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Wimbledon Watchability Power Rankings, Including Dimitrov vs Wawrinka

Despite the barrage of injuries and subsequent withdrawals altering the Wimbledon gentlemen’s singles draw, there are still plenty of enticing first round matches to watch. Welcome to the 2018 Wimbledon Watchability Power Rankings.

Swan Song

Ivo Karlovic vs Mikhail Youzhny

A battle between two former quarterfinalists who are way over the hill: Doctor Ivo against Colonel Mikhail.

Karlovic made his Grand Slam main draw debut at Wimbledon in 2003, when he stunned the tennis world by upsetting defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the first round, 1-6 7-6 6-3 6-4. The 39-year-old Croatian is trending downward at No. 112, while Youzhny is barely clinging to the Top 100. Both veterans are long shots to make it back to SW19 next season.

Watchability Index: 6/10


Keep gettin’ dem checks!

Alexander Zverev vs James Duckworth

The Australian finds himself again in my favorite section of these rankings despite a strong showing at Antalya, where he reached the final.

There’s a problem, though. Not THAT Antalya event you are thinking. The only event the Australian participated in post Roland Garros was a $15,000 Futures on CLAY. The injury-prone Duckworth lost to Austria’s Thomas Statzberger (No. 494), hardly a world beater. It’s fair to say he stands no chance against Zverev.

Watchability Index: 5/10

Two Much

Lucas Pouille vs Denis Kudla

Remember that one movie where young Antonio Banderas manages to simultaneously date Melanie Griffith and Daryl Hannah? He was into both so he faked having a twin brother. If you havent’ watched Two Much, don’t waste your time. But I sneakily think bearded Kudla is bearded Pouille’s doppelgänger. Coming off a career week at Halle, expect the American wild card to scare the seeded Frenchman.

Watchability Index: 7/10


Sock Bottom, Here I Come

Jack Sock vs Matteo Berrettini

The World No. 15 is a putrid 5-13 on the season. Barring an thunderous resurgence, his ranking is going to balloon out of the Top 50. Sock retaining his Paris Masters 1000 crown is less likely than the Cleveland Browns winning Super Bowl LIII.

Furthermore, grass and Sock’s game are a terrible fit. The slumping American lost a week ago to world No. 316 Daniel Brands at Eastbourne Q1.

Berrettini had never played a professional match on grass prior to June 2018. The Italian has no credentials whatsoever on the surface. Will Sock hit rock bottom?

Watchability Index: 8/10

Ranking vs Market

Denis Shapovalov vs Jeremy Chardy

We all know the Canadian thrives on the big stage. Tournaments know it, scheduling the rising star on their bigger courts right off the bat. The 2016 Boys Champion was dealt a complicated opener in Chardy, who is 7-2 on grass in 2018, excluding his Surbiton Challenger title.

While the 19-year-old, 26th seed is the favorite on paper, he’s a 2.15 underdog on Bwin. Will ranking or market be more reliable?

Watchability Index: 9/10

Upset Alert

David Goffin vs Matthew Ebden

The 30-year-old Australian has risen to a career-high No. 51 ranking on the back of a stout grass swing, defeating accomplished specialists such as Dustin Brown, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Gilles Muller, and Philipp Kohlschreiber in the process. On the other hand, the Belgian hasn’t won a match on the green stuff since 2016. Keep an eye on this match!

Watchability Index: 7/10

Marco Cecchinato vs Alex de Miñaur

The Italian stole the show at the French Open with a miraculous semifinal run. He backed it up by reaching the penultimate round at Eastbourne last week. The 29th seed will be facing a tough test in the 2016 Boys Runner-up. The young Aussie made noise after Roland Garros, going 9-1 at the challenger level on grass, where his flat forehand becomes a powerful weapon (unlike on dirt). He lacks a premiere serve, but de Miñaur possesses second-to-none ability to return and terrific instinct at the net. This kid is special. Buy the hype.

Watchability Index: 8/10


Richard Gasquet vs Gael Monfils

What a fascinating first round duel between compatriots! Gasquet has unarguably performed better at Wimbledon over the years, with two semifinal appearances, whereas Monfils never backed up his 2004 Boys title, having never sniffed the second week. Expect a contested battle. “LaMonf” owns a slight 9-7 head-to-head lead. They split their two previous meetings on grass, which took place in 2017 and both went the distance.

Watchability Index: 9/10

Stan Wawrinka vs Grigor Dimitrov

A three-time Grand Slam champion facing the reigning World Tour Finals winner in the round of 128? What a time to be alive! Neither is playing his best tennis at the moment, but we’ll gladly enjoy a high-profile matchup like this on opening Monday. After succumbing in his first two encounters, Dimitrov has upended Wawrinka on four straight occasions and should take advantage of a rusty Stan again.

Watchability Index: 9/10

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Embed from Getty Images


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