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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (July 15th)

The layers all decided to take their sweet time getting the markets out for the tennis on Wednesday and that has meant I have had to wait until lunchtime to get the picks out.

Alexandra Dulgheru - 5.5 games v Shuai Zhang: This is a match that was rained off on Tuesday, but the layers have finally got the full market out for the match.

Alexandra Dulgheru is the home favourite and comes into the tournament having won a lower level tournament on the clay last week. She should be well adjusted, while the extra day of rest will certainly suit her as she bids to show off her form in front of her home support.

You would expect her to be too good for Shuai Zhang who has struggled on the clay courts at the main Tour level over the last couple of years. In those defeats, there have been plenty of times that Zhang has fallen away and now faces a player who would have covered big spreads regularly with the form displayed last week.

Dulgheru was beaten early in Bucharest this time last season, but I think she has a much better impact in the tournament this time around. Confidence should be on her side and I expect she finds a way to break down Zhang in a 64, 62 win.

Yuichi Sugita + 2.5 games v Rajeev Ram: It was a huge surprise on Tuesday to see Rajeev Ram get through John Isner in three sets and he is going to be expected to back that up in the Second Round. However, Yuichi Sugita is coming in off an impressive win over Ryan Harrison and showed enough form on the grass over the last month to think this anything but a straight forward match for the American.

Aside from a decent run in a Challenger event held in Manchester, Ram has been playing a lot more Doubles matches than Singles in recent weeks and it is hard to ignore that. In fact, the win over John Isner is the first Singles match he has played on the main Tour this season which should highlight the quality of field that has been attracted to Newport.

Backing up a big win over the Number 1 American player is going to be tough for Ram who is looking to progress beyond the Second Round in Newport for the first time since 2012. That year Ram managed to reach the Semi Final and it isn't like Sugita is a regular Singles player on the main Tour so you can understand why Ram is the favourite.

However, I think Sugita makes this a close match having qualified for the main draw at Wimbledon for the second season in a row and having some wins under his belt over the last month. Those did come in qualifiers, but that level is about where Ram is and Sugita has shown he is capable on the grass.

This match could go three sets which makes this number of games appealing as does the fact that Sugita is a live underdog and I will back him to cover.

Steve Johnson - 3.5 games v Tatsuma Ito: There has been an element of misfortune when Steve Johnson and Tatsuma Ito have met one another over the last twelve months as both matches have ended with a retirement. It was Ito who retired during their match in Newport, but Johnson who had to pull out of a match at the US Open so the first thing we have to hope is that this match will have a clear conclusion.

Johnson came through in three sets in his First Round match, but was given a huge helping hand from Michael Berrer, while Ito perhaps made harder work of Noah Rubin than would have been expected.

The match up should be a good one for Johnson as you would think he is has the more secure serve and is also comfortable at the net. The grass court season hasn't been as productive for the American as he may have liked, but Ito  is a player that enjoys the majority of his success in the lower level than Johnson.

Ito did have one good run on the grass over the last month, but he was back playing a hard court tournament last week which shows his real appreciation for this surface. As long as Johnson serves with more consistency than he did in the early portion of his First Round match, I expect he wins this 64, 64.

Jan Hernych + 2.5 games v Alejandro Falla: After coming through three qualifiers and a First Round match, Jan Hernych is going to be in very confident form going into the Second Round match with Alejandro Falla. Hernych might not have had a great grass season prior to Newport, but he has previous on this surface and a confident player is going to be tough to stop.

He has won plenty of matches on the surface through his career thanks to a decent serve, while Hernych was a Second Round exit at Wimbledon last year after coming through three qualifiers. Of course Alejandro Falla has had enough experience on grass too to be a dangerous player and also came through with a comfortable First Round win.

Falla has won a lot of matches on the grass over the last month as he fought through some qualifiers and it was only last season that he competed in the Final in Halle against Roger Federer. The Colombian is not as consistent these days and has had some poor losses too, but this is the kind of field where he will expect to make hay as long as he can get through a difficult Second Round match.

Both players are liable to some sloppy play in the latter stages of their careers and that might be a key in deciding who is going to go through. However, I think Hernych's four straight wins might have helped his belief and I expect he can take a set at least if not go on and win this match.

Jack Sock - 3.5 games v Lukas Lacko: Any doubts about the broken finger were erased by Jack Sock in a convincing First Round win over the veteran Radek Stepanek and I expect him to back that up. It was a disappointing Wimbledon for Sock who I don't think is as comfortable on the grass as some of the other American players are, but he can make up for it with a strong run in Newport.

The Second Round match with Lukas Lacko should suit Sock down the ground as Lacko hasn't really enjoyed the grass courts himself. He did take Steve Johnson to five sets as Wimbledon which would have been a surprise to many and Lacko is someone who has never had a lot of success on this surface.

The last couple of seasons has seen Lacko lose a lot of form and slip down the Rankings too and I do think Sock will have a chance to dominate the tempo of this match. He will have to serve well because Lacko does have some talent, but I think the American will just have a little too much about him.

Neither player served that well in a match in Atlanta last year on the hard courts, but you have to expect the grass to aid both. However, I think Lacko is a little looser with his second serve quite vulnerable and that should lead to a 76, 63 win for Sock.

MY PICKS: Alexandra Dulgheru - 5.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet365 (2 Units)
Julia Goerges - 1.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units) Rain Delay
Yuichi Sugita + 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Steve Johnson - 3.5 Games @ 1.73 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Jan Hernych + 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Jack Sock - 3.5 Games @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-3, - 2 Units (10 Units Staked, - 20% Yield)

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