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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (July 29th)

It was a mixed start to a new week of events with the two picks going 1-1 on Monday, although I was disappointed with Caroline Garcia who just didn't take the chances that were presented to her.

It could have been better, but it also could have been worse and there is plenty of tennis to come this week so hopefully there will be more positives than negatives. It begins early on Tuesday with the matches in Kitzbuhel and ends very late with the final matches from Stanford and I just hope the little bit of luck lands on my side this week.

Robin Haase - 3.5 games v Paolo Lorenzi: Robin Haase has certainly been one of the happiest men on the Tour to see the return of the ATP Kitzbuhel tournament to the calendar after a three year absence. Since the return, Haase has won this tournament twice and also reached the Semi Final here last season and clearly enjoys the surroundings and the conditions in this part of Austria.

Haase showed signs of form in Gstaad last week where he reached the Semi Final and he should bring in plenty of confidence to this First Round match, although he can't under-estimate Paolo Lorenzi who is very capable on the clay courts.

However, Lorenzi hasn't had a great season on the main Tour and might already be considering a move to the Challenger level where he continues to perform admirably.

Lorenzi can be an awkward opponent and Haase is a player that loses concentration dramatically at times which is a worry for this pick. However, I do believe Haase is very happy in Kitzbuhel and should be too good for Lorenzi in a 64, 64 win.

Juan Monaco - 3.5 games v Andrey Golubev: Last week, Juan Monaco reached the Final in Gstaad and was perhaps unfortunate not to at least push Pablo Andujar into a third set decider when going down in three sets.

Monaco did at least achieve his first aim and that was to move back inside the top 100 in the World Rankings and he will be looking for another strong showing in Kitzbuhel where he was a Finalist a yea ago and so has plenty of points to defend.

It has been a poor 2014 for Monaco, but winning matches should have given him a boost in confidence and I would expect he is too good for Andrey Golubev on a clay court in this First Round match. Golubev has a decent serve, but he struggles for consistency over the long rallies that you need on a clay court and will give his opponent's chances with some of his erratic play.

Unless the last week has taken its toll on Monaco, I expect he can travel to Austria with plenty of motivation to defend his points and should come through 64, 64.

Yen-Hsun Lu - 2.5 games v Lukas Lacko: It was no surprise that Yen-Hsun Lu suffered an early exit in Atlanta after the exploits of winning a Challenger the week before, but this is a time of the year when Lu does produce positive results.

He clearly is a player that enjoys the hard courts and plays at a fairly consistent level, although his serve can be vulnerable as he doesn't win as many cheap points from that shot as some of the other players on the Tour. Lu can't really match the best from the back of the court, but playing someone as erratic as Lukas Lacko could see Lu produce enough consistent tennis to come through.

A couple of years ago, Lacko looked to be a player that could make a real impact on the Tour, but he has struggled for consistency and his own serve isn't the biggest.

Lacko goes through periods of making mistakes and I can see that being the difference in a 63, 76 win for Lu.

Bernard Tomic - 2.5 games v Denis Istomin: After winning the title in Bogota, Bernard Tomic at least moved back inside the top 100 in the World Rankings and has had ten days to get ready for this tournament in Washington.

Winning a title should have given Tomic a boost in confidence after a difficult 2014 so far, but he has virtually nothing to defend over the remaining months of the season and should be able to make significant leaps upwards in the Rankings.

Tomic has a decent serve, but he sometimes can get unbalanced between defence and attack on the court which allows opponents to get into matches, but he is going up against Denis Istomin who is extremely inconsistent, although someone who has had success on the hard courts.

The problem for Istomin is that he has lost all three previous matches against Tomic and that is a mental burden that is likely to play against him in this one. With the recent success in Bogota behind him and a First Round win here, I like Tomic to come through 76, 64.

Benjamin Becker v Blaz Kavcic: Benjamin Becker reached the Semi Final in Atlanta last week, but he will need to be at his best to see of Blaz Kavcic who has had an extremely productive summer, albeit at the Challenger level.

While most players moved onto the grass courts following the French Open, Kavcic has been playing hard court Challenger events and has won three titles, reached the Final of another event and the Semi Final last week. However, that means he has been doing a lot of travelling and has had to move from Kazakhstan to the United States' Capital city in the last few days.

Confidence plays such a huge part on the Tour, but Kavcic has yet to turn that into success onto the main Tour and now plays a player that is also comfortable on this surface.

The recent success Kavcic has had has swayed the layers with the prices, but Becker has the serve to keep himself in a good position in the court and I think his added success at this level plus the tiredness of recent weeks of tennis for Kavcic will lead to the German moving through.

Jeremy Chardy - 2.5 games v Tim Smyczek: Tim Smyczek has a win under his belt here in Washington and has played a lot more tennis than Jeremy Chardy in recent weeks and will look to use that to his advantage in this Second Round match.

However, the American has been vulnerable with his serve not being the biggest and I am a little surprised that Chardy is perhaps being under-estimated by the layers.

Granted, Chardy didn't look great when dismissed by Pablo Cuevas on the clay of Bastad in his last appearance, but Cuevas has shown his form by winning two clay court titles this summer so the defeat is not as bad as it first looked. Chardy is arguably better on the hard courts too with his decent serve and heavy groundstrokes, although he did struggle in this portion of the season in 2013.

As long as the lay off from the Tour hasn't made Chardy completely cold, I think he wins this 76, 63.

MY PICKS: Robin Haase - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Juan Monaco - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Yen-Hsun Lu - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Bernard Tomic - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Benjamin Becker @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Jeremy Chardy - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 1-1, - 0.10 Units (4 Units Staked, - 2.5% Yield)

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