Jan-Lennard Struff vs Lucas Pouille ATP Tips - 6/14/2019
Jan-Lennard Struff vs Lucas Pouille
4 am EST, 14th June 2019
ATP Stuttgart, Germany
Another day, another strong performance by Jan-Lennard Struff. The final result is not telling us the whole story, because the match was actually a little bit closer than that 6-2 6-2. But, credit to Struff for finding his best tennis when it most mattered. He faced two break opportunities early in sets. Once Kecmanovic was threatening to break back to 2-all in the first set and the next time, he was about to jump into a 3-1 lead in the second set. Struff denied both of those break chances, while convert 4/8 of his own. Mostly doing it with brilliant ball-striking, he proved once again that he is in very good form at the moment. Kecmanovic is no pushover by any stretch of the imagination. He's shown that by not being giving up after set down vs Kohlschreiber. But he was simply outmatched here. Struff feasted on his weaknesses (second serve, forehand) and punished them with no mercy. Even though Kecmanovic tested him in some longer rallies with quality counter-punching, Jan had an answer for everything. He terrorized Miomir's serve which was expected, winning 45% of returning points and 41% of returning points vs 1st serves which is a crazy stat for grass courts.
His next opponent will be Lucas Pouille who had a more challenging task. After eliminating dangerous grass court player in Feliciano Lopez, he ran into #3 seed Danil Medvedev in the second round. Granted, the Russian came to Stuttgart in a very questionable form, but still being considered as a real threat in these type of conditions. And he was. The match was really good overall. Many great rallies, highlight moves, hard-fought points... They really went at each other and not much was dividing them after two sets of tennis, with composure being that deciding factor in the third set. Lucas adapted better to the changing playing conditions and that is why he was victorious in the end. Sun was going down and some parts of the court had some moisture on it. Medvedev thought it's too dangerous to play and after slipping a couple of times in those spots, he spent the rest of the match arguing with the officials about suspending the match and continuing it tomorrow. Pouille wasn't bothered by it and just played some tennis. When you score a 3/6 aces to double faults ration, it's usually not good enough on grass, but he did such a great job with his return that it didn't matter in the end. He kept Medvedev to measly 61% points won behind his serve, despite his 19 aces. It just shows you that Danil had to hit it full-force in the corner to get an easy point off his serve. If not, Pouille made him work really hard for it.
Struff entered this tournament with a putrid 6-17 grass court record and has lost to Moelleker (rank - 303) last year in the first round here. He was not supposed to get very far in this tournament, but as I was saying earlier, the betting market was not aware that he had a bad record on grass because he was not that good of a tennis player and not because he would favor other surfaces over grass. His confidence at the moment is through the roof. He is hitting the ball with so much power and precision, that it's going to be difficult for any of these 2nd tier opponents to stop him.
Lucas Pouille is ahead when talking about their H2H. They've actually met twice already on this surface, both times in 2017 and both times the Frenchman defeated the German. Similar to Kecmanovic, Pouille will be asking some questions in this match. Play with some more margin, get the ball back in play and try to figure out how well is Struff feeling the ball that day. Jan will have to come up with some goods once again and whether he does it or not, will determine the winner.
Betting odds & prediction
Since he's doing it match after match for quite some time now, I would really need a better reward than +110 to step in his way. Pouille is playing decent tennis at the moment, but it's Struff's time now. The total was a quite intriguing thought for me before the lines came out. With Struff's volatile playing style, it's not that wild to expect him to miss a few shots and drop a set here. But at 25.5, there is simply not enough value there. There is no fallback plan with taking the over in that situation. You need three sets or it's a bust
Josh's Pick: Jan Lennard Struff -127
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