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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Tennis Picks July 26th Umag and Gstaad

I am going to do the same thing I did last week and separate my picks from the European tournaments and the ones in the United States. With both Stanford and Los Angeles being on the West Coast, it means the schedule is released too late for me to make them in the evening in Britain, instead I will put them up at some point on my lunch tomorrow and that still leaves plenty of time to read them and make your minds up if you want to follow.

I was also keep separate running totals from the two continents and then add them together at the end of the week when updating the overall profit/loss on Sunday.

So on to the European picks for July 26th:

Double; Filippo Volandri vs Mate Pavcic and Fabio Fognini vs Rui Machado: I am going for an Italian double from the tournament at Umag as both players should be too strong and experienced for their opponents.

Filippo Volandri has always saved his best tennis for the clay courts and won a tournament in Italy on the surface last week and plays an opponent who has only just turned 18 and has played 2 previous matches on the Challenger tour in his career. It will be hard for Mate Pavcic with his inexperience against someone who can play well on the surface, even though he should get plenty of home support.

Fabio Fognini is a former Semi Finalist here, but he is not the most trustworthy player on the tour. He faces Rui Machado who comes into the contest having won a Challenger on clay last week in Poland, but he has struggled on the Main Tour so far.

Fognini has beaten Machado on clay in their only previous meeting and I think he should be good enough to do so again.

Steve Darcis vs Daniel Gimeno-Traver: This has been priced up with Steve Darcis as the underdog but I think he has a real chance of getting through. He won a Challenger event on clay a couple of weeks ago in Holland and he also reached the 3rd Round at the French Open after qualifying for the event.

Daniel Gimeno-Traver has struggled for wins this season and it can be tough for players to get out of a funk and start winning matches, especially when matches get tight. He has won just 3 of his last 11 matches, 1 of those thanks to a Marcel Granollers retirement, and he is just 5-11 on the clay courts this season.

Darcis also holds a 2-0 head to head record against Gimeno-Traver, both of those wins coming on clay courts although they last met in 2007. Darcis is yet to lose a set in those matches against the Spaniard and he may just have the edge tomorrow.

Victor Hanescu vs Jarkko Nieminen: I thought these two would have been priced up as a pick 'em match but was a little surprised to see Victor Hanescu down as the underdog.

Hanescu's best performances have come on the clay courts in the past and he did reach the Final in Nice just before the French Open. Add to that a Semi Final appearance in Casablanca and a 3rd Round appearance in Barcelona and it is clear that Hanescu remains more than capable of winning on the clay.

Jarkko Nieminen has a winning record on the clay this season and was only narrowly beaten in the 3rd Round in Hamburg last week to the eventual winner Gilles Simon. That shows the Finn is in good form, but I still think this match is perhaps priced up the wrong way.

Hanescu is 1-2 down in the head to head and all the meetings have come on clay- however, it was Hanescu who won the last match last year in Casablanca.

The previous meeting between the two before that one was also in Casablanca but back in 2005 and I think Hanescu is capable of doing the same as last year and beating Nieminen on clay.

MY PICKS: Double; Filippo Volandri and Fabio Fognini @ 2.03 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Steve Darcis @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Victor Hanescu @ 2.20 William Hill (2 Units)

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