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Thursday, 19 June 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (June 19th)

The Wimbledon draw is only a day away now after the seedings were announced and there weren't any surprises that the likes of Andy Murray were moved up from their current World Ranking. Wimbledon is the only Slam that takes surface results into consideration and that also meant Novak Djokovic, despite losing the French Open Final, will be at the top of the draw and Rafael Nadal, the current World Number 1, is going to be the Number 2 Seed.

Djokovic admitted his surprise at that change between the two top players in the world, but it made sense when considering the recent grass court success of the two players- Rafael Nadal hasn't made a strong run at Wimbledon since 2011 and has been beaten in the Second Round in 2012 and the First Round last season so his recent performances on grass cost him the top Seed.

Andy Murray's move up the seeding wasn't a real surprise considering he has arguably been the best grass court player over the last two years, and it could be a key to whether he can defend the Wimbledon title he won twelve months ago. Instead of having to face possibly three out of Stan Wawrinka/Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic/Rafael Nadal, the Number 3 Seed gives Murray the opportunity to move through the draw with one less major obstacle to beat if the seedings hold up.

It has been another tough week for the picks and I am not sure what has gone wrong to be honest- I have felt a little exhausted seeing results going the wrong way, and it has been a ridiculously poor seven days with bad breaks coupled with bad breaks. Every time I have felt I have hit a low, another day goes by with another loss and I am at pains to work it out.

The tournaments in Eastbourne and Hertogenbosch have both reached the Quarter Final round as players begin to look towards the next Grand Slam of the season, although the majority of names left in the draws are unlikely to be major threats next week.

Sam Querrey v Julien Benneteau: Sam Querrey has fallen far from his best over the last twelve months, but the grass courts have usually been where he has had success and I can see him progressing to the Semi Final.

He is facing the always tough Julien Benneteau who has given Roger Federer all he can handle on the surface and has the solid game that could pose plenty of problems for Querrey if the American is not on his game.

Querrey's serve should give him some easier points of the two players, but the conditions in Eastbourne are not as warm as in London last week so he will need to do more than simply relying on a big serve. However, he should get a few opportunities to break serve if the scoreboard pressure pays off, but Querrey hasn't been a source of reliance when it comes to winning matches.

In saying that, I don't think he should be the underdog in this match and I will back him to win in possibly three sets.

Jeremy Chardy v Feliciano Lopez: Credit to Feliciano Lopez for battling through his Second Round match against Tobias Kamke, but it was a long match for the defending Champion at Eastbourne as he comes off the success of reaching the Final at Queens last week. Coming off a long week and with Wimbledon coming up fast, there is every chance that someone like Jeremy Chardy could take away whatever Lopez has left in the tank.

Tiredness has to be a factor while Jeremy Chardy has a decent serve and the groundstrokes to be a tough competitor to play on the faster surfaces including the grass courts.

If the Frenchman can serve well, Chardy will put a lot of pressure on Lopez who has to be feeling things physically and mentally after his recent exertions. He is a very strong grass court player, but the week has to take its toll eventually and I do think Chardy is in a position to take advantage.

Chardy has to find a way to push this match into a third set at the very least as that could be enough to see him through against a player that begins to feel all the tennis he has played and I think the Frenchman can come through.

Nicolas Mahut v Roberto Bautista-Agut: Nicolas Mahut is the defending Champion in Hertogenbosch and he can take another step towards winning the title again here if he can get past Roberto Bautista-Agut.

The dying art of the serve-volley is still the staple of Mahut's game and it works very effectively on the grass courts when the Frenchman really comes into his own. He should be able to keep the pressure on Bautista-Agut who is able to defend very well, but could be under the cosh as he tries to pass Mahut at the net and also to ensure that he isn't on the front foot in the match.

Bautista-Agut has had a couple of good wins already this week, but hasn't had a lot of success on the grass courts and doesn't have the big shot to quickly end the points on this kind of surface.

I do believe Mahut has enough to keep Bautista-Agut concentrating on what he is doing rather than letting the Spaniard play his own game and that might be enough for Mahut to come through.

Camila Giorgi + 3.5 games v Caroline Wozniacki: There has been a couple of good wins put into the books by Caroline Wozniacki who may just have needed the early exit at Roland Garros so she could get away and recharge the batteries.

The break up with Rory McIlroy had brought a lot of unwanted media attention while Wozniacki also had a lingering knee injury to deal with, but her wins over Sam Stosur and Sloane Stephens would have built some confidence.

Now she takes on Camila Giorgi who backed up her win over Victoria Azarenka by coming from a set behind to beat British Number 3 Johanna Konta in the Second Round. Giorgi has a big game, although her serve can let her down when she goes for too much and that leads to double faults and mistakes in her game.

Giorgi will attack the Wozniacki serve and I think she will earn breaks in this one and will win the match if she can keep her composure behind her own serve. The grass courts seem to work with the Giorgi game and I do think she can be inspired taking on the big names of the WTA Tour and I expect this to go three sets which should lead to the young Italian covering.

MY PICKS: Sam Querrey @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Jeremy Chardy @ 2.33 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Nicolas Mahut @ 1.80 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Camila Giorgi + 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 3-8, - 11.04 Units (22 Units Staked, - 50.18% Yield)

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