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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (February 5th)

Thanks to the tube strike in London, I have a day where I can actually watch some of the tennis being played at the events in Montpellier, Zagreb and Vina Del Mar, although I hope the players I pick can put in a better effort than they did in the two losing efforts on Tuesday.

It was a strange day considering Kenny de Schepper seemingly dominated the first two sets of his match but couldn't put it away in the tie-breaker in the second set before going down in a close three set loss. Michael Llodra was another disappointment with a laissez-faire attitude in his loss to Marc Gicquel despite creating more chances in the match to break serve.

These things happen at times and there isn't a lot you can do about it, even if the markets for Vina Del Mar came out a little too late and there was at least two players there I would have recommended. Hindsight is 20-20 though and I will hope this Wednesday produces better results in what has been a very mixed start to the 2014 season.

Jan Hajek v Daniel Evans: I don't particularly rate Jan Hajek as a top quality player on the Tour, but I have no idea why he is considered the underdog in this First Round match against Daniel Evans so I have to have a small interest in the Czech player.

Hajek is most comfortable on the clay courts, but he did reach the Quarter Final in Montpellier last season having won back to back matches as the underdog and his experience will make life difficult for Evans.

The run to the Third Round at the US Open was Evans' big breakthrough on the Tour last season after he had enjoyed some success in the Davis Cup ties for Great Britain. However, he is only in the main draw in Zagreb after earning a 'Lucky Loser' spot when he lost in the final round of qualifying as the favourite.

Evans has qualified for the event here before and was beaten in the First Round, and he has lost a number of matches he was expected to win over the last few months since the US Open run. He might not have anything to lose having already 'lost' in the qualifiers, but I think Hajek may just have a little too much know-how and come through in three sets.

Andrey Golubev - 1.5 games v Victor Hanescu: This is a First Round match that should give the edge to Andrey Golubev in the contest, especially with some confidence boosting wins in the Davis Cup that led Kazakhstan to the Quarter Finals of that tournament.

Out of the two players, Golubev has shown much more comfort on the faster indoor hard court surfaces than Victor Hanescu who favours the clay courts despite having a decent serve himself. I think the movement issues of Hanescu are most exposed on the faster surfaces where the ball travels through the court and I am also unsurprised that these two have split their two previous matches with Golubev winning on the indoor hard court and Hansecu winning on clay.

Hanescu also lost both Davis Cup rubbers on an indoor hard court over the weekend in contrast to Golubev winning his two rubbers.

There is likely to be decent serving on both sides of the court in this one, but I think Golubev proves to be a little too good at the critical moments and move through 76, 64.

Christian Garin + 4.5 games v Jeremy Chardy: This is a repeat of a match played at this tournament last season with local hope Christian Garin taking on one of the seeded players this week in Jeremy Chardy.

Garin is still only seventeen, but he showed a decent serve and forehand when pushing Chardy the distance last season, although the pressure of the Frenchman ended up being too much as the match developed a year ago. However, Garin will be growing and should be stronger this time around although perhaps not quite ready to cause an upset.

We know what to expect from Chardy as he has a pretty solid game all around and I expect that is going to be what separates the players at the end of the match as his level won't fluctuate as much as Garin's will. The youngster may be still developing his game, but the home crowd may help him make this one a little closer than last season and I will take the games on offer.

MY PICKS: Jan Hajek @ 2.33 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Andrey Golubev - 1.5 Games @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Christian Garin + 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 0-2, - 4 Units (4 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)

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