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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

US Open Day 2 Picks 2014 (August 26th)

Coming into the US Open, it was a long week for myself with a close family wedding to attend and that meant a lot of drinking and partying!

It also meant that I knew Day One picks from the final Grand Slam event of the season were not going to be possible, although I usually make a slow start into these events.

The euphoria of the last few days has left an almost empty feeling as things begin to settle down and it has really made me appreciate the mental toughness that the top players on both Tours have to display on a weekly basis.

It also highlights the difficulty for players like Stan Wawrinka who have struggled to back up 'breakthroughs' on the main Tour, while others like Sloane Stephens and Eugenie Bouchard don't perform half as well away from the Grand Slams as they have in the big, eye-catching tournaments.

You just feel flat after a busy and exciting time and while the tennis players are at a much higher level of stress and invest a lot more emotionally, this last week has given me a small idea of how difficult it is for those outside of the very biggest names on the Tour.

Yen-Hsun Lu - 1.5 sets v Guillermo Garcia-Lopez: The early week of a Grand Slam means there are a lot of matches being played, but a lot of them are considered 'mismatches' so it can be hard to find the picks that I am comfortable with.

The first one I will make this week is Yen-Hsun Lu to beat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez by three or four sets in their First Round clash.

Neither player will be considered a threat to win this Grand Slam, but Lu has been showing a little more consistency than his Spanish opponent, although both strung together some wins at Winston Salem last week.

That snapped a run of five consecutive losses for Garcia-Lopez and I don't know if he will still have the belief that he is capable of winning a match against a solid, if unspectacular, opponent like Lu. Garcia-Lopez has won two of their three previous meetings, but they haven't met in five years and Lu's recent form suggests he can get the better of the Spaniard on Tuesday.

Adrian Mannarino - 7.5 games v Pere Riba: I don't think it is ever easy to feel comfortable when you are backing someone like Adrian Mannarino, a player whose serve can be a huge weakness. However, I expect he will get joy when trying to break the Pere Riba serve too so this is a match the Frenchman will definitely expect himself to win comfortably.

The two players met at Wimbledon a couple of months ago in a routine win for Mannarino, although the latter needed five tough sets to see off Riba here at the US Open in 2010.

Riba just doesn't play a lot of tennis on the hard courts and Mannarino recently won a Challenger title on the surface so the edge here should be on the Frenchman's side. He protected his serve very well in beating Riba at Wimbledon and I do think he is likely to dominate this match.

As long as Mannarino doesn't decide to play too many loose service games, a 63, 64, 63 win is certainly on the cards.

MY PICKS: Yen-Hsun Lu - 1.5 Sets @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Adrian Mannarino - 7.5 Games @ 2.14 Pinnacle (2 Units)

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