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Thursday, 30 June 2011

Wimbledon Day 10 Picks- Women's Semi Finals

The Men's Quarter Finals saw what could be one of the biggest surprises in recent Wimbledon history when Roger Federer lost from 2 sets up against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

A lot of people are talking of this as being an 'end of an era' for Federer, but I still think the Swiss Master has a Grand Slam in him with the right kind of draw. Tsonga is one of these players that can be tough to knock off when he is playing his 'A' game and I think Federer was unfortunate to run into him in such form.

Tsonga played the big points well in the final 3 sets- just take a look at the games where he broke the Federer serve! Federer was also at 0-30 on the Tsonga serve on at least 4/5 occasions in the final 3 sets but could not manage to move on to a break point, another disappointment for the former World Number 1.

I was surprised to see how much Federer was still able to smile in his press conference and I do believe he will be right back up there when the US Open rolls around in August/September.

The loss for Federer also meant one of my outright picks, the top 4 making the Semi Finals, was also scuppered. However, on a brighter note, my pick for Rafael Nadal to win the Men's event has shortened considerably.

Thursday is the day the Women's event sets up the Final for Saturday. Both Semi Finals look interesting on paper so lets move on to Day 10 Picks:

Petra Kvitova to win vs Victoria Azarenka: Victoria Azarenka has been on the brink of making a really big move on the tour in recent seasons and has now made her first Grand Slam Semi Final. However, Azarenka is in for one tough battle against Petra Kvitova.

Kvitova is clearly at home on the grass and she has come on leaps and bounds on the WTA Tour since reaching the Semi Final here last year. That result clearly gave her the belief that she can compete at this level and she is now having her best year and has moved into the World's top 8.

Kvitova reached the Final at Eastbourne in the lead up to Wimbledon and she has impressed me with the way she is controlling matches using her serve and heavy groundstrokes off both wings.

The Czech player has dropped just 1 set in the tournament, but she has not given up more than 3 games in any of her other sets competed.

Azarenka is also a big hitter, but it is a shame that she is more known for her very annoying noises she makes while hitting a shot rather than her skills on court. While she too has only dropped one set in this tournament, I do think Azarenka has shown mental frailties in the past and that could be a factor in this match.

Kvitova definitely has the more reliable serve, in my opinion, while both are capable of hitting big shots of the ground. The match could come down to which of the players is able to unleash their big shots first, and that is where Kvitova's serve could make the difference.

Azarenka and Kvitova have a 2-2 head to head, but it is the Czech who may have an additional edge there as she has won their last 2 meetings including at Wimbledon last year.

Maria Sharapova win 2-0 in sets vs Sabine Lisicki: Sabine Lisicki has had a brilliant tournament but I feel this is going to be a step too far for the Wild Card. The German has won 11 matches in a row on grass this year, dropping just 2 sets in those wins, but this match will clearly be her toughest challenge.

Lisicki does have a great first serve and will also look to move Maria Sharapova around the court with the use of the drop shot that hurt Marion Bartoli so much in the last Round. However, she has not had a lot of matches on the main tour before the grass court season and plays arguably the most in form player on the WTA Tour.

Sharapova could do nothing wrong in her win over Dominika Cibulkova on Tuesday, but this will be a tougher test. The Russian will need to serve well and try to dominate the rallies with her heavy groundstrokes.

Sharapova has had few problems throughout this tournament and is yet to drop a set. She will be given further confidence from her 6-2, 6-0 crushing of Lisicki earlier this year in Miami and I think she feels this tournament is hers for the taking.

Both of the sets could be close, but ultimately I see Sharapova prevailing and going through to the Final in straight sets.

MY PICKS: Petra Kvitova win @ 1.83 William Hill (2 Units)
Maria Sharapova win 2-0 in sets @ 2.10 William Hill (2 Units)

TOURNAMENT UPDATE: + 13.81 Units (- 0.18 Units Day 9)

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Wimbledon Day 9 Picks- Men's Quarter Finals

Yesterday was a much better day all round as both picks came through and Rafael Nadal confirmed the MRI Scan he received came back negative and he is '1oo per cent' to continue in the tournament.

Maria Sharapova is the firm favourite to take the Women's crown after totally dismantling Dominika Cibulkova, but there is still a couple of tough matches in her path if she wants to make the outright pick a winner.

Before I make my picks for Day 9, the good news is anyone who followed the outright picks will now have a 5.00 quadruple running tomorrow as the top 4 Men's seeds look to move into the Semi Finals. I would be surprised and disappointed if any of those seeds lose.

Now on to Day 9 Picks:

Andy Murray-Feliciano Lopez under 35.5 games: The game handicap looks about right and I found it hard to seperate the players on that front. However, I do think Murray is likely to come through this match in straight sets and that should see this pick home.

Feliciano Lopez is a tough player, but he struggled mightily in the last Round against Lukasz Kubot and I think Murray has the edge in almost all significant departments.

I have to expect the British Number 1 will make enough balls back into play during Lopez' service games to give himself some opportunities to break. One of the sets is likely to go to a tie break but we could see a similar end to the Murray-Gasquet match on Monday where the latter went away after losing a tight first set.

Lopez has lost all 4 meetings with Murray in the past and has won just 1 set.

Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games vs Mardy Fish: Mardy Fish surprised me when he got past Tomas Berdych on Monday, but I am guessing it is more to do with the Czech players state of mind rather than the strong play of Fish.

Now he will face a man who will fight for every point and has a deep belief in his own game. Rafael Nadal will also have been boosted by the news his foot injury is nothing more than shock from the incident happening on Monday and he is good to go.

Fish has lost all 5 meetings with Nadal, the last 2 in Grand Slams, and I am still not convinced his game is perfectly suited to the slower courts at Wimbledon. Nadal will ask plenty of questions of Fish and is likely to make him one too many balls in a number of rallies and that should see the pick home.

They havent played since 2008 and Fish is much improved since then- I just dont believe he has the mental belief he can win this match.

Roger Federer - 5.5 games vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: This is the match of the day on paper but I have a feeling it will be a little more one sided than we may all imagine.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga complained about his own mental belief after beating Gregor Dimitrov in the 2nd Round and he will be facing a few more demons in the form of Roger Federer.

Federer has a 4-1 lead in the head to head, winning the last 3 since throwing away the match in Montreal a couple of years ago. Federer has won 7 consecutive sets against Tsonga and is serving very well, while showing the form of the French Open that made him the favourite to win this in many peoples eyes before the tournament began.

Tsonga has moved through the draw but has taken advantage of a section where David Ferrer was the highest seed. He is giving too many looks on his second serve and that could cost him against an aggressive returner like Federer.

Much of Federer's game is working too well right for Tsonga to deal with in my opinion.

Novak Djokovic - 7.5 games vs Bernard Tomic: These two consider one another as friends off the court, but it looks like a bit of a mismatch to me on the court. Novak Djokovic has been on a fantastic run this entire year, while Bernard Tomic is a real surprise at this stage of the draw after beating Robin Soderling in Round 3.

You will hear all about Tomic being the first Qualifier since 1985 to reach this stage and the youngest player to do so since Boris Becker won the tournament (think thats right anyway), but that does not take into account that Tomic is far less experienced than Djokovic.

Tomic is going to become the Number 1 Australian on Monday next week when the new rankings come out, but I cant help noticing what an average year it has been outside of Wimbledon- losses to Gilles Muller and Dudi Sela on the grass in recent weeks are telling results.

Djokovic is unlikely to take things easy here so he can conserve some energy for the latter end of the tournament and I expect he will get through easy enough.

MY PICKS: Novak Djokovic - 7.5 games @ 1.95 BoyleSports (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games @ 1.91 Coral (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 5.5 games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Andy Murray-Feliciano Lopez Under 35.5 games @ 2.00 BetFred (2 Units)

TOURNAMENT UPDATE: + 13.99 Units (+ 3.66 Units Day 8)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Wimbledon Day 8 Picks- Women's Quarter Finals

Awful. Disgraceful. Disappointing... These are some of the words I used to describe my picks from yesterday in my worst day of the tournament so far. Anything that could have gone wrong did go wrong and we have lost a little of the profit we had made during the first week of the tournament.

To make matters worse, my outright picks from the Men's draw are looking in serious trouble as it seems there is a real chance that Rafael Nadal will be forced to withdraw from the tournament. I am hoping he has just got heavy bruising and the shock of the injury affected him more than anything else during his won over Juan Martin Del Potro and I will be keeping my fingers crossed that the MRI Scan comes back negative.

One bright note of the day was the Maria Sharapova pick's position has been strengthened as Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki all exited the tournament on Miserable Monday (I have dubbed it that for this year after the picks seemingly all fell apart). There is still a long way to go in the tournament, but even Sharapova must feel this is her best chance to add to her Grand Slam tally.

Now on to Day 8 Picks as the Women's Quarter Finals take centre stage:

Maria Sharapova - 4.5 games vs Dominika Cibulkova: Maria Sharapova has been in good form over the last 6 weeks or so and she was a trendy pick to win the tournament before it began. She is serving pretty well while her groundies look in good shape- they will have to be performing if she wants to get through this match.

Dominika Cibulkova surprised Caroline Wozniacki in the last Round by overpowering the Number 1 seed. The Slovakian's first serve is decent enough, but she can sometimes lack consistency with her groundstrokes and her forehand is particularly vulnerable to breaking down.

This should be a big hitting game but Sharapova has the edge in serve and groundstrokes that should help her overcome this challenge. Cibulkova is definitely the better mover, but she does present more opportunities for her opponents to break her serve and that may make all the difference.

They are tied 2-2 in the head to head, with Cibulkova winning 2 in a row, but all matches have been played on clay courts. The grass should favour Sharapova more.

