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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

US Open Day 3 Picks 2014 (August 27th)

The US Open concludes some of the First Round matches that are still to be played on the third day of the tournament and I remain a little baffled by the decision to split this round over three days.

It makes so little sense to me, especially if the rain plays havoc on the schedule, but this year has seen some beautiful weather to open Flushing Meadows.

The hold over of some First Round matches and the start of the Second Round means another full schedule on Wednesday as the final Grand Slam tournament of the season really gets underway.

Kevin Anderson - 6.5 games v Pablo Cuevas: In normal circumstances, this would be a very big number for Kevin Anderson to cover, but I think the big South African will get the better of Pablo Cuevas fairly comfortably in this First Round match.

Anderson has a big serve and heavy groundstrokes that make him very dangerous on the hard courts, although his form can be described as inconsistent at best over the North American hard court swing this summer.

However, he is playing an opponent who hasn't played a single hard court tournament in 2014. In fact, Cuevas has played one tournament away from the clay courts this season and was subsequently dismissed in straight sets by Radek Stepanek at Wimbledon.

I am not sure how much belief Cuevas brings into the match on the surface and this looks like a fairly straight-forward 63, 64, 64 win for Anderson.

Feliciano Lopez - 1.5 sets v Ivan Dodig: The key to this match is determining which Feliciano Lopez is going to turn up, especially as he has a 1-2 record against Ivan Dodig including a straights set loss in Barcelona on the clay earlier this season.

Unlike a lot of Spaniards, Lopez is actually more comfortable off the slower clay courts with his serve becoming more of a weapon and he can also open up for aggressive forehands. His weakness has always been the lack of a decent backhand with an over-reliance on the slice, a shot that won't ever really scare opponents.

I can also understand why Dodig has the winning record between the pair as he also has a decent serve and the aggressive play off both wings to cause problems. The match may simply come down to which of these guys is capable of dictating points the best, while Lopez can also point to a few more wins over the summer during this hard court swing.

I can see the match having a couple of key tie-breakers in the middle of the match that could determine the winner, but I do think Lopez has shown enough form since the French Open to get through in four sets at least.

Marin Cilic - 5.5 games v Marcos Baghdatis: You can perhaps argue that Marin Cilic has had his most consistent success at the US Open and the Croatian can come through a tough opening Round to give himself some momentum going forward.

Cilic has won the most matches at the Australian Open, but has also had two more appearances there than at Flushing Meadows, while this is the only Grand Slam where Cilic has reached two Quarter Finals.

He missed out last season so he can really boost his Ranking with another strong showing and I think he has too much in the locker for a Marcos Baghdatis who has won back to back Challenger titles. These two players met at Wimbledon where it was surprisingly straight-forward for Cilic who has won 4 of the last 5 matches they have competed against one another.

Baghdatis can certainly get a lot of momentum behind himself to cause a lot of problems, but I wouldn't be surprised if Marin Cilic wins this 76, 64, 67, 62.

Grigor Dimitrov - 7.5 games v Ryan Harrison: Grigor Dimitrov will be one of the latest players to get his US Open underway and I think he can prove to be too good for American Ryan Harrison again at this level following a win over him at Wimbledon.

There is no doubt that Harrison will be given a lot of support from the locals and he has a decent serve and shot-making skills that could see him rattle through games. However, there will be pressure with the home expectation and Harrison has had a tough 2014 in general.

Harrison also hasn't had a lot of tennis this summer and I do wonder how mentally ready he is for a best of five set match- that could lead to him perhaps losing his focus if he falls behind and Dimitrov may be able to take control of the match.

The Bulgarian may have expected more from the summer hard court swing as he looks to finish in a position to play at the ATP World Tour Finals, but I think he moves through this First Round match with a 75, 63, 63 win.

MY PICKS: Kevin Anderson - 6.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Feliciano Lopez - 1.5 Sets @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Marin Cilic - 5.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Grigor Dimitrov - 7.5 Games @ 2.25 Pinnacle (2 Units)

US Open Update: 0-2, - 4 Units (4 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)

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