Paul Jubb would have been disappointed not to have gained more wins this grass court season after some gutsy performances. The Brit fell just short against Botic Van De Zandschulp at Queen’s club after matching him for two sets and lost to Steve Johnson in a tight three setter in Eastbourne qualifying. Jubb will be hoping that his high level performances will translate into results soon and there is no perfect place for that to click together than Wimbledon.
However Jubb has been given a tricky opening round against the dangerous and unpredictable Nick Kyrgios. After missing the clay court swing, the Australian has returned to fine form, reaching the semi-finals in Stuttgart and Halle where he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nikoloz Basilashvili along the way. Kyrgios will know that he can cause any player trouble and will be aiming for a second week performance at minimum.
This is one of the hardest matches Jubb could have got but the Brit should give Kyrgios a real match given his recent performance. However the Australian is favourite for this match and should progress.
Prediction: Kyrgios in four sets.
Ryan Peniston [WC] v Henri Laaksonen | H2H & Match Fundamentals
Ryan Peniston has had an incredible summer so far with back-to-back quarter-finals in Queen’s Club and at Eastbourne beating the likes of Casper Ruud and Holger Rune. Peniston can take confidence from his first successes on the ATP tour as he looks to continue to improve his ranking over the next couple of months.
Peniston’s opener at Wimbledon is Henri Laaksonen who has lost both matches on grass courts so far this summer and hasn’t won back-to-back matches since Davis Cup in March. The 30 year-old is in desperate need of confidence and form as he looks to move into the 75-90 bracket in the world rankings.
The only question mark surrounding Penistion in this format is best of five sets but the Brit has shown he is in great form and if he performs to his usual standard that he has shown over the last couple of weeks, then he should go through.
Prediction: Peniston in straight sets.
Liam Broady [WC] v Lukas Klein [Q] | H2H & Match Fundamentals
Liam Broady has had some close matches over this grass court season against good opposition in particular testing Marin Cilic at Queen’s Club. The Brit will look to continue his good form into Wimbledon where last year he finally managed to win a main draw match.
First for Broady is Slovakian qualifier Lukas Klein who is a surprise entrant into the main draw and beat Italian Andreas Seppi in four sets to reach the main draw. Klein’s confidence from the challenger circuit on clay is paying off and is looking to continue his form into grand slam level.
Broady will start as favourite but will need to watch out for Klein’s clean hitting and all-round baseline game. The Brit’s experience at Wimbledon should see him into the second round in a tough match.
Jay Clarke couldn’t find his form in Eastbourne where he lost his opening match to Brandon Nakashima and the Brit will be hoping he can find some positives at SW19. The Brit needs to improve his baseline game and find consistency on serve if he wants to win his opening round at Wimbledon.
First up for Clarke is American qualifier Christian Harrison, who qualified for the event with a five set win over Daniel Masur. The American has produced good results on clay in challenger events but has yet to produce the results on faster surfaces and will look to change that here.
This is a good opening match for Clarke to build his confidence and this is certainly winnable given Harrison’s form on faster surfaces. It will be a close match but Clarke’s experience on grass should give him the edge.
Prediction: Clarke in four sets.
Alastair Gray [WC] v Chun-Hsin Tseng H2H & Match Fundamentals
Alastair Gray has found it hard to get results over this grass court season despite having some close matches on the surface. The world number 283 has found most of his success on hard courts on the ITF circuit and will look to bring that level into his opening match at Wimbledon.
First up for Gray is former Juniors winner Chun-Hsin Tseng who has found the translation from juniors to the main tour a bit of a struggle. Tseng has played the majority of his matches this season on clay where he has manufactured wins and gradually built confidence.
This will be a good test for Gray and an opportunity for him to build up some grand slam experience however Tseng’s confidence and game-style gives him the edge in this match.
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