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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Wimbledon Day 2 Picks 2015 (June 30th)

The warm weather has come at a very good time for Wimbledon which saw the first day of the tournament bathed in perfect weather for tennis. The next few days might be a little more awkward for the players as the heat is expected to hit some huge highs and there is even talk of a heat rule being enforced similar to what the Australian Open regularly fields.

In terms of British tennis, the big news story of the day was Liam Broady winning his First Round match, but I thought it was a little amusing the way the win was being portrayed. Yes, anyone who comes back to win a match from two sets down has to be respected, but Broady was a pretty healthy favourite to beat Marinko Matosevic which makes me look at the match from a different angle.

It would have been a huge low if Broady hadn't won the match and the fact he was 2-0 down in sets to a player that has barely won a match in three months has to be a disappointment. I can understand taking the positives of the comeback and the fact Broady has moved into the Second Round, but the BBC were almost making it out to be a huge upset and the odds suggest it simply wasn't and the upset would have been Matosevic moving through.

There weren't too many surprises on Day 1 at the tournament and most of the big names have moved through to the Second Round that were scheduled to play on Monday. The biggest players that have been knocked out are Carla Suarez Navarro and Tommy Robredo, but the exit of Suarez Navarro underlined previous thoughts I have had about her and what looks like an inflated Ranking.

As well as Suarez Navarro can play and as pretty as her game looks, the lack of power means she is vulnerable in every tournament she plays where the Spaniard fails to bring the consistency to the court. Her defeat to the 2014 Junior Wimbledon Champion Jelena Ostapenko was disappointing, but the manner of the 62, 60 defeat is nothing short of embarrassing for a supposed top ten player and I expect a significant drop in Suarez Navarro's Ranking this time next year.

Gilles Muller + 1.5 sets v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: This would likely have been a difficult First Round match for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in normal circumstances, but his lack of grass court action prior to Wimbledon just increases the danger Gilles Muller presents.

After injury meant Tsonga's 2015 season started later than others, it is another injury since his Semi Final run to the French Open which has prevented the Frenchman from taking part in any grass court tournaments this last month. Now he has to take on an in-form opponent who has the kind of serve and physical play to make life very difficult for him.

Gilles Muller has had decent results in Hertogenbosch and Queens prior to Wimbledon and the lefty delivery naturally will head towards Tsonga's weaker backhand wing. Muller doesn't have the biggest serve on the Tour, but his accuracy is very good and he will be tough to beat if he is hitting his marks.

This was a First Round match I considered the upset to be a real chance of happening and I still believe that. I am not completely convinced by Muller who might be a little over-rated from his performances at Wimbledon, but Tsonga will need time to get used to the grass and has not been playing much tennis of late.

Muller has to hit his spots to keep the pressure on Tsonga and I can see a couple of tie-breakers playing a major part in the match. Tsonga did beat Muller in two tight sets in Metz last year, but the injury issues and Muller's form suggests he can turn that around. I will play it a little safer and back Muller to win at least two sets on the handicap rather than actually back him to complete the upset and backing Muller to win at least two sets looks a decent price.

Rafael Nadal - 7.5 games v Thomaz Bellucci: This is the lowest Rafael Nadal has been Ranked heading into Wimbledon for over a decade and there hasn't been too many times in that period where Nadal comes in not as the defending French Open Champion. A win in Stuttgart, Nadal's first title on a grass court since winning Wimbledon in 2010, was good preparation for this year's event in SW19, but an early exit at Queens suggests it would be a huge surprise for Nadal to win it all.

The Spaniard might have hoped for someone a little more routine than Thomaz Bellucci in the First Round, although Nadal has won all four previous matches. That includes a straight sets win at Wimbledon three years ago and Nadal has yet to drop a set to Bellucci, although the hot conditions will give the Brazilian a chance to really get his serve ramped up.

Bellucci has reached the Third Round at Wimbledon in the past so he is far from an easy prospect on grass, although recent years have been more of a struggle. The Brazilian has lost six matches in a row on grass and many of those have been in straight forward fashion.

