ATP Tennis 2019 July 3 Wimbledon Day 3

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A decent 2-2 day, with a tiny profit, that could have been much better had Daniel Evans been able to convert a fucking break point in the third set. Needing a double break to cover the handicap, Evans blew TEN break points in the first two return games of the set. Mind-numbingly frustrating.

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Tiafoe lost a crushing fifth set. Across five sets and 51 games, Tiafoe won 153 points to Fog’s 161. So close. He just couldn’t save a break point, failing to win any of the first five he faced. He ultimately went 3/9 trying to save break points and lost a match well within his grasp.

The good news of course, is Querrey looked great, dropping only a tiebreak before serving up a bagel. 150/1 moving on. Let’s go!

Day 3

Djokovic should roll over Kudla. He faced a much tougher opponent in round one, in Kohlschreiber and routined him. Kudla, meanwhile, only had to face Jaziri. The moneyline is obviously not much use here, so we’re forced to look at the handicap and I may have to actually consider Kudla here. Kudla has gone 0-5 against top 5 competition in his career but, he has kept most of them pretty close. He lost in two tiebreaks to Delpo, he went five sets with Thiem, and he lost to Federer on grass 76,75. If he serves well, he could stay within range. Djokovic, for his part, has only covered a 9.5 spread in round two twice in fourteen trips to Wimbledon. Oddly enough, both those were in the last two years. So, I am not sure what to make of that. Kudla has five losses in the main draw and he has covered the 9.5 four times, only being blown out once, by Kei Nishikori a few years ago. Being that the +9.5 handicap line is priced at -150, I’ll have to avoid, as I don’t want to be drinking that juice while sweating Kudla to not suffer a double break in the third set in order to cover. Pass.

I’ve been backing Hurkacz for quite some time now. I had an outright on him at the #nextGen finals last year. He has the perfect frame, at 6”5, and the big serve, for grass (and the pedigree, as he follows the footsteps of fellow Polish grass star Jerzy Janowicz). He has put away players like Steve Johnson already on grass this year, who is very similar to Leo Mayer, and he kept it close with Eastbourne champ Taylor Fritz, losing 46,67. Hurkacz is holding serve a fairly amazing 89% of the time so far on grass (54/61) and he slammed down 9 aces on Monday, while landing 72% of his first serves and winning 64% of his second serve points. This feels like a big step up for Mayer. Leo got face Ernests Gulbis on Monday and Gulbis landed 54% of his first serves and won only 38% of his second serve points. Additionally, Mayer has a one handed backhand and Hurkacz has had an enormous amount of experience against that so far in 2019. He is 5-5 already, but, those five losses came against Federer, Cuevas, Karlovic and Tsitsipas twice. That’s a bunch of names much more daunting than Leo Mayer. I’m not sure I want to risk the handicap as Mayer could steal a set, especially a tiebreak (Hurkacz is still only 10-18 for his career in tiebreaks) , but I feel comfortable that Hurkacz will win. Mayer has visited Wimbledon eleven times and only advanced past the second round twice, both times getting multiple opponents outside the top 70. I’ll be on Hurkacz and I’ll be on him to step on the gas in the third or fourth set as well.

I’m not sure what to make of FAA and Moutet. FAA is a pretty massive favorite and probably rightly so. It’s just really hard to decipher what Moutet being here means. He was getting decimated by Dimitrov on Monday, down 26,36,5-6*, with Dimitrov serving for the match, when the Bulgarian suddenly imploded. Grigor won a total of four more games from there. And I am not sure it is anything Moutet did (the Frenchman served up 9 double faults and basically just stayed out of the way as Dimitrov created 40+ unforced errors). FAA has had a marvellous grass season making back-to-back finals/semi-finals preceding Wimbledon. He dropped a surprising opening set to Pospisil on Monday before settling in and running away with the match. FAA is holding serve over 90% of the time so far on grass and should have no issues with Moutet. The handicap is a tad concerning though because, while FAA is holding serve easily, he is not breaking serve very often (less than 15% of the time) which means he plays a lot of tiebreaks (and plays them well, 21-8 so far in his young career). I am more tempted by the straight sets win than the handicap in case these two have to play a few coinflips (tiebreak to be played, yes, is -225). The Canuck is only 4-7 against lefties but, those losses were to the likes of Klizan, Nadal and Lopez. I don’t compare Moutet to them. FAA 3-0 pays -110.

