Expert Wimbledon Picks | Best Bets for Zverev vs Berrettini & Rune vs Davidovich Fokina (Saturday, July 8)
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images. Pictured: Matteo Berrettini
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After a wild week of weather delays and confusing order of plays, we're finally back on course in London.
The third round of Wimbledon continues on Saturday with two monster matches that I'm targeting — Alexander Zverev vs Matteo Berrettini and Holger Rune vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.
Dive in below for my Wimbledon expert picks for Saturday's third round.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing Wimbledon matches.
Wimbledon Expert Picks
Alexander Zverev (-134) vs Matteo Berrettini (+112)
7:15 a.m. ET
It’s been a rough season for Berrettini, as he’s dropped to 38th in the ATP rankings and is just 7-7 overall. Before Wimbledon, Berrettini lost his lone grass court match of 2023, getting smoked by fellow Italian Lorenzo Sonego 1-6, 2-6 in Stuttgart.
He also dealt with an abdominal injury that forced him to withdraw from the French Open and was eliminated from the Aussie Open in the opening round by Andy Murray.
But maybe — just maybe — the Italian has finally found the form that helped him reach the Wimbledon final in 2021.
Berrettini got revenge on Sonego in the opening round of this event, winning in four sets. He then quickly eliminated Alex de Minaur in straight sets in the second round.
Most impressively, he’s faced just five break points in his seven sets thus far in London.
On the other side, Alexander Zverev has shown no hiccups in his return from injury. The German has been especially good of late, reaching the semifinals in his last three events — Roland Garros, Halle and Geneva.
Zverev has been solid on grass — owning a 31-17 career record — but his success hasn’t nearly reached the heights of Berrettini.
The Italian has lost just seven grass-court matches in his career and owns four titles on the surface.
Zverev has beaten Berrettini four out of the five times they’ve played, but none of their meetings have come on this surface, and their last duel came back in 2021.
While we all know the issues with Berrettini’s backhand wing, his history on grass, success at this particular major and the eye test from the first two matches have me backing him.
And it helps that he’s an underdog at +112.
Pick:Matteo Berrettini ML (+112 via FanDuel)
Holger Rune (-285) vs Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (+230)
7:15 a.m. ET
Rune came into the 2023 tennis season as one of the hottest players in the sport. But in order to take the next step and formulate his standing within the next big three — alongside Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner — he needs to perform at a higher level in majors.
Enter this matchup against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, which I’m betting the over in.
Both of these players don’t have a lot of experience on grass courts — or Wimbledon in general. This is the furthest both players have ever made it in this event.
However, Rune has proven himself capable with a semifinal appearance at Queen’s Club and two straight set victories to open up the Championships.
Meanwhile, Davidovich Fokina posted a win over Hubert Hurkacz in 2022 and has navigated a rather tough draw to start this tournament — beating Arthur Fils in straights and Botic van de Zandschulp in four sets.
Most importantly, both of these players are gritty and have “never give up” attitudes. That may sound cliche, but it’s the fact of betting this match, especially in a position where both have a lot on the line beyond just playing in a Grand Slam.
As previously mentioned, Davidovich Fokina has never reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon before and Rune is looking to truly break through in a major and elevate his current ATP status.
I expect a close match that potentially could go a full five sets, similar to how tight their three-set match was in Madrid earlier this year. I ultimately think Rune will get revenge for that loss in Madrid, but I trust Davidovich Fokina to keep this close enough to push the number over the total.