Victoria Azarenka - 5.5 games vs Tamira Paszek: Victoria Azarenka is a real threat to win this tournament as her penetrating groundstrokes work effectively on this surface. She has come through the draw with little problems outside of Daniela Hantuchova, and may just be ready to make her Grand Slam breakthrough.

Tamira Paszek is having a dream tournament, fighting through the first 4 Rounds. Paszek has been forced to go the distance in 3 of those Rounds and I just feel she has taken advantage of a weak section of the draw.

She has surpassed her run here from 2007 when reaching the 4th Round, but I just feel this is a challenge too far for the young player.

Azarenka is far too consistent as far as I am concerned and should take advantage of a player that had won just 2 matches on the main WTA Tour before the last 2 weeks at Eastbourne and Wimbledon.

Azarenka also holds a 1-0 head to head record when beating Paszek in straight sets in Montreal. That match took place in 2008 and I feel Azarenka is markedly improved since then and will make the Semi Finals with a little room to spare.

MY PICKS: Maria Sharapova - 4.5 games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)
Victoria Azarenka - 5.5 games @ 1.83 William Hill (2 Units)

TOURNAMENT UPDATE: + 10.33 Units (- 5.18 Units Day 7)

Monday, 27 June 2011

Wimbledon Day 7 Picks

Last week proved to be a happy hunting ground for the picks. I was hoping to come online with a recap of the week's events, but have been out for most of the day so did not have the time to do so.

I am hoping this week we can build on a good start to the tournament so without further ado, on to Day 7 Picks:

Feliciano Lopez - 4.5 games vs Lukasz Kubot: I did identify Feliciano Lopez as a player that could surprise a few people, but I was still shocked at the ease in which he dismissed Andy Roddick's challenge in the last Round- dont be fooled by the tight nature of the scoreline, it was much easier than that.

Lopez is a former Quarter Finalist at these Championships, and he is rightly the big favourite to come through this match with Lukasz Kubot.

Kubot is ranked at 93 in the World, although that should improve markedly next week, and is coming in after a 3rd Round appearance at the French Open. He qualified here for Wimbledon and has dismissed Ivo Karlovic and Gael Monfils along the way.

I expect the Polish player to cause a few problems, but his serve is not as good as Lopez' and I feel that will be the difference in this match. Kubot also has no previous form on grass, although pushing Philipp Petzschner to 5 sets last year, and I feel he has taken advantage of a kind draw- that should come to an end here.

Lopez already holds a win over Kubot on a clay court and his game should be more suited to take advantage on the grass.

Tomas Berdych - 4.5 games vs Mardy Fish: This is an intriguing battle between two players that are ranked in the top 10 of the World. Berdych's ranking is due to take a hit unless he can reach the heights of last season when he made the Final here and both players will feel confident in this match.

However, it is Berdych who has the better grass court pedigree of the two, with Mardy Fish surprisingly struggling in previous visits to SW19.

Fish has been forced to dig much deeper to reach the 2nd week here this year, while Berdych has quietly made his move through the draw.

This match could boil down to consistency in the serve, an area where I feel Berdych has the edge, and I also think his groundies are a little more penetrating.

I would not be surprised if Fish took a set, but the spread is low enough that it might not be enough to prevent Berdych from covering.

Roger Federer - 7.5 games vs Mikhail Youzhny: Roger Federer will be playing on Court 1 tomorrow afternoon, but he could play anywhere at this moment and I would struggle to see Mikhail Youzhny slowing him down.

Federer is serving exceptionally well and this is making it easier for him to attack opponents service games as he continues to play at an extremely high level. His groundstrokes have been working very well on both wings and it would take a braver man than me to predict Federer will not be playing on July 3rd on Centre Court.

Youzhny is a good grass court player, but his best days look like they are behind him. He has made good progress through the draw, although I am a little worried that Juan Monaco took him to 5 sets.

The Russian has also lost all 9 previous meetings with Federer, and they have also met on 3 occasions on grass in those losses. Youzhny's serve is not the biggest, and while he may stick around for a while, I can only see another fairly straightforward Federer win.

Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games vs Juan Martin Del Potro: The tie of the 4th Round, in my opinion, and it is one I am looking forward to. Del Potro has looked fairly good in his matches here, although this will be his first match on Centre Court since 2009.

Rafael Nadal has not been at his brilliant best, but we have all seen how he works his way into a tournament. He came through a tricky tie with Gilles Muller and is still to drop a set, although you know Uncle Toni will have told him to begin stepping up his game.

The key to this match could be the movement of Del Potro- even though he has been winning matches behind his heavy groundies, I just feel the Argentine has not been totally convinced with the surface.

Nadal will get his man on the run and I think the reigning Champion will expose any shortcomings Del Potro may feel he has on the grass.

The head to head is 5-3 in favour of Nadal, their last match coming at Indian Wells in March. That is their only meeting since Del Potro destroyed Nadal for the loss of 6 games in the US Open Semi Final of 2009.

Nadal also holds a straight sets win on grass at Queens over Del Potro and I feel the same will happen here. However, I am taking the handicap rather than the sets because there is a chance Del Potro will play 1 inspired set although I would be surprised if he won a set in such a fashion to make it tough to beat this spread.

Andy Murray win 3-1 in sets vs Richard Gasquet: The final pick will be Andy Murray giving his supporters a few nervous moments before dispatching Richard Gasquet in the opening match on Centre Court.

Their last 2 meetings have come in Grand Slams, at Roland Garros in 2010 and here in 2008- on both occasions Gasquet had a 2 set lead before Murray roared back to win in 5 sets.

Murray should be too strong overall for the Frenchman again, but it would be no surprise if he threw in a couple of bad service games that results in the loss of a set as it has done against Ivan Ljubicic and Daniel Gimeno-Traver already.

Gasquet has made easy progress through the draw but will need to raise his level around 2 gears from previous opponents. Although he holds a win over Roger Federer recently, defeats to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic since then may show he is not quite ready to compete with the very best on a consistent basis.

MY PICKS: Feliciano Lopez - 4.5 games @ 1.83 Coral (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 4.5 games @ 1.91 Coral (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 7.5 games @ 1.91 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games @ 2.30 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Andy Murray win 3-1 sets @ 3.50 Paddy Power (1 Unit)

TOURNAMENT UPDATE: + 15.51 Units (+ 3.10 Units Day 6)

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Wimbledon Day 6 Picks

Day 5 was yet another good day for us with the picks going 3-1 and Tomas Berdych well on his way to clearing the handicap before the rain came. Hopefully that wont disrupt the big Czech too much and he should grab the couple games he needs to move through the draw in straight sets.

The tournament is now beginning to heat up as the 4th Round takes shape- personally I am looking forward to the Andy Murray-Richard Gasquet match, although there are possibilities of seeing Rafael Nadal-Juan Martin Del Potro and Marion Bartoli-Serena Williams which makes Monday a great day for ticket holders.

Hopefully the form of the last couple of days can continue before we get to Middle Sunday. On that day I will recap the last week, giving my opinion of the big stories of the week as well as updating the progress of the last week's daily and outright picks.

Now on to Day 6 Picks:

Roger Federer -  7.5 games vs David Nalbandian: If this match had taken place in 2005, it would have been a real test for Roger Federer. Unfortunately for us David Nalbandian fans, our man has not really been in the best of form although I do expect him to raise his game against his old rival.

Federer has been serving magnificantly in recent weeks since the French Open began, and that could negate the pressure that Nalbandian will be able to put on the serve with his excellent returning game.

I expect the Argentine to keep it close for a while, but his game can break down when he gets behind and I believe Federer will get a 6-1/6-2 set under his belt to ensure this spread is covered.

Nalbandian's serve has always been a weak point of his game and I dont think he is consistent enough off the ground at this moment in time to cause problems for long enough in this match.

Michael Llodra - 4.5 games vs Yen-Hsun Lu: Yen-Hsun Lu has once again shown he can play on the grass courts after beating Viktor Troicki in the last Round in what was considered a big upset. This comes only a year after he reached the Quarter Final here after beating Andy Roddick in 5 sets.

However, Lu now faces a huge test in the form of Michael Llodra, a serve-volley player that is more than comfortable on the grass. Llodra has taken advantage of the draw to reach this stage and will be confident he can beat Lu.

That confidence comes from a 3-1 head to head record for Llodra against Lu. 2 of those wins took place on grass courts, Llodra winning all 4 sets competed for the loss of just 6 games.

Llodra will continue to put pressure on Lu throughout the match with his chip-charge on returns and I expect he will get through while covering the spread.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga win 3-1 in sets vs Fernando Gonzalez: I have said it before on my twitter feed, but I will say it again here- it is really great to see Fernando Gonzalez back in action and making inroads in a Grand Slam. The Chilean has missed the majority of the last 10 months through injury and he had barely played before this tournament began.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came through a tough 4 setter against Grigor Dimitrov and was surprisingly insightful when admitting he is struggling to keep his composure to close out games. It was particularly surprising considering he reached the Final at Queens just 2 weeks ago.

Tsonga does go through some ups and downs during his matches and he has the tendency to lose concentration and thus lose sets, especially in these longer formats at Grand Slam level.

Gonzalez won their only previous meeting at the US Open in 2009 in 4 sets, but this is his toughest test since returning from injury so it would be a real shock if he gets through.

However, he can take advantage of any lapses in concentration by Tsonga and steal a set in the process of exiting the tournament.

Ana Ivanovic - 5.5 games vs Petra Cetkovska: Petra Cetkovska fought valiantly to beat Agnieska Radwanska in the last Round, but she now faces another tough test in the form of Ana Ivanovic.

