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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (July 22nd)

That was a very frustrating Tuesday... I can hold my hands up and say the pick on Lukas Rosol to win his match was a poor one, and one that I won't be replicating again any time soon as I have moved Rosol onto my black list.

For as big as his game is, I am not convinced Rosol will ever get things right between the ears and anyone who is handed as many bagels as he is with the serve he possesses has to be criticised for mentally checking out of matches. At least Croatia is a nice place to spend part of a honeymoon that Rosol and his new wife can enjoy in the time they have remaining in Umag.

While I will be quick to hold my hands up to that pick, I was frustrated by the other picks coming close, but not quite getting into the winner's enclosure. Santiago Giraldo looks to have suffered a big defeat, but he had chances to break the Philipp Kohlschreiber serve in the same number of games as the German in the middle of that match... Giraldo was 0/2, Kohlschreiber was 2/2 and that was easily a match that could have gone my way.

The bigger disappointments have to be both Fernando Verdasco and Matthew Ebden who had small numbers to cover and both won a set 61.

The problem is neither could actually win their match while Verdasco was broken serving to take the third set into a tie-break which would have been enough for a cover whether he had won it or lost it.

So frustrating is about right to describe my mood going into Wednesday as the Second Round begins for the most part with a few First Round matches to be completed. Hopefully I will have a little more luck on my side in the coming days to recover a really poor start to this week, but I surely can't have players playing as poorly as they did on Tuesday.

Federico Delbonis - 3.5 games v Rogerio Dutra Silva: One big concern for Federico Delbonis backers in his opening match in Bastad has to be the travel that the Argentinian has had to do in recent days as he returns to Europe from home Davis Cup duty. However, Delbonis has to have picked up a lot of confidence by helping Argentina reach the Davis Cup Semi Final after coming from 0-2 down in sets to beat Victor Troicki in the second rubber.

Having to travel from Argentina to Sweden is going to be tough, but Delbonis has at least had the benefit of being given an extra day of recovery before his First Round match. And he is playing Rogerio Dutra Silva who had to fight through the qualifiers, although the Brazilian will be more settled with the current conditions in this part of Sweden.

These players only met a month ago in the Final of a Milan Challenger on clay and it was Federico Delbonis who had more success behind the serve which helped him win the title.

Dutra Silva has been winning a few matches since then at the lower level than the main Tour and that will have boosted his confidence for this rematch. However, I do believe there is more upside in the Delbonis game and I am expecting him to win this 64, 64 as long as the Davis Cup hasn't left him emotionally spent less than a week after a huge win in front of his own fans.

Thomaz Bellucci - 5.5 games v Christian Lindell: Both of these players were involved in Brazil versus Sweden First Round matches in Bastad, but the clear advantage in the Second Round has to be with Thomaz Bellucci.

A lot of people out there were of the belief that Elias Ymer could go all the way in Bastad this week, but Bellucci dominated the match against the youngster and will be looking to make it three South American Champions in a row at this tournament. Bellucci played really well on Tuesday as he backed up his serve impressively while keeping Ymer under pressure and I expect he will be able to employ a similar game against Christian Lindell.

Don't take anything away from Lindell who beat Joao Souza in the First Round as a fairly big underdog, but the Swede generally plays at a lower level than Bellucci. He has also suffered some big defeats in recent weeks and is facing a player that has seen his game before when Bellucci beat Lindell in three sets in Sao Paolo five seasons ago.

That match shouldn't have an affect on how this one is played, but I do think Bellucci is going to put Lindell under some pressure as he did to the talented Ymer. If the Brazilian can just look after his serve the same way he did in the First Round, another 64, 62 win for Bellucci over a home hope looks to be in the making.

Juan Monaco - 3.5 games v Alexander Zverev: Big things are expected of Alexander Zverev in the future, but it would be a big ask for the German to beat a clay courter like Juan Monaco on his favourite surface. Zverev had to dig deep to come from a set down to win his First Round match against Julian Reister, but the expectation is that Monaco will pose a lot more of a consistent threat in this one.

The one concern in backing Monaco has to be the fact that he hasn't played much tennis of late, although it does look like the Argentine is going to have his best year on the Tour since 2012. In all honesty I thought Monaco might be coming to the end of his career over the last couple of years, but he has come back impressively this year and plays at a higher level on the Tour when it comes to clay courts compared with Zverev.

I do respect the talent that Zverev has, but he is young and inconsistent and that is shown up on the clay courts where the extended rallies don't suit him.

Monaco will look to exploit those inconsistencies and I think he will find a way to break down his young opponent, although has to control his nerves to make sure he doesn't allow Zverev to get back in. With some twists and turns, I think Monaco finds a way to win this one 64, 64.

Andrey Rublev v Blaz Kavcic: Another player coming back from successful Davis Cup duty and returning to the normal Tour is Andrey Rublev. The 17 year old Russian helped his nation come from 0-2 down against Spain to win that tie over the weekend and has admitted that he has found it hard to contain the joy of doing that.

However, this is also a kid that seems to be very, very confident and Rublev has shown enough through the course of the season to think he can get the better of Blaz Kavcic. I am just surprised the layers have picked Rublev as the slight underdog in this match, especially as the clay courts seem to be favoured by the youngster more than Kavcic.

The biggest concern has to be the effort Rublev had to make over the weekend when representing Russia, but I do think he is the better player in this contest with much more upside. Of course any youngster is going to be inconsistent at times, but I think the clay is also a surface that Rublev will be able to work through the rallies better than Kavcic.

It might need three sets, but I will pick Rublev to win this match with the extra day off since the Davis Cup tie on Sunday.

Sam Stosur - 5.5 games v Klara Koukalova: Klara Koukalova has to feel like she is playing with house money after looking like she was going to be hammered in the First Round before her opponent retired. Koukalova was down 16, 04 before Anna-Lena Friedsam had to pull out, but I don't believe the veteran is going to have enough to see off Sam Stosur in this Second Round.

The Australian is another veteran who looks to be past her best days when she won a Grand Slam and reached the Final of another but Stosur should still be too good for Koukalova. I expect Stosur to use her serve to keep Koukalova from really getting a grip on this match, while the Czech player doesn't have a big serve of her own which means having to work hard to protect that side of her game.

It is no surprise that as she has got older, the movement is perhaps not as quick as it used to be and that has seen Koukalova take some very one-sided losses.

If she feels she has nothing to lose after the manner she got through in the First Round, Koukalova could potentially be dangerous. However, Stosur has the serve to keep her at bay for the most part and I expect her to win this one 64, 62.

MY PICKS: Federico Delbonis - 3.5 Games @ 1.73 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Thomaz Bellucci - 5.5 Games @ 2.20 Bet365 (2 Units)
Juan Monaco - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Andrey Rublev @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Sam Stosur - 5.5 Games @ 1.87 Bet Victor (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 0-4, - 8 Units (8 Units Staked, - 100% Yield)

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