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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Tennis Picks July 28th Umag and Gstaad

It was a good day without picks in Umag for followers of the blog as Juan Carlos Ferrero moved through the the Quarter Finals after coming from a set behind to beat Ivan Ljubicic. That puts him through to a meeting with Carlos Berlocq in the next Round and I think Ferrero will be considered the favourite to get through to the Final from the position he is in.

I was a little surprised at the start of the week when I noticed the Racing Post had highlighted Tommy Robredo as a good e/w shot at 12-1. Robredo has been suffering with a number of injuries and is clearly not the player of old and I would not have recommended him at 3 times the price.

Unsurprisingly, Robredo pulled out of this tournament, as he had last week in Hamburg, and this was all without hitting a ball in the 2nd Round.

Now on to the Picks:

Julien Benneteau vs Matthias Bachinger: Now before I say anything else, I know Julien Benneteau has been in bade form, but I am still surprised that he is considered the underdog in this match.

The Frenchman has struggled on the main tour in clay events this season, but it has been a different story in the level below that and he is now facing a player that is more used to playing Challenger and qualifying events.

Bachinger has only played 5 matches on clay all season, and really took advantage of Pablo Andujar who has been playing quite a bit of tennis of late. Bachinger has struggled on clay for the last couple of seasons and I am not ready to see him as the favourite in this match.

Double; Nicolas Almagro vs Jarkko Nieminen and Feliciano Lopez vs Daniel Gimeno-Traver: I have a couple of doubts over both of these favourites but I do think both are capable of coming through their tests.

Nicolas Almagro has reached the Semi Final in Bastad and the Final in Hamburg over the last couple of weeks and must feel happy he has had days off since Sunday to recover his fitness. However, the rain has affected play in Gstaad and he will have to win 4 matches in 4 days if he wants to take home the trophy.

However, Almagro has a 3-1 head to head record over Jarkko Nieminen and is the better clay court player. He has won their last 3 meetings, winning 7 sets to 1, and I expect he will be good enough to come through.

Feliciano Lopez followed helping Spain win their Davis Cup tie against the USA by winning a Challenger event on the clay in Colombia and he will feel he can go deep in this tournament. His compatriot has struggled all season and only just scraped through against Steve Darcis in the last Round in a match he should have lost.

I have a couple of concerns that Lopez could be tired from all the travelling of late, but he does have the game to beat Gimeno-Traver and I hope he will show that here.

Fernando Verdasco - 4.5 games vs Frederico Gil: Fernando Verdasco has been out of form for much of the season, but he showed he might just be turning around a corner when reaching the Semi Final in Hamburg last week and he faces a player that has won just 3 of his last 12 matches.

Verdasco is a little more effective in everything he does and already holds a comfortable 2 set win over Gil from earlier this year when he beat him in Portugal on a clay court. If Verdasco is motivated, he should come through with few problems.

Marin Cilic - 3.5 games vs Robin Haase: Marin Cilic was my outright pick last week and he was definitely showing signs of improvement after a few months of sub-standard performances and results.

Cilic will be backed by the home crowd in this match and also holds a 2-0 head to head record against Robin Haase although they last played in 2008.

I cant help oppose Haase here as he has been inconsistent of late while struggling with a knee problem- his 6-2, 6-2 loss to Carlos Berlocq last week is troubling and he had a few problems against Simone Vagnozzi in the 1st Round.

I expect Cilic will come through in straight sets after keeping the pressure on the Haase serve and being a little more consistent and getting the Dutchman moving around the court.

MY PICKS: Julien Benneteau @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Double; Nicolas Almagro and Feliciano Lopez @ 1.96 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Fernando Verdasco - 4.5 games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Marin Cilic - 3.5 games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)


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