The Pick Wimby R1 De Minaur Korda

One of the best aspects of grass-court tennis from a betting perspective is the lack of sample size. It’s far more difficult for sportsbooks to accurately handicap a player if they only have a few grass-court matches under their belt.

Sebastian Korda has only played three tour-level matches on turf, but nothing about his performance in Halle—where he reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Ugo Humbert—suggests he will be anything but spectacular on the surface. In his first match, Korda defeated 2019 Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets, then took out Kei Nishikori in the second round. Not a bad start for the 20-year-old, who will almost certainly become America’s highest ranked men's player in the next few years.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Korda will enter his first round match against Eastbourne champion Alex de Minaur as a +150 underdog. Putting the classic fatigue fade aside (de Minaur defeated Lorenzo Sonego in three sets on Saturday, and plays again on Monday), I am not sure the sportsbooks, nor the market, are accurately handicapping Korda’s ability.


Korda possesses game-changing power from both wings, seen here against the Spaniard.

From a technical standpoint, Korda's backhand pretty much perfect, and he’s shown the talent and hand-skills to make seemingly impossible shots look all too easy.


Korda said this tweener-lob might have been the best shot of his life.

Grass may very well end up being de Minaur’s best surface, and I am not picking against him lightly. His quickness and consistency make him a nightmare to play, and he could certainly capitalize on Korda’s inevitable nerves competing in his first-ever Wimbledon.

But something has clicked inside the 20-year-old this season, who, barring injury, is just a more dangerous and complete player than the Aussie. I promise that when de Minaur saw his draw he was none too pleased; according to UTR’s predictive analytics, Korda has a 56 percent chance to win. That makes his underdog price a little too good to pass up. Expect a close battle filled with jaw-dropping points, but we likely won’t see Korda as a +150 underdog in Wimbledon’s first round many more times in his career.

The Pick: Sebastian Korda