Novak Djokovic vs Philipp Kohlschreiber Wimbledon Picks & Predictions - 7/1/2019
Novak Djokovic vs Philipp Kohlschreiber
7 am EST, 1st July 2019
As a defending champion, Novak Djokovic will be headlining the center court schedule on the first day of play. After losing the semifinals at Roland Garros against Dominic Thiem, he took a break and after resting for a week or so, he started to prepare for an arguably biggest event of the year. Contrary to last year when he played in Queen's club, this time around he didn't participate in any tournaments. He only took part in Boodles exhibition, where he defeated Chrisitan Garin in straight sets and lost to Denis Shapovalov with the same result. That loss to Thiem in Paris didn't change the way betting public view him. Despite failing to complete the non-calendar Grand Slam, he is still the main favorite to win Wimbledon. Being the defending champion and holding an impressive 88-18 record on grass courts definitely plays a huge role here.
We can't say that the draw did him any favors because he'll be playing Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round already. These two know each other really well and go way back with their H2H history. German is still considered a massive underdog in this spot. Part of the reason is for sure because of mediocre performance since the beginning of the grass court season. He first lost to Miomir Kecmanovic in 1st round of Stuttgart, after being set up and then registered another ugly defeat to Steve Johnson in Halle. Despite the two losses, it would be foolish to completely rule him out in in this match. This man knows how to play on this surface and has a record (58-37) to back it up. But, it's worth noting that he never really thrived in Wimbledon. Actually, he has a negative record in All England Club and reached the quarterfinals only once in his career (2012).
As already mentioned, these two have an extensive H2H history. That is no surprise for two guys that have played on the highest level for more than a decade and met in later stages of tournaments many times. Djokovic dominates the tie 10-2 while winning their only grass court meeting as well. It was played in 1st round of Wimbledon in 2015 and Novak won comfortably in straight sets.
The reason why I wouldn't count out Kohlschreiber completely is because of his skill and experience. When he's on, he knows how to make opponents life miserable on this surface. He plays with a lot of flair and clever point construction. Looks to wrong-foot the men on the other side and keep him guessing where the next shot is heading. I believe he'll do a lot of that in this match with grass on the center court being completely intact. When the surface is still fresh and not damaged, it is more difficult to change direction when defending and that is one of Novak's biggest strengths. Philipp will look to take advantage of these conditions and make the best out of them.
Betting odds & prediction
Novak being favored by 8 games was pretty much expected. I don't think there are many people rushing to the window with Kohlschreiber tickets, with the way he's been playing lately. But, let's remember that some of these favorites in Grand Slams can occasionally start pretty slow in the first week of the competition. They are looking to slowly build up their form and be at their best for the last couple of stages. We've seen that many times with Novak and having played zero official matches on grass before this tournament, I doubt he's going to come out firing on all cylinders from the very beginning.
Guy's Pick: over 30 games (-111)
Read more articles by Guy Bruhn
Get all of Today's Free Tennis Picks
Get all of Today's Guaranteed Expert Tennis Picks