Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (July 22nd)

Tuesday is the day that the tournaments really get underway as far as I am concerned and you still have time to read the outright picks from the week here.

With rain expected at all three men's tournaments to be played through the day, don't be surprised if there are delays within matches. Yesterday the picks went 2-1 as Donald Young fell apart in his loss to Dudi Sela and once again is on my unbackable list.

A positive result is still a positive start to the week and hopefully that can be built upon in the next few days.

Pablo Cuevas - 4.5 games v Mate Delic: After winning the title in Bastad, confidence has certainly been flowing through Pablo Cuevas who has come through three qualifiers to reach the main draw here in Umag.

It might be a little more difficult to see of Mate Delic than in a normal occasion considering he will be vocally backed by the home crowd, while the Croatian has also played well in the level below the main Tour.

He qualified for tournaments in Stuttgart and Hamburg before being beaten in the First Round and he has reached a Semi Final and a Final on the Challenger Tour on this surface. That will have given Delic the belief he can spring a surprise, but Cuevas has been performing better at a higher level.

The first set might be a tough one to separate these players, but if Cuevas can come through that, I expect him to record a 75, 63 win.

Jiri Vesely - 4.5 games v Pere Riba: Jiri Vesely has lost three matches in a row coming into this one, but I think he has every chance to win this match against Pere Riba who does look overmatched on the main Tour.

Riba is very comfortable on the clay, but he doesn't have a lot of power and his serve is vulnerable which makes him a player that is a good match up for many at this level. Even in his sole match against Vesely, Riba was crushed 64, 61 last season and I think it is asking a lot from him to keep ahead in this match.

I do expect Vesely to earn a few breaks of serve, and he should be a fairly comfortable winner as long as he can serve semi-effectively. A 64, 63 win should be on the cards at the least for Vesely in this First Round match.

MY PICKS: Pablo Cuevas - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Jiri Vesely - 4.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-1, + 1.60 Units (6 Units Staked, + 26.67% Yield)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (July 21st)

The month of July has a mixed bag of tournaments, but as we get closer to the end of the month, we begin to see the North American hard court tournaments getting up and running. This week we see the first of the US hard court series events beginning in Atlanta, while in Europe there are two more clay court events with one more to be played next week.

I have made a couple of outright picks from the tournaments taking place over the next seven days which can be read here.

As is the case for much of the events over the course of the season, the layers took their time to get the prices out for the Monday action, while the majority of the tennis matches in the men's events take place in the afternoon in terms of British time.

There should be a few rain delays through the week with the weather forecast calling for wet conditions at all three events in Umag, Gstaad and Atlanta. That can be an issue with the break in momentum that rain delays provide, especially when looking for players to cover any handicaps.

Pablo Carreno-Busta - 3.5 games v Paolo Lorenzi: Neither one of these players have been showing a lot of form in recent weeks, although that wasn't helped by a short move onto the grass courts which isn't a favoured surface.

Both players have proved to be a little too good for the Challenger circuit on clay, but neither Paolo Lorenzi nor Pablo Carreno-Busta have really managed to put that together consistently at the main Tour level.

They did meet a couple of weeks ago in a crushing win for the Spaniard which means he has now won all three previous matches they have had against one another on clay. Paolo Lorenzi didn't serve well in that loss and a similar display would put him under a lot of pressure in this one too, while it can be tough mentally to play someone who you know you haven't beaten on a particular surface despite a number of matches to do so.

The conditions could be slow with all the rain in the area in Umag, but I still think Carreno-Busta is going to be a little too good in a 64, 64 win.

Sam Querrey - 1.5 games v Steve Johnson: A battle between two Americans on the hard courts in Atlanta should be a fascinating match, but I do think Sam Querrey can get the better of Steve Johnson. Both players will likely be looking at the next six weeks as being a huge chance to pick up big ranking points, and both are comfortable on the hard courts.

It has been a poor 2014 season for Querrey who has struggled in too many matches, but he has shown positive signs during the grass court season that he can take forward into the North American hard court swing.

I can see both Querrey and Johnson serving effectively, but I do think that Johnson is a little more erratic off the ground and can give the former American Number 1 player more chances to break serve.

A first set tie-breaker wouldn't surprise, but I do think Querrey comes through 76, 64.

