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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (July 30th)

There were limited markets out for the Second Round matches that have been scheduled for Thursday and so I had written out the picks, but was waiting to confirm I which ones I was going to have from the shortlist.

Hopefully the weather won't be affecting play as much as it has over the last couple of days, although it won't matter in Hamburg where the roof has been employed every day of the tournament up until now.

Gstaad hasn't been so lucky to have a roof, but there have been enough breaks in play to keep the tournament on schedule and the weather is expected to be improved going forward.

Dominic Thiem - 2.5 games v Federico Delbonis: Last week Dominic Thiem won his second title on the Tour as he continues making his move up the World Rankings as one of the new young guns. Thiem has a lot of talent, but my one concern has to be how he responds to winning the title in Umag as the last time he won in Nice, Thiem was tired for matches in the next week.

Of course Thiem had to play at the French Open after Nice which meant an increase in number of sets needed to win a match and he had a tough loss to Pablo Cuevas in the Second Round, a decent clay courter.

Thiem has been given until Thursday to begin his tournament in Gstaad which should be enough time to physically recover from the success in Umag, but this won't be an easy match against Federico Delbonis. The Argentine was unsurprisingly a little tired last week after his Davis Cup exploits just days before, but he was a comfortable winner in the First Round and should be in almost perfect condition for this one.

There have been times when I've seen Delbonis and believed he can really make an impact on the Tour, but his performances have been up and down to say the least. He has a decent serve and the lefty play can be awkward for opponents to deal with.

However, I think Thiem is the better player and is also very comfortable on the clay and I would fancy his chances to win this one 76, 64 if he is physically ready to compete.

David Goffin - 4.5 games v Horacio Zeballos: Last week was a rare early exit for David Goffin as he has moved up to World Number 14 after falling away a little following his initial breakthrough on the Tour.

He has the game for most surfaces and Goffin's hard working on the court has paid dividends as he has worn down opponents. Horacio Zeballos would be the first to tell you about the difficulty of playing Goffin who has won their last two matches and won three out of five sets by the same 61 set score.

You can't dismiss Zeballos because he has come through the qualifiers and beaten Andrey Rublev in the First Round so the conditions will be more familiar to him than Goffin who plays his first competitive match of the week. However, Goffin should have had plenty of practice time and the colder temperatures may also play in his favour as Zeballos finds it harder to hit through him.

They met recently at Wimbledon so Goffin should be ready to deal with the lefty serve that Zeballos will send at him and I think the Number 1 Seed wins this 64, 63.

Andreas Seppi - 3.5 games v Florian Mayer: This has always been a match up that Andreas Seppi has had the better of, but he should be in a better place facing Florian Mayer who is still trying to find his best on his return to the Tour following injury.

Mayer has always had a decent game, but the serve-volleys are hard to perform when you may have lost half a step and he has not been that comfortable from the back of the court. The serve has been a vulnerability through his career, but Andreas Seppi will also know about that and both players will have to work hard behind serve to protect it.

The difference may come from the match fitness that both have as Seppi has been playing at the higher level and Mayer has lost a fair few matches even down at the Challenger level. The home crowd should give Mayer all the support he would want, but this has been a tough match up for him as I have mentioned and it is a big ask to turn that around when not in the best form.

Seppi has lost some poor matches this season, but has been solid enough to think he can win this one 64, 64.

Rafael Nadal - 5.5 games v Jiri Vesely: It looked like being another difficult day out on the tennis court for Rafael Nadal as he dropped the first set against Fernando Verdasco and faced three break points at the beginning of the second. A twelve minute game followed, but Nadal eventually came out on top and that seemed to inspire him through the rest of the match as he ran away with twelve of the next fourteen games to move into the Second Round.

It wasn't as plain sailing as the 36, 61, 61 score may suggest it ended up being for Nadal as his serves continues to look vulnerable to those players who are willing to attack it. Jiri Vesely is unlikely to take a backwards step, but the Czech youngster is still trying to find the consistency that he will need to beat a player like Nadal, even though the latter is struggling for confidence.

Vesely is a big man, but he doesn't get the most out of his serve for someone his size and that is where Nadal can get a lot of success in this match. It won't be easy as this is Vesely's favourite surface and he has given the likes of Kei Nishikori some problems on the clay earlier in the year.

He also has a Challenger title to his name while Vesely has reached the Final in Bucharest on clay so he should have some success in this one. However, it can be mentally draining playing Nadal and I think the Spaniard will eventually break down the Vesely game and win this match 64, 62.

John Isner - 2.5 games v Radek Stepanek: It was a disappointing outing for John Isner at the tournament in Newport when he was beaten in his first match, but he is looking for a three-peat in Atlanta.

He has had some trouble with Radek Stepanek in the past having lost three of four matches against him, but John Isner should be in a better place to get a little closer on the head to head. Stepanek has been having a few problems since returning to the Tour and his serve is going to give Isner a couple of chances to break, even if the American is limited on his return.

The bigger question for Isner is going to be whether he can hold onto his own serve, which is usually a big weapon for him out on Tour. They did last meet in 2012, but Stepanek has broken the Isner serve at least once in every match and he will look to chip and charge off the serve to put pressure on the home hope.

However, I think Stepanek is having a few more issues trying to get back to his full fitness and Isner can win this match 76, 64 as long as he is able to fight through some of the difficult moments he will have on serve.

MY PICKS: Dominic Thiem - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
David Goffin - 4.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Andreas Seppi - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 5.5 Games @ 1.85 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
John Isner - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 9-5, + 5.50 Units (28 Units Staked, + 19.64% Yield)

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