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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Tennis Picks July 30th

I am going to put all my picks from the tournaments running in this one thread today but I will update the weekly totals separately as I have been doing all week.

It was a disappointing evening as both Maria Sharapova and Juan Martin Del Potro exited the tournaments. The latter is more disappointing as my biggest outright back of the week and it sounds like he was just not at the races.

Players like Ernests Gulbis can be very dangerous when they get hot, the problem for him is consistency to play like that against the lesser players.

Juan Carlos Ferrero is now the last man standing in terms of outright picks, but he would cover the entire outlay of the week if he can go on and retain his title in Umag- I just hope he can do it without the breakdown he had yesterday against Carlos Berlocq when losing 5 games in a row in the 2nd set and seeing his 5-1 lead disappear. The Spaniard did come through in straight sets, but it would have been nice if he had got off court a little earlier as he should have done.

Now on to the Picks:

Nicolas Almagro - 3.5 games vs Fernando Verdasco: This is a repeat of the Semi Final from last week in Hamburg and I would not be surprised if we get a similar result (last week Almagro won 6-1, 6-4).

Almagro has been solid all week behind his serve and even doing double duty yesterday did not slow him down when beating Jarkko Nieminen and Feliciano Lopez. If he continues to serve like that, he will put a lot of pressure on his compatriot today.

Fernando Verdasco did not play that well for 2 sets yesterday against Julien Benneteau and I just feel he is not quite at the races mentally this season. He seems to get through against the lesser players but struggles when faced against someone who is playing well.

The court has played fairly quickly all week and I feel that will give Almagro the edge too so I will back him to come through with a bit to spare.

Juan Carlos Ferrero - 2 games vs Alexandr Dolgopolov: If anyone followed the outright picks at the start of the week, we have already got Juan Carlos Ferrero at 4.00 to win this match and get through to the Final so they may not want to put a bit more on him here.

However, I do want to back him again as I feel the match up is more in Ferrero's favour than the layers think it is. He is fairly consistent from the back of the court and could grind down Dolgopolov here, although I would like to see the Spaniard take care of his serve a little more.

Dolgopolov has not been getting enough first serves in and that could give him more problems here against a player like Ferrero who has the big groundstrokes. A lot of second serves will allow Ferrero to dictate more points and that could be the edge to this match.

They also met here last year in the Quarter Final and Dolgopolov was beaten heavily and won just 3 games in the 2 sets they competed.

I dont think it will be a blowout like that, but I do think Ferrero will come through and reach his 3rd consecutive Final here.

Mardy Fish - 4.5 games vs Ryan Harrison: This is a repeat of the Semi Final from Atlanta last week and I dont see any reason to change my mind but to predict Mardy Fish to come through in 2 sets again.

Harrison has had the 2 most productive weeks of his short career so far and has showed the heart and belief to come through some tight spots, particularly in the 2nd set against Yen-Hsun Lu yesterday, but this is a huge step up from the quality of opponents he has played so far this week and I struggle to see how he can do enough to affect the Fish game.

The one thing in Harrison's favour is the amount of tennis Mardy Fish has played recently and whether that catches up with him here. However, Fish has been taking his fitness as seriously as he ever has and I am not sure if his losing energy is just clutching at straws.

I just think the Fish game is too big at this moment in time for the improving Harrison and I think a similar scoreline to last weeks 6-2, 6-4 could be in the offing.

Ernests Gulbis - 3 games vs Alex Bogomolov: This could be the case of 'after the Lord Mayor's show' for Ernests Gulbis following his impressive straight sets win over Juan Martin Del Potro, but I am of the feeling that the Latvian is a momentum player that could be tough to stop this week.

He has played some decent tennis this week to get this far and was more than a little unfortunate to lose to James Blake in the 1st Round in Atlanta last week and Gulbis' better performances have generally come on the hard courts in recent seasons.

Gulbis has all the attributes in his game to be a good hard court player, but sometimes it is the thing between his ears that lets him down. The confidence from the win over Del Potro should give him the boost to reach the Final this week.

Alex Bogomolov is a journeyman player having his best year on the main tour so will not be easy pickings. He has reached the Quarter Finals in 3 of the last 5 tournaments he has played and also made it through to the 3rd Round at Wimbledon in that time so is in decent form.

However, I think it could be telling that he has had a few problems with the bigger hitters on the tour and Gulbis will fit into that category. Bogomolov has lost to John Isner, Gilles Muller and Tomas Berdych in recent weeks and I think the pressure of trying to hold serve could be too much for him today.

Gulbis is not the best person to trust, but I think he should be too strong for the American tonight.

MY PICKS: Nicolas Almagro - 3.5 games @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Juan Carlos Ferrero - 2 games @ 1.91 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Mardy Fish - 4.5 games @ 1.91 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Ernests Gulbis - 3 games @ 1.83 10Bet (2 Units)



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