Wimbledon 2016 Betting: Kyrgios may have to go long against Stepanek


The sun shone on The All England Club on Monday as Wimbledon 2016 got underway and we enjoyed a profitable start to the fortnight on day one too.

Janko Tipsarevic landed the 'long shot' with a 6-4 opening set win over Gilles Simon to provide a 3.15 winner and we also succeeded with the 'long shot' double when Sergiy Stakhovsky and Nico Almagro were winners.

Almagro made us sweat a bit, almost giving up a two sets to love lead, but he did it in the end in five sets and the clean sweep of winners was completed by Brydan Klein, who came from 0-4 down in the third set to sneak the overs home against Nicolas Mahut.

Alexander Zverev vs Paul-Henri Mathieu

Young Zverev looks mighty short for this one against PHM and especially given that the German has lost his last two matches against the Frenchman in 2015 and 2016.

Prior to this swing Zverev hadn't shown much at all on grass, but the price on this one would appear to be based on a run to the Halle final and a possible injury to Mathieu.

Zverev took down a below par Federer in the Gerry Weber Open, but he was a little fortunate against Marcos Baghdatis and of course he was beaten by Florian Mayer in the final.

He failed to win any of his opening sets in Halle in fewer than 10 games and of his 14 career matches on grass at main level Zverev has only won two of the opening sets in fewer than 10 games.

That makes the 1.65 about over 9.5 games in set one decent value and I also like the over 36.5 total games in this one at a price of around 1.93.

Mathieu's wrist injury was just from a fall at Queen's and not anything more serious than that and you always have to factor in some part of PHM's body breaking down when betting on his matches anyway.

But if we look at the grass court hold/break stats of the pair they're very similar, with Zverev holding his own serve 84.9 percent of the time, while Mathieu's mark is slightly better at 85.4 percent.

Zverev breaks 17.8 percent of the time compared to the 16.7 percent of PHM, so on numbers there's not a lot in it, and with their head-to-head tied at 2-2 this one might be closer than the 1.20 on Zverev suggests.

Yen-Hsun Lu vs Alexander Kudryavtsev


Lu has been in fine form in the grass court Challengers this summer and has to be part of Tuesday's 'sure thing' against an opponent who has perennially struggled on this surface and is playing his first main draw match at Wimbledon.

The Russian has been trying to qualify on and off since 2008 and having made Q3 for only the second ever time he finally nailed it, but against an opponent who is far more comfortable on grass his progress should stall here.

Lu has won 14 matches on grass already this summer, having landed titles in Ilkley and Surbiton and he also made the final in Manchester so he's thoroughly attuned to this surface right now.

The head-to-head between the pair means very little, with only one completed match in their series, which was on hard back in 2007, and it would be a big surprise on all grass form if Lu were to lose this one.

We can combine Lu with Juan Martin Del Potro to make a 1.34 double for Tuesday, with Delpo taking on French veteran Stephane Robert, who doesn't have the firepower to really compete with the Argentine.

Robert has never been past round two of any grass court tournament and Delpo has spent perhaps longer than any other player on grass this summer, having skipped the clay swing to get ready for the grass.

A loss to Robert would be a huge shock unless Delpo's wrist flares up, but happily the Tower of Tandil, who is working with Dani Vallverdu during Wimbledon, says he's almost 100 percent fit now.

Others to consider for the 'sure thing' wager include Mikhail Youzhny and Dustin Brown, who both face opponents with dismal stats on grass.

Nick Kyrgios vs Radek Stepanek

A real 'long shot' today in this 11:30 UK time clash between young pretender Kyrgios and the wily veteran Stepanek and that is to take a chance on NK edging it in a decider at a tempting 5.80.

This is perhaps the pick of the first round matches this year and Stepanek will love the opportunity to really wind the volatile Kyrgios up with his celebrations and in your face style and it could be great entertainment.

The Aussie should win it, but Steps showed yet again how much he enjoys taking on and really troubling the big names when he came close to beating Andy Murray at the French Open and I'd be surprised if Kyrgios was able to win this one comfortably.

The Czech may be getting on a bit, but his stats on grass are very good, with an 85.1 percent servic hold mark combined with a break of serve percentage of 20.3, which isn't too far away from the 91.0 and 18.3 of the Aussie on this surface.

Kyrgios' grass prep has been limited to one match at Queen's and a knockabout at the Boodles and he hasn't won a competitive match since beating Igor Sijsling at the French Open.

The Czech's chances surely lie with a fast start in this 11:30 UK time clash and if he does get off to a flyer like he did against Murray this could become a really tricky test for the Aussie.

Stepanek has lost five of his last seven matches that have gone to a fifth and you would favour Kyrgios (who has won his last three) in the latter stages.

Best Bets
Sure thing: Back Lu and Del Potro in a double at 1.34
Value bet: Back over 36.5 games in Zverev/Mathieu at 1.93
Long shot: Back Kyrgios to beat Stepanek 3-2 at 5.80