August 20, 2022

Novak Djokovic will face hot Dutch wildcard Tim van Rijthoven on middle Sunday at Wimbledon, with play taking place that day in a rare event. Carlos Alcaraz and Frances Tiafoe are also on the match card. We have predictions for every match on Day 7 in London.

Novak Djokovic vs Tim van Rijthoven

Jakub Bobro: Djokovic, in search of his fourth consecutive Wimbledon title, has shifted into high gear in the last two matches, losing just 14 matches to Thanasi Kokkinakis and Miomir Kecmanovic. Van Rijthoven will be a tougher opponent, now on an eight-game winning streak. It will be great to see the Dutchman on a big stage like this, but he will need something special to really push Djokovic. Djokovic in 4

Shane Black: No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic (3-0) and wildcard Tim Van Rijthoven (8-0) are both undefeated on grass this season. The Serb has won his last eight sets with relative ease and seems to be hitting the perfect time in his quest for the #21 Grand Slam. Van Rijthoven also looked impressive in London, knocking out two top seeds en route to Round 4. That said, I think his magic is wearing thin against the six-time Wimbledon champion. Djokovic in 3

Damian Kust: First serious test facing Novak Djokovic? We will see. Tim van Rijthoven has the potential to do a lot of damage to the Serbian with his slamming serve and he can disrupt the rhythm effectively with his slice. However, careful execution like this is possible, but probably not on the format of the best sets of five. Djokovic will also put a real target and a lot of pressure on the Dutchman’s backhand, which will probably end up breaking him. Djokovic in 4

Frances Tiafoe vs. David Goffin

Jakub: I expect a very entertaining game between two good base players. After defeating two qualifiers, Tiafoe survived Alexander Bublik’s challenge in four sets. Goffin, looking to make the fourth round at Wimbledon for the fourth time, beat Ugo Humbert in a tough match. With the Belgian leading the head-to-head 4-1, including their encounter at Roland Garros, I see Goffin as a favourite. Goffin in 5

Shane: After beating the qualifiers in rounds one and two, Frances Tiafoe proved herself in round 3 against a crafty Alexander Bublik. Tiafoe’s best tennis seems to have come out during the Slams and this week is no different. David Goffin, appearing in Round 4 at Wimbledon for the fourth time in his career, has really turned his season around after a slow start. Both players exude supreme confidence, but I think the American’s intangibles will win out. Tiafoe in 4

Damian: Both players have been in great form this week. Neither had been particularly impressive before Wimbledon, but they really intensified when given the opener in the draw. David Goffin leads the head-to-head 4-1, but they have never faced each other on grass. The Belgian is a fantastic ball-striker but it looks like Frances Tiafoe’s more dynamic but also more up-and-down play could help him gain an advantage on this surface. However, it must be very tight. Tiafoe in 5

Tommy Paul vs. Cameron Norrie

Jakub: Paul is in the second week of a slam for the first time in his career and he did it without dropping a set. The American dominated Jiri Vesely in the third round, losing just seven games. Norrie finally gets his slam moment and it’s especially special for him at Wimbledon. The Briton bounced back from his five-set battle with Jaume Munar losing just five games to Steve Johnson. The two parted ways in their previous encounters, with Paul winning the first two and Norrie the second. It’s hard to call but I’ll lean towards the Brit here. Norrie in 4

Shane: Tommy Paul has yet to drop a set in his first Wimbledon appearance. However, the competition heats up in this Round 4 match against No. 9 seed Cameron Norrie. As the highest ranked Briton, Norrie will have the full support of what is likely to be a center court crowd. The two have split their four head-to-head matches, and with Paul playing like a top-15 player, very little separates them. I think the path to victory for the American is to connect on a high percentage of first serves, which I think he is very capable of. Paul in 5

Damian: Tommy Paul is facing a fourth left-handed player in a row, can that help him be ready for Cameron Norrie? It’s possible, but what’s even more important is how incredibly high he’s been flying since the start of the grass season. With the confidence he has at the moment, the American feels like a perfect second tier contender – someone who has a very slim chance of winning the event, but who will undoubtedly be dangerous to face. Paul in 5

Carlos Alcaraz vs. Jannik Sinner

Jakub: It was a fascinating Wimbledon for these two rising stars. Alcaraz had just one tour-level grass-court victory in this tournament, while Sinner had none. The fact that they are battling it out for a place in the quarter-finals is a testament to their quality at this stage of his career. Alcaraz started with a five-set battle against Jan-Lennard Struff and showed how much they had improved at this tournament in their last match, losing just six games against Oscar Otte. Sinner also improved with each match, gaining more and more confidence, beating John Isner in straight sets. Alcaraz have won their last two meetings but this will be the first in a slam, marking the real start of their rivalry on the biggest stages of tennis. Picking a winner is frankly a draw for me, but I was impressed with Sinner’s focus and level in his last game so I’ll go with the Italian. Sinner in 5

Shane: The next generation of superstars blossomed on the pitch at the All England Club this week. After a few early bumps, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner picked up their third-round wins over top-seeded opponents. Alcaraz hold a 2-0 head-to-head lead over the Italian, however, I think grass is the best surface for Sinner to be Alcaraz. Both have consistent, powerful groundstrokes that can damage anyone on tour. I think this one comes down to the most consistent server, and that has been the Spaniard. Alcaraz in 5

Damian: Carlos Alcaraz has improved so much since his grass-court efforts at the show at Hurlingham, or even the opener here. The display he made against Oscar Otte was just perfect – the serve was shooting, the shooting was flawless and creative, and he was able to put constant pressure on the German’s serve. If he can repeat that kind of level here, the sky is the limit for him in London this fortnight. Alcaraz in 3

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