July 8: Sean Calvert’s Wimbledon Day 6 Tips

Tennis_Wimbledon

IT was one winner, one loser and one bet pending for Sean’s yesterday with Fabio Fognini doing the business for him in his thrilling defeat to Andy Murray.

The remaining places in week two of Wimbledon 2017 are up for grabs on Saturday with eight matches from round three of the men’s singles scheduled for day six.

Sean says: “The eight favourites are priced up between 1.04 and 1.21 with Unibet and I can’t say as I’m hugely keen on any of the underdogs.”

Sebastian Ofner v Alexander Zverev

My pick for quarter three should be winning this one easily and -8.5 games on the handicap is very much coverable for the German who was eight games better than the talented Francis Tiafoe in round two.

I will admit to knowing very little about Ofner, other than I had him on my shortlist to back versus Thomaz Belucci in round one purely due to the inability of the Brazilian to play on grass.

I also know he looks rather like a cross between a Mafioso type figure and a young Nick Cotton from EastEnders (circa about 1988) with his thick, black, swept back hair and he hadn’t played a match on grass ever before Wimbledon qualies.

Britain’s Jay Clarke should have beaten him during that qualifying tournament and Ofner is usually to be found playing Challengers and Futures at this stage of his career.

He took his chance against Jack Sock in round two and beat the American in five but Sock has about the same level of interest is grass court tennis that Bellucci does and had been struggling with a knee injury so it didn’t come as much of a shock.

Sock described his level as “pretty bad” and took his usual swipe at the grass court game saying “it’s not normal tennis” but even so he created 15 break-point chances against Ofner taking only three.

Zverev is likely to be much more clinical and professional in his approach and his grass stats are very much on the up with a hold/break total of 116.8 (91.2% holds/25.6% breaks) over his last 10 matches and that includes a heavy loss to Roger Federer.

With those numbers he should have few problems with Ofner and to ask him to better his Tiafoe result by just one game is more than reasonable given the gap in quality between Tiafoe and Ofner.

Federer and Berdych to progress smoothly

Talking of quality gaps there’s a big one here too and the older Zverev brother is likely to receive a sound beating from Federer in this one with the German rather fortunate in the end to get past Mikhail Kukushkin in round two.

The slower grass at Wimbledon has never suited Zverev’s game and his service stats from the Kukushkin match highlight that with only 68% of first serve points won and 37% of second serve points won.

In sets two and three his serve was taken apart by a Kukushkin struggling with a wrist problem and against a lacklustre Bernie Tomic the numbers for Zverev on serve were 95% and 62%.

Federer has always found this match-up to his liking with a 9-0 record in sets played against Zverev and the under 30.5 games or Federer -7.5 look the wagers here.

Another favourite likely to cover the handicap is Tomas Berdych who should be much too strong for the ageing David Ferrer and -5.5 games is very much coverable for the Czech.

Berdych was eight games better than Ferrer on the Spaniard’s favoured surface of clay last year at the French Open in a straight-sets win and Ferrer has declined further since then.

Only a mental block from Richard Gasquet and an early retirement from Steve Darcis has allowed Ferrer to reach round three and with Berdych holding serve 90.1% of the time on grass he should be too powerful for Ferrer by some distance.

Ferrer’s grass swing until running into a hugely disappointing Gasquet consisted of losses to Robin Haase and Yuchi Sugita and his decline has been such that his level in terms of hold/break stats is around the 100 mark.

That’ll win him enough matches to stick around for a while but he’s won only two of his last 15 versus top-20 opposition (Cuevas and Isner) and his last win over an opponent as highly ranked as Berdych came over two years ago.

Gasquet’s problem, as it so often is, was he was way too passive, stuck behind the baseline allowing Ferrer to make the play and his backhand was terrible that day too.

A heavy-hitting, front foot player like Berdych shouldn’t have too many issues dominating this 2017 of Ferrer and -5.5 games looks the wager.

Gael Monfils will probably win the all-French affair against Adrian Mannarino as he did in 2015 when he wasn’t as decent on grass as he’s now showing signs of being.

Milos Raonic is likely to be made to work hard by the stubborn Albert Ramos and I wouldn’t be surprised if Raonic was made to go to four sets to get by the Spaniard there.

It’s always tempting to take on Grigor Dimitrov when he’s priced up at 1.08 versus a capable opponent on the surface in question and Dudi Sela came close to beating Dimitrov in their only prior meeting on grass.

The 3.7 about a 3-1 win for Dimitrov seems the wager in that one with Sela coming off a five setter and lacking the serving power to beat the Bulgarian over five unless Dimi has another of his off days.

Big-serving Gulbis can test Djokovic’s defences

My outright pick Novak Djokovic faces the challenge of the mercurial Ernests Gulbis whose remodelled forehand and serve seem to have clicked again after a long spell away from the main tour due to injuries and loss of form.

His grass stats are still mediocre with a career record of 12 wins from 31 matches at main level and a hold/break total of 97.4, and the numbers from his last 10 matches are pretty much the same at 97.8.

He does hold serve a fair amount though and if he’s feeling it he could make it very tough for Djokovic and 2.08 on tie break played looks a bet here.

If the Latvian continues to serve as he did against Juan Martin del Potro a tie break is likely and odds-against is fair enough for that bet.

Sean Calvert’s Day 6 Tips

  • 1.5pts win Zverev -8.5 games to beat Ofner at 2.14, Unibet Loses (Zverev won by 8)
  • 1.5pts win Berdych -5.5 games to beat Ferrer at 1.72, Unibet Wins
  • 1.5pts win tiebreak played in Gulbis v Djokovic at 2.08, Unibet Wins
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