Donald Young v Dudi Sela: I have never felt good about backing someone like Donald Young who can be so up and down with his play, but this match up should be a good one for him on the hard courts.

Of course, Dudi Sela has more competitive tennis played over the last three weeks which may give him an early edge in the match, but he has struggled against Young in their last two matches including a heavy loss at the French Open.

The next six weeks is huge for Young who is up to World Number 70 and with nothing to really defend over the next few weeks where he might be pushing for Wild Card spots into the Masters tournament in Cincinnati.

Young will need to serve well and control the mistakes that can blight his game, but I do think he can move through to the Second Round here and will back him to win the match.

MY PICKS: Pablo Carreno-Busta - 3.5 Games @ 1.85 Betway (2 Units)
Sam Querrey - 1.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Donald Young @ 1.83 Coral (2 Units)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Tennis Outright Picks 2014 (July 21-27)

There are another five tournaments scheduled for this week with three men's events and two women's events, although I am not going to be making any outright picks from the latter two. The way I see it, if Shuai Peng and Sorana Cirstea are the two Number 1 Seeds, those tournaments really aren't bringing the best talents to the court.

It is also still that time of the year when the biggest names in the men's game are also still getting ready for the North American hard court swing and the majority of those won't be back until Toronto in a couple of weeks time. The hard court tournament in Atlanta is dominated by the home players, while we still have a couple more European clay court events in Gstaad and Umag taking place this week.

Last week was a mixed one, but the Saturday helped to ensure it wasn't going to be a losing week with a 4-1 day in the Semi Final picks made. It's been an average couple of weeks since the end of Wimbledon, but maintaing the season totals can't be ignored especially as this can be a portion of the year when I have struggled before the hard court season begins.

ATP Atlanta
This is the fifth edition of the ATP 250 event in Atlanta which signals the official beginning of the US hard court swing and it has been a tournament dominated by the home players with all four previous titles being won by an American.

John Isner is the top seed in Atlanta this week and comes in as defending Champion, while he has also been a Runner Up twice here- Isner gets plenty of support at the event having attended the University of Georgia and I can understand why he is the favourite to win the event again this week.

He had a disappointing loss in Newport a couple of weeks ago, but Isner receives a bye into the Second Round and looks by far the strongest player in his mini-section. I would expect Isner to get into the Semi Final with few problems and then I think he is capable of getting the better of Gael Monfils or Denis Istomin.

Last year's Runner Up Kevin Anderson and Sam Querrey from the bottom half of the draw may also feel very comfortable on the hard courts with their big games working on this surface. Both will go deep into the draw I can imagine, but the trend is to back an American in this event and I think John Isner is the call this week.

ATP Umag
The two Finalists from this tournament twelve months ago are the top two seeds in Umag this week as Fabio Fognini and Tommy Robredo bookend the draw, but neither player has been in the kind of form that will get them back to the Final.

Last summer Fabio Fognini enjoyed a lot of success on the clay at this time of the year, but he hasn't produced the same in exiting the Stuttgart Quarter Final and Hamburg Second Round. Tommy Robredo is another that has struggled for form and I think that could open the door for someone like Marin Cilic who is the Number 3 Seed.

Cilic would have been the defending Champion last year, but was off the Tour serving a ban for misreading a supplement he had used. Now he is back in front of his home fans where Cilic has reached the Final in 2011 and 2012.

He has been playing well and Cilic won't be intimidated in having to go through a player like Lukas Rosol despite the form the latter has shown over the last month. Cilic doesn't shy away from the clay courts where his aggressive return of serve can pay dividends.

In all honesty, the Croatian is in the harder half of the draw and I think he would have been a much stronger favourite if he was in the top half. However, Cilic has all the tools to reclaim the title he couldn't defend last season and I will have a small interest in him doing that.

MY OUTRIGHT PICKS: John Isner @ 3.50 Coral (2 Units)
Marin Cilic @ 4.00 Stan James (1 Unit)

Weekly Final14-13, + 2.04 Units (54 Units Staked, + 3.78% Yield)
Weekly Outright0-1, - 2 Units (2 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)

Season 2014+ 51.84 Units (1128.5 Units Staked, + 4.59% Yield)

Season 2013+ 21.74 Units (1251.5 Units Staked, + 1.73% Yield)
Season 2012+ 49.21 Units (855 Units Staked, + 5.76% Yield)
Season 2011+ 82.02 Units

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (July 19th)

Leonardo Mayer + 2.5 games v Philipp Kohlschreiber: I was surprised with the ease in which Philipp Kohlschreiber beat Lukas Rosol in the Quarter Final on Friday, but I expect Leonardo Mayer to give the home town favourite more problems.

