The Pick Wimby R2 Ruud Humbert

On Wednesday, world No. 6 Casper Ruud, who has made it clear that the only thing he likes to do on grass is play 18 holes, will take on world No. 112 Ugo Humbert in the second round at Wimbledon. Ruud is coming off of a straight-set win over Albert Ramos Vinolas in his first match at the All England Club, but the Spaniard is a player that genuinely struggles to play at even a mediocre level when he’s not playing on clay. With that, Ruud couldn’t have possibly gotten a better match-up after losing his only ATP encounter on the surface leading up to Wimbledon (he also took part in the Hurlingham exhibition as part of his preparation).

Considering Ruud’s disdain for the grass, where he is just 3-4 in seven career contests, one has to think that Humbert is going to love his chances in this one. While the 24-year-old is a long way away from being the world No. 25, like he was back on June 21, 2021, the lefty is 15-11 in tour-level matches on grass. And when you look at the styles of play in this match-up, it isn’t hard to see why these players have such different records when playing on this unique surface.

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While Ruud has an impressive all-court game, the 23-year-old isn’t exactly looking to overpower his opponents. He likes to play longer points, where his topspin-heavy shots help him control points — which is something he has learned from his time at the Rafael Nadal Academy. But playing a power game is actually important when playing on grass, where the bounces are lower and the points are a lot quicker. That’s where Humbert will have a big edge in this match, as he is the much better server between these two. He can also let it rip from the baseline every once in a while, even if it does occasionally lead to unforced errors.

When you factor in that Humbert’s game is the better fit for the grass than Ruud’s is, it’s hard not to like the Frenchman to pull off the upset here. The lefty also happens to be 2-1 in three career meetings with Ruud at the ATP level, and the one loss came on clay. Ruud’s favorite surface is the dirt, which is where he just made a run to the final at Roland Garros. But the two other matches these players played came on hard courts, which is where Humbert’s power was able to shine through. Things should be no different this time around.

The Pick: Humbert To Win (+110)