Alex De Minaur vs Jordan Thompson ATP Picks - 6/14/2019
Alex De Minaur vs Jordan Thompson
4 am EST, 14th June 2019
ATP Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
All-Aussie matchup in the quarterfinals of the Hertogenbosch. If it was sort of expected from De Minaur to get himself going after switching from clay to grass, I don't think the same could be said for Thompson. I always viewed him as a guy that is terrorizing the challenger tour but lacks some real weapons to make a proper breakthrough at the highest level. He is winning nearly 70% of his matches on challengers and has won 7 titles there. It was mostly thanks to his ability to hold the ball in play longer, being more durable and using impatience of his opponents against them. When you get to the main tour, you have to add something to that, which he was unable to do, resulting in a poor 38% win rate. Before this tournament, he had a 2-9 record on the grass courts. And he was probably not expected to get into this stage of the tournament. First, he defeated qualifier Tommy Paul from the USA, after being a set down. While yesterday's win might even fall into the upset category. Ousting #6 seed Francis Tiafoe in a way that he did was definitely quite surprising. He needed only 67 minutes to finish that second round match, thanks to a brilliant returning performance. He won an astonishing 48% of the returning points and converted 4 out of 5 break chances, even though Tiafoe is not a bad server at all. Serving was pretty clean as well, with 5/1 aces to double faults ratio and only one break of serve allowed.
He is moving onto the next round, where he'll face his fellow countrymen - Alex De Minaur. Despite a horrible summer on clay courts, Alex kept his ranking high enough to get him a #3 seed in this tournament and a first-round bye. On Tuesday he played Andreas Seppi, who shared a lot of the same problems during the summer, which accumulated to 10-match losing streak. Meaning, he wasn't coming to Hertogenbosch in that great of a form, so we don't know yet how much was that De Minaur's straight-set win really worth. What we do know is that similarly to Thompson, he also had a strong returning performance, winning 39% of the points in those games and breaking Seppi's serve 3 times in 8 tries.
All that being said, it seems like the serves will not be much of a factor in this match. Neither of these two guys is really counting on many free points of-of his serve. This one is most likely being decided with 5+ shots rallies, which is somewhat unusual for grass court tennis. They know each other's games really well, often practicing together. But in official matches, they've only met twice so far and it happened back-to-back earlier this year. De Minaur won both, without losing a set. But back then, he was in way better form and was deemed as a big favorite. This time around, Thompson might have a better shot to keep it closer.
Betting odds & prediction
The line opened with De Minaur being a -175 favorite and total being set at 22.5. No big surprises there. But interesting enough, despite De Minaur having more support by the betting public, the line dropped on Thompson's side. It means that the underdog could be the sharp side here. I am not so sure about it, because I do prefer De Minaur on grass courts, especially if he has no opponent that will dominate with some first strike tennis. If the match is decided during the rallies, he has an edge with his movement and the shots selection that fits these playing conditions like a glove.
Tony's Pick: Alex De Minaur -161
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