It has been a good season for Mayer who is on course to surpass the number of wins he had on the main Tour over the last three years in 2014. Mayer has performed well on the clay courts which is expected of a South American and he has won the two previous meetings between these players which have both come on the surface.

Of course, Kohlschreiber will have a confidence boost by playing at home to turn that record around, but Mayer has a decent serve and won't mind getting involved in the longer rallies.

I would be looking for Mayer to win at least one set in this match which could give him every chance to get over the line with the games in hand.

David Ferrer - 5.5 games v Alexander Zverev: David Ferrer crushed Pablo Andujar in the Quarter Final played on Friday and he admitted that it is by far the best he has played this week to this point. I would argue that it was Ferrer's best performance in over two months as he has been struggling with his health.

Now he has to be careful as he takes on 17 year old Alexander Zverev who has found some very good form despite not winning a match on the main Tour before this week. He did recently win a Challenger on the clay, but this is the biggest test he has faced so far against a player that has spent a lot of time in the top five of the World Rankings.

The health of Ferrer has been a concern for me all week, but I think he can build upon his win over Andujar. As well as Zverev has done to come through the matches, he has given his opponents at least a look at his service games and I do expect Ferrer to be able to create more break point chances and actually dominate the longer rallies.

Ferrer will also have to serve well because Zverev isn't showing any nerves this week and really been in control of his emotions, but I do think the veteran gives the young player a lesson in a 64, 62 win.

Chanelle Scheepers v Jana Cepelova: She may be lower in the World Rankings and also giving up nine years in terms of age, but I do think Chanelle Scheepers can get the better of Jana Cepelova in an almost pick 'em contest.

The South African has had to battle through two Rounds in Bastad to reach this Semi Final, but she has at least shown more consistent form than Cepelova in recent weeks. Before her three wins here, Cepelova had lost seven matches in a row.

However, it does have to be remembered that Cepelova probably prefers the clay courts far more than Scheepers, although the latter has won ten of her thirteen matches this year on this surface.

Added belief from a run in Bad Gastein should help Scheepers come through the tough moments in perhaps a third straight three set win.

Caroline Wozniacki - 5.5 games v Kristina Mladenovic: Caroline Wozniacki's former boyfriend may be earning all the headlines with his performance in The Open at the moment, but the Dane can move into a Final of her own by winning this match.

Wozniacki had to come through a tough Quarter Final, but she has been playing pretty well this week on the hard courts of Istanbul. She will also have a little more confidence having beaten Kristina Mladenovic earlier this year on the hard courts.

The Frenchwoman hasn't had the best of seasons to this point, but confidence can quickly turn things around and that has to be in a good place for Mladenovic. However, I think she could be frustrated by the defensive qualities of Wozniacki and I am not convinced Mladenovic has the calmness to keep in rallies if she is being forced to play extra shots consistently.

The match earlier this season ended with a 63, 64 win for Wozniacki, but she has been serving well so far this week and that may see her pick up the win with a slightly wider margin than that match in Monterrey.

Bernard Tomic - 3.5 games v Victor Estrella: There have been some strange results this week, but I really didn't see the Victor Estrella win over Richard Gasquet coming.

These are actually the first hard court wins of the season for Estrella on the main Tour, but he han't even set the Challenger circuit alight to suggest he was capable of reaching a Semi Final on the surface in an ATP 250 event.

It was a poor serving display for Gasquet to be broken three times in the Quarter Final, but Bernard Tomic has used his serve to good effect this week and I think the Australian can pick up more vital Ranking points. After some of the success he has had on the Tour, it is strange to see Tomic outside of the top 100 in the World Rankings at this point of his career.

If Tomic can look after that side of his game in this Semi Final, I would expect he can grind out chances on the Estella serve and earn a measure of revenge for a qualifier defeat to the same player in Rome earlier this season. The surface should favour Tomic more this time and I like him to win 64, 64.

