A very up and down day. Karlovic lost in overtime in the fifth set… Wawrinka couldn’t convert a break point in the fourth set… and FAA had a terrible second set before running away with the match. So close, again.
Quite a few of the outrights remain. Djoker and Raonic skated into the third round, although Raonic had to call the medic twice.
Back to Querrey and Fed on Thursday.
Listen, if you like reading my stuff, whether you think I am good at breaking down matches or not, whether you tail my picks or not (probably a not a good idea lately), the best thing you could do for me, is watch the FanDuel video from today.
It’s like 15 minutes of your life.
I’ll keep these short. Watch the video.
Rublev has an attackable serve. He faced 13 break points in three sets against Paul Jubb last week. And Querrey was able to break Thiem four times on Tuesday. Querrey actually, consistently over the years, breaks serve on grass around 19% of the time. He should get to Rublev early and often. And with the quarter now kind of open and path laid out to Nadal, I would expect Querrey won’t want to waste any time. He served up 22 aces versus Thiem and I would expect him to surpass 15 pretty easily on Thursday. Querrey 3-0.
Millman is the far more accomplished player on grass and he should roll, as per the line which is set at -400. However, Millman has had a rough grass season. He failed to win a main draw match in any of the first three weeks and now is playing his four straight week. He won his first round match here against Hugo Dellien, a pure clay courter. None of that inspires me. Djere is good enough on natural skill that he should push Millman here. The plus games on Djere or the over are not bad bets.
I can’t believe I am doing this. Gilles Simon -6.5 games. Jesus. He destroyed Sandgren both times they played, Sandgren had never won a main draw match on grass before Tuesday and he beat #180th ranked Uchiyama. Simon is well over a 55% winner on grass in his career and rountinely has a combined hold/break number on grass above 100%. He owes me one. He better crush Sandgren.
If Fog was going to pack his bags he would have done so in the fifth set against Tiafoe after being broken to end the fourth. He didn’t. When Fog cares, he is good on every surface. His hold/break numbers on grass are shockingly good (86/26 in 2018 and 80/30 in 2017, elite numbers). Fucs wins less than 30% of the time on grass. I think this is a super cheap price and I’ll parlay Fog.
Cilic is 4-0 against Sousa and has never dropped a set. Sousa has the worst travel schedule in the draw. He went Holland-Germany-Turkey-London. Seppi, who played Wednesday, had the same travel schedule. He dropped the fourth set and was breadsticked in the fifth. I expect to Sousa to be similarily tired. Cilic in three.
I like everything about Evans here - except the fact that this is his fourth straight week of tennis and he has a pretty miserable record at Wimbledon. Evans has all the statistical advantages I am looking for and Basil is not great on grass. Just the fatigue issue worries me as does the hometown demons. Pass.
Tsonga is a huge favorite and should roll. Wasn’t sure how to bet this given how many tiebreaks Tsonga plays.
Lots of people will talk up Kyrgios here. How he gets up for big games. How he likes to compete against the Big Four. Well, Kyrgios last few Slams look like - straight set loss to Raonic, 1st round, straight set loss to Federer, 3rd round, straight sets loss to Kei, 3rd round, four set loss to Dimitrov. Yup, really excels in the ‘big’ spot. I think Nadal thumps him. Kyrgios has a tendency to give up on sets too, as he did yesterday against Thompson, which should help Nadal cover the handicap. Nadal is playing with a bit of a chip on his shoulder over ranking issues, he sees Fed two Slams ahead, still, and he is just as aware of Kyrgios’ interviews as anyone else. Smoke show.
Kei is priced too high and I don’t see an angle in SJ/ADM Johnson has better combined hold/break stats every year but, ADM suffers from small sample size and only being 20. That match could go either way.
Struff has won less than 30% of his career matches on grass. Struff is way below a .500 player in tiebreaks, which is uber important on grass/at Wimbledon. Fritz went 6-6 on grass last year, a sign of massive improvement to come. He won Eastbourne last week, dropping only one set and he laid down 19 aces on Berdych on Tuesday and even a depreciated Berdych returns better than Struff. Fritz -2.5 games at -110.
Isner is 4-0 against Kukushkin and has only ever dropped two tiebreaks to him. Isner looked fine in dispatching Ruud on Tuesday and his 29 aces were satisfying. I’m on Isner and parlaying him.
Berrettini is priced correctly. I really hope Bags pushes him. Berrettini never had amazing grass stats prior to Stuttgart, and Bags is super comfortable on grass. The plus games or the over might not be the worst idea here.
Koepfer is another dog who could push or surprise on Thursday. DSS has never been great on grass and Koepfer is proving to be that classic AAAA player - winning titles and dominating the Challenger circuit but, not really breaking through into the ATP. He went to the quarters in Nottingham, losing to eventual champ Dan Evans and he won Ilkley. I wish this was +5.5 or +6 instead of +4.5. I think Koepfer will keep it close.
I’m adding one play here. Pouille should truck Barrere. Barrere has never beaten a top 50 player, 0-7. I expect Pouille to break him and win the tiebreaks. I’ll take another 3-0 at plus money.
Federer’s price has gotten straight out of hand. I hope he wins in three easy ones.
Querrey 3-0, +110
Simon -6.5, +100
Fog/Isner ml, +103
Cilic 3-0, -120
Nadal -4.5, -125
Fritz -2.5, -110
Pouille 3-0, +100