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Sunday, 18 January 2015

Australian Open Day 1 Picks 2015 (January 19th)

The first Grand Slam tournament of the season is where I am going to begin my season and look for a another winning year from the tennis picks. I have made some outright picks from the Australian Open which can be read here.

I have also highlighted my reasons for beginning the season here and avoiding making picks from the first two weeks in a bid to improve the success of the overall record. Hopefully that will pay off over the next two weeks beginning with the picks from the opening day of the tournament.

Andreas Seppi-Denis Istomin Over 40.5 Total Games: These two players are very similar to one another in the fact that both can play some lacklustre games on serve which gives opponents the chance to take control of matches, while both are pretty solid players from the baseline when rallies develop.

Neither Andreas Seppi nor Denis Istomin are ever likely to become players that will threaten to win a Grand Slam title, but they are two solid pros that deserve respect. The manner of their style of play has seen the players produce four close matches against one another under the best of five set conditions and all of those matches have gone the distance.

Between Wimbledon 2012 and the US Open 2013, Seppi and Istomin split four Grand Slam matches 2-2 and the last two of those matches saw the eventual winner first blow a two set lead. I can imagine this match being another grind it out one which could potentially see this number of games overcome as long as it goes four sets at least, while the early form of both players makes this another five set possibility.

It was Seppi that won their meeting at Melbourne Park in 2013, but that match saw the first four sets end either 75 or 76 and something similar could potentially be in the making.

Lukas Rosol v Kenny de Schepper: There is no doubt that Lukas Rosol is one of the most frustrating players to back on the ATP Tour because he can produce some absolute rubbish on the court and lose to players he has no right to.

On other days Rosol is virtually unplayable and I do hope he brings that form more than the rubbish in this one because I do think the Czech player is a big price to overcome the limited Kenny de Schepper.

Don't get me wrong- de Schepper has a huge serve which can be a very good weapon for a one dimensional player, but Rosol should be able to get enough balls back in play which could pay dividends in the tie-break. It is more about whether Rosol copes with the mental side of the game and avoid getting frustrated by watching aces zip past him, which will happen at times, while Rosol can't afford the sloppy service games he can be guilty of throwing in.

Rosol should get help from de Schepper in that regards and I expect him to win this match against the big man.

Tommy Robredo - 5.5 games v Eduoard Roger-Vasselin: You can't always tell when a players age will get the better of them, but the veteran Tommy Robredo has shown little sign he is looking forward to his retirement. Injuries earlier in his career may mean he doesn't have as many miles on the clock as someone of his age should, and the Spaniard will be expecting to have another strong showing at a Grand Slam, even off his favoured clay courts.

It has only been a few months since Robredo comfortably beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin at the US Open in three straight sets and I believe this will end up in a similar 64, 63, 64 score that came at that event.

This is the first match that Robredo would have played this season which would be a concern, but Roger-Vasselin hasn't shown much form in his early matches and I think he will be outworked by the Spaniard. I am expecting a lot of tough, grind it out rallies that Robredo seems to enjoy and eventually that should wear down Roger-Vasselin in this First Round match.

Victor Troicki - 1.5 games v Jiri Vesely: Both of these players made use of the week before the Australian Open to win titles and that should mean both are very confident heading into this First Round match. However, it will be interesting to see whether Victor Troicki or Jiri Vesely have the better conditioning with little time to enjoy their successes ahead of the first Grand Slam tournament of the season.

Troicki has a real inspiration behind his 2015 season after feeling he was banned unreasonably from the Tour and he has made it clear his ambition is to finish inside the top 20 in the World Rankings. That will only come about if Troicki can have an impact in the Grand Slam tournaments and I think he has a little more about him than Jiri Vesely.

Vesely did only drop one set last week in winning in Auckland, and this is a player that has a lot of potential. However, my feeling is that Troicki is going to prove too strong with more consistency from behind the baseline and that should help the Serb get through to the Second Round in a four set win.

Roger Federer - 8.5 games v Yen-Hsun Lu: Roger Federer should come through his First Round match without too many issues against Yen-Hsun Lu, although he will have to serve well if he is to cover this handicap.

Yen-Hsun Lu is a decent professional that has had some big wins in Grand Slam events while he rarely rolls over easily, but Federer has been playing with a lot of aggression over the last twelve months and can put plenty of pressure on his opponent.

The first set is going to be tight, but Federer winning that might take away some of the belief that Lu may come into the match with and that should see him move clear in the final two sets. Federer did beat Lu 75, 63, 62 at Wimbledon in 2009 and he was playing very well at Brisbane after coming through a tough first match there.

If Federer can limit his mistakes, he should be able to produce a 64, 61, 63 victory on Monday.

Sara Errani - 5.5 games v Grace Min: It was a bit of a down season for Sara Errani in 2014 and she has lost her first two matches of 2015, but the diminutive Italian can still be a threat at the Grand Slam level and I expect her to be too consistent for Grace Min in this one.

The young American has not really done a lot at this level and I think she may find it hard to break through the Errani defences which will exploit mistakes and force Min to go a little closer to the lines.

This is a lot of games on first glance considering Errani's serve which can be broken a number of times in a match, but I also think she will have a lot of success against the Min serve. I expect Errani to come through a tight first set that may have swings in both directions, but she should be more comfortable at that point and her experience can help her move through 64, 62.

MY PICKS: Andreas Seppi-Denis Istomin Over 40.5 Total Games @ 2.00 Stan James (2 Units)
Lukas Rosol @ 1.80 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Tommy Robredo - 5.5 Games @ 1.87 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Victor Troicki - 1.5 Games @ 1.92 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 8.5 Games @ 1.87 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Sara Errani - 5.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

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