MY PICKS: Leonardo Mayer + 2.5 Games @ 2.10 Pinnacle (2 Units)
David Ferrer - 5.5 Games @ 2.10 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Chanelle Scheepers @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Caroline Wozniacki - 5.5 Games @ 2.17 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Bernard Tomic - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 10-12, - 4.40 Units (44 Units Staked, - 10% Yield)

Friday, 18 July 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (July 18th)

Lukas Rosol + 3.5 games v Philipp Kohlschreiber: The last two times these players have met have both come on the clay and both of those matches have also been very competitive with each player winning one.

I am expecting this Quarter Final to have a similar feel and I was surprised that Lukas Rosol has been given as many games as this by a number of layers. He has the big serve that can cause Philipp Kohlschreiber some problems as proven when they met in Stuttgart last week and Rosol has had enough wins in the last two weeks to have built confidence to a high level.

The first serve will be all important for Rosol if he is to win this match and I also hope it is working well enough to remain competitive through the match.

Both players have played well enough this week to think this is going to go at least three sets and Rosol has performed to a level in the last two weeks that makes these games valuable in my opinion, even if he doesn't make it through to the Semi Final.

Roberta Vinci - 3.5 games v Karumi Nara: 2014 has been a contrast for these two players as Roberta Vinci has struggled while Karumi Nara is going to record a career-high wins in a single season on the main Tour.

The Vinci 13 wins and 18 losses on the season have been a real surprise considering she has almost 100 wins when combining 2012 and 2013 (94 wins), but there have been shoots of recovery over the last two weeks.

Vinci reached the Final in Bucharest before coming up short against Simona Halep and she has a couple of wins under her belt here which should improve confidence. Her style of play should match up well against Nara who is another player that could struggle with the number of slices she sees.

Nara has played well on the hard courts all season and she should be making some leaps up the Rankings ahead of the US Open, where she could certainly be a seeded player. However, Nara doesn't have a huge shot in her locker and I can see the veteran Italian using some of the knowledge she has gained to beat her 64, 64.

Richard Gasquet - 5.5 games v Victor Estrella: I have tipped Richard Gasquet to win the tournament in Bogota this week and he got off to a decent start with a straight sets victory over Samuel Groth.

It wasn't surprising that the match needed tie-breaks to settle it with the conditions in Bogota, but I am expecting Gasquet to have an 'easier' time against Victor Estrella.

If Estrella serves well, he could make it competitive as the ball flies in Bogota, but I also think he doesn't have the biggest serve and Gasquet should be able to get enough balls back in play and win the majority of the longer rallies.

There is a clear difference in terms of quality on show and I do think Gasquet can pick up a 64, 62 win.

MY PICKS: Lukas Rosol + 3.5 Games @ 1.75 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Roberta Vinci - 3.5 Games @ 1.83 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Richard Gasquet - 5.5 Games @ 2.15 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Picks: 9-10, - 2.06 Units (38 Units Staked, - 5.42% Yield)

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (July 17th)

Dominic Thiem - 1.5 games v Leonardo Mayer: Dominic Thiem has openly admitted that he needs to get to grips on grass court tournaments, but being back on the clay has once again shown the potential this youngster has.

He has come through two Rounds in Hamburg and can start making serious moves up the Rankings if he can see off Leonardo Mayer in this Third Round match, although it has to be said that this will be a tough match for Thiem.

When they met in Madrid earlier this season, Thiem had to come from a set down to beat Mayer, although it could have been a different story if the latter had taken his limited chances to break serve.

Both will be looking for the first serve percentage points won to be the key to their success and I do respect how well Mayer has played through the first seven months of 2014. The Argentinian has to be full of confidence, but Thiem has a real belief in his own ability and I like him to come through in three tough sets.

Alexandr Dolgopolov - 3.5 games v Tobias Kamke: Albert Einstein said it is an indication of madness when you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

Having backed the opponents of Tobias Kamke twice already this week, I am going back to the well to go against the German player who has shown little clay court form in the past. Alexandr Dolgopolov is not the most trust worthy player to go against Kamke, but the Ukrainian seems to be showing a lot more commitment to his tennis these days.

