Taylor Fritz vs Hubert Hurkacz ATP Moneyline Picks - 6/27/2019
Taylor Fritz vs Hubert Hurkacz
5 am EST, 27th June 2019
ATP Eastbourne, England
Finally. A favorable draw for Taylor Fritz that he could take advantage of and string a couple of wins together in order to improve his horrendous grass court record. In Hertogenbosch, He lost in three sets to No.2 seed Borna Coric. While in Halle, he faced Roberto Bautista-Agut already in the first round. Played a high-quality opening set, but failed to convert several chances to close it out and got punished for it by the savvy veteran. He didn't recover from that disappointment in time to be competitive in the second set. What I was trying to say is that he wasn't playing as bad of tennis as his results were showing. He was simply bumping into very strong players early in tournaments and failed to build momentum. He was in the same quarter with No.1 seed here, but fortunately, Guido Pella is someone that is ranked so high because of his clay court abilities. He still put up a very good fight in this one, pushing the match into the third set. Using difficult conditions which involved wind to make a dog fight out fo this match and rattle Fritz. But young American stayed composed in the decider and advanced into the quarterfinals. Needed 2 hours to do so, but Pella was further from the win than what you may believe looking at the scoreboard. Fritz was better at winning both with his serve (70% vs 61%) and return (39% vs 30%). With a slightly better break point conversion percentage, he might have avoided playing that third set.
After losing his first grass-court match of the season in Halle to Joao Sousa, Hubert Hurkacz managed to bounce back effortlessly in Eastbourne. In the first round, he defeated Marco Cecchinato in straight sets. Although the Italian is higher ranked, he is more of a clay court specialist, so the win was expected from big-serving Polish player. I the second round, the task was way more serious with Steve Johnson on the other side of the net. Hurkacz didn't seem too impressed and scored another straight sets win behind a dominant serving display. He offered a single break point to the American and saved it at the beginning of the second set, while converting his only, for a 6-3 win in the first set.
These two never played against each other before, but envisioning how they match up stylistically against each other should not be that hard. We have big games on both sides, lots of power and quality ball striking. And in situations like that, a player who is feeling the ball better at the moment is usually in a better position to win the match. I believe that at this moment, Fritz is the one. He is hitting the ball better right now and also very important for this playing surface, he is hitting the ball flatter then Hurkacz. That results in more pace that opponent needs to deal with, putting him under more pressure defensively. Also, Fritz is moving really well for a big guy, while Hubert is slightly more awkward and unnatural with his movement on the grass. Polish also had ill-advised approaches to the net when he wasn't able to hit through the opponent from the back of the court, offering a big target for a passing shot.
Betting odds & prediction
All that being said, I see Fritz as a clear favorite in this one. The line opened -143 and actually steamed up to -128. Was that a negative reaction by betting public to Fritz playing three sets vs Pella or sharp money circling on a soft line and preparing a bigger move on the other side, I'm not sure. I think that Fritz as a short favorite offers some nice value because in my opinion, the line should be closer to -150.
Josh's Pick: Taylor Fritz -128
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