Benoit Paire vs Juan Ignacio Londero Wimbledon Picks - 7/1/2019
Benoit Paire vs Juan Ignacio Londero
10 am EST, 1st July 2019
As we expected, Paire was not very interested in tiring himself out the week before Wimbledon in unforgiving Turkish heat. Conditions in Antalya were challenging for the players, playing in temperatures close to 40 degrees Celsius. Paire did his best to show everybody how he's feeling about those conditions, through his antics on the court of course. He was laying on the ground by the bench, during the changeovers. Called for medical time-out a couple of times. Even ripped the sleeves off his t-shirt and continued playing like that, looking more like a guitar player of some metal band, rather than a tennis player. Not surprisingly, he lost that match in straight sets to a pretty good grass court player in Viktor Troicki. It remains to be seen if he gets his act together for Wimbledon and starts playing seriously. Considering the importance of this tournament, I'd say there is a good chance for that to happen. But, you still have to be careful with trusting him in situations where he is favored quite a bit because not much is needed to throw him off. A bad line call, crowd or simply not feeling like playing on that day can all result in a severe change of momentum in favor of his opponent. Frenchman is not really a great grass court player, but he does have a positive record in Wimbledon (11-8) and he did well here in the last couple of years with 4th and 3rd round respectively.
On paper, he shouldn't be having too many problems with his first-round opponent. But taking Juan Ignacio Londero for granted would be a big mistake. Argentine doesn't have a whole lot of experience on this surface. I don't even think he played on grass all that much before this season. Even this year, he skipped two first weeks before entering into qualifying for Eastbourne. He lost to Fabbiano in two close sets, which is not that bad of a result considering that Italian went on eliminating a couple of big names after that, before falling to Sam Querrey in semifinals. Luckily for Juan Ignacio, he was able to enter the main draw as a lucky loser. Eliminated British hope Jay Clarke in the first round and then lost to Verdasco after a very close battle in the third set tie-break.
The trick with Londero is that most will not give him any credit on grass courts, because he achieved all of his success on clay courts. Even on hard courts, he wasn't very good, which is why most of the people will view him as a traditional dirt-baller. But Londero has great hands and his ability to hit the ball while rising helps him to be competitive in these conditions. His groundstrokes don't have that much topspin, comparing to some other clay courters. He does have some power and can hit it through the court when needed. He played Paire earlier this season in Barcelona and lost in straight sets.
Betting odds & prediction
Based on rankings and incorrect perceived image of Londero being a poor grass court player, linemakers opened this one very wide with Paire being favored in -350 range. I would be very uncomfortable laying that type of juice with him vs an underrated player and a very tough competitor in Juan Ignacio Londero. He is going to stick close in this one in my opinion and wait for his opportunity. If Paire doesn't keep composure throughout the match, Londero is going to make him pay for it.
Tony's Pick: Juan Ignacio Londero +287
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