Monday means Day 1 of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships. Half of the first round will be contested, which means we get to see 32 men’s matches. As always, our writers here at LWOT will try to share our thoughts on all of the matches for you. We split the 32 matches between eight articles. Our other articles for Day 1 feature Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Filip Krajinovic, Lorenzo Musetti vs Juan Pablo Varillas, Nick Kyrgios vs David Goffin, Hubert Hurkacz vs Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Casper Ruud vs Laurent Lokoli, Andrey Rublev vs Max Purcell, and John Isner vs Jaume Munar. Predicting this set of matches are Jack Edward, Damian Kust, and Jakub Bobro. Who do you think will advance?
Wimbledon Day 1 Men’s Predictions
Stan Wawrinka vs Emil Ruusuvuori
Grass is Stan Wawrinka’s weakest surface but he’ll still come into this match all guns blazing. I actually rate Stan Wawrinka’s serving very highly and, though he could be bested by Emil Ruusuvuori from the back of the court quite frequently, I think he’ll rattle through too many service games for the Finn to get the win.
Prediction: Wawrinka in 4
That looks pretty tough for Wawrinka. Ruusuvuori’s power baseline game will put pressure on him and take time away, not allowing him to settle and start tuning in his groundstrokes. That career slam opportunity he once had is probably long gone by now.
Prediction: Ruusuvuori in 4
Not expecting much from Wawrinka here having played no lead-ups and not advancing past the second round at Wimbledon since 2015. Ruusuvuori is likely the toughest potential third-round for Novak Djokovic, beating Jannik Sinner en route to Hertogenbosch semifinals. The Finn has technically lost three straight matches but his game is explosive and barring a vintage Wawrinka performance, should be coming through here.
Prediction: Ruusuvuori in 4
Aslan Karatsev vs Luca Van Assche
Aslan Karatsev may have one of the biggest ground games in men’s tennis but he can be staved off by attacking him on return. Luca Van Assche is aggressive enough to give the Russian a run for his money—so much so that I’ll back the up-and-comer for the upset.
Prediction: Van Assche in 4
Van Assche isn’t looking amazing to start off his main tour career, but he’s definitely consistent and won’t go down easily. Karatsev will need to be really sharp here and given his poor grass records, advancing is simply no guarantee at all.
Prediction: Karatsev in 5
Karatsev got a couple of grass wins over Corentin Moutet and Maximilian Marterer but still comes in with a losing 2-3 record. Van Assche went 3-2 in his first grass season so far, although against weaker opposition compared to Karatsev. The Russian is probably a favorite here despite a poor grass record over his career.
Prediction: Karatsev in 4
Borna Coric vs Guido Pella
It’s clear Guido Pella isn’t a million miles off of his best level. Given the grass has been a struggle for Coric and given his lefty forehand will be able to absorb the Croat’s greatest strength, I can actually see him causing the upset.
Prediction: Pella in 5
This is surprisingly tough to predict but other than the Halle title five years ago, Coric just hasn’t been doing well on grass. I’ll still take him over the former Wimbledon quarterfinalist in Pella as it seems the Argentinian’s comeback is not fully serious, at least for now.
Prediction: Coric in 4
Pella, a 2019 quarterfinalist at Wimbledon, has played sparingly since making his comeback last November. The Argentine is yet to win two matches in a row this season but came close in Mallorca, beating Marcos Giron before losing to 6-3 6-7 3-6 to Adrian Mannarino. Coric did not manage to win a set in lead-up events against Mackenzie McDonald and Alexander Bublik. The Croat has not played Wimbledon since 2018 and got his only main draw win here in 2015. Pella has a really solid chance to pull off the upset here.
Prediction: Pella in 4
John Isner vs Jaume Munar
John Isner will be in his element against a poor grass player in Jaume Munar. Regardless of the injuries, regardless of the time off the tour, Isner still has his huge serve. Not much chance for the Spaniard who’s won just one of his nine grass court matches.
Prediction: Isner in 4
Isner’s 2023 campaign is just bizarre, with only first-round losses and that one final in Dallas. Munar is not a grass-courter, but he’s gritty and will make the American work for it. Ultimately, the serve might end up being too important.
Prediction: Isner in 5
Isner comes in having played just eight tournaments this season. The 38-year-old did look competitive at the French Open in a tight 11-9 fifth-set tiebreak loss to Nuno Borges despite almost two months of no action, so you cannot count him out. Munar has a 1-10 record on grass in his career but the Spaniard was good at Wimbledon last year, beating Thiago Monteiro and pushing Cameron Norrie to five. This is a tough one to predict but I will go with Isner here.
Prediction: Isner in 5
Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports