Marc Polmans – Yen-Hsun Lu
I am convinced that Yen-Hsun Lu has the tennis to beat Marc Polmans. The former world No. 33 has the game to upset many players on this surface. He knows how to vary his shots and how to get to the net efficiently. His opponent of the day is not always comfortable on this fast surface and has never really succeeded in the final tables of Grand Slam tournaments (this will be his first appearance at Wimbledon). However, Yen-Hsun Lu is clearly not in the game these last months. Her tennis is full of waste and I don’t see how Polmans can’t take advantage of it.
Prediction: Marc Polmans
Lucas Pouille – Cameron Norrie
Lucas Pouille could succeed in titillating Cameron Norrie. At least, he has the tennis for that. The Frenchman has only lost once in the first round of Wimbledon (in 5 participations). The British will play at home and remains on a much better dynamic. His performance at Queen’s (final, lost to Berrettini) should allow him to enter the court with a good dose of confidence. Everything that Lucas Pouille is missing.
Prediction: Cameron Norrie
Sam Querrey – Pablo Carreno Busta
Sam Querrey is much more comfortable on grass and he should use his excellent serve to stay safe in his games. Pablo Carreno Busta has never won in the first round of Wimbledon (in 5 appearances), unlike the American who has only lost 3 times (in 12 appearances). The Spanish does not like this type of player who can break the rhythm. Be careful though, because during his preparation on grass, Sam Querrey did not show only his good sides.
Prediction: Sam Querrey
Emil Ruusuvuori – Marcos Giron
It’s hard to single out one of these two players since they both have weapons to annoy the other. I will give a slight advantage to Marcos Giron who made a good impression on me in the Halle. However, I don’t forget his disappointing performance the week before in Stuttgart (against Barrere).
Prediction: Marcos Giron
Tennys Sandgren – Norbert Gombos
Tennys Sandgren’s tennis (no pun intended) is much more compatible with grass. He has what it takes to hold his games and move forward. Norbert Gombos is too inconsistent and lacking in grass court practice to perform here (in fact, he has yet to win a match in the main draw in two appearances). Tennys Sandgren has all the cards in hand to get through this round. It’s up to him to use them wisely.
Prediction: Tennys Sandgren
Diego Schwartzman – Benoit Paire
On paper, Benoit Paire has what it takes to beat Diego Schwartzman on this surface. The Argentine is far from his favorite surface and has won only 33% of his matches on grass (out of 15). Add to that the fact that the little gnome has lost 3 times in the first round (out of 5 appearances), while the Frenchman has been more successful at Wimbledon with only two first round losses in 9 appearances. Benoit Paire’s broken mind could allow the current world number 11 to get through this round, but I still think he has a card to play here. Besides, there will be 50% of the stands filled and that could motivate the Frenchman.
Prediction: Benoit Paire
Andreas Seppi – Joao Sousa
Joao Sousa is trying to get back into the Top 100, but it is quite complicated. The Portuguese is not a surface where he can play naturally. Moreover, he has never really succeeded at Wimbledon (4 eliminations in the first round out of his 6 participations). Andreas Seppi has much more possibility and ease on grass. In this Grand Slam tournament, he was eliminated only 3 times in the first round (in 15 participations). The Italian has come on strong in his warm-up matches and I expect him to confirm his status as the favorite here.
Prediction: Andreas Seppi
Denis Shapovalov – Philipp Kohlschreiber
Philipp Kohlschreiber made a good impression during his visit to the Halle. If he plays the same way, then he could surprise Denis Shapovalov and steal at least one set. On the other hand, it would be surprising to see the Canadian lose this match in three sets as the German is very inconsistent during a match and lacks lucidity after two hours of play.
Prediction: Denis Shapovalov
Lorenzo Sonego – Pedro Sousa
I don’t expect a surprise here. Lorenzo Sonego has much more potential on grass. And this, even if he has never yet managed to pass the 1st round of Wimbledon (in 2 participations).
Prediction: Lorenzo Sonego
Jordan Thompson – Capser Ruud
Two players who have never yet managed to pass the first round of Wimbledon (in 4 participations for the Australian and one for the Norwegian). Casper Ruud is starting to gain confidence on this surface and he has much more possibility in the offensive game. It will still be necessary to be wary of Jordan Thompson who remains very clinging on this surface. A disjointed match can be expected here.
Prediction: Casper Ruud