Milos Raonic vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ATP Picks & Predictions - 6/12/2019
Milos Raonic vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
4 am EST, 12th June 2019
ATP Stuttgart, Germany
There was a lot of talk about Raonic skipping entire clay court season because of a knee injury, which he suffered in Miami playing the Masters series tournament. But even before that, he had problems with a lingering meniscus issue that was following him from the previous season. There were questions about how well he managed to heal that injury. If he is already at 100%? Is he going to be rusty after 3 months without playing official matches? How will he look in his first match back? Well, we can put the last question to bed, because he didn't look very sharp. He was a bit hesitant with his movement and shot selection. Was not serving at his usual level, with only 49 percent of 1st serves in play. He missed many forehands down the line which was pretty uncharacteristic for him. And he took a medical time out for what it seemed to be a lower back injury. That one could also explain his low serve percentage because the lower back is very important when doing a service motion. He had many problems in this match, including failing to convert 3 consecutive set points in the 1st tie-break and eventually losing that set. Then he fell behind 3-0 in the decider but somehow managed to claw his way into another tie-breaker and finally put +250 underdog Alexei Popyrin away.
Tsonga's experience in the first round couldn't be more different. He needed only 55 minutes to get past his opponent. His serve was barely touched the entire match. He won 76% of his service points, with that number climbing to incredible 88% behind his first serve. He offered no break chances while being pretty destructive with the return himself. Winning 51% of the return points on grass is pretty incredible. Especially against a savvy grass-court veteran like Mischa Zverev, who is known for his serve & volley skills. This time around, he got burned badly by the Frenchman, but it also has to be said that all these stats have to be taken with a grain of salt, because of Zverev's lousy form this year.
As you might expect from two guys that are among the top players for a long time now, this will not be the first time they tango. They have met 6 times already during their careers, most recently at the end of last year in Paris. After 3 tie-breaks, Raonic got his 4th consecutive win over Jo, improving his H2H to 4 wins out of 6 matches. Tsonga's success over Raonic is dating way back into seasons 2013 and 2012. That first match between them was especially interesting. It was their only meeting on grass courts and Tsonga edged out Milos in a marathon deciding set 25-23, at the 2012 London Olympics.
Betting odds & prediction
Lately though, it seems like Canadian had his rival's number. But his current situation is quite intriguing with many questions surrounding his fitness and form. That is why I believe linemakers were spot on when opening Tsonga as a favorite in this match. I even think they shouldn't be as shy about it. With returning performance he displayed against Zverev, he could put Raonic under a lot of pressure early, break his serve and run away with this match.
Looking at the total, it's a little bit inflated because two servers are matched up in fast conditions. Sure, there are more aces and less break opportunities. But that doesn't mean we are going to see 3 tie-breaks. Especially in a situation where one of the players could have enormous difficulties to fight back, once he surrenders the break.
Guy's Pick: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga -127
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