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Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (August 4th)

The tournaments this week have been spread across North America and Europe and that means that the markets are not always available when I first put up my post.

The event in Kitzbuhel has put up their markets for the remaining First Round matches that will be played on Tuesday, but any picks from Washington or Stanford will be made at around lunchtime.

Jiri Vesely + 2.5 games v Nicolas Almagro: The layers have not lost faith in Nicolas Almagro just yet, but I have my doubts after watching some of his recent losses. While Jiri Vesely hasn't been producing a lot of wins over the last couple of weeks, his losses to Fabio Fognini and Rafael Nadal in two close matches look much better than the defeats Almagro has suffered against Denis Istomin and Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

It hasn't been a great season for Vesely as he is trying to find the consistency on the Tour to improve his World Ranking, but he has played both Fognini and Nadal close.

Vesely has a big serve that can give him a chance to run through games, while I also do feel that Nicolas Almagro has lost half a step around the court. That has seen him struggle to protect his serve and Vesely has every chance of winning at least one set in this match which should give him a chance to make this a close one.

The Spaniard just hasn't looked good over the last few weeks and he will have to show he is willing to dig much deeper than he has looked like doing in his last couple of losses. A couple of years ago I would have made Almagro a healthy favourite to win a match like this, but now I think Vesely has closed the gap to enough of an extent to make this number of games look appealing.

Coco Vandeweghe - 2.5 games v Christina McHale: This is the first time these players are back on the Tour since Wimbledon, although it is perhaps more understandable for Coco Vandeweghe who had a fantastic run in South West London last month.

They would both have now focused on getting ready for the US Open as both Vandeweghe and Christina McHale should be very comfortable on the hard courts in North America. Both will see this as a chance to build some real Ranking points over the next six weeks, but I also think neither would have been that happy of having to face the other in the First Round in Washington.

I think both McHale and Vandeweghe will feel they have underperformed on the hard courts over the last couple of years, although the latter can at least point to a winning record on the surface. There are some similarities with the way they will approach the match as both have decent serves that can set up their holds of serve, but both are also inconsistent off the ground.

This will come down to which player is able to make the most balls with their high risk approach, but I think Vandeweghe has shown more potential to really hit the heights in the women's game. I like what McHale can produce at times, but she doesn't do it for long enough and I fancy Vandeweghe to come through in two tight sets.

Jarmila Gajdosova - 3.5 games v Naomi Broady: It has to be considered something of a surprise to see Naomi Broady in the main draw in Washington after she won a couple of qualifiers as she has never played a hard court match at this level before. The two wins she earned to get into the main draw will make her a threat against the inconsistent Australian Jarmila Gajdosova, although I think the latter is still going to be a little too good for the British player who is Ranked outside the top 200.

The simple fact remains that Broady doesn't usually compete at this level because she has not been good enough and some of her losses in the lower levels back that up. That isn't to say you can just dismiss her chances of the upset because she has those wins in the qualifiers to build confidence and Gajdosova isn't exactly unknown for losing matches she shouldn't.

It is also the first time Gajdosova has had a competitive match in six weeks and that does play a part, but I think the Aussie player has enough power in her shots to give Broady too many problems to deal with.

I'd be surprised if Gajdosova blows Broady away simply because of her lack of competitive matches of late compared with the British player, but I think she comes through 75, 63.

Polona Hercog - 4.5 games v Julia Glushko: Polona Hercog has begun to make a move back up the World Rankings, but she is going into the Washington tournament having played in a couple of European clay court events over the last month. She played well in those tournaments reaching a Semi Final and a Quarter Final in consecutive weeks so Hercog should be coming in with some confidence for the North American hard court swing.

She was beaten in the First Round in Washington last year and hasn't really produced a lot of wins on the hard courts during 2015, but Hercog has shown she is perhaps a little too good for those who have to come through qualifiers.

That is where Julia Glushko has been putting together the wins to get into the main draw and that makes her dangerous simply by knowing what the conditions are offering. However, Glushko isn't having a really strong season and I think she has been found out when reaching the main Tour level of events.

Glushko had lost eight matches in a row on the Singles court prior to her two qualifier wins, but Hercog has the power to push her backwards in this one and has performed better at the highest level. She dominated her in the qualifiers for Cincinnati last season and I expect Hercog to win this one 64, 63.

Marcos Baghdatis - 3.5 games v Guido Pella: The deep run in Atlanta might be the biggest concern for Marcos Baghdatis coming into Washington as the recovery time from Sunday to Tuesday is not exactly that great. He came up short in the Final on Sunday, but Baghdatis has been playing quite well over the last couple of months and I like his chances to win this First Round match.

At one point it looked like Guido Pella was ready to make a real move in the World Rankings, but he has struggled for consistency and he hasn't won a main Tour match since Bogota over twelve months ago. The majority of his time is spent on the clay courts, but Pella has been following the Tour a little more over the last couple of months, even if the wins haven't been forthcoming.

His lefty serve will cause Baghdatis some problems and the long week may have a physical toll on the Cypriot, but I think he is still able to come through after getting to grips with things. The two qualifier wins will have given Pella some confidence to take into this match, but some of his losses on the hard courts this season have been disappointing.

I think Baghdatis will need to serve well to put some pressure on Pella, but the latter's serve is vulnerable and I expect Baghdatis to win 76, 63.

MY PICKS: Jiri Vesely + 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Coco Vandeweghe - 2.5 Games @ 1.90 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Jarmila Gajdosova - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Polona Hercog - 4.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Marcos Baghdatis - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-0, + 4.02 Units (4 Units Staked, + 100.50% Yield)

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