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Wimbledon Tennis 2019 • Thru Ricky’s Eyes For 10sBalls

Tennys Sandgren (L) of the USA in action against Fabio Fognini of Italy during their third round match at the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 06 July 2019. EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO COMMERCIAL SALES

First-week surprises on men’s side set up weird week two lineup at Wimbledon

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

Novak Djokovic was already the Wimbledon favorite well before this fortnight began. He became a bigger favorite when Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer landed in the bottom half of the draw (Federer, of course, was guaranteed to be there as the No. 2 seed). And now Djokovic is an even bigger favorite after the top half broke wide open–aside from Djokovic taking care of business–during the first week.

 

If it’s not the top-ranked Serb, one of the following players will be in the final next Sunday: Ugo Humbert, David Goffin, Fernando Verdasco, Guido Pella, Milos Raonic, Benoit Paire, or Roberto Bautista Agut. That’s not a misprint; all of those players are through to the second week.

 

Raonic made it to the Wimbledon title match in 2016 (lost to Andy Murray), but he is in the midst of another injury-plagued season and has slipped to No. 17 in the world. No one else has ever reached any major final.

Milos Raonic of Canada in action against Robin Haase of the Netherlands during their second round match at the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 03 July 2019. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO COMMERCIAL SALES

The big-serving Canadian may have expected to see 2018 runner-up Kevin Anderson across the net from him on Manic Monday, but instead it will be Pella. Anderson, who has been out with injuries of his own, lost to the Argentine 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(4) on Friday.

 

Djokovic had been on a collision course with Felix Auger-Aliassime for round four, but the 18-year-old Canadian went down 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to Humbert. The other middle Monday fourth-rounder in the defending champion’s section could have been Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Daniil Medvedev, which would have renewed a contentious rivalry. Instead, it’s Verdasco vs. Goffin. Although Bautista Agut vs. Paire is not a huge surprise, it could have been Karen Khachanov or Feliciano Lopez vs. Alexander Zverev.

 

Next up for Humbert is none other than Djokovic. Does the 21-year-old Frenchman have chance?

 

“I have a chance,” he answered. “If (I think) not, I’m not coming on the court.”

 

Although both Federer and Nadal are lurking in the bottom half of the bracket, there are some chances to be had. Sam Querrey, who is making yet another run at the All-England Club, will likely end up meeting Nadal in the quarters. The Spaniard could have met Marin Cilic in the last 16, but Cilic got clobbered earlier in the week by Joao Sousa. Mikhail Kukushkin, also unseeded, is also through to the second Monday.

 

It’s been crazy so far in London. Will it get even crazier? Following the calm (middle Sunday) before the storm, we’ll find out.

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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