Wimbledon Men's Day One Tips: Wawrinka unlikely to convince against Bemelmans

Swiss Tennis Player Stan Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka could endure a tough day one...

It's day one of Wimbledon and with 32 men's singles matches on the schedule, there's plenty for our tennis columnist Dan Weston to get stuck into...

"Wawrinka is just 4-8 on grass from 2016 onwards and I suspect he's not particularly adept in quick conditions in general. His data from those matches is dire and I'm keeping my promise from a month ago in Paris that I'd expect to find him over-rated on grass in the not too distant future."

Packed opening day schedule at Wimbledon

Wimbledon is finally here! After a few weeks of grass court warm-up tournaments, arguably the most prestigious Grand Slam of the tennis calendar is upon us. In advance of the crowds at SW19 enjoying their Pimm's and strawberries and cream, our focus is more towards finding the betting value on what is a jam-packed opening day schedule.

Certainly, a large chunk of my weekend was taken up with assessing all of the 128 round one matches, and on today's opening day, there are 32 men's and 32 women's matches taking place as the tournament gets underway. As always, I recommend being cautious with staking on round one matches.

Kecmanovic price too good to be true?

In the men's tournament, the top half of the draw take to the court today and that's rather unfortunate for Miomir Kecmanovic, who was defeated by Lorenzo Sonego on Saturday in the final of Antalya. My concern over Kecmanovic is that he could be fatigued after this meeting two days ago in Turkey and if this match was played on Tuesday, or indeed, in normal circumstances, the 1.684/6 about the very talented Serbian 19-year-old would be a superb price.

Kecmanovic's opponent, Roberto Carballes Baena, is an out-and-out clay courter who has played just five main tour matches on grass in the last three years, and running at just over 90% combined serve/return points won in that sample. I'm still tempted to side with Kecmanovic, but it might be one best left for in-play focus.

Improving Kwon capable of testing Khachanov

Another young player on a nice upward curve is the Korean prospect, Soon Woo Kwon. He qualified to be here this week, easily getting past Joao Domingues, Marc Polmans and Daniel Brands - destroying the German veteran's big serve - and he's running at about a 75% win percentage this season, albeit mostly at the lower-level Challenger Tour.

On grass, Kwon has done well enough, with losses coming against competent opponents on the surface at that level, and I think he can test the Russian, Karen Khachanov, today. Khachanov has won seven of 11 on grass from 2018 onwards, but in those matches, he's running at just over a mere 100% combined serve/return points won, and has won just 51% of games. He's been strong in tiebreaks, which on grass is often the difference between success and failure, but tiebreak records are frequently variance-heavy.

Khachanov is just 1.3130/100 to get the win today and I think this is short against a rapidly improving opponent. The game handicap markets are still forming on the Exchange but the 10/11 on Kwon +5.5 games with the Sportsbook is an excellent price and is today's first recommendation.

Wawrinka with struggles on grass

Another heavy underdog who looks able to compete today is Ruben Bemelmans who faces Stan Wawrinka. Bemelmans is competent on the surface, and has qualified to be here. Last year at SW19, he beat Steve Johnson and pushed John Isner to five sets, while he beat Daniil Medvedev here in 2017 and kept it very respectable in a four-game loss to Kevin Anderson.

Wawrinka is just 4-8 on grass from 2016 onwards and I suspect he's not particularly adept in quick conditions in general. His data from those matches is dire and I'm keeping my promise from a month ago in Paris that I'd expect to find him over-rated on grass in the not too distant future.

Despite that dire record on the surface, Wawrinka is priced at 1.162/13 on the Exchange at the time of writing, and we should be able to get about 1.654/6 on Bemelmans to cover the +6.5 game line, which makes a lot of sense about a player who hasn't impressed on the surface, and post-injury, has posted pretty bad numbers on return.

Djokovic faces Kohlschreiber on opening day

In other matches, tournament favourite Novak Djokovic gets his campaign under way against Philipp Kohlschreiber, while there are a further host of big names in action as well.

Both Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov are priced around the 1.251/4 mark for their matches against Jiri Vesely and Corentin Moutet, respectively, while the shortest price of the day is Daniil Medvedev, who is just 1.021/50 against the Italian clay-courter, Paolo Lorenzi. We also see last years finalist Kevin Anderson on court, with Pierre-Hugues Herbert a potentially tough opener following Anderson's injury which kept him out for several months.

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Follow Dan on Twitter @TennisRatings and watch all the action from Wimbledon on Betfair Live Video

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