2022 Queen’s Club Championship Round of 16
Denis Kudla v Matteo Berrettini
Berrettini only returned from surgery on his hand in Stuttgart last week but his comeback has been mightily impressive.
He won that event in Germany, beating Andy Murray in the final, and he was ruthless in dismissing Dan Evans in round one at Queen’s Club. The Italian destroyed the opposition with his big serve here 12 months ago and Tuesday’s dismissal of Evans, during which he held serve throughout, suggested he’s capable of doing something similar this year.
Next to stand in his path is Kudla, a player who has played well on the grass so far this season, reaching the final of the Surbiton Challenger a couple of weeks ago.
However, this is a big step up and dealing with Berrettini’s delivery will be testing to say the least for the world number 82. While the pair’s head-to-head is, perhaps surprisingly, tied at 3-3 across their careers, it’s notable that Berrettini eased to victory in their only previous meeting on grass, winning 6-3 6-3 in Stuttgart in 2019.
Kudla failed to create a single break point that day (and also failed to break serve in their match before). That Stuttgart contest was the duo’s last clash and it’s fair to say Berrettini, last year’s Wimbledon runner-up, has come on a lot since then.
He should win this, although that’s very much what the layers expect – he’s 1/5 to win. The best value in siding with Berrettini looks to be backing him to win under 12.5 games at odds-against. He landed this against Evans last time out as well as in that Stuttgart meeting.
It’s not hard to envisage a 6-3 6-4 win, or something of that ilk, so this looks the way to go.
Ryan Peniston v Francisco Cerundolo
Based on what we saw on Tuesday, Peniston is more than capable of winning this.
But do we really want to back such an inexperienced player to do so at just 8/13? Peniston stunned top seed Casper Ruud in round one and was very impressive but we’ve seen many times in the past that breakthrough stars often fail to back up their upset win.
I put that down to two main factors – first, the emotional toll such a victory takes on a player, who realises they may actually be able to achieve their dream. And secondly, the additional media duties attached to such a success – you can bet your bottom dollar that Peniston has never had to do so many interviews in a 24-hour period and while he may have found it enjoyable, it does disrupt the routine.
The good news here is that Cerundolo is hardly Mr Experienced himself and certainly not on grass. His first-round win over fellow clay court specialist Pedro Martinez was his first ATP Tour match on this surface and only his fifth at any level of the game. And the fact that he had to face 13 break points in that contest – offering up at least one in six of his nine service games – will give Peniston real hope here.
The Briton served well against Ruud, backing up previous strong serving displays in Nottingham last week on the Challenger Tour, and if he is able to replicate that, then I can see him winning this. While I’m not really too interested in 8/13 quotes, a better value option looks to be to back under 20.5 games in the match at 7/4. Cerundolo offering up so many break points means it’s not too hard to envisage Peniston creating enough chances to gain breaks in both sets.
The bet also has wriggle room in terms of Peniston being unable to back up his big win of the other day with a comfortable Cerundolo win also capable of delivering a profit.
Filip Krajinovic v Sam Querrey
American veteran Querrey loves the grass court season.
He’d won just two matches on the ATP Tour this year prior to arriving in Den Bosch last week and he’s already doubled that tally. A finalist in Mallorca last season, Querrey’s massive serve helps him enormously on this surface, particularly here at Queen’s where the bounce is slightly lower than at Wimbledon and some of the other grass venues.
He blasted away Diego Schwartzman in the first round, losing only five games and not having to face a breakpoint. Krajinovic will offer a different challenge to the pint-sized Schwartzman, whose strong return game is blunted somewhat by this surface.
The Serbian did well to beat Jenson Brooksby in his opener but that was his first grasscourt win in seven years and now he’s up against someone very much at home on the surface.
Querrey should progress at 8/13 but the worry for backers is that low win tally – he’s yet to win back-to-back matches on the tour this year and you wonder if losing the winning habit may work against him, particularly if this is tight.
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How to watch The Queen’s Club Championship
📅 When is The Queen’s Club Championship? / Thursday, 16th June 2022 from 12pm
🏟 Where is The Queen’s Club Championship? / Queen’s Club (London)
📺 What TV channel is The Queen’s Club Championship? / BBC Two