WE got off to a nice start again on Tuesday at Wimbledon when the over games was successful in the clash between Matteo Berrettini and Aljaz Bedene and anyone who chanced the 3-1 win to the Italian would also have collected.
There was more good news at around the same time when our quarter winner outright Sam Querrey defeated Dominic Thiem but Denis Istomin didn’t look vaguely fit for duty against Cam Norrie and seriously lacking in mobility.
Speaking of immobility, Bernard Tomic tanked his opening set against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga so blatantly that even the BBC commentators noticed the lack of effort, meaning I plumped for the wrong set one breaker as there was one in the Nick Kyrgios show against Jordan Thompson.
We got a good start from Yasutaka Uchiyama but he couldn’t keep it up from a set up against Tennys Sandgren, perhaps hampered by an abdominal injury, but hopefully I put a few people off backing Denis Shapovalov at a very short price.
I wasn’t at all convinced by the fitness of Ricardas Berankis, which put me off backing him, but he romped it 3-0 over the Canadian.
Moving on to Wednesday’s play and we have the first 16 matches of round two on the schedule, with no rain forecast again for day three.
Round two has produced a lot of tie-breaks over the years, with 63% of the matches in this round played in the last six years featuring at least one, while 27% of the betting underdogs have won on average in round two between 2013 and 2018 inclusive.
Benoit Paire vs Miomir Kecmanovic
If Kecmanovic isn’t too fatigued after a very strong showing in extreme heat in Turkey last week he looks a decent value underdog here against Paire whose effort level on grass is hit and miss to say the least.
Kecmanovic came within a match point of beating Lorenzo Sonego in the Antalya final and was unlucky to lose after producing fine form all week on the grass and his stats this grass swing are very good.
The young Serbian is 6-3 win/loss this swing and has held serve 88.9% of the time, while breaking 14.5% of the time for a decent total of 103.4, and he’s been very solid off the ground, too, winning 56% of his second serve points.
Paire can’t match any of those stats on grass, either in his main level career as a whole, where he’s 20-21 win/loss or in his last 10 (5-5 win/loss) main level matches on grass, or here at Wimbledon.
He’ll certainly need an improvement on his round one struggle against Juan Ignacio Londero, which he won by a total of just 12 points over four sets (Londero created more break chances in that match) in what was only Londero’s third career main level match on grass.
Kecmanovic did well to brush Roberto Carballes Baena aside after going down a set so soon after that Antalya final, but he was helped a bit by RCB injuring a heel in that match.
We’ll see what he’s got left in the tank after Antalya, but off the ground lately his level has easily looked good enough to beat Paire, especially if Paire has one of those shaky days on his forehand side.
Paire has lost seven of his last 11 main level matches when priced up between 1.60 and 1.80 and this could well be another if Kecmanovic can stay at the level we’ve seen from him so far this grass court summer.
That one starts at 11am as does the second match that I’ll take an interest in and that’s between Pablo Cuevas and Jiri Vesely.
Cuevas has played seven main draw matches at Wimbledon and five of them have gone to five sets, while Vesely has gone over 37.5 total games in 10 of his 15 completed main draw matches here.
Cuevas holds serve often enough on grass at 81.4% to suggest he’ll challenge Vesely and he’s played 0.25 tie breaks per set on grass at main level as well, while also holding a win over Gilles Muller on grass as a 3.07 underdog to his name.
So, he’s rarely been beaten easily at Wimbledon, despite his 2-5 win/loss record and he won’t be phased by Vesely, having beaten him on clay in their only career clash.
I’d expect the stronger serve of Vesely (holds 88.4% of the time on grass) to come out on top here, but Cuevas is unlikely to be a pushover and the overs or the 3-1 to the Czech look interesting.
It doesn’t look a day that holds plenty of tempting betting propositions for me though and I’ll juts take the two wagers on day three.
Elsewhere, Leo Mayer was one I considered against Hubert Hurkacz at these prices but Mayer has been struggling with a neck injury.
Marcel Granollers must be feeling confident right now after coming through qualifing and beating Lorenzo Sonego in straight sets in round one and he surely has every chance against Ugo Humbert, who benefited from an unfit Gael Monfils in round one.
The Spaniard might well prove too experienced for Humbert on this surface but I can’t bring myself to back Granollers.
Alexei Popyrin is another one who may well cause problems for Daniil Medvedev in what could be a closer match than the odds suggest, with the young Aussie very confident right now on the grass.
If he plays somewhere near his best he can take that past the over games mark, while Fernando Verdasco might also cause some problems as underdog against Kyle Edmund.
That one also looks likely to go long, with Edmund not at his best on the grass courts and Verdasco surely likely to enjoy the Centre Court billing, but is this low bouncing grass helpful for Nando?
Probably not, but I expect a bit of a battle there, and probably another tough fight is expected when Ivo Karlovic and Thomas Fabbiano clash.
Fabbiano had a let down last year after he beat Stan Wawrinka and was poor the next round against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is ironically the man he beat to cause the upset this year.
Fabbiano is 4-10 versus the big servers on my list and 0-4 on grass and it could be a long afternoon for the Italian and Karlovic there.
But I’ll keep my powder dry a little bit on day three and await better options in the days to come, while just having two small wagers.