Monday Wimbledon 2021 Odds, Preview, Predictions: 3 Picks for Opening Day, Including Murray vs. Basilashvili
Paul Harding/Getty Images for LTA. Pictured: Andy Murray.
- Wimbledon 2021 gets going on Monday with dozens of matches across the men's and women's draws.
- We're focusing on three to bet, including Andy Murray vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili.
- Get Kenny Ducey's Wimbledon picks and preview for Monday, June 28, below.
Didn’t get enough Grand Slam tennis during the two weeks at Roland Garros earlier this month? We’ve got some more fun kicking off on Monday with the first round of Wimbledon — a tournament that’s been long awaited since its cancellation in 2020.
Finally, though, we’ll see players on the grass in the morning, and with that let’s get into a few matchups with great betting value.
Mackenzie McDonald vs. Karen Khachanov
Start Time (approximately): 7:15 a.m. ET
The last time Mackenzie McDonald stepped on the courts at Wimbledon, he was in the Round of 16 in 2018, where he fell in four tight sets to Milos Raonic. Since then, McDonald was robbed of his chance at a second magical run by a brutal torn hamstring which he suffered at Roland Garros. What followed was a couple years of grueling rehab and work at the Challenger level, and now McDonald’s almost got himself back in the Top 100.
McDonald’s run on the grass a couple years ago was no fluke; his pushing style works perfectly on the surface, skidding off the ground and the baseline to give his opponents less time to return the ball and creating tough angles to do so. His opponent on Monday, Karen Khachanov, should be particularly bothered by this.
Khachanov toppled McDonald earlier this year in Marseille in two razor-close sets, but I think on an even more favorable surface for McDonald than those indoor hardcourts, the American will prevail. McDonald has a boatload of experience in five-set matches and is in great form. Khachanov, on the other hand, has hardly been over .500 the past two seasons. In what’s probably a coin-flip match, you must take this value.
Pick: McDonald +133 (at DraftKings)
Dusan Lajovic vs. Gilles Simon
Start Time (approximately): 9:15 a.m. ET
Lajovic’s 7-20 grass court record is just a little bit deceiving. It’s very true that the Serb struggles on fast surfaces, which is why he’s only 96-80 on hardcourt matches on all levels and 62-62 indoors, but he’s proven capable of returning money if you pick the right spots.
He lost to Lukas Klein in the midst of the young man’s heater, and prior to that his losses are pretty quality. Hubert Hurkacz, Sam Querrey, Roger Federer, John Isner and Nikoloz Basilashivili are all quality grass-court players, and that is the list you are looking at when you view his losses on the surface dating back to 2017. He knocked off a young Stefanos Tsitsipas at Wimbledon that year and has pushed those names in close matches.
This is one of those spots where Lajovic can win. Gilles Simon looks close to retirement, winning just two matches this year in 14 tries and looking to be all out of sorts mentally. On top of that, grass has never been a surface where the former World No. 6 has dominated.
This is a tough bet to swallow, but I believe the value to be significant. You’re fading a guy on a nine-match losing streak at great odds.
Pick: Lajovic +142 (at FanDuel)
Andy Murray vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili
Start Time (approximately): 11:45 a.m. ET
Speaking of great odds, there is no world in which Andy Murray would be at a pick ’em with Nikoloz Basilashvili at any other tournament with the way the two have been playing. The former World No. 1 is a shell of himself, moving terribly and struggling to a 9-8 record over the past two seasons. On top of that, he spent three months away from the game before returning to win a match on grass over Benoit Paire (basically a walkover these days) and got dismantled by Matteo Berrettini.
Murray has been able to win matches at the Challenger level, but this is a significant step up in competition level. Not only is Basilashvili five years younger and playing great tennis, the matchup couldn’t be worse for Murray.
The Brit’s returning right now leaves a lot to be desired, and in order to beat Basilashvili you’re going to at least need to get some balls back. The Georgian seems to break just about every serve on Tour with ease, which is troublesome for a guy who relies on his serve so heavily at his age, but his shortcoming is his own serve. If he’s able to cruise through service games, this is going to be quick work for Basilashvili.
The World No. 28 has found his game in 2021, taking home titles on the hardcourts in Doha and the clay in Munich. He’s also gone 6-2 on the grass this year with just a loss to the red-hot Marin Cilic and World No. 7 Andrey Rublev in the Halle semifinal. His talent has never been a question — the results have. Well, they’re there now, and his run at Wimbledon certainly shouldn’t end with a broken down, 34-year-old Andy Murray.
Pick: Basilashvili -111 ( bet365)