Jenson Brooksby’s grass season was off to a rocky start before running into an aging Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round of Wimbledon.

After a comfortable win, the rising American has yet to earn back the respect of oddsmakers, coming into his second-round encounter with Benjamin Bonzi as an underdog.

Make no mistake about it, Bonzi is a threat on the grass. The Frenchman has gone 16-5 on the surface across all levels, bringing his decently big serve to the surface and getting a wealth of free points with it.

Bonzi has worked incredibly hard to make it on the tour level, rising up the ranks with six titles on the ATP Challenger circuit last year and two this season, though his main-draw success is still sporadic at best. 

The grass has been pretty kind to him, and he’s picked up five wins including one over Denis Shapovalov. His losses came in close fashion against Stefanos Tsitsipas (twice) and Oscar Otte, which are hardly bad losses. 

Still, it should be highlighted that Bonzi has won just two matches in his career at Wimbledon, including his first-round victory over Zdenek Kolar, where he was a greater than -1000 favorite over the clay-court Challenger player. 

The main-draw success is beginning to come to Bonzi, but he’s still had to dip down to the Challengers as recently as a month ago due to so-so results on the ATP level. As it stands, he’s 14-12 in main draws in 2022 and 19-23 for his career. 

Brooksby was one of the biggest stories on tour just a few short months ago, but when the tour turned to the dreaded clay he crumbled. 

It seemed to carry over to grass with three straight to losses to Hugo Gaston, Filip Krajinovic and Jack Draper, though when we look at how the grass seasons have unfolded for those three it’s hard to call those awful losses. 

Brooksby is a natural on grass due to his ability to slice the ball and play some flat shots deep into the court. 

He made a name for himself last year on this surface, going to the final in Newport the first time he ever tried his hand on grass. 

He fell out of favor with oddsmakers due to his poor play entering Wimbledon as a relatively short favorite against Mikhail Kukushkin at around -300, but he tore through the veteran in quick fashion to quiet many of the doubters. 

If this match were being played two months ago, I’m confident in saying that Brooksby would be heavier than a -200 favorite.