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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (July 14th)

It was a quiet Monday compared with the last two weeks, but that is usually the case as soon as a Grand Slam finishes that you begin to look ahead to the next one. It is almost two months before the US Open begins and there is going to be plenty of tennis to be played before we even begin the US hard court series.

Monday might not have had a lot of matches from the main draws scheduled, but that isn't the case on Tuesday as the three events in Bastad, Bucharest and Newport have a full day of play with most of the First Round matches all set to be completed by the end of Tuesday.

I have also updated the season statistics below including updating the results from Wimbledon which was completed on Sunday.


Radek Stepanek + 2.5 games v Jack Sock: I do think there is a lot to like about Jack Sock's game as he continues to develop as a Singles player and he could have a decent impact during the hard court season.The US men's tennis scene has failed to really produce the kind of players that they have given the Tour in the past so there will be some pressure on the likes of Sock to start moving up the Rankings, but he has produced some solid tennis to think he can do that.

Of course the ultimate test for any up and coming American player is to make sure they can challenge at the business end of Grand Slams having failed to replace Andy Roddick in that regard. Whether Sock is the man to do that is open to debate, but he looks like someone who can potentially get a lot better in the coming couple of years.

However, he is yet to really produce the goods on the grass courts and now faces a tough situation in Newport where he will play despite breaking a finger during Wimbledon. Sock has had time to recover from that injury, which was on his left hand, but I also believe Radek Stepanek is the kind of player that can frustrate.

Stepanek has tried to return to form since coming back from injury, but he has struggled and suffered an early loss at Wimbledon. However, the Czech player is very comfortable on the grass courts and I think he can expose some of the issues that Sock might have between his finger and getting comfortable on the grass. It isn't a large number of games, but Stepanek is capable of stealing a set if Sock isn't at 100% and that might be enough for him to stay within the number.


John Isner - 3.5 games v Rajeev Ram: I do think it is hard to argue with the fact that John Isner is one of the poorer returners on Tour and his major weapon is his serve. Unfortunately it does mean he is involved in a lot of tie-brekaers which means there is little chance Isner can have a really big impact in a Grand Slam as he is simply physically spent at the end of four Rounds.

The serve is big enough to have helped Isner reach Masters Finals and earn some very big wins, but he needs to be better on the return of serve if he is really going to go the extra steps and become the latest American Grand Slam winner.

It might not matter so much in his First Round match in Newport against Rajeev Ram who is much more likely to be found on the Doubles circuit these days. Ram has a decent serve, but his overall play isn't the best and he struggles to really cope with the pressure that any half decent return can put on him.

One set might go to a tie-breaker, but I think Isner can get enough back in play to get to break point a couple of times in this match and I expect he will be able to take one. The scoreboard pressure on Rajeev Ram won't help his cause and I think Isner will serve well enough to hold onto a 63, 76 win.


Danka Kovinic - 3.5 games v Petra Martic: Any time a player has come through the qualifiers to reach the main draw, you have to respect them for being in form although the challenge presented in the main draw is obviously much higher than usual. Petra Martic has won three matches in Bucharest already but her success in the lower level of the Tour has failed to transfer onto the main Tour.

The clay courts should also favour Danka Kovinic who has beaten Martic twice on this surface over the last two seasons and Kovinic did reach the Semi Final of a clay court tournament last week.

Clay is easily the favourite surface for Kovinic and she has performed very well in the lower levels of the Tour, but that might be the kind of level she needs to beat Martic. Kovinic has had some good results on the main Tour too on this surface and the fact she is not moving straight from the grass into this tournament is also a positive.

The wins earned last week will give her a chance to have gotten used to being back on the clay and I do think Kovinic is the better player on this surface. Martic's wins in the qualifiers are to be respected, but I think Kovinic is another step up from the quality she beat in those qualifying matches and I expect the player from Montenegro to move through with a 64, 64 win.


Julia Goerges - 1.5 games v Daria Kasatkina: Another qualifier in Bucharest is 18 year old Daria Kasatkina, a former Junior winner at Roland Garros and that makes her a dangerous customer for the erratic Julia Goerges. Kasatkina has barely been threatened in her three wins this week to get into the main draw in Bucharest and she showed her quality in a 64, 61 defeat to Garbine Muguruza on this surface earlier this season.

However, it also has to be said that Julia Goerges is a decent enough player on the clay having reached the Fourth Round in Paris and this remains her best surface. Her inconsistencies are still there, but the slower court gives her a chance to hit her penetrating groundstrokes and that might give Kasatkina something to think about.

I know Daria Kasatkina is going to very comfortable in the conditions, but I do wonder if she is going to be able to cope with the power that Goerges certainly brings to the court. The German can't always be trusted simply because her inconsistent play and high risk tennis is never far away from leaving her down a set and a break when she is slightly off form.

I am just not sure if Kasatkina is ready to take advantage of that and whether Goerges' power eventually wears her down and helps Goerges move through 63, 36, 63.

MY PICKS: Radek Stepanek + 2.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet365 (2 Units)
John Isner - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Danka Kovinic - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Julia Goerges - 1.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 1-1, + 0 Units (4 Units Staked, + 0% Yield)

Wimbledon Daily Picks Final26-25, - 1.83 Units (101 Units Staked, - 1.81% Yield)
Wimbledon Outright Final: 3-5, + 8.80 Units (19 Units Staked, + 46.32% Yield)

Season 2015+ 37.35 Units (1098 Units Staked, + 3.40% Yield)

Season 2014+ 45.05 Units (1586.5 Units Staked, + 2.84% Yield)
Season 2013+ 21.74 Units (1251.5 Units Staked, + 1.73% Yield)
Season 2012+ 49.21 Units (855 Units Staked, + 5.76% Yield)

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