Ivanovic is definitely restoring her confidence since the lows of last season, and she has come through the first 2 Rounds with the loss of just 4 games. She has the big serve that gets her a number of free points and her heavy groundstrokes makes it hard for the Women who are ranked below her.

Cetkovska has needed 6 sets to get through her first 2 Rounds and could be a little fatigued after fighting back against Radwanska.

She also has to erase the memory of her 1 and only meeting with Ivanovic- they met in the 4th Round of the 2008 French Open and Ivanovic handed out 2 bagels.

While Ivanovic is not at that same level now, I do expect her to get through while covering the spread.

MY PICKS: Roger Federer - 7.5 games @ 2.25 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Michael Llodra - 4.5 games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga win 3-1 in sets @ 3.5 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Ana Ivanovic - 5.5 games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 7.5 games @ 1.80 Paddy Power (2 Units) Still Running from Day 5 with Berdych leading 6-2, 6-4, 4-3 (*15-0)

TOURNAMENT UPDATE: + 12.41 Units (+ 5.38 Units Day 5)

Friday, 24 June 2011

Wimbledon Day 5 Picks

It was the best day of the week as far as my picks were concerned yesterday and I am hoping to add a few more units to the coffers today.

My outright picks are also in good shape, with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic progressing through another Round with ease and bringing us one step closer to the top 4 seeds reaching the Semi Final.

Maria Sharapova's match with Laura Robson was postponed because of rain, so she will have to win 2 matches in 2 days if she wants to reach the 2nd week of the tournament.

The weather looks like it will be bright for the majority of play tomorrow, although showers are due to arrive in the area in the evening.

Now on to Day 5 Picks:

Andy Roddick win 3-1 in sets vs Feliciano Lopez: I actually thought Lopez had more than half a chance of winning this match before the tournament started, but I now feel Andy Roddick is playing very well and also holds a mental edge over his opponent in this match.

Roddick improved to 7-0 against Lopez at Queens just 2 weeks ago, coming through in 3 tight sets. That means Lopez has taken at least 1 set in 3 of the last 4 meetings between the players.

With this match likely to see a couple of tie breakers, I would not be surprised if Roddick drops his first set of the tournament, even though I think he is playing well enough to come through in 4 sets.

Tomas Berdych - 7.5 games vs Alex Bogomolov Jr: Tomas Berdych has started this Wimbledon in fine fashion as he looks to make an impact like he did last year. He has blasted Julien Benneteau and Filippo Volandri away, losing just 12 games in the 6 sets he has competed.

Bogomolov was a surprise winner over Juan Ignacio Chela in the last Round, but this is an altogether tougher test. The American has not fared well on the grass in the past and I think he has taken advantage of a decent draw this time around.

However, I feel Berdych will end his participation in this year's tournament with a bit to spare.

Richard Gasquet - 6.5 games vs Simone Bolelli: Simone Bolelli really surprised me with this win over Stanislas Wawrinka in the last Round, but much of that was down to the poor performance of his opponent when it came down to the big points.

Now he faces Richard Gasquet, a player very accustomed to the grass courts, and also one that has been playing some fantastic tennis of late. Gasquet is yet to drop a set in this tournament.

The Frenchman also holds a 3-0 head to head lead over Bolelli, winning 6 of the 7 sets they have contested. 1 of those wins came on grass, with Gasquet winning 6-3, 6-3.

Bolelli was a little fortunate in the last Round, and I expect Gasquet to come through this one while clearing the handicap.

Venus Williams - 4.5 games vs Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez: This was supposed to be one of the highlights of the 3rd Round as it was supposed to be Venus Williams against Jelena Jankovic, but it was Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez who put pay to that.

Williams struggled to get by Kimiko Date-Krumm in the last Round, but that match may just give her the confidence to make a really deep run in the tournament.

Williams has also won both previous matches against the Spaniard, including a straight sets win here at Wimbledon in 2008, and I expect she will be focused after the scare of Wednesday to come through easily enough this time.

Tsvetana Pironkova + 4.5 games vs Vera Zvonareva: Now I have already advised an e/w pick of Vera Zvonareva in the tournament, but I think Pironkova is being a tad underestimated here on the spread. I still expect Zvonareva to find a way to get through, I just wouldn't be surprised if it went the distance.

They share a 1-1 record on the head to heads, with Zvonareva beating Pironkova in 3 sets last year in the Semi Final here.

Pironkova had been out of form before the grass court season began, but she has made easier progress through the draw here and pushed Serena Williams all the way last week in Eastbourne.

Personally, I would not be surprised if she pushes Zvonareva before perhaps falling in 3 sets.

MY PICKS: Andy Roddick win 3-1 in sets @ 3.5 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Tomas Berdych - 7.5 games @ 1.80 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Richard Gasquet - 6.5 games @ 2.05 BoyleSports (2 Units)
Venus Williams - 4.5 games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Tsvetana Pironkova + 4.5 games @ 2.14 Pinnacle (2 Units)

WEEKLY UPDATE: + 7.03 Units (+ 6.2 Units Day 4)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Wimbledon Day 4 Picks

The first 3 days of this tournament have been hard work to say the least, with matches being delayed thanks to the weather, while a few shocking results have hit the picks. That does not mean we are falling behind, but the profit margin is hardly worth writing home about.

I always think Wimbledon is one of the harder tournaments to back on a daily basis as many casual punters make sure the bookmakers are much tighter with the prices they offer. However, as we go further into the tournament, I expect prices will become more reasonable and perhaps more appealing.

On a different note, the two outright winners in the bottom half of the Women's draw have both moved through to the 3rd Round, although both Daniela Hantuchova and Vera Zvonareva have tough matches against Victoria Azarenka and Tsvetana Pironkova respectively.

Rafael Nadal also continued making his way through the draw, and I am not too worried that we are yet to see the best of his tennis as I hope he is saving that for next week. Tomas Berdych looks a threat in their potential Quarter Final, but the big serving Czech is yet to face real testing competition.

Now on to Day 4 Picks:

Marcos Baghdatis vs Andrea Seppi: Marcos Baghdatis almost blew a 2 set lead in the 1st Round against James Blake but showed tremendous resolve to actually get through that test in 5 sets, coming from a break down in the final set to pull the victory. Grass has suited his game in the past and I think he could be in line to have one of his more successful weeks of 2011.

Andrea Seppi had never really shown great ability on this surface in the past, but is coming in off winning Eastbourne last week. He came through the 1st Round against Alberto Montanes in relatively straightforward fashion, but I cant help thinking his serve is a little weak for grass and he could give Baghdatis too many chances to attack him off it.

Seppi leads the head to head 1-0, but I really feel the Cypriot can level that up here.

Xavier Malisse - 2.5 games vs Florian Mayer: Xavier Malisse has decent grass court pedigree and has the tools that will give him the chance to win his service games a little easier than it will be for Florian Mayer.

Mayer's serve is not the best, although he uses plenty of variation in his game to prove a nuisance for a little while. However, he is dealing with a player with plenty of experience of the surface and one that came through his 1st Round clash with ease.

On the other hand, Mayer struggled to get past Daniel Evans of Great Britain.

Malisse is also leading the head to head 1-0 so may not be as surprised with Mayer's game as someone who has never played him before might be.

Michael Llodra - 7.5 games vs Ricardo Mello: This is a pick for the reason that Llodra is more than capable on this surface as shown by his Doubles win here and he also employs a serve-volley tactic that pressurises his opponents.

Mello does not really play too many matches on this surface, and he does not get many wins. His 1st Round win over Frank Dancevic was a surprise, even more so as he came from 2 sets down to do so. That may have taken more out of him than may be expected at this early stage of the tournament and Llodra could take real advantage.

Mello's serve also has the tendency to fall away in sets, and Llodra could win this one with a bit to spare.

Robin Soderling - 4.5 games vs Lleyton Hewitt: This match had the potential to cause plenty of problems for Robin Soderling, but the expected rain could mean it is played under the roof of Centre Court, a situation that will favour the big hitting Swede in my opinion.

Much of Soderling's best tennis in his career has come indoors, and while the bounce may still cause some problems, that should tip the scales in his favour. The high ball toss will not be affected by wind, and Soderling will be able to hit through the ball.

Hewitt won in 4 sets against Kei Nishikori in the 1st Round, but it was a much tighter match than the scoreline even suggested. Nishikori will be kicking himself that he didnt do more when he had chances in the 2nd and 4th set, but Soderling is unlikely to be so easy on Hewitt.

A couple of years ago I would have favoured Hewitt, especially at the prices on offer. However, now I expect Soderling to come through in no more than 4 sets.

Roger Federer - 9 games vs Adrian Mannarino: The biggest issue here is Adrian Mannarino is a left handed player, although Roger Federer will be used to what they can do too.

Federer was serving brilliantly in the 1st Round, and any continuation of that will give him a great chance to overcome this spread. Mannarino gives up chances on his own serve and there is a good chance that Federer will win one set 6-1/6-2, a scoreline that should set him on his way to covering this spread.

Mannarino came through a 5 set match with Conor Niland to reach this stage and a chance to play on Centre Court. He will have to serve exceptionally well compared to recent weeks if he wants to keep this close, I just dont believe he will do so.

MY PICKS: Marcos Baghdatis @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Xavier Malisse - 2.5 games @ 1.95 10Bet (2 Units)
Michael Llodra - 7.5 games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Robin Soderling - 4.5 games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 9 games @ 2.10 Pinnacle (2 Units)

WEEKLY UPDATE: + 0.83 Units (+ 0.24 Units Day 3)

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Wimbledon Day 3 Picks

Yesterday was a day of fluctuating fortunes, but one that ended in a positive manner. Wimbledon is proving to be a tough tournament to judge this year, further highlighted by the fact I have just one pick today.

