Borna Coric vs Jaume Munar Expert ATP Picks - 6/18/2019
Borna Coric vs Jaume Munar
5 am EST, 18th June 2019
ATP Halle, Germany
There is very little data on Jaume Munar and his grass court tennis. It's actually pretty safe to say he doesn't have much experience playing on this surface. As a pro, he is 0-3, despite the record showing 0-1, but does not include his loss in Q1 of Antalya open to Majchrzak and the elimination at the same stage of last years Wimbledon vs Andrea Collarini. Even as a junior, he mostly stuck to his then beloved clay courts, where he was pretty much unstoppable. His only two recorded appearances were at Wimbledon 2014 and Roehampton the same year. Didn't do too well, losing in 2nd and 3rd round respectively, despite being one of the top juniors player in the world at that time (his highest ranking was No.3). Last week he lost to Fucsovics in Stuttgart, after a surprisingly close fought contest. Did that mean he is improving as an all-court player or was that just a one-time deal?
There is no better way to answer that question than seeing how he'll fare against the defending champion - Borna Coric from Croatia. He was a massive underdog to take this tournament last year, priced 5 to 1 vs Roger Federer in the finals. But, taking advantage of coming into the match well rested after Bautista Agut retired early in their semifinal bout, he played well and caused a big upset. And he is going to defend the title in a pretty good mood, after a strong opening of his grass courts schedule in Hertogenbosch last week. He had a couple of solid wins early on, before getting eliminated to eventual champion Adrian Mannarino in the semifinals. His update pro grass court record after last week is 9-9. Looking at only .500 for a guy that won the title here last year and played semis last week at the other event, is really weird. Wins in those two tournaments represent the vast majority of his total number in the W column. Which is also indicating that he didn't do very well on all the other grass court events where he participated. Analyzing his body of work on the grass court tournaments, it's obvious he's a boom or bust when it comes to playing on this surface.
And that is not very surprising to me. Borna doesn't have many tools in his game that would help him use the best that these playing conditions have to offer. Which makes him a mediocre grass court player (considering his ranking). He'll do fine because his overall tennis ability is on a high level, but I don't see him do well in grass court tournaments week in and week out.
Munar was someone that really enjoyed playing on clay courts in recent years. But I think that he showed a lot of improvement on hard courts lately and that could come handy on grass as well. He still does play with heavy topspin on his forehand but added some power in other areas of his game, which allows him to be more aggressive when needed.
Betting odds & prediction
By now, you probably figured out where this is going. I don't blame you for thinking that I'm crazy, but yes, I think that 0-3 Jaume Munar could stay competitive vs defending champion in this match. He would have a lot of problems vs a grass courts specialist that would know how to exploit his lack of experience on this surface. But I don't think Coric is able to do that. The dynamics of this match will be very similar to the imaginary match-up between them on any other playing surface. It's very important that Munar improved his serve and will hold his own in that department. In baseline rallies, there is nothing Borna can throw at him, that would throw him completely out of his comfort zone.
Josh's Pick: Jaume Munar +4 (-125)
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