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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Tennis Outright Picks August 22nd-28th

My final profit/loss update from last week will be updated as soon as the Andy Murray-Novak Djokovic match is completed in Cincinnati, but in the meantime I will have a look at next weeks draw in the last tournaments before the US Open.

This can be a little difficult to predict which players will take these last tournaments seriously, especially with 2 weeks of tough tennis ahead of them at Flushing Meadows, so I will look for any outsiders that may be more interested in this tournament knowing they are unlikely to have a real impact in New York.

ATP Winston Salem Open
The Number 1 seed, and favourite to win this event is Andy Roddick, a player that clearly needs the matches under his belt following a long lay off and an early exit in Cincinnati.

The American's run through to the Semi Final does not look to have too many obstacles in front of it, although I am concerned he could pull out after a couple of wins, either withdrawing or not putting in the required effort to win a match. My reason for that is Roddick will want to be at his freshest going into the US Open which will begin the day after this event finishes, and I cannot imagine he wants to be involved in all the tennis required to win this tournament.

 A real potential threat in the bottom half of Roddick's section is John Isner, who actually beat Roddick at the US Open two years ago. Isner has played a lot of tennis this Summer, reaching a Final in Atlanta and Semi Final in Washington, but I also have a few doubts whether he will want to put himself through a gruelling week before a Grand Slam where he must feel he can have an impact.

Players like Marcos Baghdatis and Dmitry Tursunov will feel they may just be able to take advantage if the likes of Roddick and Isner fall out of this section, but both have their own issues and cannot really be backed with any confidence, even at big double figure prices.

Baghdatis has just employed Miles Maclagen, Andy Murray's former coach, but it will take some time before their styles mesh, while Tursunov has failed to really make an impact over the Summer.

The other half of the draw has the same problems with seeded players like Nikolay Davydenko and Jurgen Melzer not to be trusted on current form while others like Kevin Anderson and Alexandr Dolgopolov look too short in the market.

My interest, therefore, in this tournament will instead come in the form of one young player, and one old player.

Both of my picks are American, but I would recommend keeping stakes very small- the first is Ryan Harrison, the other is James Blake.

Ryan Harrison has been in decent nick during the American hard court Summer swing, reaching the Semi Final in both Atlanta and Los Angeles, while being beaten by Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati is not exactly a disgrace.

Harrison has a tough looking match with Kevin Anderson in Round 2 if he progresses, but I think he could cause enough troubles to beat the big serving South African, especially if his serve is not on top form as it was against Andy Murray in Toronto.

He may then be forced into a big match with James Blake in the 3rd Round and I think the winner of that will have a decent chance of going all the way.

Blake has been looking like he is getting back to something like his best, although he is still inconsistent. However, he has won a few Challengers in recent months and it is clear he is trying his best to get back up the Rankings.

The veteran will have a tough 2nd Round match with Robin Haase, but a win in will leave us with a potential match between himself and Harrison.

It's a tough tournament to second guess players, so keep stakes to a minimum.

Prices for the two WTA Events in Texas and New Haven have not been released, I'll check prices when they are released (likely tomorrow at this rate) and will tweet any outrights I have from that market.

MY PICKS: Ryan Harrison @ 26.00 Ladbrokes  (0.5 Units E/W)
James Blake @ 26.00 Ladbrokes (0.5 Units E/W)

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