5 ATP Players to watch during the grass court season

Similar to the WTA list, Tweener provides 5 players who should go well over the next month and hopefully provide some value plays for us punters. 

Pierre Hugues Herbert (Rank 79)

The last 18 months have been very successful for Herbert.  He has focused more on his singles and the jump in his ranking is reflective of that. His record on grass is actually poor; his win/loss record on grass is 17-11 although is a positive ratio, he has never gone beyond 2nd round on a grass court event.  However, every facet of his game is suited to this surface. He is a serve volley player similar to Mahut and he should perform well over the next month once accustom to the surface.

Dennis Kudla (Rank 56)

Dennis Kudla is a typical counter puncher; think Lleyton Hewitt and Kudla is that type of player.  A lot of tennis players are counter puncher these days given the change in nature of the sport. Yet, most struggle to achieve good results on grass.  Kudla results on grass over the last 2 years have been impressive.  He has won 2 challenger events on grass and he was a semi-finalist in another challenger event last week.  His solid game off the ground and good returning game will pose problems for many players.  His major weakness is a lack of weapon in his game, but he will be very hard to beat against similar type of players or be a good bet against big name/power players in the early rounds.

Radek Stepanek (Rank 129)

Love him or loathe him, one to has to admire him for his comeback from injury this year.  He is 37 now but he knows his way round the grass court and he will be a handful for majority of players on tour.  Given his age and possible question mark against his stamina, it will be worth considering to win 1st set bets for him instead of match since a best of 5 sets will surely test his fitness.  His serve and excellent volleying skill will always be an asset on grass and he should enjoy a fruitful month ahead.

Yen Hsun Lu (Rank 97)

Lu is another season campaigner and he is another who has comeback from injury this year.  His first match on tour this year was only in May, since his comeback he has won one challenger event, a losing finalist in another and a couple of reasonably losses.  He makes this list because he hits a very flat ball and is good on this surface.  He has reached the quarter final stage of Wimbledon in 2010 and has beaten Andy Roddick on grass.  He is the type of player to strike whilst he is in form and if he starts losing again, avoid like a plague since he can be "in and out".  He seems to be very much "in" at the moment.

Nick Kyrgios (Rank 19)

Some might believe this is an odd selection.  Sam Querrey nearly made this list and so did Dustin Brown. However, Kyrgios made it because I can see him winning Wimbledon in the very near future.  His tournament win in Marseille is one of the best performances of on tour this year;  he simply blew everyone off court in straight sets, it wasn’t because he faced average players; he had to beat Cilic, Berdych and Gasquet to win that title.  The quicker nature of the grass court will give him every chance to emulate that performance.

He won’t be much of a price against lower ranked players but he is one in this list because he is top class on grass. Do not be afraid to back him against big names.  This includes Djokovic/Murray et al, he has all the tools needed to go to the very top in tennis, grass should be his best surface given his game.

Other players who should keep on side include Kohlschreiber, Querrey, Dustin Brown and Sam Groth.