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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Tennis Outright Picks 2013 (July 29-August 4)

It was a solid enough week for the picks last time out as we saw Mikhail Youzhny pick up his first title since early 2012, while the run of Fabio Fognini managed to come through a couple of awkward moments before the Italian was beaten in the Final at Umag by Tommy Robredo.

While the daily picks produced a lot of good winners, it was remarkably disappointing that Kevin Anderson couldn't at least help the outright picks into the positive too. While the Roger Federer pick was a poor one that didn't even get through one match, Anderson reached the Final in Atlanta, but he couldn't put away John Isner despite having all the chances.

Anderson had 11 chances to break serve compared with Isner's 1 chance, yet he failed to take any of those chances and lost a match that was decided by three tie-break sets. He may have lost two fewer points in the match, but it shows who was the better player in that Isner won by 10 clear points in the last two tie-breaks and it was Anderson that had all the opportunities.

Still, it was a solid enough week that could have been even better with a little more luck in that Final, but more weeks like this one are always welcome.

This week we have four tournaments taking place across the two Tours- we have the final clay court event of the season in Austria, while the other three tournaments are taking place in North America where the tennis will now begin the real lead up to the final Grand Slam of the season next month in New York.

ATP Kitzbuhel
This is a tournament that Robin Haase has won in back to back years since it returned to the Tour after a three year absence, but it might be a big ask for the Dutchman to complete a hat-trick in Austria as he made it all the way to the Final in Gstaad last week.

It hasn't helped that Haase is in the top half of the draw which is loaded with talent that will certainly feel they can go all the way to the title this week in the final clay court event before the move to the North American hard courts and the Masters events there. This week we have Fernando Verdasco, Carlos Berlocq, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Marcel Granollers all in the top half of the draw so there are going to be a plenty of problems in front of Haase if he is to make it three in a row here.

Out of those players, Verdasco could be the one to be competing in the Final next weekend, although he would have to maintain the form he has showed in the last few weeks compared with the rest of 2013 and all of the players in the top half have their own problems to get through.

With that in mind, it might make most sense to look at the bottom half of the draw and the Number 2 seed here in Austria, Juan Monaco, to be the player to make the most of the circumstances. 2012 was a great season for Monaco and while he has taken a step back, this looks a good draw to put himself in a position to win his second title on the clay this season.

Monaco would be the favourite to beat either Roberto Bautista-Agut or Daniel Gimeno-Traver in a potential Quarter Final, although he did lose to the latter at the French Open earlier this year. Other players like Albert Montanes, Jurgen Melzer and an in-form Victor Hanescu would certainly feel they will be in good enough form to give Monaco problems in a potential Semi Final, but the Argentine might not get a much better chance to reach another Final this season than the one the draw has given him here.

I am a touch concerned that Monaco hasn't shown the form that took him to one title and one Final at this time last year, but he had match points against eventual Gstaad winner Mikhail Youzhny last week and the draw does look good for him this time around. However, I can't recommend more than one unit on Monaco considering his lack of real form over the last few weeks.

ATP Washington
There are five former winners of the title at this event that will be in the large draw this week in Washington and one of them is the Number 1 seed and big favourite to win the tournament this week, Juan Martin Del Potro.

It is perhaps a surprising choice that Del Potro opted to take a Wild Card here considering the tournament is followed by back to back Masters tournaments on the hard courts in North America. He had some issues with his knee at Wimbledon, but a MRI scan suggested there was nothing abnormal there and the US Open will be a real target for Del Potro to add to his Grand Slam tally.

However, he hasn't been presented with the best opening match as both Ryan Harrison and Lleyton Hewitt, another former winner in Washington, have shown some good form on the North American hard courts in the past.

If Del Potro gets through that test, you will be able to see why he is a short favourite this week, although a potential Quarter Final against Kevin Anderson would not be an easy pass for the Argentinian.

While Del Potro will be favoured to go all the way, those couple of issues may open the draw and picking Tommy Haas to come out of this section and perhaps win the tournament could pay off. Haas has a horrible record against Del Potro and that match up doesn't work for him, but he could take advantage if the Number 1 seed is shocked before the Semi Final.

Haas should be able to take care of Ivan Dodig in the Third Round and while both Grigor Dimitrov, Sam Querrey and Denis Istomin will be able to cause problems for the veteran in the Quarter Final, Haas can beat either if he is on his 'A' game.

There are some talented players in the bottom half of the draw, but I have a question mark about all of the seeds in that section and there are definitely a couple of dangerous non-seeds that could take advantage by reaching the Final next week. If John Isner can recover from his exertions in Atlanta last week, and he is given a bye in the First Round to aid him in that respect, he could be the seed that is most likely to earn his way through to the Final.

However, too many doubts cloud my vision for the player most likely to come out of the bottom half of the draw.

Despite the terrible record that Tommy Haas has against Juan Martin Del Potro, I will back the German this week with the belief that the Number 1 seed will not make it through to that potential Semi Final. This hasn't been the most productive tournament for Haas in the past who has made it to the Quarter Final as his best effort in seven previous appearances, but he may be able to improve on that this time.

MY PICKS: Juan Monaco @ 4.50 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
Tommy Haas @ 10.00 Bet 365 (1 Unit E/W)

Tennis Outright Picks (July 22-28)0-2, - 3 Units (2 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)
Tennis Daily Picks (July 22-28)20-14, + 11.32 Units (65 Units Staked, + 17.42% Yield)

Season 2013+ 35.62 Units (920.5 Units Staked, + 3.87% Yield)

Season 2012+ 49.21 Units (855 Units Staked, + 5.76% Yield)
Season 2011+ 82.02 Units

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