The top three at Queens on Thursday
1. Kevin Anderson (9) v Feliciano Lopez (5)
The two highest seeds left in the top section of the draw will square off in the most intriguing third round match. Kevin Anderson has had two tough matches so far this week as he came from a set down to beat James Ward in the first round and then benefited from a withdrawal by Sergiy Stakhovsky in the third set of their second round match. Feliciano Lopez was also stretched to three sets in his second round match but did well to overcome Steve Darcis, 6-3 3-6 7-5. This was his first match since retiring during his first match at Roland Garros due to injury. Anderson has a big powerful game, much like the Berdych’s and Del Potro’s and I think he will have too much firepower for Lopez in this match.
Prediction – Anderson to beat Lopez in 2 tight sets
2. Nicolas Mahut v Grigor Dimitrov
The draw at Queens this year is significantly below-par compared to last year, but things took an even bigger hit this year as the number one seed, Andy Murray was beaten in his first match against Nicolas Mahut. The Frenchman has looked in fine form having reached the third round of Roland Garros and will be a threat during the grass court season with his all-out attacking game. He plays Grigor Dimitrov who beat the seed, Gilles Muller in straight sets. For several years, Dimitrov has been bigged up as the new Federer, but he has struggled to adapt to the main tour and string wins together. This should be an exciting match and I am pleased to see it make the centre court… I give the edge to Mahut.
Prediction – Mahut to beat Dimitrov in 3 sets
3. Julien Benneteau v Sam Querrey
The third match I have picked out from the round of 16 is between former champion, Sam Querrey and Julien Benneteau. The Frenchman has had a great season so far; despite picking up a nasty injury at Monte-Carlo earlier this year, he recovered in time to make the 3rd round of Roland Garros and fought past Tatsuma Ito in his first match at Queens. Querrey beat the number 12 seed, Denis Istomin and appears to be building his form into the grass court season. He will have a great shot at reaching the quarters, but Benneteau should not be underestimated in this one…
Prediction – Benneteau to beat Querrey in 3 sets
Predictions for the other matches:
Xavier Malisse to beat Simone Bolelli in 3 sets
David Nalbandian to beat Edouard Roger Vasselin in 3 sets
Marin Cilic to beat Lukas Rosol in 2 sets
Janko Tipsarevic to beat Yen-Hsun Lu in 2 sets
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to beat Ivan Dodig in 2 sets
I have lost my champion in my Queens predictions, but generally had a very good day correctly predicting four unseeded players (Dimitrov, Lu, Querrey and Dodig) into the third round.
Things are also looking pretty good in Halle where there should be some great matches to look forward too as both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are scheduled to play their second round matches tomorrow.