I have been thinking about the picks all evening, and I just cant find a clear enough edge to pick any more than the one I settled on.

So, without further ado, on to Day 3 Picks:

Men's Treble: Stanislas Wawrinka vs Simone Bolelli, Mardy Fish vs Denis Istomin and Feliciano Lopez vs Rainer Schuettler: I have picked this treble for the following reasons-

Stanislas Wawrinka has plenty of experience on the grass courts and did what he had to do to get through one Italian, Potito Starace, already in this tournament. This time he meets Simone Bolelli, a player that has struggled for form, although can still present a danger.

Wawrinka holds a 2-0 head to head record, winning all 5 sets contested, and should come through in 3 tight sets.

Mardy Fish is looking to make his first real impact in SW19 and has all the tools to do well on the grass. His serve looked strong in the 1st Round and he meets Denis Istomin, a player struggling for form and had a 1-9 record before recording a win over Philipp Kohlschreiber in the 1st Round.

Fish should exert enough pressure on Istomin to get the breaks to win this in 3 or 4 sets.

Feliciano Lopez is a established grass court player who will feel he can go deep in this years tournament as played so well against Andy Roddick at Queens. His game is built to perform on this kind of surface and he should pose Rainer Schuettler plenty of problems.

To make matters tougher for Schuettler, he has a 1-7 head to head record with Lopez, losing the last 6 meetings. Lopez has also previously beaten Schuettler in 4 sets here at Wimbledon and I can see something similar this year.

MY PICKS: Men's Treble- Stanislas Wawrinka, Mardy Fish and Feliciano Lopez @ 1.97 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Women's Treble- Tsvetana Pironkova, Lucie Safarova and Julie Goerges @ 3.24 BetFred (1 Unit) Still Running from Day 2 with just Julie Goerges to play

TOURNAMENT UPDATE: + 0.59 Units (+ 1.59 Units Day 2)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Wimbledon Day 2 Picks

Well the first day of the tournament did not go to plan after Ekaterina Makarova put pay to my fourfold. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement and once again shows how weak the WTA Tour really is.

This is something that the analysts and experts seem to like to ignore when it comes down to the crunch, but Women's tennis is definitely at a very low point and is possibly in the worst shape I remember. It is hard to envision Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal being universally talked about as Grand Slam Champions if they had taken a year off the tour through injury and barely played a match in that time, something the Ladies Tournament has in the form of Serena Williams this year.

Too many of the players on the WTA Tour go about their business in the same mould- bludgeoning the ball at every opportunity and not really constructing points in the manner they should be. Unsurprisingly, it is the older heads that are expected to dominate the tournament again this year.

The Fernando Verdasco-Radek Stepanek match was postponed until tomorrow thanks to the rain in the afternoon. The weather is expected to be good all day as the tournament organisers look to get back on schedule with a lot of tennis expected all day.

Now on to Day 2 Picks:

Men's Treble: Marcos Baghdatis vs James Blake, Nicolas Almagro vs Jarkko Nieminen and John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut: All 3 of these guys are picked to come out as winners tomorrow for the following reasons.

Marcos Baghdatis has plenty of good form on the grass at Wimbledon in the past and played a solid tournament in Eastbourne last week. He has not really ever reached the level of success people expected after reaching the Australian Open Final, but is a former Quarter Finalist here.

James Blake is not the force he used to be and has spent much of his time on the Challenger Tour this season. The American has also had a hard time at Wimbledon during his peak years and I find it hard to see him winning 3 of 5 sets in this match.

Nicolas Almagro has the tools to be a success on the grass, although he has been a little out of form in recent matches. However, he has a 2-1 head to head over Jarkko Nieminen, a player who is definitely coming to the end of his career. It could be tight, but I think the Spaniard can come through.

John Isner and Nicolas Mahut meet again after their record breaking match a year ago. Isner's serve is a real weapon on this surface, while Mahut is another player on the last stretch of his career. I can see some tie breaks here, but think Isner is better off the ground while his serve is more effective.

Robin Soderling win 3-1 in sets vs Philipp Petzschner: I mentioned Philipp Petzschner as being one of my dark horses before the tournament started this year, but he has been given a really tough draw here. Robin Soderling is another who has all the tools to be a success on the grass courts, although I think Petzschner will make it difficult and steal a set off the Number 5 seed.

They have met once before on grass, Soderling winning 2-1 in sets in Halle, and I think Soderling's game is solid enough to take care of the German with a little blip in between.

Kei Nishikori win vs Lleyton Hewitt: There is still a doubt whether Hewitt will even play after pulling out with an injury at Eastbourne last week. If he does get to play, the veteran will face a tough opponent in the form of Kei Nishikori who is fresh off a Semi Final at Eastbourne.

Hewitt suffered a foot injury, and you can be sure Nishikori will look to make him play all day long and that could be the difference here. Brad Gilbert is Nishikori's coach and will surely have a plan to keep Hewitt moving on that injury.

Women's Treble: Julia Goerges vs Anabel Medina Garrigues, Lucie Safarova vs Lucie Hradecka and Tsvetana Pironkova vs Camila Giorgi: I have picked these three players for the following reasons:

Julia Goerges has been playing very well this year and can take advantage of the faster surface against a player that has not usually enjoyed much success on the grass. Goerges has only played 1 grass court match this year when losing to Ana Ivanovic in Eastbourne, but should have the edge if she can control her service action.

Lucie Safarova has a 1-0 head to head record over Lucie Hradecka and also has the lefty serve that can cause problems on any surface. Safarova also has a big game that can cause damage on the faster surfaces and she should be able to take advantage here.

Tsvetana Pironkova was a Semi Finalist here last year and her odds are clearly bigger because of her bad run of form. However, she pushed Serena Williams last week in Eastbourne and takes the court against an opponent that has yet to play on the main tour in her career. I expect Pironkova to expose these nerves that Camila Giorgi is sure to feel and come through.

MY PICKS: Men's Treble: Marcos Baghdatis, Nicolas Almagro and John Isner @ 3.09 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
Robin Soderling win 3-1 in sets @ 3.5 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
Kei Nishikori @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Women's Treble: Julia Goerges, Lucie Safarova and Tsvetana Pironkova @ 3.24 BetFred (1 Unit)
Fernando Verdasco - 2.5 games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units) Still to run from Day 1 Picks

TOURNAMENT UPDATE: - 1 Unit (after Day 1)

Monday, 20 June 2011

Wimbledon Day 1 Picks

The third Grand Slam of the year is upon us and it is one of my favourite tournaments, especially being so close to the event.

The weather forecast for the first week is disappointing to say the least, and it will be the first year when the roof on Centre Court will be used heavily in my opinion. Tomorrow we are to expect consistent rain for much of the day and I have a feeling that a lot of matches will have to be postponed for Tuesday.

Worryingly for the organisers, Tuesday seems to be the only day where rain is not forecasted and we may just see play on the middle Sunday, a day usually reserved for rest.

It also looks like a tough opening day to make picks, with plenty of very short prices around while the handicaps are set almost perfectly to leave me doubtful of the outcome. However, I will play a couple of picks from today.

Now on to the picks from Day 1:

Fernando Verdasco - 3 games vs Radek Stepanek: Fernando Verdasco does not have the best pedigree on the grass courts, but he has had plenty of practice this season as he gets ready for Wimbledon. A win over David Nalbandian at Queens shows he does have the capabilities to produce good results on the surface.

Radek Stepanek has had a decent couple of weeks on the grass courts, but he is not at the same level as a couple of years ago. He may well cause problems for a little while, but the strength of Verdasco's shots are sure to give him the edge.

The head to head is 3-2 in favour of Stepanek, but it is Verdasco who has won the last 2 meetings. Verdasco has won the last 5 sets played against Stepanek for the loss of just 8 games.

Stepanek did beat Verdasco in 5 sets here in 2006, but I think the players have moved in separate directions since then, and I do think the Spaniard will move forward.

Four Fold: Feliciano Lopez vs Michael Berrer, Richard Gasquet vs Santiago Giraldo, Ekaterina Makarova vs Christine McHale and Jelena Jankovic vs Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez: I hate putting more than a treble in for tennis picks but I feel all 4 players have a good chance of progressing here.

Feliciano Lopez has performed well at Wimbledon in the past and I think he will be too strong in a tight match with Michael Berrer.

Richard Gasquet has not played competitive tennis since the French Open, but should have too much nous for his Colombian opponent.

Ekaterina Makarova has shown some real good grass court pedigree this year following on from a win at Eastbourne last year.

Jelena Jankovic is the most worrying pick against an opponent that has a winning record head to head against her. Jankovic has also not played since the French Open so may take a little time getting used to the grass. However, she has played well on the surface in previous years and I fancy her to get the job done in 2 tight sets.

MY PICKS: Fernando Verdasco - 3 games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Four Fold: Feliciano Lopez, Richard Gasquet, Ekaterina Makarova and Jelena Jankovic to win @ 2.41 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Wimbledon Ladies Tournament Outright Picks and Preview

The Women's tour has really suffered this year in terms of quality, but it does mean that the prices for their tournaments are generally larger than for the Men's. The return of the Williams sisters after several months off is the story as we head into Wimbledon but there are other issues that will be determined in the next fortnight.

Will Maria Sharapova continue her resurgence and recapture the Wimbledon crown?

Will Caroline Wozniacki show why she is the World Number 1?

Will the likes of Petra Kvitova, Julia Goerges and Victoria Azarenka win a Grand Slam for the 'new generation'?

Will any British Women make the 2nd Round of the tournament?

