Tennis best bets for Wimbledon - Thursday, July 6th
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. I'm hoping to continue dishing out winners over the next two weeks, so make sure you keep reading for my tennis best bets for Thursday, July 6th.
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Arthur Fils vs. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
This is a match that I wrote up for two days ago, but the rain delays mean that it's still available. Davidovich Fokina made relatively easy work of Fils when the two met at the French Open, with the Spaniard earning a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win. But I still like Fils’ chances of beating Davidovich Fokina, especially with this match taking place on grass.
Davidovich Fokina has made strides with his serve this season, as his hold percentage is a career-high 78.9%. But I’m still not a big believer in the Spaniard’s serve, as I think he lacks the pop and consistency required to hold easily. And that is why I’m relatively down on Davidovich Fokina as a grass-court player. Fils isn’t exactly a proven server, but I think he has a bigger game than Davidovich Fokina overall. And I can just see him outmuscling him a bit on these quicker courts.
This probably won’t be an easy match no matter which way it goes. But I do think Fils is worth taking at this price. Not much separates these two players and it’s Fils that has looked better on grass this year. He’s 4-1 in his five matches on the surface, while Davidovich Fokina is 0-4 — with losses to a few players that are really out of form.
Bet: Fils ML (+120)
Stan Wawrinka vs. Tomas Martin Etcheverry
Etcheverry won me a lot of bets during the clay-court season, but I’m not expecting him to do much damage at Wimbledon. The Argentine is coming off a grueling five-set win over Bernabe Zapata Miralles, which was definitely impressive. But beating a legend like Wawrinka presents a whole different type of challenge. Wawrinka looked superb in a straight-set win over Emil Ruusuvuori in the opening round, and it’s just hard to envision Etcheverry beating an in-form version of the three-time Grand Slam champion.
Before beating Zapata Miralles in the opening round, Etcheverry was just 0-3 in ATP-level grass-court matches. This is not a guy with any type of experience on this surface, and he really hasn’t played much off clay, in general. Of course, Etcheverry’s forehand is a huge weapon, but Wawrinka’s is also dangerous. But the real difference between these two is that Wawrinka’s backhand is going to be the best shot on the court in this match. And Wawrinka also has a pretty big edge when it comes to serving.
Grass was never Wawrinka’s strongest surface, but he’s 20-16 in his career at Wimbledon. That experience should help him get by Etcheverry and I think he’ll do it in four or fewer sets.
Bet: Wawrinka -1.5 Sets (-130)
The rain delays have made it very hard to keep track of who is playing when. Here are a few plays I want to hit on now that there's more certainty with Thursday's order of play.
Andy Murray ML (-140) vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas: Murray lost a heartbreaking five-set match against Tsitsipas at the US Open in 2021. But that version of Murray wasn't as far along in his return from hip surgery. He struggled to win key points in that match and just didn't look quite like himself. A year later, Murray beat Tsitsipas in straight sets when the two met on grass in Stuttgart. That seems like a hard result to ignore with this being another grass-court event. On top of that, Murray is playing the best tennis he has played since returning from his hip replacement. His level is very high right now, which is nice when you throw in the fact that Wimbledon is one of his best tournaments to begin with. As for Tsitsipas, his form couldn't be worse at the moment and he genuinely seems distracted off the court. I think all of this sets up for a win for the Brit. And this is a play I'd go bigger on.
Adrian Mannarino +2.5 Sets (-150) vs. Daniil Medvedev: Mannarino beat Medvedev in a three-set match at 's-Hertogenbosch last week. Mannarino is now 3-1 against Medvedev on grass, with one of those wins coming at Wimbledon in 2018. I'm not sure the veteran has what it takes to beat Medvedev outright again this week, but I'd be somewhat surprised if this was a straight-set win for the Russian. Mannarino is just a very smart grass-court player, and he knows how to frustrate Medvedev on the court. He's going to hit a lot of flat balls from the baseline, which won't allow Medvedev to get comfortable playing his all-world defense. Overall, this seems like too good of a spread price to be getting on a player that is 4-2 against his opponent.
Tommy Paul -1.5 Sets (-135) vs. Milos Raonic: I'm going to keep this one relatively short. Raonic was once one of the best players in the world and grass was his best surface. But Raonic has been very banged up throughout his career and just returned from years away from the tour. That means he isn't in the best shape right now, so having to play two days in a row is going to be tough for him. Raonic is also a player that really doesn't have much outside of a serve, but Paul is one of the best returners in the world. I just don't see this being a very competitive match, even with the crowd in Raonic's corner.