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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Wimbledon Day 3 Picks 2015 (July 1st)

The First Round at Wimbledon, barring two women's matches, has been completed through the soaring temperatures at SW19 and most of the top contenders have moved through to the Second Round as expected.

That is especially the case for the men's draw, but the biggest casualty of the tournament so far has to be Simona Halep who has performed admirably at Wimbledon over the last couple of years. She wasn't as well backed as Serena Williams or Petra Kvitova, but Halep would have expected much more after an early exit at the French Open and now has to regroup for the hard court season which follows this one.

Carla Suarez Navarro was a vulnerable top ten player, but no Seed was more vulnerable than Eugenie Bouchard, even if it was a match that she should have been winning in the First Round. However, the level of opponent that seems to get the better of Bouchard is certainly dropping, although the Canadian revealed she has been suffering with an abdomen injury.

Bouchard has admitted that she is going to take some time off the Tour to heal physically, but I also think it will be important for her to get her mind right. Tennis is such a mental game at the highest level where the talent isn't enough to win matches and it is clear that Bouchard has next to no confidence whenever she steps onto the court.


While the first two days at Wimbledon have been very hot, the temperature is set to increase even more on Wednesday and I think it will be a physical battle for players out there. There is a heat rule in place for the women, but the majority of those matches have been scheduled for later in the afternoon when the hope will be that the temperatures do dip enough to keep the players on court.

Another fantastic day of tennis looks to be in the offing for the spectators and the Second Round begins with the competition moved up a level from what we have seen so far.


Grigor Dimitrov - 5.5 games v Steve Johnson: There was little doubt that Grigor Dimitrov was going to get through his First Round match against a disinterested opponent, but Steve Johnson should pose a much stronger test. Johnson has to have recovered from a five set win in his own First Round match, but has the big serve and strong forehand to pose plenty of problems in this one.

However, Johnson has never really produced the goods on the grass courts aside from early success at Challenger level. He did have a win over Bernard Tomic earlier in the grass court season, but defeats to the likes of Florian Mayer and Sergiy Stakhovsky don't do much to inspire confidence as well as the difficulties Johnson had in the First Round.

It has not been the greatest season for Dimitrov though and that would be a concern in backing him. However, I think the Bulgarian is good enough and comfortable enough on grass to reach the Semi Final this week out of a tough Quarter of the draw and I do think Dimitrov will feel happier being on this surface of the two players.

Even the loss to Gilles Muller at Queens hasn't looked as bad considering how Muller has been playing and I think Dimitrov will be too good for Johnson in this Second Round match. He might need to come through one tie-breaker, but Dimitrov winning this one 63, 76, 64 looks the call for me.


Fernando Verdasco - 3.5 games v Dominic Thiem: With the conditions as they are, no player wants to really spend five sets out on court, especially not having to play 25 games in the final set to move into the Second Round. That is what Fernando Verdasco will have to deal with in this match, but he has had a couple of days to recover physically and you have to expect the Spaniard is used to the weather we are seeing in South London.

His grass court know how has to give him a big advantage in this Second Round match against a talented opponent in Dominic Thiem who came from a set down to beat Dudi Sela. However Thiem has really struggled to get to grips with the grass courts in his young career and I do think he will still take some time to adjust to this surface.

Thiem won't have a lot of time if Verdasco is in strong form as he has the big serve and heavy groundstrokes to really make hay on grass. Verdasco has reached the Quarter Final at Wimbledon before and is very comfortable on the grass and I think that gives him a big edge in the contest.

Physically Verdasco has shown he is capable of coming back from five set matches and still producing strong tennis and I don't have too many concerns about his 13-11 win in the fifth set against Martin Klizan. This one might not need to go as far as that, although I think Thiem is good enough to take a set as Verdasco moves into the Third Round with a 63, 36, 63, 64 win.


Sam Stosur - 4.5 games v Urszula Radwanska: There is no doubting that Sam Stosur has failed to really make the best of her potential on the grass in the past, but I still think she can get the better of the younger Radwanska sister playing on the Tour. Urszula Radwanska came through her First Round match without any difficulties, but Stosur should give her a lot more problems to deal with in the Second Round.

The serve has been surprisingly less effective on the grass than it should be- Stosur gets a great kick out of the second serve, but I guess she just struggles to deal with the lower bounce consistently.

It is hard to put a finger on her issues though as Stosur is a decent volleyer and has a wicked slice off the backhand to go with the big serve. Those weapons should give her a chance to keep Radwanska on the back foot and the Pole has lost comfortably in her two defeats on the grass this season.

Radwanska is also not as comfortable on the grass as elder sister Agnieszka and I think she may struggle to keep Stosur from staying ahead on the scoreboard. It should lead to a fairly routine 64, 63 win for the Australian as long as the 'grass court monsters' don't affect her game too much.


Venus Williams - 5.5 games v Yulia Putintseva: Serena Williams continues to dominate the women's game, but elder sister Venus Williams has definitely looked a much more competitive player over the last year. After suffering through some serious illnesses, Venus Williams has rediscovered her form and Wimbledon remains the tournament closest to her heart.

It took a big effort from Petra Kvitova to end the Venus Williams run twelve months ago and a double bagel over Madison Brengle shows that Williams is someone who can still dominate on this surface. Williams comfortably dismissed Yulia Putintseva when they met last year in Canada on the hard courts, and she will feel confident to come through without too much fuss on grass.

Putintseva has to be given credit for beating Marina Erakovic in the First Round, a tough competitor on this surface, but that is a rare success on grass for the player representing Kazakhstan. She is going to have to try and handle the difficult conditions as well as the power of the Venus Williams game and I am struggling to see how she will do that.

It has all the hallmarks of a similar kind of match to when they met on the hard courts last year and I think Venus Williams matches the 63, 62 scoreline.


Andrea Petkovic - 5.5 games v Mariana Duque-Marino: Another player that recorded a double bagel in the First Round that I am expecting to back up that performance is Andrea Petkovic. She takes on Mariana Duque-Marino who surprised a British hope in the First Round, although I think Petkovic is going to be far too solid for her.

This is not really the kind of surface that appeals to Duque-Marino and the Colombian hasn't had a lot of success on it which isn't really a surprise. She can transfer some of her clay court nous onto this surface, but someone like Petkovic should be able to hit through her on the faster court.

One concern has to be that the grass hasn't always been the favourite part of the year for Petkovic and she hasn't really produced the goods at Wimbledon. However, she has been given a kind couple of draws to help build some confidence and get into a position to have her best result in this Grand Slam.

It might be competitive at times, but Petkovic should have a little too much in the locker as she breaks down Duque-Marino in a 64, 62 win.

MY PICKS: Grigor Dimitrov - 5.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Fernando Verdasco - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Sam Stosur - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Venus Williams - 5.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Andrea Petkovic - 5.5 Games @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Wimbledon Update: 5-5, + 0.36 Units (19 Units Staked, + 1.89% Yield)

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