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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Tennis Picks July 27th Stanford and LA

Not a good start to the week in all honesty, with picks falling by the wayside and some results being disappointingly close to going my way and then falling apart.

I took the morning in Europe off as I didn't have any strong feelings from the matches at Gstaad, while I left Juan Carlos Ferrero alone in Umag in the hope my outright pick can win his match with Ivan Ljubicic and really open up the draw for a run to the Final for a 3rd consecutive year.

Hopefully the extra time to compose myself will make the next couple of picks from Stanford and LA end in a much more positive manner than they have been so far:

Double; Dominika Cibulkova vs Christina McHale and Maria Sharapova vs Daniela Hantuchova: Dominika Cibulkova is having a good season and could see herself making a real move up the rankings after a very disappointing Summer last season. She had a solid win over Kimiko Date-Krumm in the 1st Round and has the powerful game that should be well suited to the American hard courts.

Christina McHale is a tough proposition as she begins to improve her game but she has only won consecutive matches on the main tour on 2 occasions this season and was a 2nd Round loser here in Stanford last season.

Maria Sharapova has won 7 matches in a row against Daniela Hantuchova and has been one of the form players on the WTA Tour for around 3 months now. Hantuchova is no easy pass for the top players this season, but I expect Sharapova will eventually have too much for her counterpart and come through.

Double; Ryan Harrison vs Michael Russell and Ernests Gulbis vs Daniel Kosakowski: Ryan Harrison has been in fine form over the last 10 days, reaching the Final in Atlanta and coming from a set behind to beat Richard Berankis in the 1st Round here and is now becoming more comfortable in main tour matches.

Michael Russell is perhaps on the other side of the hill to Harrison now and has lost the last meeting with his young compratiot, a 3 set defeat on the hard courts in Hawaii. The match tonight may also go the distance but I will expect the younger man to get through.

Ernests Gulbis should have too much experience and talent for Daniel Kosakowski, a young UCLA attendee, although it can be risky backing the talented Latvian at a short price.

However, he should have the consistency to get through, most likely in straight sets.

Marcos Baghdatis - 2.5 games vs Yen-Hsun Lu: Marcos Baghdatis has not had the best time on the American hard courts so far this season with two 1st Round losses at Miami and Indian Wells, but last Summer was a different story as he got through to the Final in Washington and the Semi Final in Cincinnati.

He has the game very suited to the faster surfaces and he has played well in recent weeks. He should have too much for Yen-Hsun Lu, a player that has struggled a little bit this season.

Lu was destroyed by John Isner last week in Atlanta and, although having a good win over Robby Ginepri in the last Round, he has struggled for most of the season.

Baghdatis has won their only previous meeting in 2009, but I think Lu has slipped a little since then and the Cypriot should be good enough to come through.

James Blake-Juan Martin Del Potro Over 20.5 games: Juan Martin Del Potro is my outright pick of the week from this tournament but he wont have it easy against a rejuvenated James Blake that performed solidly in Atlanta last week following on from a Challenger tour win.

Blake and Del Potro also took part in a 5 set match in Australia last year and this is a pick that can be brought in with a straight sets win as long as the sets are tight.

They key to the pick may well be how James Blake serves- if he can perform as he has been, it is possible that we can see at least 1 tie break here and that may be just enough to ensure the over comes in.

MY PICKS: Dominika Cibulkova and Maria Sharapova @ 1.96 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Ryan Harrison and Ernests Gulbis @ 2.15 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Marcos Baghdatis - 2.5 games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
James Blake-Juan Martin Del Potro Over 20.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)



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