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Sunday, 19 July 2015

Davis Cup Tennis Picks 2015 (July 19th)

While Argentina and Belgium have booked their place in the Davis Cup Semi Final, the ties between Australia and Kazakhstan and Great Britain and France are going into the last day with their places in the Semi Final on the line.

Great Britain's Doubles win means they are now strong favourites to reach a surprising Semi Final, the first in the Davis Cup since 1981, and they will be hosting that Semi Final in September.

Andy Murray will be expected to beat Gilles Simon or Richard Gasquet on grass, while Great Britain will know who they are going to be playing with the Australia-Kazakhstan tie to be completed in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A Doubles win for Australia keeps them alive in the tie, and you have to make Australia the favourites to win the last couple of rubbers to move into what would be an awesome atmosphere against Great Britain. Both Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis are going to have to be a lot better than they were on Friday if they are going to help Australia into the Semi Finals and I would be surprised if the captain decides to draft in Sam Groth or Lleyton Hewitt instead of either player.

Kazakhstan might feel their best chance is with Mikhail Kukushkin after an impressive win over Kokkinakis, but they have shown there is a depth of players who raise their game when in Davis Cup duty. It could be a very fun day in Darwin in the final two matches scheduled on Sunday.

Sunday is also going to see the Finals in Bastad, Bucharest and Newport all played, while the draws for next week events will all be ready as well as qualifying getting a little closer to being completed.

Nick Kyrgios-Mikhail Kukushkin Over 37.5 Total Games: The fourth rubber of the Australia-Kazakhstan tie sees the number one players of both nation competing as the home team looks to stay alive in this Quarter Final tie.

They will need Nick Kyrgios to play the big points much better than he did in a stunning loss in the second rubber against Aleksandr Nedovyesov. That match ended up being a four set loss for Kyrgios who served well for the most part, but couldn't really get into any return games and was beaten in four very close sets.

It won't get easier against Mikhail Kukushkin who was in very good form in his straight sets win over Thanasi Kokkinakis as he kept his younger opponent under pressure throughout that match. It wasn't just the decent serving day that Kukushkin produced, but it was his return that was particularly effective and helped him bring up 16 break points through the match.

I would be surprised if Kyrgios is as generous as Kokkinakis was in that match, but I also think he might be put under some scoreboard pressure with the way Kukushkin has been playing.

I have to say I also didn't respect how much Kukushkin has raised his game when representing Kazakhstan and I think this is a player that will feel he has to get this done for his nation to lead them into the Semi Finals. After pushing Andy Murray all the way at Wimbledon and beating Kokkinakis here, I would be surprised if Kukushkin is blown away in this match.

He will have to serve well to keep the pressure on Kyrgios, but this looks a match that is going to go at least four sets with the possibility of at least two tie-breakers pretty high. Backing this match to go over the total games looks a decent price and I am expecting another tight match for Nick Kyrgios but perhaps one he can win the big points and keep Australia alive for the final rubber of the tie.

Thanasi Kokkinakis-Aleksandr Nedovyesov Over 39.5 Total Games: Even if Australia are to tie up this Quarter Final in rubber four, I am still expecting the fifth rubber to be tightly fought. That is especially the case if both Thanasi Kokkinakis and Aleksandr Nedovyesov play in a similar manner to what they produced on Friday as they could have the deciding rubber on their racquets today.

I was severely disappointed by Kokkinakis in his straight sets loss, while I am still not convinced he is fully satisfied with playing on the grass. Instead of aiding his serve, Kokkinakis struggled to really protect that aspect of his game and was under constant pressure from Mikhail Kukushkin, but I think there is more to come from the youngster.

On the other hand, Alexsandr Nedovyesov produced arguably his best win of his career by beating Nick Kyrgios in four sets on a grass court. However, he is outside the top 100 in the World Rankings and it is hard to imagine Nedovyesov playing the big points as effectively as he did on Friday.

He will need to serve as well as he did in the second rubber if Kazakhstan are going to get through the tie and this another match that looks to go at least four sets with each set being tightly contested. I wouldn't be surprised if we need a couple of tie-breakers in this one too and I don't think any of the players go away quietly which should make this another rubber that can go over the total games being offered.

Andy Murray - 6.5 games v Gilles Simon: Great Britain have to win one of the two remaining rubbers in this Quarter Final tie to move into the Davis Cup Semi Finals for the first time since 1981. I don't think it is unfair to anyone to say that Great Britain know it is up to Andy Murray to win another rubber if they are going to win this tie as he is set to take on Gilles Simon in the fourth rubber of the tie.

It is a match to keep an eye on because there are some suggestions that Arnaud Clement is going to pick Richard Gasquet ahead of Gilles Simon, especially as Gasquet has given Andy Murray more problems in matches at Grand Slams.

While Simon did beat Murray in Rotterdam earlier this season for the loss of six gmes and he has also won a set in the two previous matches prior to Rotterdam, it has to be pointed out that Murray has won the two previous Grand Slam matches without dropping a set.

The match up is not a great one for Simon on the grass either as he doesn't have the same penetration on this surface as Murray, although he can make life difficult for a while. Both players had good Wimbledon tournaments until running into Roger Federer, but Andy Murray has the much deeper pedigree on this surface.

I'd imagine Simon keeps it competitive in perhaps two of the sets, but I think the serve can be vulnerable and Andy Murray is capable of earning a couple of breaks in a single set. I'd pick Murray to work his way through some difficult moments to win this match 75, 64, 62 which would give Great Britain the win.

Of course this match is dependent on France keeping Simon in ahead of Richard Gasquet, but I will make an edit here if there are changes in the hour leading up to this tie and if I have a new pick in place.

MY PICKS: Nick Kyrgios-Mikhail Kukushkin Over 37.5 Total Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Thanasi Kokkinakis-Alexsandr Nedovyesov Over 39.5 Total Games @ 1.85 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Andy Murray - 6.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 11-12, - 3.92 Units (46 Units Staked, - 8.52% Yield)

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