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World Cup Final 2018 Pick- France vs Croatia (July 15th)

I can't believe a month at the World Cup is about o come to a close on Sunday and I have to say the tournament has been about as good as...

Friday, 25 July 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (July 25th)

A tough week shows little sign of recovery as we reach the Quarter Final stage of the various tournaments taking place, but hopefully the outright picks can remain active and get into the winning enclosure this week.

I've not quite got the right grip on the week, but the last few days can still end the week on a high.

Mikhail Youzhny - 3.5 games v Robin Haase: Robin Haase needed three sets to see off the first two opponents he has played this week and that could have built some confidence in a tournament he has enjoyed playing in the past.

However, I think he is still having too many lapses in concentration that will give Mikhail Youzhny a chance to win the match and get back to winning ways against the Dutchman. Youzhny had won five in a row against Haase, but it was the latter that won their sole meeting earlier this season, also on the clay.

They met in the Final here twelve months ago which ended with a straight sets win for Youzhny and I do believe the Russian still plays at a more consistent level than Haase. The latter can certainly raise his level at times and that might be enough to see off Youzhny, but I don't think he has been playing well enough to find that in this Quarter Final.

Both players will be desperate to advance with the points to defend from last season, but I believe it will be Youzhny who manages to do that with a 64, 64 win.

Pablo Andujar v Marcel Granollers: This is essentially a pick 'em contest in the Quarter Final, but I think Pablo Andujar should have been a strong favourite to win the match.

2014 has been a tough season for Marcel Granollers who has suffered a number of early losses and may also be concerning himself about defending his title in Kitzbuhel next week.

He has also lost three of the last four matches against his compatriot on the clay and Pablo Andujar should have a lot of confidence from reaching the Quarter Final in Hamburg last week. Andujar is also in line to have his most wins on the Tour since 2011 and may just win the big points in this one to lead to the win.

I wouldn't be surprised to see these two needing three sets to decide the winner, but I believe Pablo Andujar comes through for a place in the Semi Final.

Pablo Cuevas - 3.5 games v Teimuraz Gabashvili: In his current form, Pablo Cuevas is making leaps in the World Rankings which will help him gain automatic entrance into ATP 250 draws and not have to go through the qualifiers as he did this week.

Following his title win in Bastad, Cuevas has been dominant on the clay through the week, bar the First Round match, and he crushed Andreas Seppi in the Second Round to reach this Quarter Final.

He should be presented with more of a challenge from Teimuraz Gabashvili who has a couple of decent wins under his belt this week too, although that also saw him snap a run of three consecutive defeats. Gabashvili hasn't had a lot of success on the clay in the past, especially not on the main Tour, but he pushed Rafael Nadal and beat David Ferrer earlier this season which must have upped the belief.

However, Cuevas is playing so well at the moment that it is hard to see his run come to an end here and I believe the Uruguayan wins 64, 64.

Tommy Robredo - 3.5 games v Pablo Carreno-Busta: It hasn't been a great 2014 on the clay for Tommy Robredo as he is barely over 50% in winning percentage on the surface and his biggest problems have usually come in the 'lesser' tournaments.

However, he picked up a decent win against Albert Ramos in the Second Round and now plays another compatriot in Pablo Carreno-Busta who was the beneficiary of a Carlos Berlocq withdrawal.

This will be the third meeting between the players this season, all on clay courts, and Robredo has won the previous two in straight sets and I think he is more than capable of doing the same again in this Quarter Final.

Carreno-Busta will have to serve better than he did in his First Round match to give himself a chance, but I expect Robredo to grind him down and take a 64, 64 win through to the Semi Final.

Fabio Fognini - 4.5 games v Borna Coric: Borna Coric became the latest teenager to make an impact on the Tour this summer following the exploits of Alexander Zverev, but I think his run will be coming to an end against Fabio Fognini.

Of course the Italian is hardly the most trustworthy of players with his tendency to raise his game and also lower it depending on which side of the bed he got up. Fognini was a dominant winner over Albert Montanes after coming through a tight first set and he has the veteran experience and the defensive skills to frustrate Coric and eventually wear him down.

The next big Croatian tennis hope has had two impressive wins this week so can't be under-estimated in a sport where confidence plays a huge part in performances. He'll believe he can win this match and will be capable of doing so if 'bad Fognini' takes to the court.

The points that Fognini is defending this summer should focus him, in theory at least, and I do think he has the clay court nous to do enough to win this match. Fognini should prove a little too good in a 63, 64 win.

John Isner - 2.5 games v Marinko Matosevic: John Isner did not serve that well yesterday in his win over Robby Ginepri, but he did create plenty of break point chances in his three set win over his compatriot. Those sets should also have him plugged in to the tournament in Atlanta as he gets set to take on Marinko Matosevic.

Matosevic came through in straight sets yesterday, but he really didn't protect serve well with four breaks given up in the two sets. His erratic play can make him vulnerable, particularly as he gets into the net with his volleying still needing work.

This is all the case of whether Isner can get enough balls back into play and force a few errors from the Matosevic racquet- if he can do that, I would expect his serve to begin to frustrate the Australian and this to be a little more routine than his win over him on the clay of Madrid three months ago.

The serve will always be the key for Isner- if it is working from the beginning, I would expect him to come through 76, 64.

Vasek Pospisil - 1.5 games v Dudi Sela: I was a little surprised that these players are being considered as almost level pegging in the market, although Vasek Pospisil has struggled during 2014 in playing at the main Tour level regularly.

That will have taken away some of the confidence he built twelve months ago which saw him reach the Semi Final of the Montreal Masters and Pospisil could be taking a significant fall back down the Rankings with the Canadian Masters fast approaching.

It makes it important for him to start winning matches again and I do think the match up with Dudi Sela will suit him- while Sela is a decent returner, Pospisil has the serve to keep him on the back foot and will create chances to break serve.

They did play a titanic Davis Cup tie three years ago that was decided in a fifth set and it wouldn't surprise if there is a decider in this one, but Pospisil should have the bigger shots to come through 64, 36, 63.

MY PICKS: Mikhail Youzhny - 3.5 Games @ 1.83 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Pablo Andujar @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Pablo Cuevas - 3.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Tommy Robredo - 3.5 Games @ 1.90 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Fabio Fognini - 4.5 Games @ 1.95 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
John Isner - 2.5 Games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Vasek Pospisil - 1.5 Games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 7-10, - 7.10 Units (34 Units Staked, - 20.88% Yield)

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