He will have his way with Nadal at some point in this match, but I think he won't be able to keep it up mentally. While Bellucci might keep it tight for a set, eventually Nadal will begin to wear him down and I think the latter is the kind of player that never drops his intensity, even if the performances on the court are not quite up to scratch.

I expect Nadal will manage to get enough balls back in play and he may wear down Bellucci with a 75, 63, 63 win.

Tomas Berdych Win 3-1 v Jeremy Chardy: The last few years since reaching the Wimbledon Final in 2010 have been difficult for Tomas Berdych on the grass and his form coming into Wimbledon is not exactly inspiring. He could have asked for a much easier First Round match than against Jeremy Chardy who has the game that is suited to the grass courts, although Chardy hasn't been in the best form himself.

Both men will look to dictate things behind a big first serve and look to attack the second when they can, although I do think Berdych is the more consistent player on the ground. The extended rallies should see Berdych find a way to power Chardy into mistakes, but the Frenchman is more than capable of playing special tennis as he showed at the French Open in a four set defeat to Andy Murray.

Berdych has generally been able to play at a consistent level which is enough to keep Chardy from causing a shock and that has also led to three wins against him in the past. The grass courts haven't been the most productive for Berdych though and I think this match is a little more difficult than the last two wins over Chardy have been for him.

I can see a couple of tie-breakers being played in the match and perhaps each player to win one of those, but Berdych should be a little too strong and solid for Chardy in a four set win.

Camila Giorgi - 5.5 games v Teliana Pereira: It seems like Teliana Pereira has given up the ghost when it comes to playing on the grass courts and decided to take no preparation tournaments in prior to Wimbledon. That might have been because Pereira was beaten in all three matches she played on grass last season and two of those losses did come fairly comfortably.

Now she takes on Camila Giorgi who won the title in Hertgenbosch and who has the game to be a real threat on the faster surfaces. The Italian hits very big from the back of the court and has a decent first serve, although Giorgi has the tendency to throw in far too many double faults to think she can be a threat to win a Grand Slam at this stage of her career.

However, I do think Giorgi will hit a little too flat for someone like Pereira who might not have much in the way of belief to stay in the tournament if she falls behind. Giorgi is not someone I would regularly back to cover big spreads because of the yips she gets on serve, but this looks the perfect First Round match for her and I expect her to take advantage.

After a tough opening set, Giorgi might take control and move through 64, 62.

Sabine Lisicki - 4.5 games v Jarmila Gajdosova: I do respect the kind of game that Jarmila Gajdosova can bring to the court, but I also know she is the kind of player that can lose heart when things are not quite going to plan. On the grass courts, Sabine Lisicki has the kind of power to break someone mentally and I think that is going to be a factor in a routine First Round win.

There are many other players in the draw that Sabine Lisicki might have preferred to face because Gajdosova can be very dangerous when she brings her 'A' game to the court. She can serve big and has heavy groundstrokes that will expose some of the movement issues that Lisicki can have, but I think the scoreboard pressure might play a big part.

As good as Gajdosova's serve can be, Sabine Lisicki's is a huge weapon on this surface and the German serving well will put a lot of pressure on her opponent. She can get herself out of trouble with big aces and that will frustrate Gajdosova and I believe will lead to her breaking down the Australian's game.

It should be a fun match to watch while it lasts, but I think Lisicki will end up coming through with a routine looking 75, 63 win in this one.

MY PICKS: Gilles Muller + 1.5 Sets @ 1.90 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 7.5 Games @ 2.05 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Tomas Berdych Win 3-1 @ 3.80 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Camila Giorgi - 5.5 Games @ 1.73 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Sabine Lisicki - 4.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Caroline Garcia @ 2.10 Bet Victor (2 Units) To be completed at 1-1 in sets.

Wimbledon Update: 2-2, - 0.34 Units (8 Units Staked, - 4.25% Yield)

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