Nicolas Almagro v Rogerio Dutra Silva
Wimbledon might be the most famous of the tennis Grand Slams, but that doesn’t mean participation here is the most important part of the Tour for every player. There are plenty of players that simply don’t understand the grass courts and for those it is nice to have an opportunity to play here without the expectations of a really deep run.
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Prize money at Grand Slams is the motivation so being in the top 100 of the World Rankings and earning an automatic place in the main draw would be welcomed by Rogerio Dutra Silva. The veteran Brazilian generally makes his trade on the clay courts and he has had little preparation for the move onto the grass.
This is the first match Dutra Silva has played on the grass in two seasons and I would expect Nicolas Almagro to be too strong for him. Almagro has been improving his World Ranking since injury and he has the game that should work well on the grass even if he hasn’t always had the results to back that up.
A big serve should offer up some cheaper opportunities to win points and Almagro might be comfortable in the match up as Dutra Silva will likely get involved in some longer rallies and allow the Spaniard to work on his rhythm. Almagro should be more confident on the grass and he can wear down Dutra Silva in this one by recording a confidence boosting 64, 63, 64 win.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Nicolas Almagro -6.5 Games @ 1.75 with Pinnacle
Philipp Kohlschreiber v Pierre-Hugues Herbert
When these players met in Stuttgart earlier this month, I backed Philipp Kohlschreiber to cover a number that was only one game fewer than this one. I can only guess that the withdrawal from the tournament in Halle has left some doubts around Kohlschreiber, but that came about thanks to playing around ten days straight and I am confident he will be good to go now.
Kohlschreiber served well in beating Pierre-Hugues Herbert 64, 61 in Stuttgart and that means he has two comfortable wins over the Frenchman in their two previous matches, both of those coming on grass.
Despite what looks a solid enough game for the grass, Herbert has not won too many main Tour matches on the surface. He did reach the Second Round at Wimbledon after coming through the Qualifiers last year though and Herbert’s big serve and confidence to get to the net does make him a threat.
Even with that in mind, I think Kohlschreiber will begin to get a read on what is coming and he has a very strong ability to force Herbert into making tough volleys. That can wear down a player mentally more than physically and I think Kohlschreiber will be too good as long as he serves well and doesn’t give Herbert any reason to feel confident.
A 64, 62, 64 kind of win looks to be on the cards for Kohlschreiber.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Philipp Kohlschreiber -5.5 Games @ 1.72 with Bet365
Lukas Rosol v Sam Querrey
Lukas Rosol will never be forgotten at Wimbledon for the way in which he beat Rafael Nadal here in 2012, but this season has been very difficult for him. He comes to Wimbledon having lost both warm up matches he played in Halle and Nottingham, although Rosol should still be a dangerous opponent for a limited returner like Sam Querrey.
The American has had better results than Rosol on the grass over the last month with the most notable run being to the Semi Final in Hertogenbosch. Querrey has a huge serve and a big forehand that should make him very tough to beat but he has not had a strong run at Wimbledon since reaching the Fourth Round in 2010 which followed on just a couple of weeks after winning Queens.
A limited return game should mean Rosol has enough to force a tie-breaker or two in this match and he has shown he can hit a purple patch off the ground at any time. The Czech player has lost in the First Round just once in his four appearances in the main draw and this could be a long match if we get into the fifth set with someone needing a break of serve to win the match.
Recent form suggests Rosol won’t have enough to cause the upset in this one, but Querrey will give him chances to win at least one set and backing four sets or more to be played looks like it will be given an opportunity to occur.
HANDICAP BETTING PICK: Over 3.5 Sets @ 1.72 with Eastbridge Sports Betting Brokerage
Prices correct at time of writing