Wimbledon 2024 – Day 10 Predictions

by Alex Mann

Centre Court

Elena Rybakina (4) vs Elina Svitolina (21)

Svitolina has been in tremendous form this tournament. After coming through a tough first-round match against Magda Linette, the Ukrainian has played some pretty flawless tennis. Svitolina swept aside the big-hitting Niemier in the second-round before taking out two-time finalist Ons Jabeur in just over an hour. Can she continue her run and defeat the last remaining Wimbledon champion in the draw?

Rybakina has looked equally impressive this tournament. The Kazakh demolished Wozniacki in the third-round and looked in total control in the fourth-round, before her opponent Kalinskaya had to retire due to injury. On paper, these two players are probably the most experienced grass court players left in the draw, and have a habit of playing their best at the tournament. Rybakina has an 18-2 record at the All England Club while Svitolina has reached the semi-final stage of this major two previous times.

It’s hard to predict this match. Svitolina is one of the best returners out there. Her counter-punching game and ability to redirect the opponent’s ball is second to none. If Svitolina gets enough balls back in play off the Rybakina serve, I give her the slight upper hand in the baseline exchanges. However, very few people have been able to deal with Rybakina’s serve. When the Kazakh’s serve is firing it is almost impossible to break.

Svitolina will need to make lots of returns and they will need to be deep. It’s an extremely big task on the grass. Any short returns and Rybakina will hammer them away from the Ukrainian. I expect it to be very close. I do think it’s easier for Rybakina to win points on her serve than it is for Svitolina to break the Kazakh’s serve. For that reason, I’m going to give Rybakina the slight edge.

Prediction – Rybakina to win in 3 sets

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Novak Djokovic (2) vs Alex de Minaur (9)

Coming into the fourth-round, Djokovic hadn’t shown any level of tennis which made me think he could win this tournament. I even predicted that Rune would beat Djokovic. However, you can never doubt the 24-time major champion. The Serb played some ultra-attacking tennis to completely overwhelm Rune. Djokovic’s movement looked the best I’ve seen in months and the knee didn’t seem to bother him.

Alex de Minaur

He will certainly be heading into this quarter-final encounter with a lot of confidence. This is not to say that the next match will be easy. Alex de Minaur has been playing some super tennis this week. The Australian has only dropped one set so far and looks very much at home on the grass. He seems to be hitting the ball harder than he ever has and his movement and speed is second to none. De Minaur will make Djokovic work for this.

I do expect Djokovic to be ultra aggressive like he was against Rune. Not only does this take time away from his opponent, it also prevents the Serb from finding himself in drawn out rallies. As good as Djokovic is in extending rallies, given the recency of his knee injury, he will want to minimise his time on court. As good as de Minaur has been, I don’t think he has enough in his game to truly trouble the Serb.

Prediction – Djokovic to win in 4 sets

Court 1

Jelena Ostapenko (13) vs Barbora Krejcikova (31)

So far in this tournament, Ostapenko’s set scores have read; 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, 6-0, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. For a player who hits with such little margin, this is mighty impressive. I wondered if her fourth-round opponent Yulia Putintseva, the conqueror of world number 1 Iga Swiatek, could put a stop to the Ostapenko onslaught. She couldn’t and it never ever looked likely. The Latvian did not let Putintseva find any sort of rhythm, continually hitting winners past her with ease. It’s not surprising given Ostapenko’s ultra-aggressive game style.

Jelena Ostapenko

What is surprising is the Latvian has been able to keep this up for four matches straight without breaking a sweat. Krejcikova has looked nowhere near as convincing as Ostapenko but then again her game is not built around hitting spectacular winners. The Czech plays a much more crafty game, utilising the slice and angles to disrupt her opponents. She used this to great effect in her last-round match against Danielle Collins.

This match-up between two former French Open champions is intriguing for a number of reasons. They both share very similar careers. Ostapenko and Krejcikova both won their maiden major titles at Roland Garros. They then both lost in the first-round of their next two appearances in Paris. They are also two of a select group of players who have beaten the world number 1 Swiatek on multiple occasions. Krejcikova is the only person to beat the Swiatek in two WTA title finals while Ostapenko holds a 4-0 head-to-head against the world number 1. As good as Ostapenko and Krejcikova can be, their inconsistent results have always prevented them from achieving more. So, which player is going to provide the goods to win this match?

We know that Ostapenko will not shy away from her high-risk, high-reward game and will try to paint the lines with winners all day long. Krejcikova will no doubt use her slice to pull Ostapenko off court and into uncomfortable positions to stop her unleashing on her groundstrokes. In this matchup, I would usually sway towards Krejcikova. Her game is a nightmare to play against for big-hitters like Ostapenko. However, I can’t get out of my head how dominant Ostapenko has been in this tournament. The Latvian has given me enough signs she can keep this up. I do think Krejcikova will frustrate Ostapenko and will take a set but the Latvian will come through in a tight third-set.

Prediction – Ostapenko to win in 3 sets

Taylor Fritz (13) vs Lorenzo Musetti (21)

Before this grass-court season, I didn’t expect Lorenzo Musetti to do anything of note. Musetti is an excellent clay-court player and has pushed Djokovic multiple times on the surface, most recently at this year’s French Open. After an up and down year, Musetti found his feet at this year’s Queens tournament where he defeated Alex de Minaur. He then went on to reach the final, losing in two tight sets against Tommy Paul.

Fritz, on the other hand, is a well established grass-court player. The American owns three titles on the surface and had his biggest ever major win in the last-round of these Championships against Alexander Zverev. The American served to perfection and completely overpowered Zverev in the latter half of the match, coming back from two sets to love down. I expect him to bring the same firepower against Musetti.

Musetti can cause Fritz some problems. While the Italian does not have the biggest serve, he has good placement and variety of shots. I expect him to use slices and dropshots to keep Fritz off-balance. Musetti will have some success given his brand of tennis. As good as he has been playing on the grass, his game is most effective on clay. The Italian isn’t rewarded with time to craft his points on the fast courts as he does on the red surface. With Fritz’s serve and power off both wings, the American won’t give Musetti any breathing room whatsoever.

Prediction – Fritz to win in 4 sets

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