Scott Ferguson has taken a look at Wednesday's action at Wimbledon and has come up with three best bets for day three at the All England Club.
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Andreas Seppi v Guido Pella
35yo Italian Andreas Seppi opened his campaign with a comfortable win over Chile's Nicolas Jarry, a claycourter very limited on this surface beyond a huge serve. On his 15th appearance in the main draw at the All England Club, Seppi has only reached the second week on one occasion, and should never be feared at this level.
Guido Pella took a while to get going in the grass season which is understandable when you see who he faced - falling to David Goffin (finalist) in R1 at Halle, and Taylor Fritz (winner) in R1 at Eastbourne. Against Romanian Marius Copil in the opening round here, he proved too steady, with far fewer errors and effective use of the valuable leftie serve.
Despite many years on the tour for each player, they've not met in a competitive match before. Seppi certainly has some advantage on this surface but is nearly 50 places behind Pella on rankings. The Argentine is no duffer on grass, having reached R3 last year and I can see him stretching Seppi to the limit.
Go safe on Pella success at 13/8 or go one step further to win in four or five sets.
Cori Gauff v Magdalena Rybarikova
There is no more secrecy in the talent of teenager Cori Gauff, her Court One win over former champion Venus Williams demonstrated tremendous poise and maturity for someone so young, straight out of the Williams family coaching manual. The cat was let out of the bag as she won through qualifying, to win any match in the main draw would have been special but to beat one of her idols is simply superb. The talent is obviously there, any query on how far she can go centres upon how she deals with the spotlight. With her family keeping close, there’s no obvious reason to think she’ll have stage fright this time rather than on Monday.
Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova has long been more than useful on the green stuff, with years of decent results in the tournaments leading into Wimbledon. Despite claiming three grasscourt titles over the years, her record here is strangely poor. This is only the third time in 12 attempts that she has reached the second round, yet in 2017 she survived to the final four. Her peak ranking of 17 is now well into the rear-view mirror and the gap between these two isn't as clear as the rankings suggest. Rybarikova will play a more crafty style than Williams who relied more on power, but Gauff will have faced a variety of styles last week in qualifying.
There’s a fairytale in the offing here, and while I can’t see it reaching the end, another chapter can be written here.
Best bet: Gauff to win at 6/4
Daniil Medvedev v Alexei Popyrin
An eye for the future in this clash as Russian Daniil Medvedev, who has progressed through the NextGen status into a genuine tournament threat, faces 19yo Australian Alexei Popyrin, who has brought 1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash into his entourage to learn the dark art of grasscourt tennis.
Medvedev is a power player, capable of strong results on all surfaces, but perhaps lacking the variety to excel on grass. He opened with a straight sets won over Paolo Lorenzi but was only able to break the Italian in the first set, with a poor conversion rate of two from 13 break points. He will no doubt improve from that but he will need to, as his next opponent possesses that X factor which can catch an opponent unaware.
Popyrin first hit the spotlight winning the boys’ French Open title two years ago but has worked hard with his team to become an all-court player. The recruitment of Pat Cash has taught him sharper volleying and pinpoint approach shots, essential weapons to disrupt the rhythm of players who prefer toe-to-toe power battles. Against Pablo Carrena-Busta in round one, he dropped serve just once against a solid returner, broke his opponent’s serve five time (from 17 opportunities) and got better as the match went on, conceding just two points on serve in the final set.
The few extra years of experience of Medvedev should be enough to get him over the line in the end but he will have to work hard for it. He also has a habit of losing concentration, so I fancy Popyrin to take up the challenge and win at least a set.
Best bet: Popyrin to win a set at 8/11