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Friday, 13 June 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (June 13th)

I could have been forgiving for mistaking yesterday with Friday the 13th with some of the terrible luck that afflicted the picks and this is shaping up to me the worst week of the season bar another three day turn around.

You know, I generally step back and take a look at myself when picks go south, but on Thursday, I tweeted fairly early on that I had a feeling it was going to be one of those days when the little luck I need is not going to be on my side.

The Sloane Stephens pick was disappointing in the fact that she won a set 61 yet still couldn't cover what is a relative low handicap mark, but it was the action at Queens that really sickened me.

Tomas Berdych and Kevin Anderson had a boatload of chances in their matches which would have seen them cover the handicap marks with a plenty of room to spare if they had taken them. To make matters worse, they couldn't prevent their opponents from taking the limited chances they manufactured and that is highlighted by this statistic: Berdych/Anderson had 30 bp chances in the first two sets of their matches, but could only take 4 chances; on the other hand, their opponents had 5 bp chances and took 3 of those chances to prevent what should have been easy wins.

It kept going- Grigor Dimitrov served to complete a 63 first set win, but was broken at that point and ended up with a 76, 64 win meaning he missed the cover by half a game.

Don't get me wrong though, there were a couple of poor picks, but those three should have all won which would have prevented a disastrous day taking place and I was extremely frustrated when I was watching the limited tennis I did on Thursday.

So the only good thing to come out of Thursday was Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer both moving into the Quarter Finals as a couple of my outright picks, but the way the week has gone, I am not going to go anywhere near counting my chickens with those two players.

The worst feeling is like I had on Thursday when you know you are on the right players, but little things don't go your way which leads to a poor record for the week. My only hope is that I have hit rock bottom when it comes to poor luck as well as the poor decisions I have made, and the last three days of the week changes the game.

Roger Federer - 4.5 games v Yen-Hsun Lu: The final Quarter Final to be played in Halle is the only one that interests me on Friday as Roger Federer is back in action against Yen-Hsun Lu, the latter who surprised Ivo Karlovic in the Second Round.

Federer had to work much harder than expected to beat Joao Sousa in the Second Round match on Thursday, but he created plenty of chances to break serve and admitted that he took a little time to really get his eye in when it came to return of serve.

He'll need to be better with any chances he gets against Lu who has a decent serve and groundies that makes him a tough player to break on the grass courts. Lu has a decent punch, but he has already played five straight tie-breakers this week and that can take a toll on a physical and mental level, especially when going up against someone as good as Federer can be.

There might not be a lot of chances for Federer, but he should still have enough in the locker to come through 63, 75 in this Quarter Final.

Tomas Berdych - 2.5 games v Feliciano Lopez: These two players have had plenty of competitive matches in the past and this could be another one when they meet in the Quarter Final at Queens Club. The exit of Andy Murray will make both Feliciano Lopez and Tomas Berdych confident they can go all the way to the title if they can negotiate what looks the toughest match they could potentially play before Sunday.

You do have to feel that Lopez will be the more confident on the grass courts of the two players, especially if Berdych is as generous at break points as he was on Thursday, while the slice can make life difficult for Berdych.

However, Berdych's big serve was walking effectively for much of his Third Round win over Adrian Mannarino and I can see him having a little more joy forcing Lopez backwards on the Spaniard's service games.

The first set is likely to end in a tie-break and that is going to be critical to the outcome of this match- if Berdych can play those big points well, he could come through 76, 64.

Grigor Dimitrov - 2.5 games v Alexandr Dolgopolov: Alexandr Dolgopolov has quietly made his way through to the Quarter Final and has the game that can be very effective on the grass courts if he is bringing his top game to the court.

However, that isn't always the case with Dolgopolov who can sometimes give his opponents too much of an opportunity to break serve with a low percentage of first serves being put into play. If Dolgopolov does that in this match, Grigor Dimitrov will have a real chance to move through to another Semi Final at Queens having done the same thing in 2012.

Dimitrov has had a couple of lapses of concentration on his own serve during the week, but has generally served effectively and been able to use his slice and heavier groundstrokes to dictate points. He also has a decent serve and the way he approaches the game makes him very effective on the grass courts.

I can see the match going three sets to be honest, but Dolgopolov can collapse in matches at times when he falls behind and I like Dimitrov to come through 64, 46, 63.

Stan Wawrinka - 3.5 games v Marinko Matosevic: I personally expected either Marin Cilic or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to be competing in the Quarter Final from this part of the draw, but it was Marinko Matosevic who has seen off both of those players and now will be looking to take out the Number 1 Seed in the draw.

It has been an impressive run for the Australian to this point after winning his first Grand Slam match at Roland Garros last month, but he might be facing the toughest challenge of the week against an in-form Stan Wawrinka.

The Swiss Australian Open Champion dismissed Sam Querrey while barely breaking a sweat on Thursday in the Third Round which was the only match he has needed to win to reach the Quarter Final. He received a victory through a retirement for Marcos Baghdatis before that, but the performance on Thursday suggests Wawrinka will be too tough for Matosevic to handle if he gets close to that form again.

Wawrinka can serve very big and he has enough aggression in his return game to benefit from the second serves that he may see and I think he will come through with a 64, 64 win.

Sloane Stephens - 3.5 games v Shuai Zhang: I do sometimes get a little irritated with the attitude that Sloane Stephens shows on court as her body language can only be an inspiration to her opponent. There is also a different approach to matches in the lower tournaments on the Tour compared with the success the American has had in the Grand Slams and it still says a lot that Stephens has yet to reach a Final since turning professional.

This match at least gives her a chance to take another step towards that as I would expect the power to be a little too much for Shuai Zhang, especially if their previous two meetings are anything to go by.

Stephens has dominated those without losing a set and I do think she is the more likely winner, although her lack of concentration at times makes her matches harder than they need to be. That was the case against Alison Riske on Thursday, but I would expect more from Stephens in this match and like her to come through 75, 63.

MY PICKS: Roger Federer - 4.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych - 2.5 Games @ 1.92 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Grigor Dimitrov - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Stan Wawrinka - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Sloane Stephens - 3.5 Games @ 1.75 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 7-15, - 16.28 Units (44 Units Staked, - 37% Yield)

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