Matteo Berrettini vs Marcos Baghdatis ATP Picks & Predictions - 7/4/2019
Matteo Berrettini vs Marcos Baghdatis
5 am EST, 4th July 2019
Apart from expecting some great tennis, this one will be anticipated for several other reasons as well. Marcos Baghdatis announced last week that he will be retiring after the Wimbledon. He had a very successful tennis career. Dating all the way back to his teenage years when he was a No.1 juniors player in the world, through the year 2006 when he lost the finals at Australian Open vs Federer, all up until now. It's true that in most recent years, he was not playing up to his potential, but that was mostly because of the injuries which were also the main reason behind the decision to retire. On Tuesday he successfully dodged the first bullet in the form of Bryden Schnur. Big-serving Canadian that entered the main draw as a lucky loser simply couldn't handle Marcos' grass courts savviness and lost in straight sets. But we can't really say we were surprised by that. Baghdatis has always been known as an extremely dangerous grass court player, with his playing style fitting these playing conditions like a glove. He is a 54-39 lifetime on this surface and 21-13 in Wimbledon with a very good period in years 2006 and 2007 when he played semifinals and quarterfinals respectively.
If he easily dodged the first "retirement bullet" It's probably not going to be as easy this time around. He is playing Matteo Berrettini who was raising a lot of eyebrows since the beginning of June. After not really being known for his grass court tennis, he showed right away that he made slight adjustments in his game and it worked beautifully for him in the first two weeks. He first cruised through the draw in Stuttgart, without dropping his serve a single time! He continued the winning streak the next week in Halle, still playing great tennis, but ultimately getting stopped by David Goffin in the semis. His only other Wimbledon appearance was last year, when he defeated Jack Sock in the first round, before getting eliminated by Gilles Simon in the very next. But those results from previous years on grass are not telling the truth about Matteo, who has made huge strides on this surface this year. On Tuesday, he got past Aljaz Bedene. I was a little bit surprised that he dropped the opening set, but he gathered himself and showed a lot of mental toughness to deal with the pressure of being a massive favorite and not starting the match well on top of that.
Interesting stat for me in that match was the points won behind his serve. It was 71%, which is quite high, but not as high as we've seen in Stuttgart and Halle, where he was easily getting past 80% mark. It confirms that the courts in Wimbledon are slightly slower this year and that is helping Berrettini's opponents to deal with his big serve easier. And with that being the case, it gives Baghdatis a chance to be very competitive here, because of all the experience and knowledge on how to construct the points on this surface.
Betting odds & prediction
Not saying that Berrettini is not good when playing from the baseline, because it is one of his strengths. But the speed of the courts will result in Marcos not being overwhelmed with Berrettini's power and allow him to show off his great counter-punching ability. Matteo is a huge favorite in this one, but I disagree with this -6 line. This match should be way more competitive than expected.
Guy's Pick: Marcos Baghdatis +6 (-114)
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