First Quarter
Caroline Wozniacki sits on top of the draw as the World Number 1, but she has been written off in a number of places as a winner of Wimbledon. It is interesting to note she decided to play in an indoor hard court tournament rather than taking any time on the grass and we will see if that was the correct decision soon.

Wozniacki should be able to get through the first 3 Rounds here in the tournament but that is where her tournament could draw to a close as she is likely to face Dominika Cibulkova or the dangerous Julia Goerges. Cibulkova is less likely to provide the problems that will lead to victory, but Goerges can hit through the ball and that will be a problem for Qozniacki who relies more on her defence to win matches.

Even if Wozniacki is still around by the time the Quarter Finals come around, it is then she will potentially see her biggest hurdle in the form of Maria Sharapova. The Russian may have a couple of problems before she reaches the Quarter Finals, most notably in the forms of Lucie Safarova and Sam Stosur.

Safarova is a big hitting left hander that can play at an exceptionally high level when she is on her game and could be a danger in the 3rd Round. Safarova has won the only previous meeting with Sharapova, but doesnt have the same grass court pedigree and I would expect the latter to get through.

Sam Stosur could cause problems with her solid serve for Sharapova, but the Russian has won all 8 previous meetings with her before and I would expect Sharapova to get the job done again.

Sharapova, I would expect, would be too strong for any of her potential Quarter Final opponents and I think she will be one of the Semi Finalists.

Second Quarter
This section is highlighted by Serena Williams, but she has not been given the kindest of draws if I am honest. A potential 2nd Round meeting with Bojana Jovanovski is not as straight forward as it may look, especially considering the lack of court time Serena has had.

Furthermore, a 4th Round match with Marion Bartoli, the winner in Eastbourne, is not to be overlooked. Serena may have won both meetings with the Frenchwoman, but Bartoli has plenty of hitting power and could definitely cause one or two problems for the American.

To make the path a little more complicated, Serena will eventually have to face either Na Li, the French Open Winner and Australian Open Runner Up, Agnieska Radwanska, a former Junior Champion at Wimbledon, Ana Ivanovic, a former World Number 1, or one of the most dangerous unseeded players in Sabine Lisicki, a recent winner on grass in Birmingham.

Na Li is scheduled to meet Sabine Lisicki in the 2nd Round and that could be one of the matches of the day. Lisicki has won their only previous meeting and has shown some solid grass court pedigree as a former Quarter Finalist here at Wimbledon.

Ana Ivanovic has not had the best of times when playing on grass, and I think the 4th Round meeting from this section could be Agnieska Radwanska and Sabine Lisicki.

I feel Lisicki would provide more of a problem for Serena Williams in the Quarter Final with her hitting ability whereas Radwanska is more of a defensive minded player that looks to frustrate opponents into mistakes.

Serena Williams may just get through to the Semi Final meeting with Maria Sharapova, but this is going to be tough for her throughout.

Third Quarter
Victoria Azarenka may be the highest rated seed in this section of the draw, but she could not have been over the moon to see a possible 3rd Round clash with Daniela Hantuchova on the horizon. Both players should get through their first 2 Rounds to set up a mouth watering clash.

Daniela Hantuchova (I have a definite soft spot for her) is one of the form players on the WTA Tour, reaching the Final in Birmingham and the Semi Finals in Eastbourne coming into this tournament. She beat Caroline Wozniacki in the French Open and a recent win over Venus Williams shows she is mentally in a good place.

With a 2-0 head to head record against Azarenka, and arguably the better grass court pedigree, I feel a surprise here.

If Hantuchova can win that match, it will really open the door to a Quarter Final spot.

There her opponent is likely to come from Francesca Schiavone, Andrea Petkovic or the dangerous Ekaterina Makarova. Schiavone has not really had the best time on grass in recent years and I am sure Makarova will feel she can reverse the loss in their only other meeting.

Makarova won at Eastbourne last year before losing to Venus Williams and definitely can play on the grass. Andrea Petkovic should be her 4th Round opponent, but she too has not had the best record on grass courts and Makarova could reverse her only loss to the German too.

The winner of this Quarter is very much likely to come from the Daniela Hantuchova-Victoria Azarenka 3rd Round match. I think the Slovakian is in brilliant form and could achieve her best result at Grand Slam level this year.

Fourth Quarter
The final quarter of the draw really has some special players in the mix with Petra Kvitova, Vera Zvonareva and Venus Williams all likely to have realistic ambitions of winning the title.

Vera Zvonareva should get through the first 2 Rounds with little problems but then faces a tough looking match against Tsvetana Pironkova. Pironkova will present problems after reaching the Semi Finals here last year (losing to Zvonareva) and also pushing Serena to 3 sets in Eastbourne last week.

However, the Russian may prove a little too strong in the end and should move on to a 4th Round match with Venus Williams.

Venus Williams will first have to beat Jelena Jankovic in the 3rd Round, a tough match for the elder Williams who has lost to Jankovic on the grass at Wimbledon before. They have a 6-6 head to head record and Jankovic actually won their last meeting in Rome last year while losing just 1 game.

Regardless who gets through that tie, I would favour Zvonareva to get through to the Quarter Finals.

Petra Kvitova should move through to the 4th Round as she has been given a kind draw. Her biggest threat comes from Roberta Vinci, a winner of the Unicef Open in Holland last week, but I feel Kvitova's power will overwhelm the Italian.

In the 4th Round, Kvitova is likely to face the winner of the Yanina Wickmayer-Svetlanta Kuznetsova match. The Russian has won both meetings with Wickmayer in the past, but both have the same kind of level on grass courts.

At this stage, I would favour Kvitova, the Wimbledon Semi Finalist of last year, to come through and play Zvonareva.

This Quarter Final should be an excellent one to watch. Both Kvitova and Zvonareva have 2 wins apiece against one another, but I think the Russian will be the stronger player and get through in 3 tough sets.

Semi Finals and Beyond
The first Semi Final between Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams could determine the winner of the tournament. Both have beaten the other 1 time on grass, although Serena has won 5 in a row on all surfaces.

Serena also beat Sharapova in the 4th Round in a very good match last year, but the fortunes of the two players are reversed this time. Sharapova is the player in form while Serena is the one on the road to recovery.

This could be another intense battle between the two, but if Sharapova can keep her serve in check, I think she will once again be playing in the Wimbledon Final.

The second Semi Final will be seen by the two participants as perhaps their last real chance to win the big prize. Zvonareva has won 4 of the 6 meetings with Hantuchova, but the last 3 have been tight affairs with Daniela winning 2 of those.

Hantuchova is in the form of her career, but it is hard to take her as a serious contender to win the title considering she can get the touch of the nerves. However, Hantuchova may just have been given the final confidence boost to do well after beating Venus Williams in Eastbourne during the course of the week.

Zvonareva has the mental boost of making it to the Final here last year and that may be what tips this Semi Final in her favour.

The Final, as I said, was likely to be decided in the first Semi Final and I believe that will be the case here. Sharapova has the better grass court game, and also enjoys a strong head to head over Zvonareva.

There will be nerves, but reaching the Semi Final at Roland Garros would have helped Sharapova no end, and I think she will win her 2nd Wimbledon title this year.

MY PICKS: Maria Sharapova win @ 5.5 Various (2 Units)
Vera Zvonareva win @ 21.0 BetFred (1 Unit E/W)
Daniela Hantuchova win @ 51.0 Victor Chandler (0.5 Units E/W)

Wimbledon Men's Tennis Outright Picks and Preview

The third Grand Slam of the year is upon us in wet and windy London as Wimbledon arrives. I will break down the draw in the same fashion as I did the French Open and see if I can find any picks to start the tournament.

I will also be looking at the Women's draw in this tournament, unlike at the French Open, before bringing picks on a daily basis.

Hopefully this tournament will be as profitable as the French Open was a couple of weeks ago.

First Quarter
The first quarter of the draw is given to the Number 1 seed Rafael Nadal, an obvious contender to win the whole tournament after his successes here over the last few years.

Some may be worried about Nadal's form after he did not really play that well at the French and being knocked out at the Quarter Final stage at Queens, but he was also beaten at that stage last year and still went on to win Wimbledon.

However, there are some dangerous players in this section of the draw, including Juan Martin Del Potro, Mardy Fish, and Tomas Berdych.

Nadal should negotiate his way to the Quarter Final without too many issues. His biggest test could come in a 3rd Round meeting with Gilles Muller/Tommy Haas/Milos Raonic.

Gilles Muller actually beat Nadal here at Wimbledon in 2005 in 4 sets, while Milos Raonic is the rising star on the ATP Tour. However, the latter has had little experience on grass while the former has not improved in the same manner as Nadal since their last meeting.

Tommy Haas has the grass court game to pose problems, but he has been limited to little tennis thanks to injuries and I cant see Nadal being too troubled.

A 4th Round meeting against Juan Martin Del Potro would favour Nadal heavily on this surface, especially as the Argentine has not really performed on grass courts even close to how he has on the other surfaces.

Tomas Berdych has been given a really nice draw to open the tournament and should be good enough to progress through the first 3 Rounds with little problems. However, he has really been struggling for form for much of the season and there is a real chance he could run into some trouble in the 4th Round.

Berdych is likely to meet Mardy Fish in the 4th Round, although the American will have to negotiate some tough tests to get there. It is also telling that Fish has not really experienced as much success at Wimbledon as his game indicates he could have, and he has not played on the grass this season.

Either way, I find it incredibly hard to look past Nadal here to progress to the Semi Finals.

Second Quarter
The big British hope, Andy Murray, was given a plum draw at Roland Garros recently, but his progress at Wimbledon looks likely to be much more difficult. Murray looks good for the first 3 Rounds as would be expected for a higher seed. I am not going to be too worried of his chances to beat Marin Cilic in a possible 3rd Round clash, especially with the Croatian being out of form and there is a chance that Cilic is already out of the tournament before that match is made up.

