Steve Johnson v Christian Harrison. Match preview and betting opportunity.

The match of the day, betting wise, is for sure the clash between Johnson and Harrison, that will be settled as R16 in the Newport Hall of Fame Open. Steve Johnson is a 28 years-old American player, with the height of 188cm and plays Right-Handed, combined with Two-Handed Backhand. Christian Harrison is the younger brother of more infamous Ryan Harrison and is 24 years-old with a height of 180cm, playing Right-Handed, combined with Two-Handed Backhand.

Stevie J had an average year so far, for his standards, reaching an SF in Delray and winning Houston (having beaten 5 consecutive Americans to win the title- Escobedo, Tiafoe, Isner, Fritz, and Sandgren). The rest of the season saw him lose rather quickly in each tournament, while the grass season wasn’t better for him. He managed to win only one grass match against Medvedev and losing 3 of them, against Paire in Halle, against M. Zverev in Eastbourne and against Bemelmans in Wimbledon. Let’s be honest for a moment here and accept that Johnson never played well in Newport, a strange tournament where the ball bounces very short and is very fast… Some called him the 5th Slam of the year, “The Classic Grass Tournament” and the “Golden Era” tournament. He played 4 times in Newport and lost 3 times as favorite (against Young, Ito, and Brezac) and once as small dog against Hewitt (late career of Hewitt). His only wins here were against Wang in 2012,  Thompson and Ito in 2014, Berrer in 2015 and Sugita in 2016. These wins came as 1.13, 132, 1.33, 1.12 favorites.

Christian Harrison, on the other hand, was until this year an average player at most; a player that was bombarded with WCs in tournaments from the USTA (as was his brother Ryan). Maybe that’s why he didn’t get the results everybody expected… he was pushed too hard from the back. This year he received only one WC and that is here in Newport, instead, he played lots of qualifications for some tournaments. His form recently is good, getting in the final of Savannah Challenger (on clay), and qualifying for the Wimbledon MD via wins over Oliveira, Novikov, and Schnur. His grass tennis impressed me, to be honest, as qualifies for the MD in Wimbledon and in the 1st round, he took a set of Nishikori (should have been 2-1 up on him too but lost the 3rd set in the tie break). In Newport, he won in the 1st round as underdog against Alex Bolt (a player very suited and capable on the grass courts).

Fun fact is that they have met once back in 2013, on clay… and Harrison won 7-6 6-1 (in Tallahassee Challenger), a tournament where Harrison got to the main draw as a qualifier.

All these been said I think that Harrison has a rad chance of getting the +4 games covered (offered by Pinnacle @ 1.85) and I feel a 10 unit bet is here in order. The recent results of Johnson on grass, the horrible results Johnson had in Newport, combined with the surface specs, good results Harrison had on grass this season and that only direct meeting won by Harrison makes me back this bet with full confidence.

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