Three to See, Day 6: Can Gulbis keep it going against Djokovic?

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Djokovic has beaten Gulbis six of seven times in their careers. (AP)

Each day of the tournament, we'll preview and predict three must-see matches at Wimbledon.

Novak Djokovic [2] vs. Ernests Gulbis

“I had nothing to lose in my last match, and I’m going to have even less to lose next match; maybe I’ll play even better,” Gulbis joked after beating Juan Martin del Potro on Thursday when he was asked about his chances against Djokovic. How long can the new, easygoing Ernie last? Can he continue to swing away even if he jumps out to a lead against Djokovic, and a victory starts to seem possible? That may be the most important question in this one. Against Delpo, Gulbis played, as he said, “really, really great tennis” to win in straights. Two years ago he played well enough to earn two match points against Djokovic in Montreal before losing. Djokovic has been vulnerable, and Gulbis has the weapons—power on the serve and forehand, variety on the backhand—to exploit that vulnerability. But after 13 months without a main-draw win, can we really pick him to beat Delpo and Djokovic at Wimbledon?

Winner: Djokovic

Roger Federer [3] vs. Mischa Zverev [27]

Zverev has been getting closer. In 2013, he lost to Federer, 6-0, 6-0, in Halle. Earlier this year Federer beat him in a one-sided straight-setter at the Australian Open. But back in Halle two weeks ago the German made it close, losing, 7-6 (4), 6-4. Can Zverev take the next step and get over the hump, at Wimbledon of all places? He did record a major upset Down Under when he knocked off No. 1 seed Andy Murray, and his net-rushing game is suited for grass. It may be the only method for someone outside the Big Four to beat Federer here this year. And while Federer has yet to drop a set, he did admit to an especially prolonged bout of nerves in the early going of his second-round match against Dusan Lajovic. Zverev should push Federer, make it entertaining and possibly win a set. But not three.

Winner: Federer

Agnieszka Radwanska [9] vs. Timea Bacsinszky [19]

Suddenly, Aga? Suddenly, Timea? Why not? The women’s draw, and especially the top half, has become a land of even greater opportunity with the exits of two of the pre-tournament favorites, Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova. Radwanska has done little this season, but she has been to a Wimbledon final and two other semis. As for Bacsinszky, she bounced back from injuries and a slump to reach the French Open semis last month, and she made it to the quarters at Wimbledon in 2015. Radwanska and Bacsinszky have played just twice, and Bacsinszky has won both times. Aga has had golden opportunities at Wimbledon before, but she has yet to take one.

Winner: Bacsinszky


—GRAND SLAM WEEK: Watch Wimbledon Primetime on Tennis Channel, and catch up on the other 2017 Grand Slams on Tennis Channel Plus
—Watch encores from the 2017 French Open and Australian Open on Tennis Channel Plus, including matches like the AO Final showdown between Serena & Venus Williams

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