The 4th Round will provide Murray's first big test of the tournament as he is likely to face the winner of the Richard Gasquet-Stanislas Wawrinka 3rd Round match. Richard Gasquet is a former Semi Finalist at this tournament and the last 2 meetings with Andy Murray have both been in Grand Slams (1 at Wimbledon) with both meetings going the full 5 sets. Murray may have won both, was forced to fight back from 2 set deficits in both wins.

Stanislas Wawrinka has not been in the best of form but did force Murray into a 5 set match here a couple of years ago AND beat Murray at the US Open last year.

Whoever Murray plays at this stage could provide a lot of problems, even though I would expect Murray to come through.

The bottom half of the section is not that strong and looks like it is paving the way for Andy Roddick to reach yet another Quarter Final here. Roddick should negotiate the first 2 Rounds with relative ease but then there is the possibility of a 3rd Round meeting with Feliciano Lopez.

Lopez has all the tools to play well on grass and has previously reached the Quarter Finals at Wimbledon on a couple of occasions. Roddick has won all 7 meetings between the two men, but their recent match at Queens shows how close the match will likely be.

The winner of that 3rd Round meeting is likely going to provide the opposition for Andy Murray in the Quarter Finals, but I would heavily fancy the Scot to get through if that was the case.

Third Quarter
Being a former 6 time winner of this tournament will automatically elevate Roger Federer to being one of the favourites this year, but the performance of the former World Number 1 at the French Open coupled with a wonderful draw has only strengthened his support.

I honestly dont think Federer could have picked a better draw to ease himself into the tournament. The first 4 Rounds look like they will provide the minimul resistence, with the biggest challenge being David Nalbandian in the 3rd Round.

However, Nalbandian (one of my favourite players) is not the force of old even if he does have a 8-10 record against Federer. Injuries have slowed Nalbandian down and I think Federer will be too consistent for him.

The players most likely to meet Federer in the Quarter Finals are David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Ferrer should reach the 4th Round with few bumps along the way, but Tsonga is going to have to negotiate the talented Alexandr Dolgopolov in the 3rd Round.

Tsonga and Dolgopolov had a tough 5 setter here at Wimbledon last year which was won by Tsonga 10-8 in the final set. However, Dolgopolov got his revenge in Australia with a 5 set win of his own.

All in all, this section of the draw suggests Federer will be reaching another Semi Final at Wimbledon.

Fourth Quarter
Out of all the top 4 seeds, I was most intrigued with how Novak Djokovic would handle losing his unbeaten start to the season. However, it seems the Serb, like the other top seeds, has avoided a really testing section.

The section up to the Quarter Final looks fairly open for Djokovic to negotiate- the likes of Kevin Anderson and Marcos Baghdatis just dont seem like they have the consistency that will be required to knock Novak off here.

He is then seeded to meet either Victor Troicki or Michael Llodra in the 4th Round, but neither one of those players is someone you can rely on to actually pass their way through the draw and it is entirely conceivable that they both exit before that point.

However, there is no one there that can seriously expect to hurt Djokovic over a best of 5 sets contest and I fully expect Djokovic to make the QF.

At that point, I would think Djokovic is likely to bump into Robin Soderling, a player that has had some success on the grass in his career.

Soderling does have a tough 1st Round match with Philipp Petzschner, but he could go all the way to the Quarter Finals if he can win that match. With a 2-0 head to head record, including a win on grass, I think the Swede will be able to do so.

There could have been an interesting 2nd Round match with Lleyton Hewitt brewing, but the Australian has been suffering with injuries this season and also pulled out of Eastbourne with a foot injury. A lack of matches and form means I would expect Soderling to again move through the draw.

Jurgen Melzer is the most likely 4th Round opponent, but he is another that has flattered to deceive this season and so Soderling must be the favourite to meet Djokovic.

Djokovic has a 6-1 head to head record against Soderling, but they have yet to meet on grass, and this will be a tougher match for the World Number 2 than some may expect. However, Soderling has been a little short of confidence when up against the very best in the World and I think that is what lets him down again.

It could be the one Quarter Final that spoils the hopes of seeing the top 4 in the Semi Finals again as they were in the French, but ultimately I think we will see the same matches.

Semi Finals and Winner
So it seems the Semi Finals are likely to be the same as we saw at the French Open. The Andy Murray-Rafael Nadal match does pose some interesting questions, especially as Murray was so close when they met on the clay of Roland Garros.

I think the match will be closer than their last 2 matches at Wimbledon which has seen Nadal win both without losing a set. However, I still think Nadal has a little more mental strength to get through the tougher moments and I think the Spaniard may just come through in 4, possibly 5, sets.

I feel Murray may have already spent a fair bit longer on court than Nadal, and that fatigue may cost him in the end, more mentally rather than physically.

The other Semi Final will be the first meeting on grass between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Their recent Semi at the French Open saw Federer win as he turned back the clock and put in his best performance of the season.

Federer leads the head to head 14-9 and feels more comfortable on the grass than Djokovic. I think Federer will have the better movement on the surface and I think he may just hold the mental edge after winning their most recent meeting.

There is also the added spice that Federer definitely seems to dislike Djokovic.

I think Federer will come through this match, and here is hoping they can serve up another treat for the fans.

I think we could get the Final that many will want to see between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. The close nature of their recent match at the French Open has made many believers that Federer can win his 7th Wimbledon crown, but I still think it is asking a lot if Nadal is indeed his opponent.

Nadal has won 10 of the last 12 matches against Federer, wins coming on all the different surfaces and he has not lost at Wimbledon since 2007. In that time he has won the tournament twice and missed one through injury.

There are still some mental issues for Federer to address when he plays Nadal and this concerns me in backing the Swiss Master.

I really think this could be another great match between the two, but I do think Nadal has the edge in the match and will win.

MY PICKS:  Rafael Nadal to win outright @ 3.25 Various (2 Units)
The top 4 seeds to reach the Semi Finals @ 5.00 Paddy Power (1 Unit)

Profit/Loss Update June 13th-19th Tournaments

The week before a Grand Slam can always be a little hazardous to make picks and this week proved no different for me as the weather wreaked havoc in England and Holland.

That meant I did limit picks to such an extent that I ended with the tiniest of profit margins for the week. I decided not to play any matches from the Semi Finals onwards as the motivation of players was questionable to say the least.

WEEKLY UPDATE: + 0.13 Units


Thursday, 16 June 2011

Tennis Picks 16th June 2011

Well my treble from yesterday went up in smoke thanks to Kevin Anderson's disappointing display in his loss to Grigor Dimitrov. It just highlighted the fact that some players are already losing focus with this week and looking ahead to Wimbledon which starts on Monday.

This is making it tougher to find some value and I am not sure I will be having many more picks this week after today unless I can find some sort of edge in the match ups.

Now on to the picks for today:

Venus Williams - 4.5 games vs Daniela Hantuchova: Interestingly, the Women's tournament here in Eastbourne has brought in many of the big names on the WTA Tour and we have a solid looking Quarter Final to enjoy (weather permitting).

Venus Williams may not have played since January, but you would not guess it from her totally one sided destruction of Ana Ivanovic yesterday. If she continues serving as she was, it will be the elder Williams sister that will be the danger in the next fortnight in South West London.

Daniela Hantuchova is a real tough cookie to beat on the grass, but I think there is a mental block when she meets one of the Williams sisters. She has lost 10 matches against Venus and is yet to win one... I think it was also telling in the French Open that she mentioned it was only thanks to the Williams that Hantuchova had not been beyond a 4th Round in Grand Slams before that tournament.

I will pick Venus to come through in good fashion again and really send out a statement to the rest of the WTA Tour before Wimbledon.

Julien Benneteau - 3.5 games vs Igor Kunitsyn: These two will not be on double duty tomorrow as they managed to book their tickets into the next Round before the weather took a turn for the worse.

Julien Benneteau had a good grass court season last year, and has come through 2 Rounds here this year. He lost to Michael Llodra last week in London, but did make the Quarter Finals here in Eastbourne last year.

Igor Kunitsyn has negotiated 2 Rounds here, but has shown almost no grass court form before. His serve is a weakness and he allows opponents too many chances to hurt him.

Both players have shown little form this year, but I think Benneteau has too much for Kunitsyn and will improve his 2-1 head to head record.

MY PICKS: Venus Williams - 4.5 games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Julien Benneteau - 3.5 games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)

WEEKLY UPDATE: + 4.13 Units (- 1 Unit yesterday)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Profit/Loss Update June 6th-12th Tournaments

This is a very quick post updating my weekly profit/loss and also updating the overall profit/loss of the tennis picks I have been making.

Both Andy Murray and Daniela Hantuchova let me down in their Finals as both failed to cover the spread. That dropped the profit from the week but we are still moving in the right direction as Wimbledon approaches.



Tennis Picks 15th June 2011

It's been a tough couple of days to find potential winners in the world of tennis as the Grand Slam at Wimbledon fast approaches. Some players may already be looking ahead to that event which begins on Monday so I would not be surprised if there are some 'tanks' as people dont want to waste too much energy with such a big tournament coming up.

Therefore I only have had a couple of picks so far this week and am only playing a 1 unit treble for today.

TREBLE: Kevin Anderson vs Gregor Dimitrov, Petra Kvitova vs Ekaterina Makarova and Sam Stosur vs Bojana Jovanovski: This is not the easiest treble in the world, but I really feel all 3 players are good enough to get through their individual matches.

