TENNIS analyst Gavin Mair (@gavinnightmair) returns with his best bets from day two at Wimbledon.
We had a profitable start to the tournament when Donna Vekic cruised to a win over the undercooked Sloane Stephens who could muster only four games. Vekic, to her credit, was in strong form and there may be other opportunities to side with her in this tournament.
Unfortunately, Aryna Sabalenka couldn’t make it a perfect start to Wimbledon as she failed to take her chances in the final set against Mihaela Buzarnescu. The victor handled her momentum far better than the younger Sabalenka who holds the bigger talent, but at this stage in her career and with her aggressive playing style can always end up on the wrong side of a tight match.
That said, we head into day two in the green and with a view to side with another couple of value outsiders.
Carla Suarez Navarro v Carina Witthoeft | Tuesday 3rd July 2018, 1800 | BBC
I was surprised to read the odds for this match as Carla Suarez Navarro has been heavily favoured to win this match. The Spaniard has struggled badly at Wimbledon throughout her career with her playing style vulnerable to flat hitting players.
Carina Witthoeft has the exact style that can blow Suarez Navarro away if she is on. The pair have met only once before and on that occasion Witthoeft thrashed Suarez Navarro for the loss of only four games.
The reason for Witthoeft’s price is a run of very poor form stretching back several months. However, much of that was on clay courts where she tends to be less effective.
Suarez Navarro has historically played her best tennis on the dirt but with the exception of a good week in her homeland she was poor throughout. Suarez Navarro has continued this form onto the grass courts and is heading into Wimbledon looking as vulnerable as ever.
Witthoeft has had some good runs at Wimbledon in the last few years and has spoken about her happiness at being back. Let’s hope the German finds some inspiration.
Keep your stake small but have a bet on Witthoeft at a very tasty 2/1 with Betfair.
Jeremy Chardy v Denis Shapovalov | Tuesday 3rd July 2018, 1800 | BBC
At first glance, the in-form Jeremy Chardy looks the smart pick to win this match.
The Frenchman has had a fine grass court season winning the challenger in Surbiton, reaching the final in den Bosch, followed by a semi-final at Queens Club. Of course, that is nothing to be sniffed at but Chardy actually has a losing record during this period against players similarly ranked to Shapovalov.
The young Canadian has a similar record but his losses have come against grass court experts Mischa Zverev and Gilles Muller. Had you priced up this match prior to the start of the grass season you would have made Shapovalov a decent favourite.
Throughout his career, Chardy has had the occasional good grass season but overall his stats suggest his level he generally has a level ceiling on a grass court – and that level is usually around that possessed by a Shapovalov.
The Canadian is a tennis wonderkid who assesses his own playing style as being tailor made for grass courts, albeit with a caveat that the best may be seen in a few years. This marquee match has yet to be assigned a court but will likely find its way on to one of the main show courts providing the schedule passes quickly.
Take Shapovalov as an outsider at 4/3 with Marathon.