Alexander Zverev vs Dustin Brown Expert ATP Picks - 6/13/2019
Alexander Zverev vs Dustin Brown
4 am EST, 13th June 2019
ATP Stuttgart, Germany
This one is going to be fun to watch, I already know that. Dustin Brown is one of the most entertaining players on the tour and he usually comes alive during the grass court season. He might come off as nonchalant at times, because of his style of play is pretty unique. But that's simply how he rolls. Often it throws his opponents off because he puts them in non-traditional situations, which are demanding a lot of outside-the-box thinking and quick reactions to solve them. Even though his record on grass doesn't jump off the screen as much compared to the other surfaces (44% vs 37%), believe me, it is where he can ruffle some feathers and has the most chances to cause an upset. It is interesting that he played in Hertogenbosch at the same time last year, losing to Bernard Tomic in the first round. Not securing his participation in the main draw was a big lapse by Mercedes Cup directors. A home crowd favorite with the ability to entertain the crowd would put many behinds in those seats. They were lucky he entered the qualifications this year and fought his way through them, even with a couple of strong players being in his way (Istomin, Barrere). In the first round, he defeated John Millman who is ranked more than 100 positions higher in the rankings. Aussie is a pretty traditional tennis player when we talk about playing styles. The one who likes to play from behind the baseline can do a bit of everything, but doesn't really have any elite traits. It is not a surprise that a player like that struggled vs Dustin who mixes it up so much, forcing you to do things that you are not used to be doing. Millman couldn't handle that and lost in straight sets, even though he had a set point in the second set.
His next opponent will be pretty similar. Alexander Zverev is another player who feels most comfortable behind the baseline, moving laterally and hitting his groundstrokes. Only that he usually does it on a higher level than John Millman. He entered this tournament very late, by taking the wildcard from the organizers, becoming the #1 seed at the same time. There was a lot of talk about him and the situation inside his team lately. His coach Ivan Lendl returned and will be with him in Stuttgart, after skipping the Roland Garros for some reason. Many were guessing if the bad chemistry inside the team could be the reason for him playing below expectations lately. Don't know if that is true or not. But the fact is that he is not playing his best tennis.
They only met once so far. Sascha was still a teenager, climbing through the ranks and collecting points on the challenger tour. Tournament of that level in Mons, Belgium (2014) is where he recorded that 2-0 win over more experienced countryman. But, that one was not played on the grass courts. As I mentioned, the green surface is the one where Dustin pulls all of his tricks out of the bag and really goes for it. He is slicing and dicing a lot, keeping the ball very low from the ground and coming to the net constantly, showing off his volleying skills. Also, showmen like him love the bright lights of the center court. And that is why I don't have anydoubt that he'll bring anything less than his absolute best in this one.
Betting odds & prediction
Understandably, Zverev as a No.5 player in the world is still considered as a big favorite over Brown who is ranked just outside top 150. But, I think Dustin can cause him lots of problems in this match. Especially in the beginning, when Zverev will still be finding the right timing after transitioning to the new surface. And Brown coming at him hard with blazing 2nd serve returns, quality chip & charge combinations, not offering much of a target, so you have to really hit a good passing shot to win the point. In my opinion, Zverev will need some time to figure out how to deal with all the variety that Brown is throwing at him, so the first set is pretty wide open.
Josh's Pick: Dustin Brown 1st set +202
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