Wednesday Wimbledon Odds, Predictions, Picks: Trust Zhang’s Grass Game Against Kostyuk (June 29)
Ryan Pierse/Getty. Pictured: Shuai Zhang.
The first round of Wimbledon was very exciting and there should be more high-quality tennis in the second round!
I am keeping my eye on two matches in Wednesday’s order of play.
Read on for my Wimbledon best bets and previews.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Irina-Camelia Begu (-225) vs. Elisabetta Cocciaretto (+190)
9:15 a.m. ET
Irina-Camelia Begu won 6-4, 6-1 in her first match on grass of the season against Ekaterine Gorgodze in the first round.
Begu won 77% of her first-serve points and only faced one break point all match, which she saved. The Romanian was all over Gorgodze’s serve, winning 50% of her return points and breaking four times.
Begu is now a great grass-court player, and does have a lot of experience on the surface, going 15-24 in her career on grass.
Last season, Begu even reached the third round of Wimbledon before falling to Iga Swiatek.
Begu is typically better on slower surfaces, but she has the ability to generate power when she has the opportunity to do so and holds onto the baseline well against weaker opposition.
She also defends well – even in faster conditions – and understands how to turn defense into offense.
Elisabetta Cocciaretto defeated an erratic Martina Trevisan 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the second round. Cocciaretto won 70% of her service points and wasn’t broken all match. In addition, she won 11-of-13 points on Trevisan’s second serve and broke serve on five occasions.
Cocciaretto has very minimal experience on grass, having not played on the surface before the first round, but she did well to beat a disintegrating opponent.
The Italian’s lack of experience didn’t hurt her against Trevisan, who allowed her to dictate from the baseline with her heavy forehand and Cocciaretto seemed to move fairly well on the grass.
This is a match between two players who would prefer clay. However, Begu has significantly more experience on grass and a better understanding of how to construct points and play in the faster, lower-bouncing conditions.
Cocciaretto has a heavy forehand, but she can be rushed from this wing and, on grass, Begu has the power to do so. Begu is the more steady player of the two and more comfortable transitioning to the net.
Pick: Begu -3.5 games (-118 via FanDuel)
Marta Kostyuk (-130) vs. Shuai Zhang (+105)
6 a.m. ET
Marta Kostyuk survived a tricky match against Katie Swan in the first round, beating the Brit 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Kostyuk won 66% of her service points and 67% of the points on Swan’s second serve. The Ukrainian was relentlessly aggressive and generated 12 break points, ultimately breaking Swan on four occasions.
Kostyuk goes big on her groundstrokes and tries to overpower her opponents, but can sometimes overhit and go for too much and spray unforced errors, especially when she’s forced to play more defense than she would like.
Shuai Zhang comfortably advanced to the second round, defeating Misaki Doi 6-4, 6-0. Zhang won 73% of her service points and was only broken once all match. On return, Zhang won 72% of Doi’s second-serve points and broke her on five occasions.
While Zhang is just 35-31 in her career on grass, since 2019, she is 19-10 on the surface.
Zhang even reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2019. She has a big first serve, which is important on grass, and good controlled aggression on her groundstrokes.
This will be a big-hitting match between two great ball strikers. However, Zhang has much more experience on grass, has the better serve of the two and is steadier when adding pace from the baseline.
Zhang also is more willing to defend than Kostyuk, who often bails out of rallies from defensive positions.
In terms of Elo ratings, while Zhang’s overall Elo is 35.1 points lower than Kostyuk’s, Zhang’s grass-court Elo is 69.6 points higher than the Ukrainian’s grass Elo.
Pick: Zhang ML (+105 via PointsBet)