in the rankings for the last year, but at 20 years old has loads of talent and shot-making ability, even if his grass resume remains distinctively unimpressive. Meanwhile, Fritz made the 3rd Rnd at Wimby last year, and is looking very sharp this week in Eastbourne, crushing Bublik in the QFs and then taking out 24th ranked de Minaur in the semis. Fritz should win here, but Musetti is an entertaining talent to watch, and a potentially dangerous opponent.

Marin Cilic vs Mackenzie McDonald – Cilic, now 33 yrs old, is one of the more accomplished vets in the field here – a finalist in 2017 and likely a future Hall-of-Famer. McDonald is an athletic, scrappy hustler with a great head. Doesn’t get rattled, sticks to his game, gives it his all. Cilic’s ranking was tanking in the 9 months leading up to the COVID stoppage in March, 2020 (from Top 12 to the 40’s), but he has since regained better form, peaking with a SF run at the French last month and now ranked #17. Could end up being a battle here, unless Cilic is ‘on’ and just overpowers Mackie.

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1 comment

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 27, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    Raducanu looked really good, super intense, tons of fist pumps and emotional adrenaline, no fear, no pressure, I believe she can win the title if she keeps going like this. Her spirit is perfect to win the title. Alcaraz also was very impressive today, so dynamic all over the court, like Emma, tons of fist pumps and emotional adrenaline and smiles. Both will be very dangerous for anybody.



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