ATP Wimbledon Day Three Tips: Griekspoor to give Alcaraz big test

Wednesday's Wimbledon action sees the start of the second round of the men's singles, with Novak Djokovic among those on court. Dan Weston returns to give his thoughts...

Covid absentees with impact on the outright market

The biggest news at SW19 arguably came off court, with both Matteo Berrettini and Marin Cilic forced to withdraw from the event due to Covid-19.

With the duo well set to make a challenge in quarter three and quarter four, respectively, this has made the route to the final for players such as Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafa Nadal much easier, and the outright market has made those adjustments - prior to market suspension as play continues today, Nadal is now into second favourite and Tsitsipas equal third-favourite for the title.

Of course, whoever gets through the bottom half of the draw is likely to face Novak Djokovic for the title, and after dropping a set to Soonwoo Kwon on Monday, the top seed faces Thanasi Kokkinakis on Wednesday. He's one of a number of heavy pre-match favourites on day three.

Basilashvil should have too much for Halys

However, there's a number of matches where the market thinks the players are well-matched, and I'll run through a few of these.

Nikoloz Basilashvili has a reasonable record on grass but needed five sets to defeat qualifier Lukas Rosol in round one, and had some pretty poor losses in the grass warm-up events. His inconsistency was again highlighted in these, taking a set off Nick Kyrgios and beating Andrey Rublev, but losing to a player ranked outside the top 300 as well.

Opponent Quentin Halys got past countryman Benoit Paire in round one - sadly for Paire, not as much of an achievement as it used to be - but had some back problems earlier in the month and has a pretty poor track record on grass over the years.

Basilashvili, despite his inconsistencies, looks like some value at 1.71.

Goffin with more experience on the surface than Baez

David Goffin and Sebastian Baez are at opposite ends of the age/ability curve, but Goffin's experience on grass makes him a justified favourite in my view against the Argentinian clay-courter. If Baez was 1.90 against Taro Daniel in round one, I'm not sure how he's only slightly bigger at 2.24 versus Goffin in round two.

Another match which is fairly evenly priced is Jiri Vesely versus Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, with the Spaniard, Fokina, victorious in a rollercoaster round one match against Hubert Hurkacz where both players looked like winning at various points in the match.

Vesely, in theory at least, should have the edge on grass in terms of experience but didn't really impress in the warm-up events - this match should be an interesting one in terms of assessing Fokina's level on grass, and he's 1.67 to make round three.

Murray needing to convert key points against Isner

In other matches, Andy Murray faces a tricky test against the big-serving American veteran, John Isner, which I think should be closer than the market anticipates. Murray is the current 1.42 pre-match favourite, which looks short to me - while Isner isn't quite the force of old (and neither is Murray!), he'll be a tough opponent to break and this could well be a match of few break points, and fine margins.

Griekspoor surprisingly generously priced against Alcaraz

However, for today's value pick, I'm looking towards Tallon Griekspoor against Carlos Alcaraz. Griekspoor has done well in quicker conditions on the Challenger Tour over the last couple of seasons and did reasonably enough in the grass warm-up events too this year.

This should stand Griekspoor in good stead against Alcaraz, who is yet to convince on grass, featuring on the surface in just three matches in his career and stumbling past Jan-Lennard Struff in round one, in five sets, winning just four points more in a match lasting in excess of four hours.

What I struggle to understand is that Alcaraz is only a few ticks bigger at 1.37 for this match in round two than he was against Struff (which looked short too) - Griekspoor is an upgrade in opponent quality, and the four-hour five-setter also counts against the Spaniard too.

I don't mind taking Griekspoor for the win, or the 1.83 about him with a 5.5 game head start on the game handicap which is available in general market pricing and should manifest itself on the Exchange in the run up to the match as well.

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