Stuckey’s Wimbledon Wednesday Betting Guide: Which Underdogs Are Worth an Investment?
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kirsten Flipkens
- The second round of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships kicks off on Wednesday.
- Stuckey previews both the WTA and ATP matches and picks out a few underdogs who could be undervalued on Day 3.
Before getting to the five WTA underdogs I bet, let’s take a quick look at each of the 11 women’s matches on tap for Wednesday at Wimbledon that I more than likely won’t be betting. I will then conclude with some thoughts on the ATP card, including three countrymen I’m looking to fade.
WTA Day 3 Wimbledon Betting Preview
The biggest chalk on Wednesday is Karolina Pliskova (-833) — who should continue her fantastic form and serve her way to a win over Monica Puig. The Czech has won all four prior meetings, including a routine 6-2, 6-2 victory in their only meeting on grass.
Another top seed, Simona Halep (-563) will take on Mihaela Buzarnescu. It’s the first time Simona will play a fellow Romanian in the main draw of a Grand Slam, which she mentioned she is slightly nervous about. Maybe Halep starts a little slow, but she should have too much class in the end.
I think Anett Kontaveit (-259) should get by Heather Watson but the price looks a little steep. Kontaveit is still finding her game after a very rough stretch. Plus, Watson has made the Wimbledon third-round three previous times and will have the home crowd on her side. They also have split four career meetings (none on grass).
As long as she doesn’t beat herself (which is always a possibility), Madison Keys (-359) should power through Polona Hercog. The American has made the third-round in five of her six appearances at the All England Club.
Another seed that should advance is Anastasia Sevastova (-312). She will take on American Danielle Collins, who doesn’t thrive on grass and might not be fully fit.
I have no real feel in the match between Karolina Muchova (-187) and Madison Brengle. I price the match right in that neighborhood, so it’s a hard pass.
One of the most intriguing matches of the day will be between Magdalena Rybarikova (-180) and Coco Gauff. Both pulled off upsets in Round 1 but Gauff is at a much higher risk of a letdown after the 15-year-old beat her idol Venus Williams. Rybarikova is a grass-specialist but Gauff looked excellent on Monday. I won’t be getting involved in a match that’s pretty difficult to handicap.
Speaking of upsets, Yulia Putintseva (-209) also took out a top 10 seed on day one when she defeated Naomi Osaka in straight sets for the third consecutive time. She should have too much game for Viktoria Golubic, who isn’t exactly a grass-savant.
That said, I prefer to bet the unpredictable ‘Poots’ as an underdog. The Kazakh could also suffer a letdown after that big Osaka win — just as she did the previous two instances.
The popcorn match of the day is between Sofia Kenin (-133) and Dayana Yastremska — two future stars of the WTA Tour. I fancy Kenin’s game just a tad more on grass but Yastremska is just as talented and has easy power for days.
I make Kenin a -125 favorite, so there is an ounce or two of value on Dayana but not enough for me to pull the trigger. I’ll simply enjoy watching this while gaining some intel for the winner’s next match.
Shuai Zhang (-131) is certainly no grass aficionado (15-23 on this surface coming into Wimbledon) but she’s favored to make the third-round after pulling off an upset over Caroline Garcia. Her second-round opponent, Yanina Wickmayer, has much stronger grass pedigree.
And while she is nowhere close to the player that made the US Open semifinals in 2009, she has had a decent grass swing this season — and advanced to the third-round here last year. There is slight value on Wickmayer, who I may end up adding to my final betting card.
Now, let’s take a look at the five underdogs I did bet on Wednesday.
Kirsten Flipkens +168 vs. Su-Wei Hsieh
As a tennis nerd, I cannot wait for this match. If you like pace and power, avoid this matchup of two 33-year-old veterans like the plague.
Both have games that are very suitable for grass. Flipkens has three career top-10 wins on the lawn and made a Wimbledon semifinal in 2013. She also won the Wimbledon Junior title way back in 2003. And you may recall that Hsieh took out Simona Halep here last year to make the fourth-round.
