STILL buzzing from his 15/2 winner on Thursday, Mark Stichcombe (@markstinchcombe) is back with three more picks this Saturday.
Sam Groth v Roger Federer | Saturday 13:00 | BBC
After comfortably taking out big serving Sam Querrey in straight sets in round two, I’m expecting more of the same from Roger Federer against another big server in Sam Groth.
Federer 3-0 is only 1/2 but I think there’s value in backing under 32.5 total games. Federer beat Querrey 6-4 6-2 6-2 – 26 games and even if a tie-break is involved, something along the lines of 7-6 6-4 6-3 would still be enough. They’ve met once before at last year’s US Open with Federer prevailing in straights 6-4 6-4 6-4 – 30 games.
Jelena Jankovic v Petra Kvitova | Saturday 14:30 | BBC
Petra Kvitova has cruised through the first two rounds of Wimbledon dropping just three games, handing out two bagels along her way. She’s now won her last 11 grass court matches, nine here, and clearly loves the green stuff.
Meanwhile Jankovic has had to come through two three set battles and has lost both of her matches to better opposition this swing in Angelique Kerber in Birmingham and wonderkid Belinda Bencic in Hertogenbosch.
Petra has been really strong on her serve, winning 40 of 46 points behind her 1st serve (87%) and 16 of 20 points on her 2nd serve (80%), conceding no break points. Jankovic has hit 51 unforced errors and conceded 16 break points and I think Kvitova will take advantage of those.
Jelena hasn’t made the 3rd round for five years and both of those aforementioned defeats this year were by six games. These two met less than two months ago in Rome with Kvitova comfortably winning 6-3 6-2 and I’m expecting her to flourish in-front of the centre court crowd again.
Gael Monfils v Gilles Simon | Saturday 17:00 | BBC
In this matchup I’m going to take advantage of Gael Monfils’ lack of mental strength and his dislike of grass. He has mentioned numerous times throughout his career his dislike of the surface, as recently as March he admitted he hopes France’s Davis Cup tie against Great Britain isn’t on the surface.
His comments about Tomas Berdych after losing his eighth match in nine against the Czech in Monte Carlo were pretty astonishing even for Gael. “My game doesn’t give him trouble at all. I am not even frustrated, because I knew it would happen beforehand.”
That’s Monfils for you. Where am I going with this? Well countryman Simon leads their head-to-head 6-1 with Gillou winning both of their meetings at slams and an ATP final.
Both men are in decent grass court form however, Monfils has won 6/8 and Simon 7/9 but Gael has never been past this stage whereas Gillou has, so I have to give him the edge, especially with the mental side, in a tight betting heat.
Sam Groth v Roger Federer – Under 32.5 Games (9/10 Matchbook)
Jelena Jankovic v Petra Kvitova – Kvitova -5.5 Games (5/4 Paddy Power)
Gael Monfils v Gilles Simon – Simon to win (10/11 Ladbrokes)
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