Welcome to Wimbledon. I have spent the last 24 hours combing through all the matches scheduled for today, and have come up with a number of value plays below.
If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on twitter (@Ace_TheProfits) and I will reply to you as soon as I can.
I hope my form matches up with yours. Enjoy Day 1.
ATP -> D Brown vs J Sousa
Suggested Bet: 2.5 units Dustin Brown -3.5 games at $1.78 at Pinnacle
This is the one surface in which I am happy to bite when it comes to Dustin Brown. Brown holds a 40-24 lifetime record on grass, with wins over the likes of Rafa Nadal, Sam Querrey and Lleyton Hewitt to name a few. Just last week, Brown was able to defeat Vasek Pospisil at a $2.80 underdog, then pushed Roberto Bautista Agut to a 3rd set tiebreak, ultimately falling 6-8. The grass surface suits his game style quite well, and his speed at which he plays can be quite unsettling for his opponents. His presence at the net too is daunting when you consider his height, reach and athleticism.
Joao Sousa is clearly not at his most comfortable on the grass courts. Sousa has won 13 games on grass across his career, and it is difficult to figure out who the best victory was against. If I had to make a top 3, it would be Denis Istomin, Sam Groth and Dennis Novikov (not the strongest batch of competitors to select from.
This match is very fairly and squarely on the racquet of Brown. I have spent a considerable amount of time weighing up two plays for Brown at similar prices. They are the -3.5 games and the -1.5 sets. I have ultimately settled on the -3.5 games here. Sousa holds a 4-4 record in 5 setters across his career, and Brown a 2-3 record, so there is no clear cut advantage looking at history for either player. As a result I am happy to side with the -3.5 game handicap here.
WTA -> K Chang vs Q Wang
Suggested Bet: 2.5 units Chang +3.5 games at $2.04 at Pinnacle
Will keep this one brief. We have a player in Chang who has managed 6 grasscourt matches over the last couple of weeks (losses to Sakkari in 3rd set TB, Broady and Rybarikova), whereas Wang hasn’t played a competitive match since losing to Venus Williams in the first round of the French Open at the end of June. Wang’s last listed win on grass was a 3 set win over Eguchi at ITF Ilkley on June 18, 2015.
I am quite comfortable making a small play on the +3.5 games here, and was also quite tempted by Chang taking the first set here.
S Stakhovsky vs J Benneteau
Suggested Bet: 3 units Stakhovsky to win at $1.90 at Unibet
Pretty happy to take on Benneteau in best of 5 set tennis. Benneteau has only won 1 of his last 12 best of 5 set matches, with 7 of those against players ranked outside the top 40. Combine this with what Stakhovsky can be capable of on grass, and his comeback vs Ito in the final round of qualifying, and I am comfortable taking the $1.90 on offer for Stakhovsky.
F Verdasco vs K Anderson
Suggested Bet: 2 units Total games over 41.5 at $1.83 at Pinnacle
A very complex and intriguing first round matchup here, and to be honest, I think both players are too good to find themselves out of the first round in straight sets. I really rate the odds of Verdasco here, who is quite an underrated grass court player, however I am content in taking the game overs total here. The total of 41.5 with these two involved should be able to cover in 4 sets, with probably two 7-5/7-6 results all that is required. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this match went to 5 sets all things considered.
B Strycova vs V Cepede
Suggested Bet: 2 units Total games under 19.5 at $2.08 at Pinnacle
I struggle to see how Cepede can match Strycova on grass here. Strycova has put together a couple of really decent weeks of tennis together, and appears to have lifted her game in comparison to how she started her 2017. Cepede has had a breakout 2017, most notably with her 4th round appearance at the French Open, where she nearly toppled Karolina Pliskova in 3 tight sets.
Personally I have Strycova as a bit of a darkhorse this fortnight. When she can bring everything together she can beat almost anyone on her day (as example by dropping only 1 game to Muguruza 2 weeks ago), and I think taking + money on under 19.5 game total is a high value position to take.
F Abanda vs K Nara
Suggested Bet: 3.5 units Abanda first set winner at $1.80 at Pinnacle
Abanda was one of the more dominant players through qualifying last week. After destroying Kalinskaya 6-2 6-2 in round 1, Abanda survived a brief scare against Kudryavtseva in round 2 before knocking off Lin Zhu in straight sets. What has been evident in each of the three matches has been her ability to get off to a strong start, and I anticipate this will continue in her first round match against Kurumi Nara.
Outside of beating Davis in Nottingham, Nara hasn’t had the best couple of weeks. Some cheap losses to Zanevska, Pironkova and Rodina have made it difficult to trust Nara coming into this match up.
This match has that feeling of the dominant qualifier getting off to a strong start, before the match evening out as experience becomes telling later in the match. That is why I am taking Abanda to win the first set here.
J Ostapenko vs A Sasnovich
2.5 units Total games over 19.5 at $1.93 at Pinnacle
1.25 units Sasnovich to defeat Ostapenko at $4.83 at Pinnacle
Ostapenko is exceptionally underpriced here coming off her Roland Garros triumph. Before you consider that 10 of the last 13 victories have come in 3 sets, we also need to acknowledge that on her day, Sasnovich is a very decent player who has shown potential on grass in the past (eg knocking off Mladenovic in 2016).
Whilst I acknowledge that Ostapenko has been brilliant at times this year, I am not sure I can justify that price backing up off a recent Grand Slam win. Look at what happened to Kerber in France in 2016 coming off her Australian Open crown. The hunter becomes the hunted, and Ostapenko is going to learn quite a few harsh lessons in the coming months if she isn’t fully switched on mentally.
I Marchenko vs J Vesely
Suggested Bet: 3 units Vesely -3.5 games at $1.91 at Pinnacle
Vesely’s form has gradually improved over 2017, and he was one of the surprise packets of Wimbledon 2016 with straight sets wins over Sijsling, Thiem and Sousa before falling to Tomas Berdych in a crazy 5 set match that spanned across 2 days. His lefty serve is quite a potent weapon at the All England Club, and I am not as sold on the qualifying form of Marchenko as much as others. Marchenko managed to scrape his way into the tournament after finding himself down a set and 4-5 and 0/40 on his own serve against Benjamin Becker before squeaking out a 3 set win.
I think if Vesely serves at even 80% of his ability, he should win this comfortably. Vesely in 3 (or perhaps 4) sets for mine.