By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon

  • Cameron Norrie v Denis Istomin | First meeting
  • Dan Evans v Federico Delbonis | First meeting
  • Jay Clarke [WC] v Noah Rubin | First meeting
  • James Ward [WC] v Nikoloz Basilashvili | First meeting
  • Paul Jubb [WC] v Joao Sousa | First meeting
WIMBLEDON, UK – Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans lead the way on a packed day for the rest of the British men.

 

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Cameron Norrie v Denis Istomin | First meeting

The British No. 2 might not regard the grass as his most natural surface to play on, and both he and Denis Istomin have three matches under their belt, with Cameron Norrie having at least picked up a win in that time.

Istomin has enjoyed some success at Wimbledon, reaching the fourth round in 2012, but for the last couple of years has been a first round casualty. Technically Istomin plays a sound game, hitting flat but maybe that favours him on hard courts.

Norrie has learned to embrace the grass a bit more – and does everything pretty well, but if he can relish he home crowd support, he ought to come out of this the winner.

Prediction: Norrie in straight sets.

 

Dan Evans v Federico Delbonis | First meeting

Dan Evans in the first round of the Nature Valley International, Eastbourne 2019

Dan Evans in the first round of the Nature Valley International, Eastbourne 2019 | (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for LTA)

It has been a phenomenal few weeks for Dan Evans on the grass, winning 12 out his last 14 matches and the few days’ rest will hopefully have served him well, going out in the quarter-final of the Nature Valley International, at Eastbourne.

Compare and contrast to Federico Delbonis who has one loss this season to his name and has never made it past the first round at Wimbledon. Evans’ style and variety in general, but especially on this surface should see him through this round comfortably.

Prediction: Evans in straight sets

 

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Jay Clarke [WC] v Noah Rubin | First meeting

Jay Clarke in the Nature Valley Open, ATP Challenger Nottingham 2018

Jay Clarke in the Nature Valley Open, ATP Challenger Nottingham 2018 | (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

It is probably safe to say this is not a surface that Jay Clarke warms to, and his three matches on the green stuff this year all resulted in losses while Noah Rubin probably comes into the first round of the main draw with more than a little confidence with his qualifying wins.

Clarke, though, is being rewarded for his hard work and winning two Challengers in the past year, which is seeing him target qualifying of ATP Tour events now. While people are quick to criticise wild-cards for those who can’t progress at Wimbledon, this is surely an investment in Clarke’s potential.

Prediction: Rubin in straight sets

 

James Ward [WC] v Nikoloz Basilashvili | First meeting

James Ward in the Loughborough Challenger, 2018

James Ward in the Loughborough Challenger, 2018 | (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images for LTA)

It has been hard graft for James Ward to work his way back up the rankings after a long injury break, but one thing that Ward can never be accused of, is not working hard. He has made the most of his grass court season this year, and has had to graft through qualifying rounds, and there might just be a sliver of a chance for him to make life hard for Nikoloz Basilashvili who has two losses to his name this year on the grass.

The Georgian is likely to come back and take the win simply because he has been a lot more consistent but expect this to be a bit wild and woolly.

Prediction: Basilashvili in four sets.

 

Paul Jubb [WC] v Joao Sousa | First meeting

Paul Jubb, Nature Valley Open Nottingham 2019

Paul Jubb, Nature Valley Open Nottingham 2019 | (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for LTA)

The newest Brit sensation Paul Jubb who won the NCAAs in the USA has made quite the stir in the UK. He has had plenty of grass court practice at Challenger level and made the main draw in Eastbourne with two qualifying wins.

As much of a fairy tale as this would be if he took out a more seasoned professional in Joao Sousa, who came through Halle qualifying for a couple of rounds in the main draw, before a first round exit in Antalya – experience might just help Sousa out.

Prediction: Sousa in four sets.

 

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