I find it also hard to get a read on Granollers and Ugo. I was right about Granollers being a challenger for Sonego but, that doesn’t change the fact that he got to take advantage of a young kid on short rest and long travel coming off his first career title. Likewise, Ugo was down two sets to love and had to save five break points in the third before Monfils got hurt and capitulated. I think both guys are lucky to be here and this match is rightly lined as a pick’em. Pass.

Medvedev has everything I want here. He has uniquely amazing combined hold/break numbers on grass, keeping that number above 105% in each of the last three years; he wins grass matches at an almost 60% clip, and he has a winning tiebreak record at the tender age of 23. Popyrin’s win on Monday was his first ever main draw grass win and it was against a guy who never wins on grass (Carreno Busta). Prior to Monday Popyrin’s only wins were in qualies against guys outside the top 100, even the top 200. This is a big mismatch and the price seems incredibly low. As there are tiebreaks galore in Wimbledon, I’ll pass on the 5.5 spread and look to parlay Medvedev.

It always amazes me when two players, both around 30 years of age, who have both hung around the upper echelon of the sport for most of their career have only played once or twice, if ever. Goffin and Chardy have only faced off one time, and Chardy surprisingly won, on clay. Goffin missed most of the grass season the past two years but showed in Halle he is comfortable on the surface, making the final and then taking Federer to a first set tiebreak before fading away. Goffin routined Bradly Klahn on Monday without facing a break point and he won a whopping 62% of his second serve points and 90% of his first serve points. Chardy is good on grass but, his return game isn’t good enough to keep up with that (the Frenchman breaks less than 20% of the time on grass). And Chardy has been unable to replicate his 2018 season on grass where he went 12-3. This year he is 1-3 and showing some age. I don’t like taking positions on Goffin matches, as I get them wrong all the time. I suspect this might go four sets though and the o37.5 is tempting. I’ll pass.

Could there be two more similar players than the match-up of Edmund and Verdasco? These two have combined hold/break numbers on grass across the last three years that are never more than 8% apart. They both won by 64,64,64 scorelines in the first round, they have played twice (neither on grass) and both went the distance, they both sit around .500 in tiebreaks and they both have lousy records at Wimbledon. I really wouldn’t bet this match and I really don’t think Edmund should be -200. If you must bet this, take Verdasco at plus money and maybe come back on Edmund if Verdasco takes one of the first two sets (it should be pretty close to a pick’em at that point). Pass.

Tell me how Fabbiano is favored here? This seems like massive over-reaction to a hefty round one upset. Despite being 30 years old, and not bad on grass (27-18 in his career) that was Fabbiano’s first top 5 win, first top 10 win, first top 20 win, and only his fifth top 50 win. Truly, a shocking upset. How often to players back those up? Anecdotally, not often. The big ones I can remember off the top of my head, Pella last year at Wimbledon, lost immediately after beating Cilic, Mischa beating Andy Murray at the Aussie, lost to Fed the next round, Pospisil beat Murray at Indian Wells and lost the next match to hard court superstar Dusan Lajovic. You get the idea. Fabbiano isn’t even a plus player in tiebreaks, which will be crucial in a match-up on grass against Dr. Ivo. Karlovic has won almost 65% of his career grass matches and the draw has opened up wonderfully for him here. He could already be dreaming of a fourth round visit. I’ll take the dog money on the ace machine (Ivo served 21 aces in 16 games… Tsitty served 11 aces in FIVE sets, so Fabbiano has that to deal with as well).

Anderson vs Tipsarevic, on grass, seems like a massive mismatch and it is priced as such. Combined they have played over 600 tiebreaks, so I’m sure we’ll get one. That puts -6.5 spread in doubt for Anderson. Anderson is only 9 for 21 at covering -6.5 in a the first three rounds at Wimbledon and Tipsarevic, while past it, is still a crafty vet who may be able to force some tiebreaks. I’ll pass on this.

Seppi is sneaky good on grass and it’s his best surface. His combined hold/break number on grass is always right around 100% and his winning percentage on the surface is approaching 55%. He has better stats than Pella in every category I would look at when capping a match on grass. They both were pushed to four sets by tough grass opponents in the first round and I think this is probably lined correctly. I hesitate to bet Seppi for two reasons. One, his travel this grass season has been absurd. Holland to Germany to Turkey to London. As far as I can tell the only other player in the Wimbledon draw to hit four countries in four weeks of grass play and also win their first round match here was Joao Sousa and he played an 18 year old Paul Jubb in round one. The second reason is Pella’s upset of Cilic last year. He’s got the big match, on the big stage, in him. This is Pella or pass. I’ll pass.

