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Australia’s Nick Kyrgios returns the ball from between his legs to Australia’s Jordan Thompson in a Men’s singles match during day two of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Australia’s Nick Kyrgios returns the ball from between his legs to Australia’s Jordan Thompson in a Men’s singles match during day two of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)|Associated Press
Tennis

Wimbledon 1st Thursday men: Abrams picks 2nd round action with Nadal, Kyrgios, Federer, Isner, Fognini, Cilic, Querrey, Fritz and more 

Matches start at 6 am EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Wimbledon
Men’s Thursday Second Round Picks

Kei Nishikori over Cam Norrie
Nishikori is too good and too consistent for the Brit, but Norrie does play well on grass. Norrie should win a set or so, but Nishikori should prevail.

Nick Kyrgios over Rafa Nadal
Okay, here’s the pick of the day. Kyrgios and Nadal don’t seem to like each other much, and I think Kyrgios’ game on grass is both brilliant and dynamic. Now, if Mr. Hyde shows up, Nadal will roll quite easily, but I think Kyrgios has something to prove, and is ready to compete. If that happens, no matter who wins we’re going to see an awful lot of shotmaking.

Roger Federer over Jay Clarke
Everybody loves Federer, even the Brits when they can choose between the Swiss Master and one of their homeboys. Federer should have no trouble with the wild card, Clarke.

Dan Evans over Nikoloz Basilashvilli
Finally, the Brits can get behind someone and he has a better than 50-50 chance to win. Evans has been playing wonderful tennis recently, and grass is his favorite surface. I like him in an upset of Basilashvilli.

Matteo Berrettini over Marcos Baghdatis
The Italian Matteo Berrettini, who has been playing scintillating tennis, should be able to send Cypriot Baghdatis into retirement fairly easily.

John Isner over Mikhail Kukushkin
Isner appears to have solved his knew injury problem. It’s easy when you can serve two or three aces every time you serve!

Fabio Fognini over Marton Fucsovics
Fognini’s fabulous five set win over Frances Tiafoe tells me that he’s firing on all cylinders and happy to compete. He should take out the tall (is 6’2” considered tall anymore on the Tour?) Hungarian.

Marin Cilic over Joao Sousa
Cilic took out the red-hot lefty Adrian Mannarino in the first round. That’s good enough for me to feel that he should roll over Sousa, who is more of a dirtballer than a grass court aficionado. Oh, yeah….Cilic is 4-0 against Sousa and has never lost a set to him.

Diego Schwartzman over Dominik Koepfer
Schwartzman had a nice first round win over Matt Ebden which tells me that he’s adapted well to the grass. He should outlast Koepfer, a Tour rookie with very little ATP Tour level experience.

Alex de Minaur over Steve Johnson
Johnson may get a lot of help from the grass court surface, but de Minaur is the better all-around player. You must know that I’m really sour on Johnson with the exception of his grass court play. And I thought de Minaur would go down to Cecchinato, but he romped in straight sets, so his mini-slump must be over. At full strength, de Minaur should win this match, although I’d expect it to last a long time.

Taylor Fritz over Jan-Lennard Struff
Fritz surprised me by taking out Berdych, in straight sets, no less. Struff also strong-armed Radu Albot, which I thought would go the distance, but Struff romped to victory. This match should be a war, but I’m going with the American.

Lucas Pouille over Gregoire Barrere
Pouille beat compatriot Richard Gasquet in straight sets and is in form. He should have no trouble taking out the qualifier Barrere.

John Millman over Laslo Djere
Djere is a wonderful clay court player, but not so much on grass. I like the Aussie to win this match based on his aggressive play because he’ll put continual pressure on Djere.

Sam Querrey over Andrey Rublev
Querrey is serving too well to go down to the young Russian. I figure Rublev will grab a set, but no more.

Gilles Simon over Tennys Sandgren
Simon is playing too well to lose to Sandgren, an American journeyman. I like Simon in four, only because Sandgren is aggressive enough to pull out a set.

Jo-Willie Tsonga over Ricardas Berankis
Berankis surprised me, and everyone, by knocking off Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the first round. Even more surprising; he won in straight sets. Even so, Tsonga plays an entirely different game, built around a big serve, a big forehand, and a menacing presence at net. That should break down the Lithuanian’s game.