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Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (June 23rd)

It was a rain affected Monday in the United Kingdom which meant the tournaments in Eastbourne and Nottingham were interrupted through the day and all of the scheduled matches could not be completed.

With Wimbledon beginning next Monday and both of these events hoping to get their tournaments completed by Saturday it does mean that Tuesday is going to see some players having to double duty in Nottingham, while there is also a very full schedule in Eastbourne where the entire Second Round is going to be played.

The rain also meant that only one of the three picks I made on Monday was able to be completed and thankfully came in as a winner. Sam Groth should have made it another winner, but was broken serving for the match despite getting to match point and has to renew his match with Mischa Zverev 7-6, 5-6 and serving to get into a second set tie-breaker.

We are expecting to see a much clearer day for the tennis on Tuesday so all of the picks I make should be completed by the end of the day.

Ekaterina Makarova - 3.5 games v Johanna Konta: I have made it clear that I think Johanna Konta has some real potential if she can just put together some consistent weeks on the Tour to make her believe a little more about what she is capable of. The grass court season should be a chance for Konta to pick up some valuable points, but she has just come up a little short the last couple of weeks against players who have eventually reached the Final of the events they met at.

Now Konta is going to have to bring her very best form into this Second Round match as she faces Ekaterina Makarova who has shown she is very comfortable on grass over the last few years. She is a former winner in Eastbourne and reached the Quarter Final at Wimbledon last season so Makarova will be confident of what she can achieve over the next three weeks.

Of course it can be tough to play your first match on grass which is the situation for Makarova this week, especially against someone like Konta who has plenty of matches under her belt. Konta will know the conditions having won a match here already, but I think Makarova will give her a very big test.

The lefty serve should give Makarova a chance to ease her way into the tournamanet and I think she has enough to find herself coming through in a tight 64, 64 kind of match.

David Ferrer - 3.5 games v Marcos Baghdatis: The grass courts should give Marcos Baghdatis his best chance to beat someone like David Ferrer, but the Spaniard is not someone who is overwhelmed by the surface. In fact he has won tournaments on grass prior to Wimbledon in the past and Ferrer will give a full effort in Nottingham as he looks to put some matches together ahead of the next Grand Slam of the season.

Ferrer is the kind of player that will always give his all for every point he plays and he will have a real respect for Baghdatis who pushed Rafael Nadal all the way in a match played in Stuttgart earlier this month. The Cypriot has been very comfortable on the grass through his career, but he isn't the same player of previous years and I think the mental battle of playing someone like Ferrer could hurt Baghdatis.

You have to think Ferrer will be able to get into enough of the Baghdatis service games to cause pressure which can lead to the mistakes to open up the match for him. The Baghdatis first serve is a big shot, but he doesn't usually have a high percentage of those and that will give Ferrer a chance to get involved in rallies where he would expect to win more often than not.

If Baghdatis can shorten the points, he might have a chance to upset the odds, but I think Ferrer will be able to drag enough longer rallies out of the match to move through 64, 64.

Sam Querrey - 2.5 games v Santiago Giraldo: Sam Querrey has won the title at Queens Club before so you know this is a player who is comfortable on the grass courts. However, the form has dropped for the American and he had a poor defeat to Grigor Dimitrov last week at Queens having got into a position to win the match.

His game does transfer well onto the grass courts, but being short of confidence hurts Querrey, although I still think he will be too good for Santiago Giraldo. The latter is someone who can perform well on the grass, but he could be put under pressure by Querrey if the American is serving well and that is where Giraldo could potentially be cracked.

Last week Ivo Karlovic was able to do that against Giraldo even though he lost the first set on the tie-breaker and I do think Querrey can be an effective returner on the surface.

The run of losses for Querrey has to be a concern as I think that has dented confidence and was the reason he couldn't finish off Dimitrov last week when he had him down. That would be the biggest concern in backing Querrey in this match, but I think the American will be too good and come through 76, 64.

Victor Troicki - 2.5 games v Sergiy Stakhovsky: The last couple of weeks have been very productive for Victor Troicki and my one concern for him this week in Nottingham is wondering how much fuel he has left in the tank. He looked to hurt his shoulder in the Semi Final loss to Andy Murray at Queens last week, but Troicki looked better on the Sunday and I like his chances to see of Sergiy Stakhovsky.

He might always have a story to tell having been one of the few players to beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon, but that really was the highlight of Stakhovsky's career. It hasn't been a good grass court season for Stakhovsky so far and the form is far below what Troicki has been producing.

The Serb also has a strong record against Stakhovsky having won his last four matches against him, although the last of those was almost three years ago. That isn't that relevant now, but Troicki has been serving very well the last couple of weeks and looks like someone who could make an impact at Wimbledon.

With all the tennis under his belt, I do wonder if there is the same focus for this tournament in Nottingham, but Troicki looks like he is really enjoying his tennis after the long ban hurt his career. I think he will appreciate every opportunity he has and he can be too good for Stakhovsky whose lost a couple of poor matches over the last couple of week.s

MY PICKS: Ekaterina Makarova - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
David Ferrer - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Sam Querrey - 2.5 Games @ 1.73 Bet365 (2 Units)
Victor Troicki - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Sam Groth @ 1.75 Bet Victor (2 Units) Leading 76, 56 Rain Delayed
Eugenie Bouchard @ 2.20 Paddy Power (2 Units) Rain Delayed

Weekly Update: 1-0, + 1.70 Units (2 Units Staked, + 85% Yield)

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