That has paid off with some big wins through 2014 and Dolgopolov is close to returning to the World Top 20 while recording a strong win in his first match in Hamburg.

Dolgopolov has performed well on the clay courts in his career including previously winning a Tour title on the surface. If he can serve well, I would expect his variation off the ground to cause problems for Kamke and result in a 76, 63 win.

Dusan Lajovic - 2.5 games v Filip Krajinovic: Two players from Serbia ups the ante for both Dusan Lajovic and Filip Krajinovic who can boost their Ranking with the points they can earn by getting into the Quarter Final of an ATP 500 event.

Lajovic has been showing improvements in his game, especially on the clay courts where he reached the Fourth Round at the French Open and the Quarter Final in Bastad last week. He has had two more impressive wins this week and might catch Filip Krajinovic who is trying to back up a big win over Fabio Fognini.

The older of the two players has also had a lot more experience playing at this level and those can be factored in on the side of Lajovic in this match.

There has been a fair amount of success earned by Krajinovic on the Challenger Tour on clay, but I think he might just have one too many factors going against him and Lajovic should move through.

Santiago Giraldo - 3.5 games v Alexander Zverev: I was surprised by the way Alexander Zverev had control of his emotions in his straight sets win over Mikhail Youzhny in the Second Round, especially when put under pressure.

It was not what I expected from a 17 year old who has not had a lot of experience at this level and I think it might be asking a lot for Zverev to continue his run when he comes up against Santiago Giraldo.

The Colombian has had a day to prepare for this match following his win over Benoit Paire and he has the power and the performances on clay to give Zverev all he can handle. It is also clear that the youngster is very high on confidence and playing with plenty of belief so the key for Giraldo will be getting the first set in the bag.

I think he can do that and that may have Zverev feeling his exploits from the week so far and Giraldo could come up with a 75, 64 win.

Kaia Kanepi - 4.5 games v Richel Hogenkamp: There is something a little strange in Richel Hogenkamp qualifying for Bastad for the second year in a row, but it has been rare to see her attempt to get into tournaments like this over the past twelve months.

Hogenkamp must enjoy the conditions in this part of Sweden, but Kaia Kanepi has been in very strong form over the last month and proved her determination by coming back from the edge of the cliff to beat Johanna Larsson.

As I said when backing Kanepi to beat Larsson, tiredness may be a factor but she did get a day to rest for this match and that could pave the way for another win on the red dirt.

She has generally competed at a much higher level than Hogenkamp and I think that experience and the power that Kanepi has will lead to a 64, 63 win.

Karolina Pliskova - 4.5 games v Shahar Peer: I haven't seen a lot of Karolina Pliskova, but I have seen a player with potential if she can keep hold of the unforced errors that can blight her game. She has a decent serve and return and I would expect Pliskova to move up from her current Ranking of 47.

She should prove to have a little too much in the locker for Shahar Peer who has been having worse and worse years since reaching 48 wins in the 2010 season. It is likely that Peer will buck that trend this season with four more wins needed to reach the 12 win mark she had last season, but it is clear that she is a player in real danger of falling out of the top 100 in the World Rankings.

Peer has only been beyond the Second Round in four tournaments over the last twelve months and I think Pliskova will be dictating this match.

As long as Pliskova can control the unforced error count, I would expect her to be too good for Peer and win this 63, 63.

Ivo Karlovic - 2.5 games v Dudi Sela: Ivo Karlovic improved to 6-0 against Dudi Sela last week and he continues to dominate the sets too with 14 of the last 15 won by the big man including 12 in a row.

As well as Dudi Sela competes, the Karlovic serve poses too many problems for the short, relatively speaking, Sela, while his own game can allow opportunities for players to break his own serve.

That goes for even a limited returner like Karlovic who forces enough balls back in play without an overbearing serve to return and then Sela has to control his errors to hold serve.

I've said Sela struggles with his errors at times and Karlovic should prove too strong again as long as his run to the Final in Newport hasn't affected him adversely, even with three days rest since that Final.

