This article is part of our Tennis Picks series.
Third-round action at Wimbledon begins Friday. Seeded opponents can meet each other in this round, but that isn't the case for the majority of matchups due to the frequent upsets and withdrawals of top players over the tournament's first few days. A couple unseeded players who claimed grass-court titles coming into Wimbledon have continued their recent hot streaks through two rounds and are showing no signs of slowing down. Additionally, American men will be looking to build on their early success in this tournament, while a former women's champion is poised to keep her hopes for another Wimbledon title alive. All match odds below are taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, but you can sometimes find more favorable odds on some of these matches by checking other mobile sportsbooks such as FanDuel, BetMGM or Caesars.
Having seen two matches from everyone in the draw, we now have a better idea of how players are handling the conditions at Wimbledon. Adding in their results on all surfaces this season and previous grass-court play helps paint a more complete picture. The stakes are highest at the Grand Slams, and the men play best-of-five set matches rather than the best-of-three seen at other ATP Tour events. Conditions vary from tournament to tournament, and even from day to day, but the fast pace and low bounces of grass generally favor more aggressive players, and especially those that possess big serves. Using this context can help pinpoint intriguing betting opportunities, both among favorites likely to cruise to victory and underdogs ready to pull off upsets. The aforementioned underdogs are highlighted in the Upset Alert section, the Lock It In section covers players who can safely be considered overwhelming favorites, while the Value Bet section recommends enticing options in matchups that are considered closer to toss-ups.
Johnson's tournament looked like it could be over quickly when he dropped the first set of the first round against Grigor Dimitrov, but a Dimitrov leg injury gave Johnson life, and the veteran American hasn't looked back since. In the second round, Johnson notched a straight-sets win over local favorite Ryan Peniston, who has been playing excellent tennis coming in. He'll look to knock off another Brit in the ninth-seeded Norrie, who seems to be feeling the pressure of being the highest seed left in their wide open section of the draw. Norrie needed five sets to beat 71st-ranked Jaume Munar of Spain in the previous round, and Johnson's a more accomplished grass court player than Munar, as this is the 32-year-old Johnson's fourth time reaching the third round or better at Wimbledon.
Ostapenko made the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2017 and the semis in 2018, but she hasn't been past the third round since, and Begu's looking to keep it that way. Begu leads their head-to-head 2-0, so the world No. 43 won't be intimidated against the 17th-ranked Ostapenko. The 31-year-old Romanian has been a tough out lately, pushing Jessica Pegula to 6-3 in the third set in the fourth round of the French Open in her last action before Wimbledon, then dropping just 13 games through two rounds here.
Lock It In
Only 12 spots separate No. 19 Kerber and No. 31 Mertens in the rankings, but there has been no comparison in their form here thus far. Kerber has dropped just 11 games through two matches, and she's no stranger to Wimbledon success, having won the title in 2018 and reached the semifinals or better on three other occasions, including last year. Mertens, meanwhile, has been hanging on by a thread all tournament. She lost the first set 6-1 to Camila Osorio in the first round and ended up winning when Osorio retired at 4-2 in the third, then escaped 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 in the second round against 100th-ranked Panna Udvardy.
Van Rijthoven disappeared for a few years after being a top junior, but the 25-year-old Dutchman is back with a vengeance, having won seven consecutive matches to get to this point. Between his surprise title run at 's-Hertogenbosch and the first two rounds of Wimbledon, Van Rijthoven has beaten Taylor Fritz, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Daniil Medvedev and Reilly Opelka during this winning streak. Van Rijthoven's big serve and proficiency at net make him an excellent grass court player, while the 22nd-seeded Basilashvili has struggled through two rounds, winning just one more game than he's lost.
Match-to-match consistency has never been a strong suit for Garcia, but she should get through this one if she can maintain her recent form. Garcia's impressive 6-3, 6-3 second-round win over Emma Raducanu was the Frenchwoman's seventh consecutive win on grass, as Garcia won the Bad Homburg Open in the week leading up to Wimbledon. As for Zhang, this is just the second time she has gotten past the first round in eight Wimbledon appearances.
Bouzkova upset seventh-seeded Danielle Collins 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round, then backed up that big win with a convincing 6-0, 6-3 blowout of Ann Li in the second round. A third consecutive win over an American opponent could be within reach for the 23-year-old Bouzkova, who has been at the top of her game this week. Riske-Amritraj is a tough out on grass, but she has only been past the third round at Wimbledon once in 10 previous appearances and came into this tournament on a three-match grass court losing streak.