MARK Stinchcombe (@markstinchcombe) gets us up and running with the best bets from Day 1.
Novak Djokovic v Philip Kohlschreiber | Monday 13:00 | BBC One
As mentioned in my outright preview, Novak Djokovic begins with a very tough opener against 16/1 shot Philipp Kohlschreiber. As alluded to, this is Novak’s least favourite surface and comes in having played no competitive grass court matches.
Previous winner and runner-up in Halle (a tournament Roger Federer has won on eight occasions), Kohlschreiber comes in in decent grass court form. He had match points against eventual champion Federer in Halle and beat Alexandr Dolgopolov and Jerzy Janowicz in straight sets, both of whom can be tricky grass court opponents.
Grass is by far and away Kohlschreiber’s best surface, recording a 66% win ratio compared to his overall 57% across all surfaces.
So how do we find some value? Kohlschreiber is 2/1 to win a set and that looks decent to me. He’s taken sets off Federer, Andy Roddick and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in defeats here and Djokovic has dropped sets against Radek Stepanek (twice) and Marcos Baghdatis in recent years, both capable grass court players like Kohlschreiber.
Belinda Bencic v Tsvetana Pironkova | Monday 13:30 | BBCi
18 year-old Belinda Bencic comes into Wimbledon in great form. She won her first WTA tour title in Eastbourne on Saturday after finishing runner-up in Hertogenbosch the week before.
The 2013 Wimbledon Junior champion has now won 11 of her 13 grass court matches. Grass is Pironkova’s best surface and she’s best known for making the semi-finals and quarter finals here on separate occasions. However, that was four years ago now and she’s suffered both 1st and 2nd round exits since.
In her last match she was brushed aside 6-2 6-2 against Agnieszka Radwanska who of course Bencic impressively beat in the Eastbourne final including a final set bagel.
Belinda has won eight of her nine completed grass court matches by three games or more, on average by five. Back her to overcome the handicap again here.
Simone Bolelli v Kei Nishikori | Monday 14:30 | BBCi
I mentioned Kei Nishikori has never been comfortable here, only making the 4th round once and suffering three 1st round exits. He also had to retire with a calf injury earlier this week in Halle.
This is a re-match of their 3rd round meeting here last year with Nishikori just prevailing winning the deciding set 6-4. Simone Bolelli is in decent form winning five of his seven grass court matches.
Based on all of this, there looks to be some value on 16/5 Bolelli. He’s just 8/15 to win a set so it suggests both players stand a good chance of winning a set, the 5/6 on Over 3.5 Sets looks good value.
Novak Djokovic v Philipp Kohlschreiber – Kohlschreiber to win a set (2/1 William Hill)
Belinda Bencic v Tsvetana Pironkova – Bencic -2.5 Games (10/11 Betfred)
Simone Bolelli v Kei Nishikori – Over 3.5 Sets (5/6 Paddy Power)
Fancy backing the last two winners of Wimbledon at massive odds?
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