Kevin Anderson proved at Queens that he has all the tools to be an effective grass court player and I think he will have the edge solely because his serve is a little more dependable than the talented Bulgarian's. Dimitrov is still learning his trade on the main ATP Tour and I think this is a tough match up for him.

Petra Kvitova is one of the up and coming stars on the WTA Tour and has shown she can play on the grass after making the Semi Finals of Wimbledon last year. Makarova is the defending Champion so this wont be easy, but I feel Kvitova has too much talent for her.

Sam Stosur has one of the best serves on the Women's tour and I expect that will give her the edge over the talented young player from Serbia. Jovanovski has pushed players in matches this year, but I think Stosur will be too strong as she looks to go better than her Semi Final here last season.

MY PICKS: Kevin Anderson, Petra Kvitova and Sam Stosur @ 3.13 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

WEEKLY UPDATE: + 5.16 Units (+ 0 Units yesterday)

Monday, 13 June 2011

Tennis Picks June 13th 2011

Just a quick note to start off to say I will update my weekly and overall profit/loss tomorrow afternoon as I still have two picks running from the tournaments that should have concluded on Sunday but have been moved to Monday thanks to the heavy rain in the UK.

We now have tournaments in Eastbourne and Holland in the last week before Wimbledon starts and I have to say it is the Women's draws that have seen the majority of their big players in action. Many of the real Men's contenders decide to take this week off, and this year has been no different.

The biggest news is the return of the Williams sisters to the Women's tour- both Serena and Venus have been missed, but their returns will definitely spark some interest in the WTA. This week Eastbourne is where they will make their comebacks, in a tournament which looks to have a real star quality feel to it.

Obviously the biggest thing to concern us will be the motivation of players. There are some players due out in the Men's section that may feel they have a chance to do some real damage at Wimbledon (Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the main example) and so I am steering clear of outright picks with the real possibility players may 'tank' matches if they get behind.

Let's hope for another week where we can add to the coffers before the most famous Grand Slam in the Tennis World begins next Monday.

Venus Williams win vs Andrea Petkovic: Andrea Petkovic is one of the most popular players on the WTA circuit, and was, ironically, Venus Williams' last opponent before injury, but I still dont think she has done enough to be favoured on the grass courts against any of the Williams sisters (and I mean even those that dont play tennis).

Venus loves the surface and it suits her game down to the ground. There are obvious concerns with a lack of match practice and whether all the injuries are cleared up, but it is unlike the Williams to turn up to a tournament without the intention of winning, something stated by Venus in an interview a couple of days ago.

We all know the pedigree Venus has on the surface, whereas Petkovic has struggled in tournaments played on grass bar in Holland last season when she reached the Final only to lose to Justine Henin.

This pick is based on the odds and I think it will be a LONG time before I see Venus as an outsider on grass against anyone but her sister.

Ordina Open
Nicolas Mahut win vs Adrian Mannarino: I think the bookies have made Nicolas Mahut the underdog thanks to Adrian Mannarino's run at Queens last week but I think that is a mistake here.

Mahut has plenty of grass court experience and enjoys most of his success on the main tour when playing on this surface. His attacking serve-volley game makes it tough for opponents on the faster courts and he has had some good results on grass over the last few years.

Adrian Mannarino had a big week at Queens, but he still hasn't convinced me that he should be favourite against a player like Mahut. He has already lost to Stephane Bohli and James Ward on grass courts this year, while his wins at Queens were the first he achieved on grass courts on the main ATP Tour.

Mahut and Mannarino are 1-1 in their head to head, but Mahut beat his compatriot in straight sets in London a couple of years ago. I still believe Mahut is the better grass court player.

MY PICKS: Andy Murray - 3.5 games @ 1.83 (2 Units) Still to Run
Daniela Hantuchova - 2.5 games @ 2.00 (2 Units) Still to Run
Venus Williams @ 2.38 William Hill (2 Unit)
Nicolas Mahut @ 2.2 BoyleSports (2 Units)

OVERALL UPDATE: Will be updated tomorrow once the Murray and Hantuchova picks are settled. 

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Tennis Picks 12th June 2011

It was a good day yesterday as both picks came in as winners. Andy Murray put in his strongest performance of the season to crush Andy Roddick in 2 straightforward sets before Philipp Petzschner shocked Tomas Berdych in 3 sets at the tournament in Halle.

That means we are having another profitable week following the successes at the French Open and I will look to end the week on a good note.

The tournaments in Eastbourne and s-Hertogenbosch are due to start their main draws tomorrow with a couple of matches in each event, but I wont start backing anything until Monday as none of the games interest me tomorrow.

Andy Murray - 3.5 games vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: I thought long and hard about this match as I feel Murray will not play to the same level as he did against Andy Roddick, and will also be dealing with a player in the form of Tsonga that is playing some good tennis of late.

However, I do feel Murray is serving particularly well this week and I also believe he will earn more chances as he is the better returner.

Tsonga will make life difficult with his big groundstrokes and by attacking the net, but I feel he has too many lapses in sets that Murray can take advantage of.

Murray leads the head to head 4-2, including a win at Wimbledon last year in the Quarter Finals. Interestingly, they met on grass during a Nottingham Challenger in 2004- that was won by Tsonga.

It is possible the match goes the distance, but I just feel Murray is too consistent for Tsonga at this moment of time and will do enough to cover the spread.

Daniela Hantuchova - 2.5 games vs Sabine Lisicki: Daniela Hantuchova showed some real spirit in beating Ana Ivanovic in the Semi Final yesterday, overcoming a 1 set deficit and a rain delay to win in 3 sets. Hantuchova also served well when the big points came along, saving 12 bps in the final 2 sets and not losing her serve. The Slovakian also has a solid grass court pedigree.

Lisicki has seen her career hit a buffer thanks to bad form and recovering from an injury. She is a former Wimbledon Quarter Finalist, but has not had much success on the grass other than this tournament. She has also had a tough year so far and faces an opponent in form.

Hantuchova won their only other meeting on the fast indoor hard courts and must feel the title is here for the taking.

MY PICKS: Andy Murray - 3.5 games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Daniela Hantuchova - 2.5 games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)

WEEKLY UPDATE: + 10.03 Units (+ 4.08 Units yesterday)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Andy Murray- There is still a long road ahead to becoming a Grand Slam Champion

It was certainly impressive- dismantling one of the best grass court players over the last 10 years in two straightforward sets in the manner Andy Murray did is definitely impressive.

Andy Murray was brilliant today as he beat Andy Roddick far easier than anyone could have possibly expected. He returned magnificently, he served brilliantly, and it seemed no shot was outside of the realms of possibility as winners and dropshots peppered Roddick into submission.

All of the above was true, but listening to some of the commentary and analysis on the BBC today was quite unnerving- do these people watch as little tennis as it sounds like they do? But it wasn't just the BBC that seemed to go overboard while watching this win over a good solid tennis player like Roddick, it seemed the media as a whole descended into 'crazy cuckoo land' on Twitter (I will exempt @simoncaney from this as he was in the minority who spoke with some sense).

Some people said this match proved Murray WILL win Wimbledon, others described it as 'his best ever performance', while the 'experts' on the BBC were talking about Murray in terms exceeding the current top 3 players in the World.

Now don't get me wrong, I was impressed with the performance today. But lets not forget that Andy Roddick is seriously under prepared in terms of match fitness of late and this week saw him win his first match on tour since March. Beating Andy Roddick will not lead to a Grand Slam win at Wimbledon (or in any other Grand Slam tournament in my opinion)- there is still the small matter of beating two of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to negotiate no matter what.

I heard many times that no one in the World could have lived with the tennis Murray produced today- I would argue that the top 3 players are the top 3 players because they look to do something different when things are not going to plan. Today Andy Roddick tried to continue with the game plan he had, hoping that Murray would begin missing more than anything else. There was no variation in the shots, the serve was not being placed very well, and the approach shot was not deep enough to cause Murray troubles, but did Roddick do anything different in the two sets?

The likes of Nadal, Djokovic and Federer will change their approach, either becoming more aggressive or changing the rhythm of their shots. Mentally they are also on a different plane to any of the other players Murray can meet on the tour.

So while the top 3 may have struggled with the way Andy Murray was playing, I can't help but feel they would not ALLOW Murray to keep playing in the same manner without making tactical changes, something Roddick failed to do.

The average viewer of the tennis may remember Roddick from previous performances at Wimbledon, but it is clear the American is not playing up to a great level at this moment, but that is something the media choose to ignore, building up expectations of the average fan rather than try to tone them down.

Instead they are perhaps looking to build up Murray so all the articles about 'lack of mental strength', and how he 'should stop shouting at his team if he wants to win a Grand Slam' can be rolled out on July 4th if Andy Murray fails to win Wimbledon this year.

With Federer, Djokovic and Nadal all in the draw, there is still a long road ahead for Murray to finally satisfy the British public's need for a Men's Wimbledon Champion.

Tennis Picks 11th June 2011

It's almost the business end of the week as we reach the Semi Finals of the 4 tournaments running. We have had a few surprises, for example James Ward still being an active participant, but these things happen when the 250 point events arrive.

Rafael Nadal has not looked right all week and earned a well deserved rest following his defeat to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga yesterday in the Quarter Finals.

I mean you might not think that is the case if you have been following the BBC's coverage of the event over the week. In fact, you might believe Wimbledon had started a couple weeks earlier than usual with the emphasis they are putting on this event.

While it is nice for players to get a feel for the grass underneath their feet, do not forget a lot of players are honing their skills and getting used to the surface and the bigger picture is performing from June 20th-July 3rd for most of the players.

It is no surprise that the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic felt it was more productive resting up in anticipation of Wimbledon than taking part in an a small event for few ranking points.

