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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Tennis Picks 2014 (July 8th)

The first couple of days at the end of a Grand Slam are always a good time for reflection for players and people making new picks for the new game being played this week. I did put up my outright picks for the week on Monday, although these picks are the first from the matches that are to be played this week.

You can read my outright picks here.


The first Monday of these tournaments usually see limited main draw action as the organisers look to get the qualifiers all completed and that was the case yesterday. Even the few matches that intrigued me didn't sit well with the numbers I had so it made little sense to make picks for the sole reason to make picks.

At the end of the day, this is all about showing a winning performance at the end of the year and only backing matches that makes me comfortable. The last thing you want to be thinking is that you pushed in looking for a pick that didn't have a chance and thus regretting that action.


Ryan Harrison + 3.5 games v Lleyton Hewitt: This doesn't feel like a lot of games at first glance, but Ryan Harrison has the capabilities to win this match outright and so backing the American with the games in hand looks the best way to get into  this week.

Harrison has a decent serve and can play some effective tennis, although the weaknesses are glaring- he seems to get down on himself very quickly, while inconsistencies from the back of the court can lead to a host of errors.

Coming up against a grass court player with the capabilities of Lleyton Hewitt makes this a tougher match, but the veteran Australian is not the force of old. Hewitt has enjoyed his time on the courts in Newport in recent years, but is coming in off unimpressive runs at Queens and Wimbledon and it feels his time is coming to a close.

I can understand the layers still keeping him onside in this match, but I wouldn't be surprised to see this go three sets and Harrison should be able to stay within the number if that happens.


Jack Sock - 2.5 games v Alex Kuznetsov: The fear in backing Jack Sock is that he may have been partying it up the last couple of days after joining Vasek Pospisil in winning the Men's Doubles title at Wimbledon.

Sock has some real expectations to move up the Rankings as a Singles player, but had to settle for another early exit in a Grand Slam tournament. However, the American can now enjoy the next two months back on home soil, for the most part, in preparation for the US Open which begins in six weeks time.

Outside of the Doubles success last week, Sock hasn't really had the best of success on the grass courts. The confidence he gained in winning a Grand Slam title should help and facing Alex Kuznetsov gives him a real chance to move into the Second Round.

I have to respect Kuznetsov for qualifying for Wimbledon again this year and also for reaching the Second Round here last season after coming through two qualifiers, but Sock should still be too good for him. As I said in the opening paragraph, coming off a huge surprise win at Wimbledon is the biggest concern in backing Sock in my opinion.


Tim Smyczek - 2.5 games v Austin Krajicek: These two players meet for the fourth time on the Tour, but are likely to have faced one another many times before so I don't think there will be a lot of the unknown to factor into the match.

It has been Tim Smyczek who has dominated previous matches with three straight wins including earlier this season, albeit all of those coming on the hard courts.

He spent a week in Winnetka on the hard courts after failing to qualify for Wimbledon when falling at the final hurdle. That is where Austin Krajicek can look to use his experience of the current conditions having won two qualifiers to reach the First Round in Newport, although Krajicek had lost three straight matches on the grass in England before these wins.

Smyczek has had more control of his service games in previous matches against Krajicek and that is likely to provide the difference again in a 64, 64 win.

MY PICKS: Ryan Harrison + 3.5 Games @ 1.95 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Jack Sock - 2.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Tim Smyczek - 2.5 Games @ 1.75 Pinnacle (2 Units)

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