ATP Wimbledon – 2nd Round – Grigor Dimitrov vs Steve Johnson
Today sees the start of the second round matches at Wimbledon and this handicap betting preview focuses on two players with very different paths to this stage.
Grigor Dimitrov dropped just seven games in three sets to get past clay-courter Federico Delbonis in his first round match, whilst opponent Steve Johnson required five sets, and a recovery from 2-1 down, to get past the out of form Lukas Lacko in his opener.
In total, Dimitrov was on court for 25 games, whilst Johnson played 49, and the after-effects of this cannot be underestimated. Previous research which can be read at http://www.tennisratings.co.uk/article—the-effect-of-5 illustrates that players who win long five set matches struggle in their subsequent match, and this is particularly the case for players outside the top 50, which Johnson currently is.
On this basis, opposing Johnson makes a lot of sense, although the market price of 1.17 on Dimitrov is pretty low to recommend an outright back on the Bulgarian here. Having said this, my model priced Dimitrov at 1.04, as it factors in the exertions of Johnson in the previous round.
Also factored in is Dimitrov’s superb grass record. In the last two years on the surface he’s won 13 of 16 matches, holding 94.0% and breaking 19.4% (combined 113.4%). These stats rank him in the top five in the world on grass, and easily eclipse Johnson’s 85.7% holds and 14.2% breaks (combined 99.9%).
Historically, Dimitrov has got the better of his opponents on grass pretty easily. When priced under 1.20 at Wimbledon he’s won all his matches in straight sets, and all by at least seven games. This gives us a solid avenue for us to look at handicap propositions, although it’s worth noting that Johnson’s solid serve might help keep it relatively close.
However, I feel that Dimitrov should be able to cover the -5.5 game line, which would allow a variety of scorelines such as three one-break sets, or a 6-3 6-4 7-6 type match. In addition to this, if Johnson managed to get a set, the vastly differing exertions in the first round is likely take its toll on the American and a dominant fourth or fifth set in Dimitrov’s favour is more than possible.
Tennis Handicap Betting Recommendation: Back Dimitrov -5.5 games at 1.80
Price correct at the time of writing.
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