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2015 Wimbledon Day 2 Men’s Panelists Predictions Including Tsonga-Muller

Back again for Wimbledon day 2 are Stefano Berlincioni, and Niall Clarke, joined by tennis editor Steen Kirby to preview and predict the best men’s matches on the day. Most of the big names should be able to skirt safely to a victory and into round 2, but a host of mid-tier ATP players will be battling it out in what should be some great matches in the bottom half of the draw.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Gilles Muller

Steen: After pulling out of ATP Nottingham with an abdominal injury, the French Open semifinalist Tsonga was in doubt to even play at Wimbledon. He’s shown streaks of success, and his aggressive game suits grass reasonably well, but he’s up against a tough unseeded opponent in round 1. Muller, who has two previous h2h wins over Tsonga,and played their most recent match at Metz 2014 close, is a dangerous serve and volleyer with an aggressive serve that does damage on grass. The veteran reached the semis in Den Bosch and the quarterfinals in Queens, upsetting Grigor Dimitrov and pushing Andy Murray to three sets there in London.

A healthy Tsonga would probably win this, but given the injury factor, and Muller’s great form, he should blitz Tsonga with powerful serves and crisp volleys and pull off a grass court upset. Muller in 4 sets

Niall: This one would be interesting anyway, but Tsonga’s injury makes it even more intriguing. The Frenchman skipped all the warm-up tournaments to try and recover in time for Wimbledon, but it appears he still is not 100%. Muller is not a player you want to face whilst injured, and his big serve will cause problem. If fit I would say Tsonga, but I do not trust that he is. Muller in 5 sets

Stefano: Tsonga didn’t play after the Semifinal at Roland Garros and surely this is not a good sign for his form. Muller is a grass specialist, and a difficult round 1 opponent for anyone in this draw. It is very difficult to break his lefty serve on grass, and I think we will see more than one tiebreak and possibly 5 sets. Upset alert here but I think Tsonga will win in the end. Tsonga in 5 sets

Yen-Hsun Lu vs. Dustin Brown

Steen: Neither of these players are particularly recognizable names but this is an excellent grass court matchup. Brown brings serve and volley flair, and often reckless aggressive, mixed with a powerful serve, while Lu is a weaponless baseliner who will hit clean strike after clean strike from behind the line, as he looks to force errors from his opponents. Rendy Lu was a qualifier at Queens and reached the Quarters in Nottingham, upsetting Denis Istomin, Andreas Seppi, and Feliciano Lopez in recent weeks on grass, all of whom are solid on the surface themselves. Brown qualified for Wimbledon with ease, and also qualified in Stuttgart. This match should go long, but I feel Lu is more consistent and Brown is the type of players who will cede good defensive players errors. Lu in 5 sets

Niall: Interesting style clash but they are both very adequate on the grass. Brown loves to serve and volley, whilst Lu is more of a baseliner. Brown has the higher peak level, but Lu is more consistent and I feel that may be the deciding factor. Lu in 5 sets

Stefano: Dreddy or Rendy? Both showed good form in the last weeks and this appears to be an entertaining match to watch. It is difficult for me to trust the no margin tennis of Brown in a best of 5 sets match but I think on grass he has an edge over Lu. Brown in 4 sets


Alejandro Falla vs. Robin Haase

Steen: Another match of relative journeyman that should produce quality tennis on the Wimbledon lawn, Falla beat Haase last year on grass in Halle and he qualified for both Halle and Wimbledon this year. Haase reached the semis in Den Bosch in his only grass court warm up. Haase is strong from the wings but mentally weak, while Falla has a lefty forehand centric game that is excellent on quick surfaces like grass. This one could go either way, but I feel Haase will collapse late in the mental department, and Falla will accelerate to a win. Falla in 5 sets 

Niall: Winner could potentially face Andy Murray in round two. Falla is a very capable on the grass, whilst Haase is talented but a head case. Falla is more consistent of the too despite being a bit of a choker himself, so I think the Colombian pulls through. Falla in 4 sets

Stefano: Both can be considered grass specialists as both had good results on this surface in the past and had a very decent preparation also this year. I think Haase has more to offer in this match as he even likes to play lefties like Falla. Haase in 5 sets


Jack Sock vs. Sam Groth

Steen: One of the best matches of round 1, both of these guys could win two matches or more at Wimbledon, and it’s a shame one of them has to exit the draw in round 1. Sock only played the Boodles exhibition as a warm up, but given his aggressive style of play, with a strong forehand, and doubles experience with volleys, he should be able to do well on grass. Groth is a classic serve and volleyer with a huge serve, he’s awful from the baseline but the Stuttgart quarterfinalist also won a challenger on grass this year, and upset Feliciano Lopez in Stuttgart. Groth and Sock are both having career years, and I could see Groth pulling off an upset, but Sock is more well-rounded and should get through this. Sock in 4 sets

Niall: Groth has a huge serve that can be very effective on this surface. Sock’s main weapon is his heavy top spin forehand, which I believe is better suited to clay. Sock has the better ground game so I feel he should pull through, but it is likely to go at least four sets. Sock in 4 sets

Stefano: Sam Groth and his powerful serve can be a very big threat on grass as he demonstrated this year he is way more than a serve bot. Sock is coming here with no official tournaments  but he knows how to play on grass and knows how to manage the Grand Slam pressure. He is overall the better player so Sock in 4 for me. Sock in 4 sets


Lukas Rosol vs. Ernests Gulbis

Steen: A matchup of powerful, yet streaky players, Gulbis has tumbled all the way outside of the worlds top 80 after his worst season in years, but he still has talent and is an unseeded threat. Rosol is on a three match losing streak but has previously found success at Wimbledon, famously upsetting Nadal here with relentless ball bashing. Rosol is a great player when on his game, while Gulbis has been erratic all season, but perhaps is close to turning the corner now. It’s hard to predict a result in this one, but I’m going with Rosol given this is grass. Rosol in 4 sets

Niall: Two heavy hitters, and two very inconsistent players. Gulbis has had a poor year, but he can turn it on at any time and become almost unplayable. Rosol has been better this year, but he too is very inconsistent. It is hard to predict, but I am edging towards Rosol. Rosol in 5 sets

Stefano: Gulbis vs Rosol is a very tricky match: both players are capable (especially the Latvian of course) to produce excellent tennis in a good day and this should be a match full of great serves and very short rallies. Despite his terrible 2015 form I still trust Gulbis more than Rosol. Gulbis in 5 sets

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