Wimbledon 2013: The best First Round Men's matches to follow at SW19
While all eyes will be on the Big Four when Wimbledon gets underway in London today, the real tennis fans will be scouring the grounds for the exciting matches, which do not necessarily involve the top players. Here’s our pick of the five best first round matches for the men.
(10) Marin Cilic vs. Marcos Baghdatis – H2H Cilic leads 3-1 (first meeting on grass)
This match would be a whole lot more interesting if Baghdatis did not come into Wimbledon on the back of a ten-match losing streak on the ATP circuit. The 28-year-old Baghdatis has struggled throughout his career with fitness and motivation and, at this stage, it seems unlikely he will ever become a top player again. But he still is capable of playing spellbinding tennis for a few sets or even a few rounds.
The 24-year-old Cilic has had a steady year and reached the finals at Queens last week. His big serve and game should suit the grass courts well but he has never gone beyond the round of 16 here. Baghdatis, who reached the semis at Wimbledon in 2006 and the quarters in 2007, will put on a show but Cilic will likely prove to be too solid for the Cypriot.
Prediction – Cilic to win it in four sets
This is the pick of all the first round men’s matches at Wimbledon this year. Wawrinka is the man in-form, returning to the top 10 this season for the first time in four and a half years. The Swiss reached the finals in s-Hertogenbosch last week, where he was surprisingly beaten by Frenchman Nicolas Mahut. But Wawrinka has not had much success at Wimbledon in the past, making it to the last 16 only twice in his career.
His opponent, tennis’ version of ‘Unbreakable’, Lleyton Hewitt is a former champion and has made the second week nine times during the 2001-2010 decade. At 32, Hewitt is probably on his ninth and final life. After barely playing during the clay court season, the Australian, now ranked no. 70 in the world beat Grigor Dimitrov, Sam Querrey and Juan Martin del Potro to reach the semis in Queen’s last week. Hewitt has a tendency to play long five-set matches at the slams and if his body holds up for the entire match, he could have too much grass court experience for Wawrinka.
Prediction – Hewitt to win it in four sets