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Wimbledon potential first round upsets: 11/8 home hope Evans to oust Tabilo

Wimbledon begins on Monday and, as usual, there are a number of matches in which the favourite looks vulnerable against an opponent who offers upset value in the first round of the third Grand Slam of the season.

Below we pick out five first-round matches in which the outsiders may offer a spot of value to post upsets.


First-round upset tips

Jakub Mensik to beat Alexander Bublik @ 7/4
Sloane Stephens to beat Victoria Azarenka @ 12/5
Thanasi Kokkinakis to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime @ 2/1
Dan Evans to beat Alejandro Tabilo @ 11/8
Andy Murray to beat Tomas Machac @ 11/5

Jakub Mensik v Alexander Bublik

Jakub Mensik is one of the most exciting young talents in world tennis and his physical strength and all-round game should be well suited to Wimbledon.

The Czech is still only 18 years old, but youth and inexperience may not stop him when he opens in the London major against 23rd seed Alexander Bublik.

Kazakh Bublik made the last 16 of Wimbledon last year, but that was the 27-year-old’s best effort in Grand Slam singles competition and Mensik, whose groundstrokes have already posed problems for some of the world’s best players, may have little to fear.

Victoria Azarenka v Sloane Stephens

Victoria Azarenka remains a proud and capable performer at all levels, but the two-time Australian Open champion may be slightly more vulnerable than the betting suggests when she opens at Wimbledon against Sloane Stephens.

Even though Stephens won the US Open in 2017 and reached the French Open final a year later, there is still a sense that the Floridian has underachieved given her talent and there may still be unfinished business on court as far as she is concerned.

The pair possess vast experience - Azarenka turns 35 in late July, while Stephens is 31 - but if the outsider turns up in the mood to prosper in this clash of former Wimbledon quarter-finalists, an early exit for the favourite cannot be ruled out.

Felix Auger-Aliassime v Thanasi Kokkinakis

Felix Auger-Aliassime is a hugely talented performer, but the Canadian looks as if he needs to toughen up on court if he is to fulfil his sporting dreams.

His opening Wimbledon outing, on a match scheduled for day two, is against Thanasi Kokkinakis.

And, while the tall Australian has needed time to get used to the demands of travelling the world, his game has arguably never been in better shape and he may now be ready physically and mentally to do his talents justice at Wimbledon.

Kokkinakis is a fine performer at his best and, if he can stay focused over the best of five sets, Auger-Aliassime may struggle to find an answer to his opponent’s powerful serving and groundstrokes.

Dan Evans v Alejandro Tabilo

Alejandro Tabilo has entered numerous notebooks this year following some excellent performances on all surfaces, but it’s still just possible that the Chilean could be vulnerable in his All England Club opener against England’s Dan Evans.

Birmingham bulldog Evans has had a career of ups and downs. He has been struggling for form in recent months, but his spirits could be lifted hugely by the majority of crowd support he will receive at Wimbledon and so a close clash is likely to ensue.

It would not be a surprise to see this one go to four and quite possibly five sets, but Evans, even at 34, may still have enough to roar his way over the line and thwart his in-form opponent.

Andy Murray v Tomas Machac

Siding with Andy Murray has been far from fruitful in recent seasons, but, while the end is almost certainly nigh for one of Britain’s greatest sportsmen, there is a possibility that the 37-year-old Scot could offer a smidgen of value to survive a tough last-128 test against Tomas Machac.

Czech Machac looks a pretty consistent performer on any surface, so the challenge is unlikely to faze him and he will just get on with the job in hand.

Murray, who is not certain to start the tournament after cyst surgery on his back, is a long way past his best.

But the one thing he will get on grass, with its less-predictable bounce, is time to think about shots. So, if the two-time Wimbledon champion gets the opportunity to shorten the points, he may well do so.

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