Krueger to Power Past Caruso (June 22)

Krueger to Power Past Caruso (June 22)


The Wimbledon qualifying tournament is rolling on and there are plenty of fascinating matches in the second round.

Two of these matches have presented value that we can exploit.

Read on for my best bets and previews.

Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.

Mitchell Krueger (-129) vs. Salvatore Caruso (+101)

6 am ET

Mitchell Krueger had a successful start to his qualifying campaign, taking down wild-card Luca Pow 6-1, 6-4.

Krueger hit 74% of his first serves into play, winning 88% of his first-serve points. He didn’t face a break point all match. Krueger also won 45% of his return points.

Overall, Krueger hit 16 winners compared to 14 unforced errors.

The American is just 5-12 on grass in his career, but he did qualify for Newport last season. Krueger has the game to be fairly successful on grass. He has a big first serve and a powerful backhand that cuts through the court.

It’s also encouraging that he was landing so many first serves against Pow, as first-serve percentage is so important on grass.

Salvatore Caruso won his first grass-court match since 2019 in Wimbledon qualifying, defeating Filip Horansky 3-6 ,6-1, 6-4. Caruso won 56% of his second-serve return points, breaking serve five times.

On his own serve, Caruso won 83% of his first-serve points, but only won 39% of his second-serve points.

Caruso is now 1-2 on grass since 2019, but he’s a more respectable 8-9 overall as a professional. Caruso even qualified for Wimbledon in 2019 before falling to Gilles Simon in the first round.

However, Caruso has been on the decline since that 2019 season. His serve and groundstrokes don’t have nearly the same pop as they did before and he’s also not getting the same depth as he used to.

Caruso was never great on grass and as his game declines, his weaknesses have further been exposed on this surface. Caruso’s second serve sits up in the box and while he is consistent from the baseline, his shots don’t make much of an impact anymore.

Krueger has the stronger first serve and will control the baseline with his backhand.

Caruso’s backhand is his weaker shot, and Krueger should dominate in the backhand-to-backhand exchanges. The Italian’s forehand isn’t powerful enough to put sufficient pressure on Krueger’s weaker forehand in the forehand-to-forehand exchanges.

Pick: Krueger ML (-129 via PointsBet)

Christian Harrison (-135) vs. Dailbor Svrcina (+100)

7:30 am ET

Christian Harrison played solid tennis in his 6-3, 6-4 victory over Anton Matusevich. Harrison won 63% of his service points while sufficiently attacking Matusevich’s second serve.

In addition, Harrison won 64% of his second-serve return points and broke serve four times.

Harrison is just 7-8 on grass in his career, but he does have a good first serve and a knifing backhand slice. The American understands how to move on the grass and has good rally tolerance.

Despite this, there are times where Harrison can get too passive when he has the weapons to take control of rallies.

Dailbor Svcrina won his first-ever grass-court match in the first round of Wimbledon qualifying, beating a rusty Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4.

While Svrcina only won 58% of his service points, he saved 10-of-12 break points. The Czech was also very effective on return, winning 56% of his second-serve return points, something that was especially important as Pospisil was only putting 47% of his first serves into play.

Svrcina is wildly inexperienced on grass, having not played a professional match on the surface prior to his win over Pospisil. He has a clay-centric game, with a heavy forehand that he keeps deep in the court, great rally tolerance and excellent movement.

However, he is a bit underpowered on grass, which Pospisil would have taken better advantage of if he had more match preparations.

Pospisil hit 42 unforced errors against Svrcina, but Harrison won’t give away nearly as many free points, forcing Svrcina to effectively construct grass-court points. Given the Czech’s lack of experience on the surface and how his game does not (theoretically) translate effectively to grass, I’m not convinced he will be able to do so.

Harrison has the bigger serve of the two and the more potent backhand slice. He should win more free points on his first serve compared to Svrcina and keep the ball out of his strike zone with his slice.

Pick: Harrison -1.5 games (-110 via BetMGM)

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