Jordan Thompson vs Damir Dzumhur ATP Tips - 6/27/2019
Jordan Thompson vs Damir Dzumhur
6 am EST, 27th June 2019
ATP Antalya, Turkey
There were some questions surrounding Dzumhur's ability to defend all the points that he won last year, winning the title in Antalya, but he is doing pretty well so far. It was interesting that he didn't play in any grass court tournaments this season before this week. Also, there were some images of him, practicing on hard courts days before the tournament and rumors saying that he's dealing with a minor injury that is affecting his backhand. But despite all that, he was doing just fine so far, even though the draw was not very kind to him. In the first round already, he had to play Matthew Ebden. Aussie with a high-level grass court skills, but fortunately for Dzumhur in very poor form at the moment. After losing in first rounds of both Hertogenbosch and Halle, he continued the losing streak here, committing far too many errors and making Damir's job much easier. After that, defending champion played domestic recipient of the wild-card Altug Celikbilek who previously eliminated Ernests Gulbis. Surprisingly he proved to be tougher opponent then Ebden, possessing a lot of power in his game and when he was hitting his marks, Dzumhur couldn't do much about it. Still, it was too inconsistent to be enough for another upset.
After struggling to make a breakthrough on the main tour, Jordan Thompson seemingly found his niche on the grass. Played his first career finals in Hertogenbosch, where he lost to Mannarino and is probably hoping to build on that here. The upper part of the draw with Benoit Paire as #1 seed seems pretty wide open, but first, he'll have to get through the defending champion. Yesterday he defeated Bradley Klahn from the USA, but it was not as easy as some expected before the match. The first set was very close, going into the tie-breaker and in the second, Klahn had several opportunities to re-break and push it into the third set. Thompson managed to fend off all of those attempts and win in straight sets.
I've seen a couple of things in that match that slightly bothered Thompson. Klahn plays slice backhand almost exclusively. He doesn't provide any pace for his opponent to work with and Thompson seemed to struggle with constructing the point against that shot. In contrast to Klahn, Dzumhur is a right-handed player but he also mixes it up a lot and uses slice shots on both wings. I'm sure he will incorporate a fair share of those in his gameplan and trying to see how Thompson is going to react. In previous match, he was able to stay patient long enough to lure Klahn into going for a riskier shot. But I don't think that's going to be as easy in quarterfinals. Dzumhur is more patient and plays with more versatility. He will use drop shots and come to the net in order to shorten the points, when not being able to hit through Thompson, rather than trying to hit a big forehand on the line.
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Betting odds & prediction
Thompson opened as a pretty substantial favorite. The market obviously values him as a better grass court player, who is in very good form on top of that. But I wouldn't completely rule out Damir in this spot. I'll admit that I was a bit skeptical about him as well in the start of the tournament, but obviously, he took this title defense very seriously. His playing style with cause this match to be very dynamic and might throw off Aussie just enough to steal a win here.
Josh's Pick: Damir Dzumhur +171
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