Whilst at first glance the odds here may look a little funny, there is fair justification for Brandon Nakashima to be a favourite in this meeting with fellow American Taylor Fritz.
I will start with Nakashima, who put together one of the more impressive stretches through qualifying last week. He faced Vukic, Troicki and Gulbis, and only dropped the second set to Troicki. It was a step in the right direction for Nakashima after a couple of tight losses in the lead-in tournaments, and he should have higher confidence coming into this match with his fellow countryman. He has a game that I feel is suited to the grass, and I was impressed with how he was able to harness it during qualifying.
So, why is he favourite against Taylor Fritz? Whilst the qualifying form has impacted prices, the fact this is Fritz’s first game back from knee surgery. Whilst it may not be obvious when you look at his form, which ends with a loss to Koepfer at Roland Garros, it may not be clear that Fritz injured his knee on the last point of the match and needed to be taken from the court in a wheelchair. He had surgery for a torn meniscus, and was hoping to return to the court for Wimbledon. He did say though that ‘Based off of how bad I initially felt, I’m glad that I will most likely only miss 3 weeks on tour and be back to 100% for the US hardcourt swing.‘
The grass isn’t an easy surface for the knees given how low the ball can stay, and this won’t be a walk in the park for Fritz. I am happy to back Nakashima to continue on with his qualifying form, win, and cover the game handicap here for 1.5 units.
1.5 units Nakashima -3.5 games vs Fritz at $1.83 at Topsport
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