Raonic could have a bit of trouble from Struff
Kasatkina full of promise
BBC from 11am Tuesday
M Raonic v J-L Struff
Last year a determined Andy Murray was all that stood in the way of Milos Raonic and All England glory but the giant Canadian is operating at a much lower level this time around and may have to work hard to defeat Jan-Lennard Struff in his curtain-raiser.
Raonic was bidding to become Canada's first Grand Slam singles champion 12 months ago and defeating seven-time Wimbledon hero Roger Federer in the last four saw his spirits rocket.
However, Murray did what he does best - outwitting and out-hitting his opponent - leaving a hapless Raonic wondering when he will get another chance to be crowned Wimbledon champion.
Raonic's preparations for the tournament have been in complete contrast to last year's, when he had a final showdown with Murray at Queen’s. He has been battling an injury and was a first-round casualty in Kensington, losing in straight sets to improving Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis.
The ability to rattle off service games in quick time is a huge aid to Raonic but, like Kokkinakis, Struff is a renowned big-hitter and breaks of serve may be kept to a minimum.
The German has exited Wimbledon in the first round for the past three years and he may do so again, but his recent form is not devoid of promise and he looks a fair bet to clinch at least a set.
Struff twice took the talented Lucas Pouille - who made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year - to a deciding set in his homeland last month and enjoyed wins over Benoit Paire and Roberto Bautista Agut in recent British exhibitions.
Of course, last year’s runner-up Raonic provides a sterner test but his recent wellbeing is a concern and he may use this match as a stepping stone to bigger things.
Raonic dropped sets in wins over Sam Querrey and David Goffin last year and it’s unlikely we will see the best of him early on in the championship.
J-L Struff to win a set
1pt Evs Betfair, Paddy Power
J Thompson v A Ramos Vinolas
Australian Jordan Thompson recorded the biggest win of his career when upstaging world number one Andy Murray in the first round of Queen’s but he looks short enough to repeat the dose in his Wimbledon first-round encounter against Albert Ramos Vinolas.
The consensus is that Ramos-Vinolas can only perform at his best on clay. But while it is his favoured surface, it is not as important to him as the prices suggest.
The Spaniard is 64 places above Thompson in the world rankings and his performances at Wimbledon last year were filled with promise.
He defeated Vasek Pospisil and Viktor Troicki on his way to a third- round defeat against two-time semi-finalist Richard Gasquet and his experience could be enough for him to grind out a result.
Thompson has huge potential but he went down in straight sets to Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut last year and is yet to go beyond the second round in a Grand Slam.
A Ramos Vinolas
1pt 6-5 general
D Kasatkina v S Zheng
Rising Russian Daria Kasatkina impressed on her Wimbledon debut last year and she can confirm her promise by defeating Saisai Zheng in her opening match.
The 20-year-old reached the third round 12 months ago before falling to veteran Venus Williams in a deciding set and with an extra year of experience under her belt she could claim some notable scalps.
The youngster found eventual runner-up Simona Halep too hot to handle in the third round at Roland Garros but she is open to plenty of improvement on turf and should find Zheng an easier task.
Zheng, at 24, should also have her best days ahead of her but she has lost in the opening round in both of her Wimbledon appearances and has been soundly beaten in straight sets in her two encounters with the talented Kasatkina.
2pts 8-13 Betfair
E Makarova v A Van Uytvanck
Ekaterina Makarova may not be as good as she once was but she thrives on the All England turf and can upset Belgian qualifier Alison Van Uytvanck.
The Russian enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals in 2014 and claimed some mammoth victories on her way to a gruelling three-set defeat to compatriot Elena Vesnina in the fourth round last year.
Makarova silenced Petra Kvitova in her second match before outgunning Czech Barbora Strycova in round three. If she arrives in similar vein she should prove too classy for Van Uytvanck, who had to face three exhausting qualifiers to book her place in the main draw.
A lack of tennis is a concern for Makarova but her early exit at Eastbourne may have blown away the cobwebs and if returning to her best she would surely oblige.
1pt Evs general