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Aslan Karatsev shocked the tennis world after he made a blistering start to the 2021 season. Ranking outside the top 100, he qualified for the Australian Open, where he went on a miraculous run to the semi-final, beating a host of top names on the way.
This result was no flash in the pan either, Karatsev has reached two ATP finals since, including winning his maiden ATP tour title in Dubai. While results have slowed down slightly in the last two months, it’s no doubt that Karatsev has come from nowhere to be one of the most respected players on tour, and will come into Wimbledon fearing nobody.
Jeremy Chardy too had a strong start to the year, getting to the quarter-finals of a number of ATP tournaments including Dubai and Rotterdam. At 34, the French journeyman is still capable of an upset, though his form in the lead up to 2021’s third Slam has been poor.
Chardy will find it hard to keep up with tennis’ surprise package of 2021, I fully expect Karatsev to take this one in straight sets.
France’s bright light of Tennis, Ugo Humbert, has had an up and down 2021 thus far. He fell in the second round of the Australian Open to Tuesday’s opponent, and he’s had a dire clay court season, crashing out in the first round at almost every tournament.
His Wimbledon preparation has been near impeccable, however, as he won his first ATP title of the year on the grass at Halle, beating Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev on the way. A seriously impressive result for the young talent.
Nick Kyrgios on the other hand has seen precious little playing time this year, with no matches since the Australian Open in February. This match-up is all the more intriguing as Kyrgios overcame Ugo in a five-set thriller in Melbourne. As the most abrasive and often most entertaining character in the sport, the question that often follows the spiky Australian around tour is ‘which Nick will turn up’?
Capable of beating anyone on his day, I expect he’ll want to make a statement on his return to tour. Kyrgios will put up a strong fight, but the in-form French man will take it in the end. Humbert to Win and Both Players to Win a Set makes sense.
Sam Querrey loves Wimbledon. The lawns of SW19 have been the setting for his best Grand Slam results, including a semi-final in 2017. The big-hitting American has had a more than decent grass season so far in 2021 too, reaching the semi-final in Stuttgart and the final of ATP Mallorca. This surge in form has come at the perfect time, and another run deep into Wimbledon would completely turn around what has been a disappointing year otherwise.
His opponent is 11th seed Pablo Carreno-Busta. The Spaniard has had some great results in recent slams, notably reaching the Semi-Final of the US Open last year. However, in direct contrast to Querrey’s history of overperforming on the grass at Wimbledon, Pablo Carreno-Busta has never won a match in the main draw here.
This just isn’t his surface, and it makes this match up all the more interesting. I don’t see the Spaniard bucking the trend, unfortunately. Another first-round exit is on the cards as I see Sam Querrey taking this with relative ease in a 3-1 win.
11:00: Aslan Karatsev v Jeremy Chardy – Karatsev 3-0 Set Betting
11:00: Nick Kyrgios v Ugo Humbert – Humbert to Win and Both Players to Win a Set
11:00: Sam Querrey v Pablo Carreno-Busta – Querrey 3-1 Set Betting
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