Matthew Ebden vs Damir Dzumhur ATP Picks & Predictions - 6/24/2019
Matthew Ebden vs Damir Dzumhur
6 am EST, 24th June 2019
ATP Antalya, Turkey
As a grass court specialist, I'm sure that Matthew Ebden expected to achieve some of his best results in this part of the season. His only ATP tour finals were reached playing on this surface in Newport (2017). His grass court record is much better compared to the other surfaces. But unfortunately, he was very unlucky with the draws in the previous two tournaments. First, he had to take on Pierre Hughes Herbert in the first round of Hertogenbosch. That might not seem such a difficult matchup at the time, but when Frenchman reached the semifinals in Halle, it became obvious how tough an opponent he can be in these conditions. Then in Germany, Ebden had to play another player that knows his way around this playing surface. Despite not being well recognized among the casual betting public, Radu Albot is one of the most dangerous lower ranked players that you can meet in fast conditions at the moment. He has all the tools to make things happen on grass courts and Matthew Ebden learned that lesson the hard way.
And his luck with the draws doesn't seem to be improving. In the first round of Antalya, he's meeting defending champion - Damir Dzumhur. But actually, he might be the easiest opponent our off all three he played on grass so far. Bosnian player did win the title last year, but it was a big upset. Not because he is a bad player, but because his game was never considered well suited for this type of conditions. But that changed a little bit over years, especially under the tutelage of his coach at the time Ilija Bozoljac, who was a very decent grass court and doubles player. But it still gives away an impression of a fluky title, because if we discount the results in that tournament, he has a negative record on the grass courts.
Under Bozoljac, they were able to incorporate some of the elements into his game, that worked well on grass. He used a backhand slice and was coming to the net more often, after being a defensive oriented grinder in the past, most comfortable 3-4 meters behind the baseline. He's not working with Bozoljac anymore, which probably means he is working less on those grass courts things now. I don't think he has a lot of ambitions in this part of the season. After losing to Hoang in the first round of Roland Garros, he wasn't playing any grass court tournaments until signing up for Antalya and there were some videos of him practicing on hard courts, about a week ago.
Betting odds & prediction
Ebden is much better suited for playing in these conditions. His groundstrokes are very flat, especially on the forehand side. He has a very good serve. Uses the backhand slice really well and knows how to construct a point on this surface, to get his opponent in scrambling mode and which allows him to come to the net and use his volleying skills which are top notch. The odds opened at -125 and that number got hammered right away. It was a bad number, based on Dzumhur's past success at this event which was obviously a bit fluky. And because of Ebden's slow start into the grass court season. But as I mentioned, I can forgive him those losses, considering that they came vs some quality grass court players like Herbert and Albot. Even though a lot of value is already gone, I think some is still there even at this price. My number was -3. Ebden did have some down moments in previous matches where he committed too many errors and that is always something to worry about when laying games in tennis. But I think if that happens here, he will be able to find the way out of it fast and get back on track.
Guy's Pick: Matthew Ebden -160
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