Tennis Match Picks | Friday Wimbledon Predictions, Featuring Jarry vs Kubler
Quality Sport Images/Getty. Pictured: Jason Kubler.
Thursday was a much needed day for the organizers at the All England Club in terms of schedule congestion. After days of rain, they finally managed to finish off the first round and get a good chunk of second round matches out of the way as well at Wimbledon.
Friday brings us a hodge-podge of second and third round contests once more, and there are a few I have my eye on. Let's delve into the matchups featuring Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Botic van de Zandschulp, as well as the match that pits Nicolas Jarry against Jason Kubler.
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Friday Wimbledon Predictions
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (-185) vs Botic van de Zandschulp (+150)
7:30 a.m. ET
To get someone with the massive talent edge that Davidovich Fokina has in this match for the cheap price of laying 2.5 games seems like a steal.
I know there are other factors at play here, but even with those factored in, I'm not sure how the market got below 3.5-to-4 games as a spread on this one. I have a feeling this closes a half to full game higher than we're currently seeing in the market.
When it comes to the player with the more aggressive game and the weapons that are typically rewarded on grass? Advantage Davidovich Fokina.
The better athlete and mover? Also the Spaniard.
How about form? The 24-year old hasn't been turning many heads, but it's still much more impressive than what the Dutchman has put forth in the last few months. Van de Zandschulp just snapped a six-match losing skid in his fifth set win over Zhizhen Zhang, and even that had to be done in five sets and from a set and 1-4 down.
While Zhang has the aggressive and powerful game that Davidovich Fokina has, he's also more volatile from the baseline – and that's saying something.
The win for van de Zandschulp on Thursday was due simply to him recognizing that Zhang has no second gear and putting balls in play would eventually lead to errors from the Chinese pro.
Such a gameplan won't fly against Davidovich Fokina.
I was also concerned with the way the 27-year old's serve was so vulnerable against Zhang. Considering that he's no wizard on return, the way he was able to start so many points and get his racquet face to so many van de Zandschulp serves is concerning, since Davidovich Fokina is even stronger in that regard and he just put on a clinic against a much bigger server in Arthur Fils.
Nicolas Jarry (-175) vs Jason Kubler (+146)
7:30 a.m. ET
Kubler an underdog to Jarry on a grass court? Barring an injury issue, I'll take that as many times as the books and market want to offer it to me.
Look, I know he's coming off a long five setter, but it's one that should actually prepare him well for Jarry, and the case can be made that Ugo Humbert (the man he beat on Thursday) is actually better on the grass than Jarry.
This price point is based solely on Jarry's ability in terms of his serve and his form in 2023. Perhaps there's a little doubt in Kubler after a long five setter (though three of those were completed on Wednesday) sprinkled in. Before we get to the matchup, let's deal with each of those.
First, Jarry's serve is powerful. There's no way around that. Problem is, it's just about all he has on grass courts. The experience, pedigree, comfort, return game – you know name it – none are particularly impressive. Second, Kubler just beat a super flat hitting big server (and a lefty to boot) in the last round. I'm not sure we should be making the Chilean a favorite based solely on that.
Secondly, the form of Jarry this season is something I won't dispute. His form on grass? On that front, I'll take issue with him being in great form. His wins have now come against Marco Cecchinato, Stefanos Tsitsipas (notoriously poor on return on the grass) and Corentin Moutet, who has said on a few occasions to his coach since his return that he's out there playing with one groundstroke (he can't use his traditional two handed backhand thanks to the surgery he had earlier this season).
Against the guys that prefer quicker conditions? He lost as a favorite in three to Gregoire Barrere and couldn't manage a set against Alexander Zverev.
I have Kubler somewhere between those two, but he's certainly capable on the lawn courts. He's got a serve that plays up, a flat hitting style that is rewarded by the slick grass courts and is far superior whether it be movement-wise or on return. Look at it this way. With his serve playing up on grass, he gives up just two percentage points to Jarry in hold percentage. On return? He holds a 10-point advantage on grass in 2023.
Throw in the fact that he's already won three times as an underdog this year on the green stuff and you've got the market undervaluation as well.
Pick: Kubler ML (+146 via FanDuel)