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28 Jun 2015

Wimbledon Men’s Betting: Five potential first round upsets

The third major of the season kicks off on Monday at the All England Club as The Championships Wimbledon 2015 begins and Sean Calvert is back to find some possible upsets in round one.

This one will either look laughably bad or inspired in a few days time, but it’s worth taking a chance on Kohlschreiber here in what is the toughest round one draw possible for the world number one.

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Novak Djokovic vs Philipp Kohlschreiber
Those wondering why we don’t get huge upsets in round one of the slams these days may look to the daft 32 seed system that protects the big names from any of those pesky good opponents in the early stages, but it’s failed this time.

Kohlschreiber should definitely be in the top-32, but it says a lot about the German that he isn’t despite ability that is comparable to the top-20 at a minimum.

Djokovic hasn’t lost in round one of a major since 2006 when he was number 76 in the world, but he hasn’t faced anyone capable of beating him since Viktor Troicki at the US Open in 2010 and that one went to five sets.

Knowing Kohlschreiber, a 3-2 bet to Djokovic might be a good call at 13.00 here.

I must have typed the words ‘Kohlschreiber should have beaten [insert name here]…’ dozens of times and they were required again in Halle against Roger Federer a couple of weeks ago when he had match points but failed.

Djokovic has had no grass court competitive matches and it’ll be interesting to see how he shapes up after another last match failure at the one major he’s yet to win at the French.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Gilles Muller
Talking of the French Open, Tsonga hasn’t played since then due to an abdominal injury, and he looks vulnerable on that basis against the dangerous leftie Muller.

I initially assumed that Tsonga fancied a rest when he withdrew from Rosmalen, but the injury must be fairly serious for him to not play at all on grass ahead of Wimbledon and he was probably hoping for a cosy round one draw to ease him back.

This is not it though and we saw at Queen’s, where Muller made Andy Murray work very hard, that the Luxembourger can be a nightmare to deal with, as he is so effective with that lefty serve and solid net play.

Muller has won two of their three prior meetings, but they were a long time ago, and this one is more about Tsonga’s likely physical struggles and it seems highly likely to be a four or five set affair, with Muller a very lively outsider.

Liam Broady vs Marinko Matosevic
It wouldn’t be Wimbledon without a plucky Brit taking on and possibly defeating a much higher ranked opponent and this one has ‘upset’ written all over it.
Matosevic has been hugely disappointing on grass this swing, with his confidence seemingly non-existent, and the Aussie has now lost his last 11 matches in a row going back to February.

Defeats to Grega Zemlja and Vasek Pospisil have been the sum total of his grass efforts and it’s all a far cry from the heights of beating Marin Cilic and Tsonga at Queen’s last season.

Add to that Mad Dog’s woeful record in Grand Slams, which reads 3-17, and you have a favourite that I couldn’t back under any circumstances.
Broady hasn’t exactly enjoyed good results of late either and this could be a tense affair, but the crowd support might swing it the Brit’s way and the temperamental Matosevic could self-combust here if things start to go awry.

Dudi Sela vs Dominic Thiem
I’m still very far from convinced about Dominic Thiem on grass and on a fresh round one surface that will be barely touched he is likely to find the low bounce and skiddy shots coming from Sela a real pain.

The young Austrian likes to wind up for his shots and he can be rushed, although he is starting to use the slice a bit more now to counteract that problem.
Results haven’t followed on grass yet though, with a 1-5 mark on the green stuff, and his only win came over a hobbled Malek Jaziri on the rough, scuffed up courts of Nottingham.

Sela is a crafty campaigner on the grass, with wins over the likes of Sam Querrey, Andy Roddick, Kevin Anderson, Adrian Mannarino, and Tommy Robredo on this surface and he’s won 12 of his last 16 matches at all levels.

Horacio Zeballos vs David Goffin
Are we really at the stage where Goffin is a 1.17 favourite on a slick grass court against decent opposition?
This price is far too low for my liking and this bet stems largely from watching Zeballos take down Ivan Dodig at Roehampton in qualifying and I was really impressed with the Argentine.

Zeballos served really big, which you wouldn’t expect, and was pumped up to beat Dodig and make it through to Wimbledon, while I was expecting to see a fairly routine win for Dodig.

The layers have taken a look at Zeballos’ grass record and assumed, as I did I suppose, that he’s awful on it, but that doesn’t seem to be the case and I’ll take a chance on him here.

Goffin’s run to the final in Rosmalen was his first good week on grass and he looks too short for me here.
I was also tempted to put Kei Nishikori on the possible losers list here, given that he struggled badly against Simone Bolelli here a year ago, and Ernests Gulbis and Marcel Granollers also look worth taking on as favourites.

Recommended Bets
Back Kohlschreiber to beat Djokovic at 21.00

Back Muller to beat Tsonga at 2.60
Back Broady to beat Matosevic at 2.80
Back Sela to beat Thiem at 2.50
Back Zeballos to beat Goffin at 7.40

Matosevic has been hugely disappointing on grass this swing, with his confidence seemingly non-existent, and the Aussie has now lost his last 11 matches in a row going back to February.

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