ATP Wimbledon Quarterly Betting Preview: Sascha Zverev Looks Vulnerable
Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Alexander Zverev
Alexander “Sascha” Zverev may very well be the top-seeded player in his quarter of the draw, but oddsmakers have made Novak Djokovic (+137) the favorite.
Zverev has had fitness issues since the French Open, and has only advanced to one Grand Slam quarterfinal in his career. Either way, he enters this tournament under the radar, but that could be a blessing in disguise.
Since being dubbed “the future of tennis” by many pundits, the German has struggled to deal with the pressure at Slams in his young career. Lower expectations could prove to be a refreshing changeup for the rising star — assuming a clean bill of health.
Let’s dig a little deeper into this quarter, starting with some key head-to-head records and finishing with value in the futures market.
Zverev Head-to-Head vs. Seeds
- 2-5 vs. Dominic Thiem
- 1-0 vs. Novak Djokovic
- 3-3 vs. Nick Kyrgios
- 3-0 vs. Kyle Edmund
- 1-1 vs. Kei Nishikori
- 1-1 Damir Dzumhur
- 1-2 vs. Fernando Verdasco
Zverev is the only player among the top four seeds without a winning record against seeded opponents in his quarter (12-12), and none of those matches were played on grass.
Key Head-to-Head Records
- Kyrgios 2-0 vs. Djokovic
- Djokovic 3-1 vs. Edmund
- Djokovic 13-2 vs. Nishikori
Potential Popcorn Matches
- Thiem vs. Marcos Baghdatis (1R)
- Verdasco vs. Frances Tiafoe (1R)
- Kyrgios vs. Nishikori (3R)
- Djokovic vs. Kyrgios (QF)
- Kyrgios: (1R: Denis Istomin, 2R: Marius Copil/Robin Haase, 3R: Nishikori, 4R: Zverev, QF: Djokovic/Thiem)
Unseeded Grass Specialist
- Yuichi Sugita: 38-28 career record (in all competitions) on grass; 27-13 past three years (in all competitions); one title
Potential Parlay Pieces
- Karen Khachanov (-455) vs. David Ferrer (+320)
- Kyrgios (-714) vs. Istomin (+450)
- Bernard Tomic (-278) vs. Hubert Hurkacz (+210)
- Ernests Gulbis (-625) vs. Jay Clarke (+400)
In his last qualifying match, Tomic vomited on the court — and didn’t exactly look in “match shape” ahead of Wimbledon. He lost in straight sets, but still made the main draw as a Lucky Loser. Hurkacz has a pretty big game and can test Tomic, assuming that last performance was indicative of his current form.
As for Gulbis, he can lose his head and stumble against pretty much anyone. A young home favorite like Clarke could cause trouble if he jumps out in front early. Beware of Bern and Ernie.
Finding Futures Value
In my mind, either Kyrgios (+450) or Djokovic (+137) will win this quarter. Djokovic looked close to regaining his form of old last week in Queen’s, straight-setting Grigor Dimitrov and an in-form Jeremy Chardy before losing a very competitive final to Marin Cilic.
Thiem, Edmund and Verdasco — none of whom play their best tennis on grass courts — are the seeds Djokovic could potentially play before the quarterfinals. You have to like his chances with that fortunate draw.
In the quarterfinal, Djokovic would likely face his first real test — in the form of Kyrgios or Zverev. I fancy Kyrgios’ chances against Zverev for some of the fitness questions I previously mentioned.
Plus, Kyrgios has looked like a “new man” over the past month, posting rock-solid results in back-to-back tournaments at Stuttgart and Queen’s — making the final and semifinal, respectively. He finally appears primed to make it count at a Grand Slam, on a surface he thrives on.
Kyrgios (+450) looks to have the most value in this quarter of the draw, especially considering his 2-0 record against Djokovic.
Quarter Bets to Watch: Djokovic +137, Kyrgios +450
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