Carloz Alcaraz vs Jan-Lennard Struff

The top half of the men’s draw gets underway on Monday, with Novak Djokovic customarily opening centre court proceedings at 13:30 in what is a perfect first round for him to ease into this tournament.

It’s on No.1 Court where I see some value on the first day at SW19, though. Carlos Alcaraz, the natural heir to Rafa Nadal on the clay, will take on Jan-Lennard Struff in a match where court organisers clearly feel will entertain the crowd and I’m inclined to agree.

Alcaraz has a breakthrough year on the clay and hard courts of the ATP Tour but he hasn’t played a warm up tournament on the grass and has only won one grass court match on the tour. Despite that he has been priced up as a strong 1/4 favourite to make it into the second round.

Struff, on the other hand, has had some decent if not spectacular results on grass making the third round at Wimbledon on two occasions and was a semi-finalist at Stuttgart in 2019.

Alcaraz has a lot to do to adapt his game to grass, particularly on the return and I think the strength of Struff’s serve alone will make this match closer than the +5.5 handicap line currently on offer at a best price of 4/5.

Jan-Lennard Struff +5.5 Games - 1pt @ 4/5

The second leg of this double is in the match between veteran Feliciano Lopez and Botic Van De Zandschulp on Tuesday.

Lopez has had huge success on the grass over the course of his career with two Queen’s club titles to his name as well as three quarter-final appearances at Wimbledon.

A big feature of that success has been in winning tie-breaks at critical times. Now 40 years of age, Lopez will rely on his big serve and forehand even more than ever to make this match close against the Dutchman.

Van De Zandschulp is still finding his feet on grass, having only really starting to take the surface seriously in 2021 and has a 50% win record since then.

He also has a big serve and very strong groundstrokes as shown by his success on the clay and hard courts, going from world ranking of 477 to 25 in 18 months.

He will take time to adjust to the big Lopez serve on grass though, which is why a first set tie-break at 9/4 is a bet I’m very willing to take as both players settle in their service rhythm.

This tip will be all about whether Lopez can hold his serve in that first set as I think he will really struggle to break throughout the whole match.

First Set - Over 12.5 Games - 1pt @ 9/4