Tennis best bets for Wimbledon - Sunday, July 9th
Wimbledon is the third major of the tennis season and it's arguably the most prestigious of the four. The All England Club in London, England is one of the most beautiful venues that the sport has to offer, and the exclusive nature of grass-court tennis gives it a different feel than the rest. With that out of the way, I'm hoping to continue dishing out winners over the next weeks, so make sure you keep reading for my tennis best bets for Sunday, July 9th.
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Alexander Bublik vs. Andrey Rublev
Rublev is a top-10 player in the world, but Bublik is probably a better grass-court player than him. These two actually met in a final in Halle about two weeks ago, when Bublik beat Rublev in three sets. Rublev had previously been 3-1 against Bublik in their head-to-head history, but this one brought them closer together. And it was their first-ever meeting on grass, so it’s hard not to put a lot of weight into it.
I just think Bublik has a little more variety than Rublev, which makes a big difference on these courts. Both of these players can hit the cover off the ball, but Rublev is a guy that really just relies on his fastball. He doesn’t quite have the touch of other elite players, but Bublik is going to be able to mix in some slice and drop shots. That is very effective when it comes to lawn tennis.
Bublik is also just a player that is a lot better than his ranking. He can be a bit of a headcase at times, and he doesn’t always treat each match the same. That has led to some disappointments from Bublik, but he’s arguably a top-15 talent in the men’s game. And a lot of people expected big things from him at Wimbledon, so winning this match and advancing wouldn’t be a huge shock.
Bet: Bublik ML (-105)
Roman Safiullin vs. Denis Shapovalov
I had Shapovalov to cover a 3.5-game spread against Liam Broady last round, and the Canadian ultimately got the job done. But I was actually left unimpressed with Shapovalov’s performance in that one and I do think he’s vulnerable to an upset here. With that said, I think it makes a lot of sense to back Safiullin as a +130 ‘dog.
Safiullin has the ability to go very big with his serve and has a good amount of power from the baseline. That means he should be able to match Shapovalov’s power from the ground in this match, but I think the difference here is that Safiullin won’t make as many mistakes as his opponent. Shapovalov can occasionally spray unforced errors, and this is the exact type of setting in which I can see him doing it. There will undoubtedly be some nerves with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.
It's just hard not to love the price on Safiullin in this match, with the Russian looking remarkable in London. His first-round win over Roberto Bautista Agut was extremely impressive, and he has followed it up with two straight-set wins in a row. He’s riding high at the moment and will love this matchup, even if he hasn’t beaten Shapovalov in the past.
Bet: Safiullin ML (+130)
Elina Svitolina vs. Victoria Azarenka
This looks like a bet in which the oddsmakers are hoping to catch people sleeping. Azarenka is ranked 56 spots ahead of Svitolina and also has a 5-0 record in their head-to-head history. Casual tennis fans will see that and jump on Azarenka as a small moneyline favorite. But Svitolina is only ranked 76th in the world because she took a maternity leave. She’s a former world No. 3 and has looked the part of a top-15 player at Wimbledon thus far. With that in mind, this isn’t as straightforward as it looks. And I like the value on Svitolina as an underdog in this spot.
Both of these players have the ability to pummel the ball when they’re feeling it from the baseline, but Svitolina is a little bit better as a defender than Azarenka is — especially with Vika getting up there in age. Svitolina also comes into this match in better form than Azarenka, as the 28-year-old has won 12 of her last 14 matches. Meanwhile, until arriving in London, Azarenka had failed to win back-to-back matches since the middle of February.
Azarenka might have a slight mental edge when these two get on the court. But I think Svitolina will quickly realize she has the goods to win this match.
Bet: Svitolina ML (+110)
Hubert Hurkacz +2.5 Sets (+115 - 2 units) vs. Novak Djokovic: If there's any type of player that can make Djokovic uncomfortable in a grass-court match, it's a big server with a lot of power from the baseline. Hurkacz isn't the most inspiring version of that archetype, but he does fit the bill. With that said, I was a little surprised to see that you can grab him at plus-money odds to win a single set in this match. Djokovic is the best player on the planet on this surface, but I don't see him running through his draw without dropping a set. And I think this is a spot where he's at risk of dropping one.