Roger Federer vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ATP Tips - 6/20/2019
Roger Federer vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
4 am EST, 20th June 2019
ATP Halle, Germany
Roger Federer successfully started his hunt for the 10th title in Halle. Yup, you read it correctly. He has 9 already at this event, making it one of his favorite on the tour. He's playing here since 2000 and has racked up a very impressive 64-7 record. Meaning, he has more titles then lost matches at this tournament. Last year, Borna Coric denied his first crack at the 10th trophy. But, he came to Halle after a long week in Stuttgart and it seemed like he was gassing out towards the end of the tournament, which might be the main reason for that loss in the finals. I'm guessing he wasn't too excited about the draw once he saw it. For some reason, John Milman always causes him a lot of troubles whenever they meet. In 2015, they played a very close match in Brisbane, when Federer managed to win after being a set down, but Millman returned the favor last year at the US open with a 3-1 win after also trailing at the end of the first set. And watching the first set on Tuesday, it seemed once again that we're in for a proper scrap. They were neck and neck throughout the entire set, refusing to give an opponent any chance when serving. But from the tie-break onwards, Federer shifted into a higher gear and ran away with the match.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can't brag about winning titles in Halle. He hasn't even played here much, to begin with. Returning to this event after 10 years absence and only holding 1-1 at the moment. But, his grass court record, combining all the events played on this surface is way more impressive. He won nearly 70% of those matches during his career. Granted, the decline has been obvious in recent years, resulting in a massive drop in the rankings (No. 77 at the moment). He had issues with his health lately that wasn't allowing him to play at as many events as he wanted. But that didn't seem to bother him much in the first round vs Benoit Paire. He was his usual self, holding his serve very convincingly, winning 78% of the points behind it and offering only 1 break opportunity to his opponent.
These two know each other really well. They were part of an elite group of players that ruled the ATP tour for about 10 years. Nothing unusual that they have such an extensive H2H record, bumping into each other often in late stages of the tournaments. Roger is winning the tie 11-6. But an interesting fact is that Tsonga will be chasing his 3rd in a row here, after beating Federer in Monte Carlo 2016 and Canada open 2014. And he also won their only previous meeting on grass courts at 2011 Wimbledon.
At this point, things might be little different with Tsonga regressing quite a lot, while Roger still staying strong and keeping his position among Top 5 players in the world. Tsonga's serve is difficult to break in these conditions, but in other areas of the game, I don't think he can hang with the Swiss. That will put more pressure on his service games because he cannot afford to make any mistakes there if wanting to keep it close.
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Betting odds & prediction
Roger being an overwhelming 5 to 1 favorite is a no surprise here. Spread at -3.5 also looks pretty much on point, with total sitting at 23. With the assumption that Tsonga could hold his serve throughout one entire set and then expecting from Federer to win with a break in the other set, we find ourselves in a position where who serves the first in that set is deciding the outcome of the bet. That is not a position where you want to be as a bettor who is looking for value. I am looking at the set handicap market because I believe it is going to be very tough for Tsonga to snatch a set of-of RF here.
Josh's Pick: Roger Federer -1.5 sets (-137)
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