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Monday, 14 July 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (July 14th)

A number of new tournaments begin this Monday, but I have only made one outright pick from the event being held in Bogota which can be read here.

Andrey Golubev v Benoit Paire: Andrey Golubev is one of the more erratic players on the Tour which makes him a dangerous player to back, but I do think he will get the better of Benoit Paire.

Confidence has to be low for Paire considering he has lost nine of his last ten matches and he had a poor time on the clay courts earlier this season. There was no improvement with another loss in Stuttgart last week and he faces a player in Golubev that at least got to a Semi Final on the clay a couple of weeks ago, albeit on the Challenger level.

At this level of tennis, confidence does play a huge part in matches and Paire has lost a lot recently which can be a tough trend to break. I don't like some aspects of Golubev's game on the clay where his mistakes can be exposed, but I do think he can use a big first serve to set himself up for a win.

It might take three sets, but Golubev may just hold his nerve better and move through to the Second Round.

Albert Montanes - 2.5 games v Gastao Elias: This has been a down year for the veteran Albert Montanes, but he was a little unfortunate to lose in the First Round last week and I still think there is enough in the tank to beat this qualifier.

Gastao Elias has played well on the Challenger circuit having reached the Final in two tournaments on the clay courts and he has won two matches to reach the First Round proper which will make him dangerous.

However, Elias has struggled at this level and the veteran Albert Montanes can at least give him something to think about. Montanes will have to play better than he has in his recent matches as he has three losses in a row, but it certainly looks like the Spaniard is going to slip down the Rankings.

Even with that in mind, Montanes has the know-how to win a match like this and I would expect him to come through 75, 64 after a few breaks of serve for both players.

Jarkko Nieminen - 2.5 games v Tobias Kamke: Jarkko Nieminen has won all four previous matches against Tobias Kamke, but it is just a quirk of the scheduling that all but one of those wins have come at the same tournament in Stockholm over the last few years.

Neither player has a dominant record on the clay courts which makes this a closer match to call than the odds may suggest, but I do think Nieminen can cause problems for Kamke.

The home crowd may give Kamke the support he needs to cause a surprise win, but I think Nieminen has the more effective serve that should help him hold serve more times than the German.

Another match that may need to go the distance to produce a winner, I like Nieminen to win 63, 36, 63.

Klara Koukalova - 3.5 games v Donna Vekic: It is a strange scheduling decision for Klara Koukalova to move from the grass courts to the clay courts for one tournament before heading to Istanbul for this hard court event.

However, Koukalova took an early loss last week and will have had time to get to Turkey and accustomed to the courts, while she will take further confidence from beating Donna Vekic on the hard courts twice already this season.

Koukalova has won all four sets they have competed in that time and she certainly has the return game to make life awkward for Vekic, although she will also need to serve effectively if she is to win this match.

Both players have shown decent hard court form in 2014 and both may feel the next two months are an important time to build points, but I think Koukalova may have the mental edge to come through in two tight sets.

MY PICKS: Andrey Golubev @ 1.83 Stan James (2 Units)
Albert Montanes - 2.5 Games @ 1.81 Unitbet (2 Units)
Jarkko Nieminen - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet365 (2 Units)
Klara Koukalova - 3.5 Games @ 1.95 Unitbet (2 Units)

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