Borna Coric vs Pierre Hughes Herbert ATP Moneyline Picks - 6/21/2019
Borna Coric vs Pierre Hughes Herbert
4 am EST, 21st June 2019
ATP Halle, Germany
Borna Coric needed nearly 3 hours to book his place in the quarterfinals and continue his defense of the last year's title. That is a very long time for a best-of-3 grass court match and considering how exhausting this battle was, he will embrace that day of rest on Thursday with open arms. This was far from your typical grass court match because there was an unusually high number of long baseline rallies. But with those two guys involved, I'm not surprised because that is where they are most comfortable. Looking at the stats, the Croatian player was behind in many of the important categories. He had a lower percentage of service points won (71% vs 74%), same with those when returning (26% vs 29%) and he created fewer break chances (4 vs 9). But, where he won the match was the crucial points and he played his best tennis when those came. Especially under pressure, when he was behind in both first and third set tie-breakers but managed to come from behind and win them. Also, he faced 4 break chances in the deciding set and saved them all. We might say that Sousa was the better player in that 3rd set, but Borna showed a lot of character and fought through the adversity when his game was not working perfectly and won this one with his heart and relentlessness.
His next opponent had a completely different type of match. The similarity was that Herbert needed 3 sets for the win against Stakhovsky as well, but the dynamics of the match were quite different. Both him and Stakhovsky have some weapons that can be very dangerous on grass courts. Both are very good servers, which caused the points to be much shorter and both like to come to the net as soon as possible and show off their volleying techniques which are a joy to watch. Herbert had a very slow start into the match, getting broken twice in a row. But in the second set, he was starting to play much better. Won the tie-breaker to push the match into the third set and was clearly a better player there with 87% of points won behind his serve and getting the lone break of the set, which was enough for the win.
Key elements where Herbert won the previous match was the return and hitting the ball better with his forehand during the baseline rallies. In the third set especially, he denied most of the easy points that Stakhovsky was getting with his first serve earlier, returning on a very high level and winning those rallies from the baseline. I'm not sure that is something he can successfully recreate vs Coric. Borna is a completely different type of player. Definitely much stronger from behind the baseline then both Stakhovsky and Herbert, so returning the ball back in play will not be worth as much in this match for the Frenchman. He needs to find another way. Serving on a very high level is a must here, but watching him play last two weeks, he wasn't really accomplishing that very often, despite serve being considered one of his strengths.
Betting odds & prediction
Herbert defeated Coric twice in his career already. But that was more than 5 years ago in playing conditions that were very fast, while Borna was pretty incompetent on any surface other than clay back then. Two most recent matches were won by Coric, but both of them were played on the dirt. So I don't think we can read much into this 2-2 H2H. Conditions in Halle are pretty interesting. The grass is quite worn down already and it results in points being a bit longer for some reason. Playing long points is not something that Herbert will enjoy here. I know Coric struggled vs Sousa and I'm not a huge fan of him on the grass, but I think he matches up really well vs Pierre in these conditions.
Josh's Pick: Borna Coric -2.5 (-103)
Read more articles by Josh Schonwald
Get all of Today's Free Tennis Picks
Get all of Today's Guaranteed Expert Tennis Picks