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Thursday, 1 August 2013

Tennis Picks 2013 (August 1st)

The strange week continues as each pick takes one step forwards, while another takes a step back. I do feel they have been missing a little bit of luck that would have made this a much stronger week to this point, although I have also mixed in some really bad calls, the most recent of those being picking Laura Robson to keep her match close with Petra Kvitova (lost 61 62).

We have reached the Quarter Final stage at the tournament in Kitzbuhel, where the tournament will finish a day before the other two events in Washington and Carlsbad and those latter two tournaments will have their own Quarter Finals beginning on Friday. That means Thursday will be the day that Third Round action is completed at both events as long as the rain doesn't delay Washington any more than it was doing on Wednesday evening.

Juan Monaco - 3.5 games v Daniel Gimeno-Traver: It has only been a couple of months since these two players met in the First Round at the French Open and Juan Monaco must be kicking himself that he let a two set lead slip in that match.

Monaco seems to have a lot of fluctuations in his level of play these days and that will be the reason why he has been dropping in the World Rankings and he has fallen off the standard he set for himself last year on the Tour. He still can perform at a really good level for a set, but then things seem to go awry for no real reason.

He can't afford to do that against Daniel Gimeno-Traver who is a very capable player on the clay courts. However, the Spaniard hadn't been in a great run of form before his wins in the first two matches here this week and he does need to raise his level a little more if he is to spring a surprise.

Gimeno-Traver can be effective behind serve when he is on form, but the second serve will present Monaco some chances in this match. The conditions should aid the first serve for Gimeno-Traver here, but it may also give the Monaco groundstrokes some bite and I believe the Number 2 seed will come through 64, 64.

Fernando Verdasco - 2.5 games v Robin Haase: I mentioned in the picks yesterday that Fernando Verdasco has the tendency to wander off in matches from a mental point of view and that was clear in his Second Round win. What looked like a routine match became a dogfight in the second set and he failed to serve out the match before coming through in a tough tie-break and he won't be able to do that again in this Quarter Final.

He is facing a confident, two-time Champion in Kitzbuhel as he takes on Robin Haase- the last ten days, the Dutchman has shown plenty of good form and he has been serving effectively which will make him a tough out this week.

The serve could be the entire key to this match as both players can get double-faultitis at any time and it may even come down to at what point of the match they throw that in. Both Verdasco and Haase have been in strong form so I don't think it is a stretch to say the player who makes the best use of their big first serve and steers clear of giving away free points with double faults will be the winner.

I think this will be a fascinating match, but I just have the feeling that Verdasco's week of rest last week will bode well for him and Haase may just see the end of his run of success here in Kitzbuhel. I see the Spaniard winning a tight battle 63, 76.

Marcel Granollers - 2.5 games v Leonardo Mayer: Leonardo Mayer opened up the top section of the draw by taking out the Number 1 seed in the Second Round, but I think he may just have opened the door for someone else to take the Semi Final spot. That someone else is going to be Marcel Granollers who could be a little too consistent in this Quarter Final match.

Granollers has been beaten by Fabio Fognini and Robin Haase in the last two tournaments he has played, both players who went on to the Final in those events, which shows that he is in good form, while he is solely concentrating on the singles this week.

The Spaniard has a decent serve and he is fairly consistent off both wings off the ground. That should give him a good foundation against Leonardo Mayer, who is another player that is very comfortable on the slower surfaces.

This may be the best season that Mayer has had on the Tour since 2009, but it hasn't been a stellar one and he hasn't been in the best form since returning from an injury suffered earlier this season. However, he can string together some very good points and there is a chance that he can steal a set in this one, although Mayer is also someone who can drop his head and drop a set either 61 or 62.

There is every chance he can steal a set in this one, but I like Granollers to come through and reach the Semi Final with a 62, 46, 64 win.

Radek Stepanek - 1.5 games v Dmitry Tursunov: The layers are finding it hard to split these two veterans with the slight edge going to Radek Stepanek and I can't argue with that.

Out of the two players, it is Dmitry Tursunov who has had the better season as he once again becomes a regular on the main Tour, with some early successes moving him back into a decent position in the World Rankings. The Russian was one of the more interesting characters on the Tour a few years ago, but has drifted down the Rankings as poor form and injuries took their toll.

He still possesses a decent first serve that can set up the points and he will be able to get a few cheap points out of it, but he will want to keep the percentage high if he is to win this one. His problem is that Stepanek is very comfortable putting pressure on his opponent by attacking the net and the Czech player, who has had an injury affected season, has served well in his two wins this week.

I am not convinced that Tursunov has the consistency to find enough passes to win this match, although there is the possibility of this going into a deciding set. In my opinion, Stepanek will see enough second serves to get on the front foot and win this one 63, 46, 64.

Jelena Jankovic - 3.5 games v Urszula Radwanska: At this point of her career, Urszula Radwanska is becoming a little more comfortable beating those players she is expected to, but she is yet to make the breakthrough of taking out one of the big names on the WTA Tour.

While Jelena Jankovic isn't the player of a few years ago, she is still a very capable performer on her day and has the ability to put Radwanska under a lot of pressure. The return of serve is one of Jankovic's strengths and I expect her to use that attribute to break serve and the key to this match is whether we see the decent serve Jankovic possesses or the one that she has a problem holding on to.

I do expect a few breaks of serve in the match, but I think Jankovic is still capable of extracting enough errors from Radwanska to come through in straight sets. However, she can be the type of player that throws in a horrible performance when you least expect it so I am hoping we see the performance she is capable of in this match.

Ana Ivanovic - 5.5 games v Coco Vandeweghe: Ana Ivanovic split with Nigel Sears after her shock exit at Wimbledon and I would be surprised if the former French Open Champion and World Number 1 gets back to the very pinnacle of the women's game. She has a big game, but consistency is lacking while she can lose all rhythm in her serve and that puts her under immense pressure with too many unforced errors becoming her downfall.

Playing someone like Coco Vandeweghe could be beneficial as she is another that will look to get on the front foot and her own lack of consistency means she will give Ivanovic a number of free points in this match through her own unforced errors.

Both players are certainly capable of falling away in a match and rapidly reaching the finish line when they are off their game. Neither really strikes me as someone who would have the fightback if things start to go desperately wrong, although I favour Ivanovic in that position more than Vandeweghe.

The Serb has had a number of really surprising losses over the last twelve months, but I think she will be a little too good for Vandeweghe and record a 64, 62 win.

MY PICKS: Juan Monaco - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Fernando Verdasco - 2.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Marcel Granollers - 2.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Radek Stepanek - 1.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Jelena Jankovic - 3.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Ana Ivanovic - 5.5 Games @ 2.03 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 7-7, - 1.54 Units (28 Units Staked, - 5.5% Yield)

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