By Jake Davies

  • Cameron Norrie [WC] vs Jo Wilfried Tsonga [12]
  • Aljaz Bedene vs Ivo Karlovic [21]
LONDON, UK – Three British male players take to the court on Day 1 of Wimbledon as Cameron Norrie and Aljaz Bedene join Andy Murray in the first round of action on the first day.

 

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Cameron Norrie [WC] vs Jo Wilfried Tsonga [12] H2H: First meeting

The last week of Cameron Norrie’s tennis life has taken a massive change in fortune and that was evident in his first ever ATP main draw win against Horacio Zeballos in Eastbourne. Norrie has spent the majority of his tennis career playing at the lower levels of the circuit and finally took his chance with both hands when given the wildcard at that tournament. He was then outclassed by No.2 seed Gael Monfils in the second round, but the experience of playing someone as talented as the Frenchman, will set him up for similar experiences like his first round match at Wimbledon this season.

Norrie faces former Wimbledon semi-finalist Jo Wilfried Tsonga in the first round. It is a gigantic task. Tsonga loves the grass courts. You could even argue that this is Tsonga’s best surface and had he been around in another era then he may have won a Wimbledon title because that is just how good he is on this surface.

Tsonga is the heavy favourite, but Norrie has to try to utilise his left-handed serve into the Tsonga backhand. That shot is the weaker side of Tsonga and he rarely hits a powerful winner from that wing. The issue that the British wildcard will discover is that Tsonga’s footwork allows him to hit forehand shots from his backhand corner.

Prediction: Tsonga in three sets.

 

Aljaz Bedene vs Ivo Karlovic [21] H2H: Bedene leads 3-0

Aljaz Bedene’s clay season was cut short at Roland-Garros. He would have liked to have gone further than the second round on his favoured surface, but now he really has nothing to lose on the grass courts of Wimbledon. He actually holds a 3-0 head-to-head lead over his first round opponent, but his three wins came on slower surfaces, which suits Bedene completely.

Ivo Karlovic, who is now 38-years-old, still is ranked inside the World’s Top 30 and is still a threat to cause some damage on the quick grass courts of Wimbledon. It is the only Grand Slam where he has made the quarter-final and his serve makes him dangerous against any opponent, because of the psychological challenge of overcoming a match where you rarely get to make an impression on your return of serve.

Prediction: Karlovic in three sets

 

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