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Monday, 21 July 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (July 21st)

The month of July has a mixed bag of tournaments, but as we get closer to the end of the month, we begin to see the North American hard court tournaments getting up and running. This week we see the first of the US hard court series events beginning in Atlanta, while in Europe there are two more clay court events with one more to be played next week.

I have made a couple of outright picks from the tournaments taking place over the next seven days which can be read here.

As is the case for much of the events over the course of the season, the layers took their time to get the prices out for the Monday action, while the majority of the tennis matches in the men's events take place in the afternoon in terms of British time.

There should be a few rain delays through the week with the weather forecast calling for wet conditions at all three events in Umag, Gstaad and Atlanta. That can be an issue with the break in momentum that rain delays provide, especially when looking for players to cover any handicaps.

Pablo Carreno-Busta - 3.5 games v Paolo Lorenzi: Neither one of these players have been showing a lot of form in recent weeks, although that wasn't helped by a short move onto the grass courts which isn't a favoured surface.

Both players have proved to be a little too good for the Challenger circuit on clay, but neither Paolo Lorenzi nor Pablo Carreno-Busta have really managed to put that together consistently at the main Tour level.

They did meet a couple of weeks ago in a crushing win for the Spaniard which means he has now won all three previous matches they have had against one another on clay. Paolo Lorenzi didn't serve well in that loss and a similar display would put him under a lot of pressure in this one too, while it can be tough mentally to play someone who you know you haven't beaten on a particular surface despite a number of matches to do so.

The conditions could be slow with all the rain in the area in Umag, but I still think Carreno-Busta is going to be a little too good in a 64, 64 win.

Sam Querrey - 1.5 games v Steve Johnson: A battle between two Americans on the hard courts in Atlanta should be a fascinating match, but I do think Sam Querrey can get the better of Steve Johnson. Both players will likely be looking at the next six weeks as being a huge chance to pick up big ranking points, and both are comfortable on the hard courts.

It has been a poor 2014 season for Querrey who has struggled in too many matches, but he has shown positive signs during the grass court season that he can take forward into the North American hard court swing.

I can see both Querrey and Johnson serving effectively, but I do think that Johnson is a little more erratic off the ground and can give the former American Number 1 player more chances to break serve.

A first set tie-breaker wouldn't surprise, but I do think Querrey comes through 76, 64.

Donald Young v Dudi Sela: I have never felt good about backing someone like Donald Young who can be so up and down with his play, but this match up should be a good one for him on the hard courts.

Of course, Dudi Sela has more competitive tennis played over the last three weeks which may give him an early edge in the match, but he has struggled against Young in their last two matches including a heavy loss at the French Open.

The next six weeks is huge for Young who is up to World Number 70 and with nothing to really defend over the next few weeks where he might be pushing for Wild Card spots into the Masters tournament in Cincinnati.

Young will need to serve well and control the mistakes that can blight his game, but I do think he can move through to the Second Round here and will back him to win the match.

MY PICKS: Pablo Carreno-Busta - 3.5 Games @ 1.85 Betway (2 Units)
Sam Querrey - 1.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Donald Young @ 1.83 Coral (2 Units)

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