Carlos Alcaraz vs. Jan-Lennard Struff Wimbledon Odds, Preview, Prediction (June 27)
Shaun Botterill/Getty. Pictured: Carlos Alcaraz.
- Rising star Carlos Alcaraz is a solid favorite to get by Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round of Wimbledon.
- Kenny Ducey outlines the risk that the big-serving German poses.
- Read on for his best bet and analysis of the match.
Alcaraz vs. Struff Odds
|Total||38.5 (-115 / -105)|
|Time | How to Watch||9:30 a.m. ET | ESPN/ESPN+|
|Odds via FanDuel. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.|
For all that Carlos Alcaraz has already accomplished in his young career, one thing he has not done to this point is win grass-court matches.
Entering with just two main draw matches under his belt, the young Spaniard will be up against a strong competitor in Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round. Can the German improve to 2-0 in his career against the rising star?
Let’s dig our teeth into this one.
Struff On Preferred Surface
The German, now 32, is not a player we have heard a lot from over the last few years. After four super seasons from 2016 to 2019, Struff has flamed out a bit, though it’s hard to say anyone saw a season quite this bad coming.
Playing sparsely due to injury, Struff has gone just 2-12 this season. One of his two wins did come on grass in Stuttgart a few weeks ago in three sets over Marcos Giron, and after that he fell in two tiebreaks to Lorenzo Sonego and in three close sets against Ilya Ivashka.
Struff’s game is predicated on his big serve and forehand, which can do serious damage on a grass court season if he’s accurate with them.
His backhand is a bit of a liability, but he’s been able to slice it to perfection on the turf in years past. As a result, Struff has reached the third round in two of his last three appearances here.
Alcaraz Still An Unknown On Grass
Alcaraz stepping onto a grass court is the great unknown. We’ve only seen him play the surface once before, and it was Wimbledon last year.
In that tournament, he defeated a low-quality opponent in Yasutaka Uchiyama before getting dusted in three sets by Daniil Medvedev the next round.
It’s worth noting that 2021 was simply a different season. Though Alcaraz won his first ATP title and went 48-19 across all levels, he didn’t find his full level until late in the season.
He certainly wasn’t a top-10 quality player then, and a great example of this would be his straight-set loss at the French Open to Struff himself.
Alcaraz has played a couple of exhibition matches in an effort to get a feel for the grass, and they have not gone well. Not only has he played with his arm heavily wrapped, he’s looked like he’s hitting the ball with a little less venom.
The Spaniard failed to win a set in both matches and fell to inferior competition in Casper Ruud and Frances Tiafoe.
The wrapping and the exhibition losses could mean nothing. They could also mean something.
I choose skepticism here, and that’s only fueled more by the fact that Alcaraz simply has not played this surface much in his life.
While he will form into a solid grass-court player with his power, it’s almost impossible to figure it out in your first few matches. You need to learn how to return the ball coming at you from the other side of the net, which is often lower than normal. You also need to integrate more slicing into your offense.
Struff’s big serve should allow him to cover this spread. I don’t anticipate Alcaraz being able to dominate in his return games with the speed of the game ratcheted up, and as a result I think getting 5.5 games is a great deal.
Pick: Struff +5.5 Games (-122)