MY PICKS: Dominic Thiem - 1.5 Games @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Alexandr Dolgopolov - 3.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Dusan Lajovic - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Santiago Giraldo - 3.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Kaia Kanepi - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Karolina Pliskova - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Ivo Karlovic - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 7-6, + 1.54 Units (26 Units Staked, + 5.92% Yield)

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (July 16th)

Federico Delbonis - 3.5 games v Tobias Kamke: Twelve months ago, Federico Delbonis qualified for this tournament and really announced himself on the main Tour by reaching the Final at the event, including beating Roger Federer in the Semi Final.

Since then, Delbonis has been moving up the Rankings and picked up a title in Sao Paolo earlier this season, while his run to the Quarter Final in Stuttgart last week shows his capabilities on the clay courts.

It won't be an easy match against Tobias Kamke who will be supported by the home crowd, but I do think Delbonis will be able to set up the easier points from the serve and the Argentinian is very comfortable on the clay.

Out of the two players, Delbonis has a clear edge on the surface and I think he can win this match 64, 64 as long as he isn't overly burdened by the points he is defending this week.

Lukas Rosol - 2.5 games v Joao Sousa: Both of these players are coming off successful weeks on the Tour with Lukas Rosol reaching the Final in Stuttgart and Joao Sousa doing the same in Bastad, while both also failed to win the title.

Both players are comfortable on the clay, but I would perhaps argue that Sousa is more consistent... So why have I picked Lukas Rosol to win and cover this spread? That is because I think the Czech player has a higher ceiling than Sousa if he is in form.

He didn't play well against Julian Reister in the First Round on Tuesday, but he played the big points well enough and that helped Rosol take a tight first set. His serve should be more effective than it was yesterday, and that could put Sousa under some pressure.

The match may also come down to fitness as both have a lot of tennis in their legs from last week, but I think Rosol can find a 76, 64 win in this one.

Andreas Seppi v Juan Monaco: The one factor that has Andreas Seppi as the underdog in this match as far as I am concerned is the lack of tennis he has played since Wimbledon and the move from the grass back onto the clay courts being an issue for the layers.

The Italian might not have the best serve in the world, but that shot can be hidden to some extent on the slower clay courts and Seppi will feel he can beat Juan Monaco again after doing that in straight sets at the French Open two months ago.

He is also facing a player in Monaco who has struggled for form in 2014, even if he had an impressive win in the First Round. Monaco has to work hard for the majority of his points and his consistency hasn't reached the levels of previous years.

Both players will have opportunities to break serve, but I think Seppi can make it three wins from four matches on clay against Monaco.

Mikhail Youzhny - 3.5 games v Alexander Zverev: Alexander Zverev became the youngest player to win an ATP 500 Tour match since Grigor Dimitrov in 2009 when he comfortably beat Robin Haase in the First Round in Hamburg.

There is no doubt that Zverev is playing with a lot of confidence at the moment after a close loss to Lukas Rosol last week and having won a Challenger tournament on the clay a couple of weeks ago, but facing Mikhail Youzhny gives him a veteran challenge.

Youzhny is on the downhill path in his career as he reaches the final throes and he is having a tougher 2014 season. He did reach the Semi Final in Stuttgart last week which is a rare successful week in 2014 for Youzhny and I think his know-how on the court may give the younger man too many problems to deal with.

It'll be a competitive match but I do think Youzhny finds a 75, 64 win.

Klara Koukalova - 3.5 games v Kristina Mladenovic: After a poor start to her match with Donna Vekic, Klara Koukalova took control of the last two sets to book her place in the Second Round in Istanbul.

Koukalova has had a strong season on the hard courts to this point and may consider herself as a dangerous player in the coming weeks when the Tour moves to North America. Her serve can be a weakness, but I do think Koukalova gets the better of the young Frenchwoman Kristina Mladenovic.

Mladenovic hasn't had the same level of success on the hard courts over the last two years as her opponent and she has found the main Tour level a little tough to negotiate. Her win over Na Li at the French Open in the First Round earned Mladenovic some headlines back home, but I think she will struggle with the veteran Koukalova who has the match playing experience to win matches like this.

As long as Koukalova doesn't serve as poorly throughout the match as she started off against Vekic, I would expect this to be a more routine 64, 64 win.

MY PICKS: Federico Delbonis - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Lukas Rosol - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Andreas Seppi @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Mikhail Youzhny - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Klara Koukalova - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 5-3, + 3.44 Units (16 Units Staked, + 21.5% Yield)