In saying that, I am glad for James Ward that he is getting a bit of attention for his performances this week. HOWEVER, he needs to translate that game into the challengers if he wants to move into the top 200 because most of the British public will soon forget about him once Wimbledon is over.

Ward needs to start dominating challenger events so he can become a regular feature on the main tour, but too many British players show some form either here at Queens or in the early Rounds at Wimbledon and then disappear for good (example: Chris Eaton qualified for Wimbledon and made it through at least 1 Round before losing to Dmitry Tursunov. Many were expecting big things but he has won just 3 and lost 9 on grass since and was struggling to qualify for this event last time I noticed him).

On to the Picks:

Philipp Petzschner win vs Tomas Berdych: So I am going to have a small play on the underdog to cause a surprise here. Petzschner is seriously underestimated on the grass courts to cause a shock here against a player that has been more out of form in recent weeks and struggling to rediscover his high levels of form.

Petzschner beat the dangerous Milos Raonic in 3 sets yesterday, but his grass court pedigree was stamped last year when he lost to Roger Federer in 2 tight sets here in Halle at this stage, while also pushing eventual Wimbledon Champion Rafael Nadal to 5 sets at the Grand Slam.

Berdych beat Troicki yesterday in 2 sets, but has not really been playing well all week and Petzschner may just take advantage of that.

Berdych leads the head to head 3-1, but all the matches have been tight affairs. 3 of the 4 matches have gone the distance, while the other was won by Berdych 7-5, 6-4. Berdych has won all 3 matches on the faster hard courts, while Petzschner's win came on the clay.

I wouldn't go overboard with the stakes just because Petzschner can be a little erratic in his play, but the odds are just tasty enough for me to want to be involved.

Andy Murray - 2.5 games vs Andy Roddick: Andy Murray has definitely been moving more freely on his ankle and must feel this tournament is there for the taking for the 2nd time in his career. In fact, the winner of this match will feel they are the favourites to go through and win this tournament.

The conditions at Queens have been a lot slower than previous years, even if the ace count has been particularly high in a couple of matches, and this will give the better returner in Andy Murray a chance to win this match.

Roddick has not played a lot of matches in recent weeks, but has looked better in each passing match this week. However, he is giving up a few chances on his own serve and that could spell the end for him here.

The American is clearly one of the better grass court players around, but I have Murray only behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on this surface.

Murray has the better groundstrokes and should win the majority of rallies once they get past shots 4-5 and the British Number 1 has been serving pretty well in his 2 matches this week.

Murray leads the head to head 6-3 (not including non-ATP matches), although it is 1-1 on grass courts.

This is their first meeting since THAT Wimbledon Semi Final in 2009 which was won by Roddick in 4 sets and I think it would take a similar level of performance if Roddick wants to win this one today.

MY PICKS: Philipp Petzschner win @ 2.88 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Andy Murray - 2.5 games @ 2.10 BetFred (2 Units)

WEEKLY UPDATE: + 5.95 Units (- 0.34 Units yesterday)

Friday, 10 June 2011

Tennis Picks 10th June 2011

It was one of those bad days in the office yesterday as Marin Cilic decided to tank away set 2 before coming back and winning thus failing to cover the spread.

Sam Querrey looked well in control of his match with James Ward after taking the 1st set and then earning a break point in the 1st game of set 2... He missed his chance and played some really passive stuff to lose the set and now we need him to win either 6-0 or 6-1 when the players resume battle tomorrow at 1pm local time.

The bookies have also been lazy and failed to release any handicaps for tournaments at Queens, Birmingham or Copenhagen at the time of writing, so I am sticking to 1 pick for the day.

Tomas Berdych win vs Victor Troicki: Now Tomas Berdych is not really playing trustworthy tennis at the moment, but I am picking him to win this match as I think his grass court game is being underestimated, or Troicki's is being overestimated.

Berdych has laboured to a couple of wins this week while Troicki's path through the draw has been easier, but I think this is a bad match up for the latter.

Troicki has also failed to perform on grass courts in the past while Berdych has all the tools to be a real threat on the surface as his run to the Wimbledon Final showed last year.

Both have 1 win apiece against one another, both meetings taking place in Indian Wells and the most recent won by Berdych in 2 comfortable sets.

As I mentioned above, I dont really trust Berdych at the moment, but I do think he is the better grass court player and I feel his odds are too high for this match.

MY PICKS: Tomas Berdych win @ 1.83 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Sam Querrey - 4.5 games @ 2.25 (2 Units) Still Running from yesterday

WEEKLY UPDATE: + 6.29 Units (- 2 Units yesterday)

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Tennis Picks 9th June 2011

Another really quick post here with my picks for the upcoming days play at Queens Club, London.

Marin Cilic - 3.5 games vs Thomaz Bellucci: Marin Cilic definitely has the tools to be a success on this surface and is perhaps being underestimated to win this match with a bit to spare. The serve was beginning to work much better in the latter stages of his win over Clement in the last Round, and Cilic also has a decent grass court pedigree.

Thomaz Bellucci struggled to beat Ilhan in the last Round, being forced to go the distance, and his lack of grass court experience seems to have hurt him. Bellucci was also fortunate to get past Gregor Dimitrov in the 1st Round and I think he struggles to contain Cilic here.

Sam Querrey - 4.5 games vs James Ward: The defending Champion against a British Wild Card entry looks like a mismatch to me but the bookmakers dont seem to think so. Sam Querrey has shown how difficult it is to contain his serve on grass and I really think he wins in straight sets.

James Ward was impressive in beating Stanislas Wawrinka in the last Round, but this is an altogether different test. The win over Wawrinka was the best success Ward has had in his career, but I struggle to believe he can pull a surprise in this match.

A break in each set could be enough to cover the spread.

MY PICKS: Marin Cilic - 3.5 games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Sam Querrey - 4.5 games @ 2.25 Paddy Power (2 Units)

WEEKLY UPDATE: + 8.29 Units (+ 0 Units yesterday)

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Tennis Picks 8th June 2011

I have been extremely busy at work over the last few hours meaning I didn't have a lot of time to put up my picks for today.

I do have two for you, the first of which is starting within an hour and the other later on in the day:

Marin Cilic - 3.5 games vs Arnaud Clement: Cilic has not been having a great season but I do expect his game to work well on the grass and I expect him to take care of the veteran.

Clement has done well this week, qualifying for the main draw and winning his 1st Round match. The Frenchman has always had a decent grass court pedigree, but has been struggling to win matches before this week.

MY PICKS: Marin Cilic - 3.5 games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Juan Martin Del Potro - 5.5 games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)

WEEKLY UPDATE: + 8.29 Units (+ 3.87 Units yesterday)

The head to head is 2-2 between the players. Clement won their only meeting on grass at Wimbledon 3 years ago, but Cilic has won their 2 recent encounters and I expect him to do the same again.

Juan Martin Del Potro - 5.5 games vs Igor Kunitsyn: Juan Martin Del Potro is still looking to hone his grass court game, but I expect him to have far too much for Igor Kunitsyn today.

Del Potro has won their only 2 meetings, including on a grass court, and I think his power will be too much for the Russian when it is all said and done.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Tennis Picks June 7th 2011

So it was a good day yesteday with all both picks coming in thanks to all the players winning in straight sets.

There was some good news for the Queens tournament with the confirmation that both Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray will take part, but Halle lost Roger Federer to the disappointment of the tournament director.

That once again shows the minefield in picking outright winners a week after a Grand Slam, especially with the short time between the French Open and Wimbledon.

Talking about Roger Federer, did anyone else find it amusing when he essentially said if he 'plays well', he beats Rafael Nadal. Now I am not downplaying what Federer has achieved in his career, but it is clear that he can be a little condescending to other players. Maybe someone will have the nerve to ask him if he has played badly in 6 of the 8 Grand Slam Finals where he has played Nadal, considering he has not beaten the Spaniard on such an occasion since 2007!

I will update my overall profit/loss at the end of the week rather than every day, but I will update weekly profit/losses when making new picks.

TREBLE: Andy Roddick vs Feliciano Lopez, Michael Llodra vs Julien Benneteau and Sam Querrey vs Rainer Schuettler: This is a pretty risky treble for the day at Queens club.

Andy Roddick has not played much competitive tennis in recent weeks, choosing to rest his shoulder during the clay court season so he could be right for the grass. He has been honing his grass court game in London for a few days now and also holds a 6-0 head to head over the dangerous Feliciano Lopez.

Michael Llodra's serve-volley game should fit perfectly with the grass courts and he did win Eastbourne last year and reached the Quarter Finals here in London. Julien Benneteau can certainly play on the surface, but has struggled for form in recent weeks.

Sam Querrey made a solid start to the defence of his title with an easy enough win over the talented Kei Nishikori, and I think he will have too much for the veteran Rainer Schuettler. Querrey leads the head to head 3-1 and also beat Schuettler here last year.

Kevin Anderson win vs Ivo Karlovic: Now I will say that Ivo Karlovic has the perfect game to be a danger on the grass courts, but I just feel Kevin Anderson is being underrated here.

Karlovic missed the grass court season last year, but has a 22-6 record in previous years. He has reached the last 8 in each of the last 3 times he has played at Queens so the question remains why am I picking Anderson?

The first reason is Karlovic has not been in the best of form this season since coming back from his injury and I am beginning to wonder if he has much left in the tank.

Add to this the fact Anderson is having his best season on the main tour and has the weapons to be effective on this surface and he has a live chance in a match that could be decided by 1 or 2 points in a tie break.

MY PICKS: Andy Roddick, Michael Llodra and Sam Querrey Treble @ 3.42 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Kevin Anderson win @ 2.45 Canbet (1 Unit)

WEEK UPDATE JUNE 6-12: + 4.42 Units