Has Wawrinka discovered something on grass? It’s been much discussed, how abnormally average Wawrinka is on the green stuff. He was exactly 0.500 for his career coming into Wimbledon. Then he proceeded to crush Ruben Bemelmans. He broke the Belgian five times and never faced a break point of his own. Now, regardless of the Bemelmans match (impressive as it may have been) I would still expect Wawrinka to get through Opelka. Monday was Opelka’s first ever grass main draw win and it was over a semi-retired doubles player. Wawrinka is a huge favorite here but, get this, the spread is only -4.5 and the total is bizarrely 38.5 with the chances of a tiebreak set at -4000. LOL. So, books expect a Stan 76,76,64 type win? It would appear so. I won’t begrudge them that. Stan has played over 400 tiebreaks, amoung the most on the tour, and I am sure Opelka is headed toward Isner territory. I would imagine Stan breaks him a few times but, maybe loses a tiebreak. The over seems too easy and I am terrible at totals, so, I’ll pass. One thing to consider is that when Stan wins, he usually does so going away. And he is known for his stamina. So, if Stan is leading two sets to one, look for a cheap Wawrinka -1.5 fourth set handicap.

I have an outright on Milos. 33/1. I don’t bet Haase matches. Close your eyes and pray to the tennis gods Milos gets through sweat free.

Lopez and Khachanov may be the best match-up of the day. Blockbuster potential. Lopez is on the run of a lifetime here. And he looked good in a routine win over Giron in round one. Broke the American four times and never faced a break point himself. Slammed down 16 aces and won 90% of his first serve points. He runs into a bit of an issue on Wednesday though. Sometimes the match-up is everything. Khachanov is 2-0 against Lopez, beating him fairly handily both times (on hard courts). Khachanov is equally comfortable on grass (career 0.667 winner), he’s closing in on 0.500 in tiebreaks, and he is dynamite against lefties. Khachanov is 23-19 in his career against left-handers and he is only 23 years old. Four of those losses came when Khachanov was still a teenager on the Challenger tour. And get this, Khachanov has played Nadal, remarkably, SIX times already. And lost all six, of course. Take out those ten losses and Khachanov is 23-9 against lefties since he joined the ATP tour and when he is not playing, arguably the greatest player of all time. Impressive. He is also 20-19 against one-handed backhands and those losses include two to Tsitsipas, two to Wawrinka, one to Fed and one to Thiem. Nice company. It would appear that Khachanov just has the kind of game to stymie Lopez. And at 37, that streak has to come to an end at some point. I’ll ignore the struggles KK had in round one against a relative unknown and back him here on a cheap moneyline.

Much like the Anderson/Tipsarevic match-up you have an in-his-prime top 20 guy against a guy who has bounced between the ATP tour, the Challenger tour and the shelf. The line seems appropriate and I was burned enough yesterday with big handicaps, that I’ll pass on -7.5. RBA should roll, I have him making the fourth round.

Will Kecmanovic finally tire out? Will Paire stop caring and remember he hates grass? I’m honestly not sure what to do with this match. I was on Kec in round one and after a rough first set, he rolled, even covering a four set handicap for me. Paire, meanwhile, struggled with a clay courter, and needed to survive a fourth set tiebreak to advance. Based on the fact that they played similar opponents (both clay guys from clay dominant countries who excel on the Golden Swing) and Kec looked better I want to keep riding him. There were 19 total break points created between Paire and Londero, while Kec created 14 of his own. Kec was broken twice in the first set and then never faced another chance. Kec is holding serve 89% of the time on grass this year and Paire is breaking serve about 13% of the time so, if Paire is going to win, he is going to have to do it in tiebreaks I would imagine (Paire has a winning record there and Kec does not). I think I want to keep going with the Serb but, I’ll wait for a live look. If Kec looks ok but, drops the first set, say with Paire going 1/1 on break chances, I think I’ll get on Kec at a bigger number.

Vesely/Cuevas. On grass, in round two of Wimbledon. Ya, we all saw this coming. Vesely has some moderately good grass stats, in extremely small sample sizes, so he is probably rightly favored. But, he shouldn’t be -334. These guys are both clay courters. I already went over what happens after major upsets at Slams and Cuevas has beaten Vesely the only time they played (albeit on clay). I have no feel for this, especially not at this price. If anything, at 37.5, this is probably the best over on the board. They both went past three sets in round one, their one head-to-head included split sets and they both play a whole bunch of tiebreaks. Pass.

Hurkacz/Medvedve ml, -130
FAA 3-0, -110
Karlovic ml, +110
Khachanov ml, -138
possible Hurkacz live set handicap
possible Wawrinka live set handicap
possible live Kecmanovic moneyline

Good luck