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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (July 30th)

To say I had a miserable Tuesday would be an under-statement... First a friend broke down in the morning which meant I had to take a day off to help them take their car to the garage, except the recovery truck decided to take five hours from the break down to actually picking up the car.

It was a hot day, which only adds to the frustration, as does all the road works in my area meaning any time spent in the car is actually spent in crawling traffic to get to anywhere you want to go.

Just to rub it in, the tennis picks I made on Tuesday decided to have an absolute awful day and I should have known what was coming as soon as Juan Monaco lost the first set 6-0 and so failed to cover the 3.5 games despite winning the remaining two sets 6-2, 6-1.

Chances came and went the rest of the day, but that doesn't hide the fact that some of the picks were just plain poor so I can't put it all down to bad luck.

It was a frustrating day and one that has set me behind the black ball for the week and now I am already looking at limiting the losses with some positives in the remaining days ahead of the Canadian Masters/Premier Event which begins next Monday.

Maximo Gonzalez v Albert Ramos: It has to be accepted that Albert Ramos plays much more tennis on the regular ATP Tour than Maximo Gonzalez, but the latter has won all three previous meetings between the players on the clay courts.

Both players should be full of confidence having come through the qualifiers this week, but Gonzalez has won many more matches than Ramos since the French Open, albeit at the Challenger level while Ramos has been qualifying for main Tour events.

However, Gonzalez had a win over Albert Ramos in a Challenger Final a last month and the confidence of winning matches could stand him in good stead in this one. The win in the First Round may have underlined the belief that Gonzalez is playing with at the moment and he might outlast Ramos in a three set match as the underdog.

Juan Monaco - 3.5 games v Jarkko Nieminen: I am still not sure what happened to Juan Monaco in the opening set of his First Round win over Andrey Golubev, but I expect a much better response in this Second Round match against Jarkko Nieminen.

The veteran Finn had a decent First Round win over Teimuraz Gabashvili coming off his run to the Final in a Challenger event held on clay in his home country last week. Nieminen isn't usually known for his prowess on the clay, especially with a serve that is vulnerable on the faster surfaces, although he does hold the head to head lead over Juan Monaco.

However, it also has to be said that Monaco has won their two meetings on clay and I believe the Argentine can improve that record in this one. He might have needed the first set against Golubev to get himself focused for this tournament after reaching the Final in Gstaad last week, especially as he Monaco has plenty of points to defend.

This should be another close match, but I favour Monaco simply because he should get the better of the long rallies that usually occur on clay courts and I like him to cover the games this time.

Andreas Seppi - 3.5 games v Pere Riba: One of the players that I have regularly backed against this summer, with success for the most part, is Pere Riba and I think he will again find someone a little too good for him at this level.

I expect Riba will be going back to the Challenger circuit to improve confidence and build the belief to get back to winning matches, but the Spaniard has struggled for the consistency to win at the main Tour level.

This match should feature a few breaks of serve as neither has a dominant serve, while the risk in backing Andreas Seppi is his own poor form over the 2014 season. However, the Italian has had the majority of his success on the clay courts even though he has suffered early exits in tournaments this summer.

I can see a tight first set with breaks on both sides, but if Seppi can take that, I expect him to come through 76, 63.

Lukas Rosol - 3.5 games v Andreas Haider-Maurer: The tournament is being played in Austria and should inspire Andreas Haider-Maurer to give more of an effort than he did in Poznan a couple of weeks ago.

He came through the First Round comfortably enough, but now faces Lukas Rosol who has been in decent form this summer, although not quite good enough to reach the real business end of tournaments. Rosol received a bye into the Second Round this week, but he has the game to come into this tournament and really make an impact.

The conditions in Kitzbuhel are usually a little faster than the normal clay courts which should aid Rosol's serve. The Czech player is also in far better form than twelve months ago when he lost ten matches in a row beginning at Queens right through to, and past, the US Open.

As long as Rosol brings in the form of recent weeks, he should be able to mentally hold the edge in this match and Haider-Maurer will hopefully quit as he did a couple of weeks ago.

Philipp Kohlschreiber - 2.5 games v David Goffin: I have quite a few picks from Kitzbuhel already this Wednesday, but I can't ignore the price on Philipp Kohlschreiber winning this match against David Goffin.

The layers have factored in the brilliant run Goffin has been on as he has won three straight Challenger titles on the clay coming into this one and then dominated in his First Round win over Kenny de Schepper, but Philipp Kohlschreiber is a level above the kind of players Goffin has been facing.

Look at the list of the players beaten by Goffin- Kohlschreiber would be a favourite to beat all those names and was in decent form in Hamburg. I also think all the tennis that Goffin has played can catch up with him and I expect the German to level their head to head which currently stands 0-1 to Goffin.

So far in 2014, Goffin hasn't been able to take his form onto the main Tour and I like Kohlschreiber to win 76, 64 in two competitive sets.

Feliciano Lopez - 3.5 games v Victor Estrella: This time last year, Feliciano Lopez was persevering with the clay courts, a surprising decision as far as I am concerned considering the game he puts together on the court.

Lopez has a decent serve and loves to play aggressive tennis which would work best on the faster surfaces and I do believe he will enjoy the conditions in Washington where the surface is playing quick.

The left-hander can keep Victor Estrella under pressure, but the latter has to be respected with his run to the Bogota Semi Final earlier this month as well as the battling display he produced to see off Tobias Kamke in the First Round.

This being Lopez' first match on the hard courts this summer means he might take time to get used to the conditions, but I think Estrella will also give him chances to break serve and I like the Spaniard to win 76, 63.

Milos Raonic - 3.5 games v Jack Sock: Milos Raonic has won the last three matches played between these players since Jack Sock won the first match, and the big Canadian may just be a little too good for the American again.

The Raonic serve should be very effective in Washington, although it has to be remembered that he was beaten in the Third Round here last season and could perhaps be more focused on the Canadian Masters which begins next week.

Raonic has been playing with added aggression on the return of serve too and only needs to get it right for a short period of time to put opponents under pressure. Sock has been in good form though and his own serve will set up the cheap points, but I think the scoreboard pressure may tell as it did last week against John Isner in Atlanta.

Sock has played a lot of tennis in the last week as he keeps up with the Doubles alongside Vasek Pospisil and I do think Raonic can come through 63, 76.

Richard Gasquet - 3.5 games v Dudi Sela: Last week, Dudi Sela got the best of me through the week as he kept digging deep to pick up wins from the jaws of defeat, but I think the match up with Richard Gasquet is not the best one for him.

Sela came through another three setter in the First Round against Samuel Groth and has had a lot of tennis which could have him battle hardened compared with Richard Gasquet who suffered an early loss in the one tournament he has played since Wimbledon.

The match up isn't the best for Sela because Gasquet is very comfortable rallying from the back of the court, but has the real edge when it comes to the serve.

As long as Gasquet serves well, he can make it three wins from three matches against Sela and none of the previous five sets have been closer than 6-4. I expect Gasquet can find a break more in each set to come through 64, 64 in this one.

MY PICKS: Maximo Gonzalez @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Juan Monaco - 3.5 Games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Andreas Seppi - 3.5 Games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Lukas Rosol - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Philipp Kohlschreiber - 2.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Feliciano Lopez - 3.5 Games @ 2.05 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Milos Raonic - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Richard Gasquet - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-6, - 8.40 Units (16 Units Staked, - 52.5% Yield)

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