TWO winners out of three for Mark Stinchcombe (@markstinchcombe) on Day 1 at Wimbledon. He has two lined up for Day 2.
Nick Krygios v Radek Stepanek | Tuesday 11:30 | BBC
At the French Open I mentioned how 2016 was a bit of renaissance year for Radek Stepanek. Well after pushing Murray to five sets, he’s carried on that form making the quarter-finals of Stuttgart where he was narrowly beaten by runner-up Philipp Kohlschreiber. He beat Marin Cilic in straight sets along the way and is now 21-11 for the year – three more wins than the whole of 2015.
Former quarter-finalist here, he takes on bad boy Nick Kyrgios and this will be no walk in the park for the 2/7 shot.
In recent years Stepanek has twice faced Djokovic, taking sets in both, and his last 10 matches here have seen an average of 41 games. Kyrgios has played nine matches here with seven of them going over 3.5 sets, with his matches averaging 43 games.
The line is set at 37.5 games and I’d rather play that then take a lesser price on over 3.5 sets with the chance of three tight sets. In fact they’ve met once before at the French Open in 2013 where Kyrgios came through a very tight match 7-6 7-6 7-6 (39 games).
Rajeev Ram v Felicano Lopez | Tuesday 13:30 | BBC
Two big servers take on each other here and I wouldn’t want to go near the 2/9 on Lopez given his last couple of years on tour, despite Ram’s poor record outside of his home country.
Lopez is just 48-46 since 2015 and only 16-16 this year, including losing both his grass court matches this swing as well as 1/8 fave against Nikoloz Basilashvili here last year.
Ram has only won one of his five grass court matches this year but they’ve all been close with him having played seven tie-breaks and he’s won two ATP 500 career titles on grass both in Newport (USA) as recently as last year.
Lopez’s last 17 matches going back to 2010 here have seen an average of 39 games with 20 tie-breaks. With two big servers, 36.5 games looks a few games too short to me.
Nick Krygios v Radek Stepanek – Over 37.5 Games (10/11 Boylesports)
Rajeev Ram v Felicano Lopez – Over 36.5 Games (5/6 Bet365)