Medvedev wants to defend his title

Tennis fans only have a few more days to wait before the most prestigious Grand Slam tournament begins at Wimbledon next Monday. All the top players on the scene are already looking forward to it with great anticipation. At least for almost all of them. Daniil Medvedev, the world’s number one, will not be playing in London. The reason for this is not an injury, but the controversial decision of the organisers to exclude Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s

While many stars are using the tournaments this week primarily to put the finishing touches on grass, Medvedev’s main goal in Mallorca is to win the title. On the way to defending his title on the Balearic Islands, the Russian has to get his compatriot Aslan Karatsev out of the way on Wednesday lunchtime.

Last year’s US Open winner reached the final in both s’Hertogenbosch and Halle and showed good grass court form despite two losses in the final. His upcoming opponent, on the other hand, is not in really good shape and has so far failed to prove that he can adapt his game on grass. In the run-up to the second-round duel between Medvedev and Karatsev, a prediction on the world number one is therefore obvious.

Daniil Medvedev – Statistics & current form

Not Novak Djokovic, not Rafael Nadal and not Roger Federer either. Instead, Daniil Medvedev is currently the leader of the tennis world rankings. And this despite the fact that the Russian failed to reach the round of 16 at the French Open and is generally still waiting for his first tournament victory in the calendar year 2022. Nevertheless, the right-hander convinces with an enormous consistency and only a few lapses. The record of 26 wins and nine losses this season further underlines this thesis.

If the 26-year-old still revealed problems in the tennis calendar, it was on grass. At Wimbledon, his best result so far is the round of 16 in 2021. Medvedev’s only tournament victory to date on the most unusual of all surfaces, however, came on Mallorca. He would very much like to repeat this triumph from last year, especially since the Russian will be playing on the green surface for the last time this season. We have already reported on the exclusion from Wimbledon at the beginning of this article.

Medvedev loves the tournament in Mallorca

The current condition of the almost two-metre tall right-hander is definitely something to be proud of. Medvedev reached the finals in s’Hertogenbosch, Holland, as well as in Halle, but lost to local hero Tim van Rijtjoven and Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in two sets. These clear defeats in the finals came as a surprise, especially as the Russian had not dropped a single set in either tournament.

All in all, the quality of the world number one is undisputed. His good first serve with constant baseline shots will come into its own even better on the somewhat sanded grass court in Majorca than on the faster surface in Halle, for example. Against this background, a tip on the Grand Slam winner should definitely be made between Medvedev and Karatsev. A handicap bet in favour of the favourite is probably even a good idea.

Aslan Karatsev – Statistics & Current Form

For Aslan Karatsev, last season was by far the most successful in his career so far. The 28-year-old won the highly competitive tournaments in Dubai and Moscow and even sensationally reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open. Since then, the Russian has been feared on the tour, especially because of his whipping forehand, which regularly thunders into the opponent’s court at over 150 km/h on a good day.

But the thundering baseline shots are also part of the biggest weakness, because on balance Karatsev commits too many avoidable errors over the course of a match. Especially in the current calendar year, the man who was even ranked number 14 in the world in February but has now slipped out of the top 40 again, does not come close to the performances he showed in 2020 and 2021. With a record of ten wins to 15 losses, the trend is pointing in the wrong direction.

Karatsev needs more consistency in his game

The right-hander is not particularly familiar with the grass courts of this world, which makes the duel against his compatriot even more difficult. The 28-year-old has won only three of his twelve professional matches played on grass. In Stuttgart, Karatsev failed in the first qualifying round against Dominic Stephan Stricker; in Halle, it was all over against his opening opponent Karen Khachanov. Only in the first match on Mallorca against Jaume Munar was a narrow three-set victory secured.

Nevertheless, we believe that the stakes are too high against the world number one. There will be no grass against the solid baseline play of his opponent. At best, his own serve would have to come in over 70% of the time, but we don’t believe that. This is one of the reasons why the odds on an outright favourite win between Medvedev and Karatsev offer the most promising value.

Medvedev – Karatsev Direct Comparison / H2H Balance

The direct comparison between the two Russians is completely curious. In fact, Aslan Karatsev has won all three direct duels against his younger compatriot so far. While the first two meetings in 2014 and 2016 can be safely disregarded, the second-set victory in May last year on clay was quite surprising. Now it’s the first match ever on grass.

Daniil Medvedev – Aslan Karatsev Tip

Wimbledon will be held without players from Russia and Belarus this year. Nevertheless, even after the tournament in London, nothing will change in the fact that Daniil Medvedev tops the world rankings. As a compromise for the polarising decision of the tournament organisers, it was decided that no world ranking points will be awarded at Wimbledon 2022.

Nevertheless, the athletes from Russia and Belarus are angry for understandable reasons. Medvedev in particular had actually set himself the goal of reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in the English capital. Now it’s all about defending the title in Mallorca for the 26-year-old and ending the grass-court season successfully.

In round two, Medvedev is the clear favourite against Karatsev according to the betting odds. No wonder, because the world No. 1 is up against a player who is not at all comfortable on grass, has won only three professional matches on this surface in his entire career and has not travelled to the Balearic Islands in particularly good shape. Medvedev, on the other hand, has reached the final of two grass tournaments in a row.

It should also be mentioned that the grass in Mallorca is somewhat sandy and the ball does not bounce as quickly as on other grass courts. These conditions should also play into the favourites’ hands, as they have better and, above all, more consistent baseline strokes. We are therefore convinced that the US Open winner from 2021 will bring home a commanding victory and that a bet on a maximum of 21 games being played between Medvedev and Karatsev will pay off. So even a 7:5, 6:3 win would be included in our preferred bet.

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