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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Wimbledon Day 4 Picks 2015 (July 2nd)

The first three days at Wimbledon have been bathed in warm weather, but the first rain delay of the tournament looks set to take place on Thursday as rain is scheduled for much of the early afternoon. It would be a big surprise if the roof isn't used for the first two matches on Centre Court, but some of the British public might be surprised to hear that Andy Murray has not been scheduled to play his match on the main show court.

While he is scheduled to be first up, and likely able to complete his match before the close of play with the rain cleared up later in the afternoon, Murray might have to face a wait of up to three hours before he is able to begin his match while rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal know for certain that they will have their Second Round matches taking place at the scheduled time.

It is unlikely that the entire Second Round matches that have been set for Thursday are able to get through before the end of play, especially if the expected rain arrives. However, Wimbledon would do well to employ every court they have and perhaps hold the Doubles matches over for another day which should give them half a chance to get all of their Singles matches through and keep the tournament on point.

Roberto Bautista Agut - 5.5 games v Benoit Paire: There weren't any problems in the First Round for either Roberto Bautista Agut or Benoit Paire as both moved into the Second Round with a straight sets victory. However, I think Benoit Paire might have been the beneficiary of a kind draw and I am not sure how much he believes he can have a long-term impact at Wimbledon.

I mean while most players continued their preparation on the grass courts, Paire decided his two qualifier defeats in Hertogenbosch and Halle were enough and instead played in a Challenger event on the clay in Milan last week. He does have a decent serve which should suit the grass courts, but the change in surface has to be a concern if Paire falls behind in this match as I am not sure how much he will want to turn things around.

It is all the tougher that Paire faces Bautista Agut who has won all six previous matches between these two including straight sets wins at the Australian and French Open in 2014. However it has to be said that the Spaniard has not been in the best form of late and that has seen his Ranking drop down to Number 22 and Bautista Agut lost both matches played on the grass ahead of Wimbledon.

However, I think Bautista Agut has the defensive skills to extract the errors from the Paire game and he was a little unfortunate to lose to Fernando Verdasco at Queens. If he serves well, I expect him to frustrate Paire and that should eventually lead to a 64, 76, 63 win and a place in the Third Round.

Victor Troicki - 5.5 games v Aljaz Bedene: He might have shifted his allegiance to Great Britain over the last couple of months, but Aljaz Bedene is not as comfortable on the grass courts as others representing the nation. While his win over Radek Stepanek in five sets was impressive, it was Bedene's first win in the main draw at Wimbledon and Stepanek is still suffering from lingering affects from his injury.

Suffice to say the level of competition has gone by two or three levels on Thursday as Bedene gets ready to take on Victor Troicki, a player who reached the Final in Stuttgart and Semi Final at Queens Club preparing for Wimbledon. Troicki had been serving very well at both of those events and bringing that kind of form into Wimbledon will make him a tough out over the best of five set format.

Barring a blip in the third set, Troicki was a comfortable winner in the First Round and his form looks good. He has beaten Bedene on the clay courts last year and I think he prefers the faster surfaces so I do think Troicki has a real edge in this Second Round match, one that is perhaps not shown up by the number of games he is being asked to cover.

While Bedene has a decent first serve, he can struggle to hold serve against someone as aggressive as Troicki on the return and I think he is worn down in this one. Bedene will have plenty of crowd support, but I don't think he is very comfortable on the grass and I expect Troicki to come through 63, 64, 64.

Roger Federer - 6.5 games v Sam Querrey: There is every chance that this match could be played under the roof if the expected rain hits SW19 and that could make it one with a serving clinic offered by both players. Roger Federer remains one of the best indoor players in the world, while his pedigree on grass is known to all.

Playing under the roof at Wimbledon isn't something that Federer hasn't dealt with before so I expect him to be comfortable, while Sam Querrey might have his best chance of causing an upset. An indoor match should help the Querrey serve, which remains his biggest weapon, but I think the American has to really produce his best match of his career to move into the Third Round.

If the shots are kept short, Querrey will have his best chance of causing the upset, but any time the rallies reach the fourth shot and beyond has to favour Roger Federer. Both players will look to target the backhand side, but Federer's ability to ghost to the net and Querrey's sometimes mental lapse in concentration should give the former seven time winner chances to win this one without too many difficulties.

Querrey showed tremendous character to reach the Final in Nottingham last week, but he rode his luck at times and Federer is unlikely to be as generous allowing him back into this match. Federer has won all five sets previously against Querrey and I like him coming through this one 63, 76, 63.

Timea Bacsinszky - 5.5 games v Silvia Soler-Espinosa: After her run to the French Open Semi Final last month, the big question for Timea Bacsinszky was how she was going to back that up. She proved she is mentally ready for Wimbledon with an impressive First Round win over Julia Goerges and I expect her to be too good for Silvia Soler-Espinosa who isn't so keen on the grass court season.

Instead of playing a grass court tournament in preparation for Wimbledon, the Spaniard took in a clay court event in France and Soler-Espinosa has failed to go beyond the Second Round at this Slam in the past. While she does have a few First Round wins under her belt, Soler-Espinosa generally finds the increased level of opponent too difficult to handle at Wimbledon.

It should be the same again for her against Bacsinszky who has won their two previous matches without being threatened at all. Bacsinszky doesn't have a deep Wimbledon portfolio and was beaten in the Second Round last year, but her mindset has changed since moving up to World Number 15 in the Rankings.

This is a player that is determined to give her all to her tennis career which was close to ending a couple of years ago and Bacsinszky has the accuracy and consistency to dominate the rallies. The match up has been a good one for her in the past and Soler-Espinosa's disregard for the grass court season suggests a 63, 63 win is in the offing for the Seed.

Svetlana Kuznetsova - 4.5 games v Kristyna Pliskova: One of the Pliskova sisters was beaten in the Second Round on Wednesday and I think the lower Ranked Pliskova is going to be beaten in the Second Round on Thursday. Kristyna Pliskova has failed to reach the heights that sister Karolina has on the Singles Tour and she has struggled for consistency heading into this Grand Slam.

She takes on the veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova who is a two time Slam winner, but someone who has struggled at Wimbledon through her career. While Kuznetsova has some Quarter Final appearances earlier in her career, the Russian has failed to reach that stage in her last six appearance and had been a First Round loser the last two times at Wimbledon.

Kuznetsova had shown some decent form heading into Wimbledon this year and she was a comfortable First Round winner. That will be a boost in confidence for someone that isn't overly comfortable on the grass, but she has to be aware of her opponent who has some solid results on this surface in events below the main Tour level.

The lefty serve could pose Kuznetsova some problems and Pliskova has decent pop on the serve, like her sister, but I think the movement of the Russian wins the day. As long as Kuznetsova doesn't let the fact that she is on grass play on her mind, I think she will have a little too much 'know how' and come through 63, 64 against an opponent that is yet to make waves like Karolina Pliskova has.

MY PICKS: Roberto Bautista Agut - 5.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Victor Troicki - 5.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 6.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Timea Bacsinszky - 5.5 Games @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Svetlana Kuznetsova - 4.5 Games @ 1.85 Bet Victor (2 Units)

Wimbledon Update: 8-7, + 1.84 Units (29 Units Staked, + 6.34% Yield)

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