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  • ATP Tennis: Pierre-Hugues Herbert v Philipp Kohlschreiber Preview and Prediction

    ATP Tennis: Pierre-Hugues Herbert v Philipp Kohlschreiber Preview and Prediction

    Date/Time: Thursday 7th March 2019 (Kick-off 9:30 PM CET). 

    These two players look to be moving in opposite directions in terms of their World Ranking on the ATP Tour, but Philipp Kohlschreiber has a chance to turn his declining numbers around in this First Round match.

    While it is clear that the veteran is not the player he once was, Pierre-Hugues Herbert is beginning to find his feet as a Singles player having long been considered one of the top Doubles players in the world. Strong runs in tournaments throughout the opening two months of the 2019 season has seen Herbert reach a career high Ranking last month and his numbers are showing improvement.

    It is the serve that has really been working very well for the Frenchman and it is a weapon that has long been a strength for him, but it is on the return where the real improvements can be seen.

    The break percentage has just increased in each of the last three seasons and that has helped Herbert put more wins together on the hard courts. This season Herbert has been very good at taking the break point chances that have come his way and it is going to be something that Kohlschreiber has to be aware of despite some strong serving numbers of his own.

    Philipp Kohlschreiber is actually serving pretty well, but his issue has been on the return of serve and it leads me to believe that we are going to see another tight match between these players much like we did when they met at Indian Wells twelve months ago. On that occasion neither player got a lot of joy from the return of serve, but it was Kohlschreiber who was a little more clinical with the limited chances that came his way as he earned a 6-4, 7-6 victory over Herbert.

    The loser on the day has improved to think he can keep this one close and perhaps even overturn the result, but it has the feeling of a serve dominated match and I would not be surprised to see another tie-break being played. An early break could see this selection put in a lot of trouble early on and need a deciding set to earn the cover, but I don't think we are going to see a lot of break points in this match and it does feel like a match that will go deep into the first two sets.

    Both players have strong service numbers on the hard courts in 2019 and neither has a great returning statistic which suggests we could get a tight, long match here.

    Prediction: Over 22.5 games


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