Wimbledon – Big server to struggle on SW19’s grass courts


TENNIS analyst Gavin Mair (@gavinnightmair) returns with his best bets from day three at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon on Tuesday bought another profitable day as odds-against wonderkid Denis Shapovalov saw off in-form Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in four sets.

Unfortunately, Carina Witthoeft’s poor form continued as she failed to even muster a challenge against the grass loathing Carla Suarez Navarro.

The day three card looks a tough one to call outright with several matches that I would not be surprised go either way. If you are looking to bet on Wednesday, consider managing your positions in play. There is still some value out there at rather meaty prices and I highlight below a couple of matches where the outsider is to be found at a particularly interesting price.

Kiki Bertens v Anna Blinkova | Wednesday 4th July 2018, 13:30 | BBC

Kiki Bertens finds herself seeded due to her great ability on the clay courts, but when she moves away from her favoured terrain her results are far more hit and miss.

On grass Bertens goes for her shots but lacks the control that she has on the clay, and subsequently she has a very inconsistent record, and looks vulnerable at her odds-on price.

Her opponent Anna Blinkova is a youngster on the rise and with what should develop into an all-court game. She sometimes hits frustrating errors but undoubtedly has the talent to trouble Bertens.

Blinkova had a winning record on grass prior to this season and has continued her form on this surface in 2018. The young Russian has a poor Grand Slam record but she is a player that is to my eyes destined to cement herself at a good ranking and will have plenty of opportunities in her career to rectify her current Grand Slam record.

This time next year it might not be inconceivable to see the odds reversed in this match up. Try a small bet on Anna Blinkova at 2/1 with Ladbrokes.

John Isner v Ruben Bemelmans | Wednesday 4th July 2018, 16:00 | BBC

In theory, John Isner is a nightmare opponent on a grass court due to holding the biggest serve in the business.

Whilst that is undoubtedly an asset, the American giant has great difficulty in breaking the serve of his opponent. This was best demonstrated in the epic 11 hour 183 game match that he played out against Nicolas Mahut in 2010, in which neither could break serve.

Isner matches on grass tend to be settled by the odd point here and there and it makes him vulnerable to an early exit. In four of his past six Wimbledon campaigns Isner has departed in a round that is below his seeding expectation.

Ruben Bemelmans is a journeyman that picks up the occasional win here and there on the ATP tour. However, the Belgian is cultivating a reputation as a Grand Slam banaskin for the higher ranked players.

The leftie has already defeated Steve Johnson and Bernard Tomic at this years Wimbledon at 2/1 and 5/2 respectively, and last season he posted victories at 2/1 against Tommy Haas and Daniil Medvedev at 6/1. This season he ousted Lucas Pouille at the Australian Open at 9/2.

Bemelmans seems confident of causing another upset suggesting in his post-match comments that “big men don’t like grass courts.” Let’s hope that Isner doesn’t enjoy being on a grass court after playing Bemelmans.

Back Bemelmans at 10/3 with Smarkets.

Best Bets

Kiki Bertens v Anna Blinkova – Anna Blinkova to win ( 2/1 Ladbrokes)

John Isner v Ruben Bemelmans – Ruben Bemelmans to win (10/3 Smarkets)

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