Taylor Fritz vs Borna Coric ATP Picks Against the Spread - 6/12/2019
Taylor Fritz vs Borna Coric
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
ATP Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
As expected, Taylor Fritz managed to secure his spot in the second round of the tournament, scheduling one of the most anticipated fixtures of the round vs #2 seed Borna Coric from Croatia. But his task in the first match proved to be much harder then it was expected. He had to play on a very high level to put away pesky youngster from Austria - Jurij Rodionov. The opponent had 7 break opportunities in the match constantly putting Fritz under pressure, but he answered with some clutch serving when most needed. He denied all 7 of the break chances, helped by 14 aces (only 2 double faults) and 73 % of the points won behind his serve. That percentage was even higher (80%) when he managed to get the ball in play with the first try, but that was not happening at a high enough rate (56%). He has to raise the first serve percentage for the match versus Coric, who will look to pounce on every opportunity given against a weaker second serve. Fritz's record on grass courts could lead you to believe he is not a very good player on this surface, which is not true. 3-10 looks ugly, but many of those losses were suffered against some of the best players in the world. During his juniors career, he played semifinals at Wimbledon, which is a solid indicator he knows his way around the grass courts.
I don't know if that can be said for Borna. He was a decorated juniors player, No. 1 in the world, but at Wimbledon and Roehampton he never had as much success comparing to other tournaments. And something similar is happening in his pro career as well. Grass surface is the only one where he has a negative record (7-8). In previous years, he was mostly skipping tournaments in this first week of June, but he changed his mind this time around, probably thinking that he needs some more match practice to become a better grass court player. And it's difficult to argue that line of thinking. The problem for him is that there will be no time for adjusting and trying something new. The draw was not kind to him and assigned him a very dangerous opponent to start of the tournament.
Reasons why Coric as a top 15 player struggles on grass are not that difficult to identify. His playing style is simply not very productive in this type of playing conditions. He is somebody with a more defensive-minded approach. He will take a position far behind the baseline and rely on his athleticism to get a big percentage of balls back in play, frustrate his opponent by forcing him into an extra shot every time and draw numerous unforced errors that way. With an opponent that has power to spare, he will face difficulties making that strategy work on a faster surface. And Taylor Fritz is definitely somebody that can hit through the court, even without the help of faster playing conditions. Coric will be in scramble mode most of the time in this match, looking to survive and hope that Fritz misses often.
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Betting odds & prediction
Coric is priced at -160 at the moment, which is definitely a product of him being a better player overall and a No. 2 seed in this tournament. But in my opinion, the playing conditions were not factored in well enough in this situation. Market is not realizing that although Coric is a better all-around player, playing in these faster conditions are hurting him in some of the most important areas of his game. He will not be able to defend at the same level as he does on clay for example. Fritz will hit through that defense with much better success rate, and considering he can hold his serve successfully, I see these two players evenly matched and with pretty much equal chances for the win.
Josh's Pick: Taylor Fritz +2.5 (-120)
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