Jay Clarke vs Leonardo Mayer Expert ATP Picks Against the Spread - 6/25/2019
Jay Clarke vs Leonardo Mayer
5 am EST, 25th June 2019
ATP Eastbourne, England
Even though the clay court is his favorite surface, Leonardo Mayer is not one of those Latin American players that is limited when it comes to playing on other surfaces. He is hitting the ball more aggressively than some other clay courters, which is helping him win in some faster playing conditions as well. He achieved a very decent result at Roland Garros, getting into the 4th round. He lost there to Federer in straight sets. But before the match, there were some rumors about dealing with a tear in his thigh which might have prevented him to put up a better fight in that match. Trying to recover from that injury before Wimbledon was probably the reason behind not playing first two weeks on grass. But he came to Eastbourne, probably to test out how he's feeling before a big Grand Slam tournament and get some feel for the conditions that are waiting for him there. But actually, he always played ok in Eastbourne. He is 5-4 here with 2 quarterfinal runs. I'm not sure what his ambitions are this week, but it's good to keep in the back of your mind that he performed well here in the past.
He is facing Jay Clarke in the first round. A talented British player, for whom they have very high hopes and view him as the future of British tennis. But we rarely come across young talented British player, that is not very good on grass courts. Part of the reason why, is because he moved to Sweden as a junior and practiced there, meaning he didn't play as much grass court tennis as some of his peers. He is 1-4 on the main tour, but his 2-7 on challenger level is quite concerning, considering that he won more than 60% of matches on the other two playing surfaces. Even as a junior, he wasn't that good on grass, 2nd round being his best achievement at Wimbledon and Roehampton. In previous couple of weeks, he failed to win a single match, losing to Donskoy, Duckworth, and Pouille.
But I wouldn't give up on him quite yet. It's true that his game is better suited for clay courts with that big backswing on the forehand side which he uses to put a lot of topspin on the ball. Point constructing is his strength, but in the match vs Pouille, I saw some things that will help him improve his grass court record. He grew into his frame really well in last year or so, becoming stronger physically, more explosive and that added some more power to his game with his serve becoming a serious weapon now. He also included more backhand slices when playing on grass and is trying to adjust his forehand swing to make it shorter and better suited for these faster conditions.
Betting odds & prediction
The line opened Clarke +275 with linemakers obviously having no faith whatsoever in his skills on the grass. But as I mentioned, some changes to improve on this surface were seen in his previous matches, that the market didn't catch and failed to factor in. Also, I don't think Leonardo Mayer deserves to be favored by this much. He is not grass court specialist and his competitive ambitions in this tournament are questionable. I believe that he's only looking for a good hit before Wimbledon and wanting to test out that thigh which was slowing him down couple weeks ago. That alone makes him a solid fade at this price.
Josh's Pick: Jay Clarke +233
Read more articles by Josh Schonwald
Get all of Today's Free Tennis Picks
Get all of Today's Guaranteed Expert Tennis Picks