Leonardo Mayer vs Hubert Hurkacz ATP Tips - 7/3/2019
Leonardo Mayer vs Hubert Hurkacz
5:30 am EST, 3rd July 2019
There were a lot of questions surrounding Leonardo's Mayer fitness before the start of the tournament. After a good result at the French open, he revealed that he was dealing with a tear in his thigh, which bothered him in that last match with Roger Federer when he got eliminated from the tournament. Back then, it didn't sound too serious, but after skipping first two weeks of grass court season, there was a concern if he'll manage to get back on the court until the next Grand Slam in Wimbledon. After last-minute withdrawal from Eastbourne last week, I thought that he is still not ready for return. But considering that there was no sign of the injury on Monday vs Gulbis, he might have pulled out simply because he didn't want to risk re-injury of his leg a couple of days before the big event. It was a pretty interesting match with Mayer mostly taking advantage of all the Gulbis' mistakes. Latvian player had 52 unforced errors in this match alongside only 23 winners. Mayer was also negative with 21/32 ratio, but he simply couldn't lose vs someone that was so self-destructive as Gulbis in the previous round. But, we have to say that his returning was spot on. Conceding only 2 aces vs a big server like Gulbis means that his reads and reactions were really good and he was able to get his racket on a bunch of those serves. It resulted in 45% of all returning points won, 17 break chances out of which 5 were converted. He won in straight sets, but the second set was a big rollercoaster, and if Gulbis would take one of 5 set points that he had, then who knows what could've happened.
On the other side, Hubert Hurkacz did drop a set, but similarly to Mayer won the match pretty comfortably. He played Dusan Lajovic who is not a great grass court player. Hurkacz was a constant threat when it came to endangering opponents serve, because he pushed pretty much all Lajovic's serve games to deuce at least, winning 39% of all returning points and having 15 break opportunities. 20% conversion of those is probably the main reason why this one didn't end in straight sets because Hurkacz got punished in the second set for not converting his opportunities earlier and got broken when serving to stay in the set. The only time in the entire match. Hurkacz already came to Wimbledon in very decent shape, after a good run in Eastbourne last week, where he lost to the champion Taylor Fritz in a very close quarterfinal match.
These two met in 2016 during the Davis Cup tie between their respective countries. Mayer won in straight sets, but back then Hurkacz was still a teenager, trying to put his name on the map. Right now, they are much closer in the rankings than back then. Hurkacz's game is definitely better suited for faster playing conditions. Mayer might not be your typical clay courter and plays more aggressive. But he still has a big backswing on his forehand and likes the higher bounce. Hubert has a big game, where he's able to play behind his serve and use the 1-2 punch. He is also a sneaky good defender for a big guy. He uses his wingspan to block a lot of shots back in play and force his opponent into an extra shot.
Betting odds & prediction
Hurkacz opened at -150 and got pushed down all the way to -200. It's an interesting move, considering that many consensus sites are showing public siding with Mayer in this one. It probably means Hurkacz is the side that sharp bettors like here and I will not disagree with that. Mayer can't match his power and will struggle with the height of the ball on this low-bouncing surface. Another 21/32 (winners/UEs) performance will not cut it here.
Josh's Pick: Hubert Hurkacz -3 (-108)
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