The rain problem persisted across Europe as the first week of the grass season continued.
Fortunately, tournaments in Holland and Germany finally caught up, and the quarter-finals were decided by s-Hertogenbosch and Stuttgart!
Let’s dive into a couple of matches that have a position worth taking.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on watching tennis matches.
Stefanos Tsitsipas (-250) vs Andy Murray (+190)
8 a.m. ET, Stuttgart
The third quarter-final of the day in Stuttgart features a pair of the sport’s biggest names, with Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andy Murray exchanging places in the semi-finals on the goal line.
Predictably, books and the market have made Tsitsipas a huge favourite, thanks in large part to his deep distances to big events and his place in the rankings.
However, grass is a different beast – the Greek has had a hard time taming it in his career.
His playing style isn’t all that compatible with the faster, more shiny surface. Serving Tstisipas sure has the boost that the greens provide, but his return match on the roof and his one-handed backhand strike are huge commitments.
So far in his career, Tsitsipas’ break rate is still well behind the 15% mark. As long as opponents can count on finding cheap points by targeting his backhand, that isn’t likely to change much.
On the other side of the net is Murray. Sir Andy may not have been the player he was before, but he was unbelievable On his walk on the grass. The golden medal. Wimbledon champion. You name it.
His elite return skills allow him to find ways to apply pressure to his opponents’ serve, despite the faster nature of the surface, while his serve and forehands become much better weapons.
Keep in mind that Murray has already played six times this season on the roof and beat some hard-court players — even if at a Challenger event — and that price looks even better.
Then keep in mind that he was only broken six times in 13 sets, and that match against Tsitsipas looks even more promising.
Pick: Murray ML (+190 via BetMGM)
Hugo Gaston (-135) vs Tim van Reethoven (+110)
5 a.m. EDT, ‘s-Hertogenbosch
We will move to the Netherlands, where Hugo Gaston and Dutchman Tim van Reethoven will participate in the match that led to the quarter-finals.
Despite playing his first professional season on grass, Van Reethoven seems totally at home. It makes sense, too, given the bazooka’s serve-and-hit front combination.
Those two weapons alone have allowed him to keep all five sets close so far as an underdog in his first two matches this week.
It should also allow him to keep a few points in front of the return player at Gaston, who has a clear advantage over the great Dutchman when wins are extended.
Gaston is also relatively inexperienced in the turf, but he came across as Jenson Broxby’s frustration. In that match, he was able to match and surpass Broxby’s prowess in the rallies, and the American rarely managed to break through.
That wouldn’t be the case against the powerful Van Reethoven, but there are a pair of factors that should help Gaston keep his serve down in this.
First, Van Reethoven doesn’t move or come back like Broxby. The service games will not be extended this time.
Second, the soft gaston can serve and control the gatherings towards van Riethoven’s weaker backhand and find cheap points that way.
I prefer the first set here, as Gaston can pick up van Reethoven’s patterns and have more success coming back in the second set onwards.
Take these two to play a long first set while they’re both new.
Picking: 1st group over 10.5 (+175 via DraftKings)
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