Wimbledon Day 1 preview and best bets: Hurkacz to get off to hot start

Hubert Hurkacz
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Ricky Dimon

Tennis · 1 month ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The 2022 tennis season rolls along with its third Grand Slam, Wimbledon. Rafael Nadal triumphed at both the Australian Open (2nd time) and French Open (14th time) to give him 22 major titles for his career. He is halfway to the calendar-year Grand Slam, but Novak Djokovic is the three-time defending champion at Wimbledon and will be eager to stop his rival. On the women’s side, Iga Swiatek has won 35 matches in a row and is looking to build on her dominant run at Roland Garros. Djokovic headlines Monday’s schedule, while Nadal and Swiatek get started on Tuesday.

Before play begins, also be sure to note my outright best bets on both the men’s and women’s sides.

Below are my picks for Day 1.

Christian Harrison ML over Jay Clarke (-110)

As a British player, Clarke got into the main draw with a wild card; he didn’t have to go through qualifying even though he is ranked well outside the top 100. Nothing about the 23-year-old’s form is inspiring. He is 1-3 on grass this summer despite playing two Challenger events and the attempting to qualify at Queen’s Club. So he hasn’t picked up many wins even though he has been facing lower-level competition. Harrison isn’t the toughest of opponents, but the American is playing with confidence because he just won three matches to qualify for Wimbledon. The 28-year-old is 9-8 lifetime on grass, whereas Clarke is a horrendous 10-26. Clarke is also just 2-9 in his career on the main tour. Look for Harrison to capitalize on a great opportunity.

Katie Swan +4 games over Marta Kostyuk (-120)

I have Swan winning this one outright (albeit not confidently; it’s a 50-50 match), so I will happily take the +4 game spread as a bonus. The 23-year-old is one of the best British players on tour, so she will have a ton of crowd support. There will be high hopes for her, too, because she is coming off a quarterfinal performance this past week in Bad Homburg. Swan defeated Sloane Stephens along the way before falling to 2019 U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu. Kostyuk is just 2-4 in her last six matches and just lost to another Brit, Harriet Dart, in Eastbourne. Sound the upset alert — and at the very least we should get a cover.

Parlay: Hubert Hurkacz -1.5 sets over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Oscar Otte -1.5 sets over Peter Gojowyczk (-120)

Hurkacz has won two in a row in the head-to-head series with Davidovich Fokina and he should have no trouble making it three straight. The world No. 10 is in great form at the moment (he won a grass-court title in Halle this week) and made a run to the Wimbledon semifinals last summer. Whereas Hurkacz is awesome on grass, Davidovich Fokina would much rather be playing on clay or a slow hard court. Hurkacz will likely win this one in straight sets – and in four at most.

Meanwhile, Otte has also been outstanding this summer. The big-serving German is coming off back-to-back grass-court semifinals in Stuttgart and Halle. It should also be noted that Otte reached the Wimbledon second round as a qualifier last season and pushed Andy Murray to five sets. Gojowyczk is a nightmarish 1-8 at the ATP level in 2022, so it’s hard to see him even being competitive on Monday.

The Pickswise tennis handicappers are on hand throughout the entire tennis season, bringing you the best free expert Tennis Predictions and Picks from top events including the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.

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