Hsieh has one of the most unorthodox styles in the game. She plays an off-pace brand of tennis, featuring a two-handed backhand and forehand (extremely rare in the WTA). She has a ton of variety and will utilize a drop shot from almost anywhere on the court — as well as plenty of slices and lobs. It’s a very crafty, old-school style that I enjoy watching.
— WTA (@WTA) June 19, 2018
Built in a similar mold, Flipkens also does not have a game built around pace. She features a backhand slice that is wicked when clicking. She’s also very crafty, especially on grass.
Flipkens leads the head-to-head 2-1, but Hsieh won their only meeting on grass (2017 Eastbourne). However, it was a marathon three-set victory in which Hsieh had to win a second-set tiebreak to force a third set — which she won 7-5.
Hsieh was priced as a short -115 favorite that day, which is closer to where I have the line. I’ll be backing the Belgian in what should be a variety-fest with plenty of long rallies that could really go either way.
Elina Svitolina (-183) vs. Margarita Gasparyan
These two actually just met last month on grass in Birmingham, where Gasparyan pulled off the upset in three sets.
Gasparyan doesn’t have a ton of history on this surface but has a game suited for the grass. She plays an overall aggressive style and finds success coming up the net. The 24-year-old Russian is a very accurate shotmaker as well.
Margarita Gasparyan beat Elina Svitiolina in 3 sets at #NatureValleyClassic two weeks ago, will face her again in 2R.
“I have more confidence to play on grass court. The points are faster and my style is to be aggressive, go to the net, play slices. I really enjoy the grass.”
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) July 1, 2019
Gasparyan has solid variety and utilizes a one-handed backhand (also rare in the WTA) that she can effectively slice with topspin or drive down the line. She played very clean in her first-round victory with 17 winners to just 11 unforced errors.
Svitolina will benefit from recently seeing Gasparyan, who can be tricky to play against for the first time. However, I still think this line is a tad high. It’s not like Svitolina came into Wimbledon with any sort of form, and her Major struggles are well-documented.
I will also be fading three other seeds in Maria Sakkari (-341), Caroline Wozniacki (-190) and Petra Martic (-343) — who all look a little too rich against capable grass-court players.
Veronika Kudermetova took out Wozniacki at the French Open earlier this year, and I think she has a decent shot to pull off another upset. She has a serve and overall game that I think works very well on grass.
Martic is in excellent form but Anastasia Potapova has excellent technique on grass. The former Junior Wimbledon champ looked awful at the beginning of her first-round match but then really settled in after getting a huge hold in the second set. A lot of that may have had to do with nerves. I think she’ll be much more at ease in her second-round match, especially in the underdog role.
Lastly, I’ll be playing Lucky Loser Marie Bouzkova. I like a few aspects of her game but this is mainly a fade of Sakkari at this very expensive price on her worst surface. The Greek also did not look very sharp on Monday despite a straight sets victory.
Wednesday WTA Wimbledon Betting Card
- Flipkens +168
- Potapova +285
- Bouzkova +284
- Gasparyan +159
- Kudermetova +168
ATP Day 3 Wimbledon Betting Preview
The men’s side of the draw looks very chalky on Wednesday. Most of the seeds are at least -500 favorites and should cruise on to the third-round with relative ease. That list includes Roberto Bautista-Agut, Kevin Anderson, Novak Djokovic, Milos Raonic and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Daniil Medvedev (-576) could face a tougher test from the in-form Alexei Popyrin but I see him ultimately advancing.
I haven’t locked anything in on the men’s side just yet but am looking at a few — including an in-form Feliciano Lopez (+120) against Karen Khachanov. I also think American Riley Opelka hang with Stan Wawrinka. I’m not sure if the big-serving American can win the match but he should take at least a set.
I’m looking at the over 39.5 games there, which I prefer at significantly less juice than Opelka +2.5 sets. Yes, the match can still go under if Opelka wins a set but I don’t envision many breaks.
I also like Thomas Fabbiano (-131) to take out Ivo Karlovic.
On my ATP fade list for Wednesday are three men all from the same country (Argentina)
- Guido Pella
- Pablo Cuevas
- Leo Mayer
That trio is very grass-averse with a combined career record of 37-46 on this surface. None of the three are over .500 on grass. I’ll be looking to fade each in some fashion.
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