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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (August 5th)

It was a disappointing day on Tuesday after a couple of players got into a position to come in as winners, but failed to either serve out the match when they had the chance or couldn't take their break point chances to pressure their opponents.

On Wednesday the Second Round matches in Kitzbuhel and Stanford will get underway, while the tournament in Washington moves ahead with that Round after having a few of the matches played on Tuesday.

Like the first couple of days, I am going to have to add picks from the North American tournaments on Wednesday as the markets are not ready to go just yet.

Robin Haase + 3.5 games v Federico Delbonis: This might be a tournament where Robin Haase has enjoyed considerable success in the past, but he has to be feeling incredibly fortunate to still be involved in Kitzbuhel this year. It was only an unfortunate injury suffered by Juan Monaco in the First Round that helped Haase through after he had dropped the first set 62, although he might feel he could have turned things around.

Now it is up to the Dutchman to take advantage of the fortune he has received.

He has a tough Second Round match against Federico Delbonis who had an impressive First Round win over Pablo Carreno Busta but who has been inconsistent over the last three weeks. Delbonis can sometimes become very erratic with is play from behind the baseline and his serve can thus be a little vulnerable.

This has usually been a pretty productive time of the season for Robin Haase, but he has also been inconsistent and might feel he has missed the chance to improve his World Ranking. However, Haase can make this a competitive match if he can get back to his previous form at this tournament, especially if Delbonis is not quite at his very best.

It is a surprise to me that Haase is being given as many games as he is in this match because I do think Delbonis is never that far away from a meltdown in a single set and that could see the Dutchman cover even in a losing effort.

Diego Sebastian Schwartzman - 3.5 games v Albert Montanes: These two players met in the Qualifiers for the Monte Carlo Masters earlier this season and it was Diego Sebastian Schwartzman who came out on top against Albert Montanes in a break-filled match.

You can't really say either player is in very good form, but Montanes has mainly earned some wins at the Qualifier level and the veteran is no longer producing a lot of wins on the main Tour. The clay courts are of course Montanes' favourite domain, but Schwartzman is also very comfortable on this surface and his losses recently can be at least forgiven.

The defeat to Denis Istomin came after a long trip to Europe following his representing Argentina in the Davis Cup, while Pablo Cuevas has been very consistent on the clay. This is the kind of match that Schwartzman will be expecting to win at this stage of his career and his win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the First Round should have given him a confidence boost.

Neither player has a serve that will give them a lot of cheap points, but I think Schwartzman is capable of using his superior movement to win the majority of the rallies. It should be another match between the two that features a number of breaks, but I think Schwartzman is able to get the better of those situations and win this 64, 64.

Andreas Seppi - 3.5 games v Dusan Lajovic: It was a strong week for Andreas Seppi last week in Hamburg and he has been given the chance for another by receiving a bye in the First Round in Kitzbuhel. That means he only needs to win four matches to take the title home, and Seppi might certainly be looking at the bottom half of the draw as a chance to reach the Final.

The first match Seppi has to play here looks a tough one against Dusan Lajovic who is looking to move back into the top 100 of the World Rankings. Lajovic was a comfortable winner over the veteran Mikhail Youzhny, but recently had to retire from a match with an injury and I am not sure if he is fully recovered.

He was beaten comfortably by Pablo Andujar last week and has lost his two previous matches against Seppi without winning a set. Seppi has some ability on the court, but he is like Andujar in trying to be as consistent as possible and I think that consistency will eventually wear down Lajovic in this one.

My only issue with Seppi has to be his weakness on serve which will give Lajovic a chance to get into the match, but I expect the Italian to have enough to come through 75, 64.

Victor Troicki - 2.5 games v Sam Groth: The biggest question for me in this match is how is Victor Troicki going to react to his devastating Davis Cup defeat last month? After some really good performances over the grass court season, Troicki was the Number 1 for Serbia going into the tie with Argentina and looked to have levelled it up when 2-0 up in sets against Federico Delbonis.

However, Troicki was beaten in five sets and makes his first appearance on the Tour since then- devastating Davis Cup defeats have sent some players spiralling into a poor run of form in the past and Troicki will want to avoid that fate to keep his Ranking up after a strong twelve months.

The match with Sam Groth is dangerous simply because of the size of the serve he will be facing, but Troicki will feel he can get the better of the Australian having beaten him on the grass courts six weeks ago. Groth has struggled to back up his own strong performance in the Davis Cup last month with early exits in Bogota and Atlanta, while he had a tough First Round win.

If Troicki had been a regular on Tour, he might be a bigger favourite to win the match. The lack of tennis is a concern as is his move to the hard courts, but I think Troicki makes enough balls back in play to win this 76, 64.

Bernard Tomic - 1.5 games v Steve Johnson: It has been a strange few weeks for Bernard Tomic who was removed from the Australian Davis Cup team after criticising the Association, arrested in Miami, and then won the title in Bogota.

He battled hard in that tournament in Colombia to take the title home and makes his first appearance on the North American hard courts this summer. The Second Round match against Steve Johnson is going to be a difficult one, especially as the American has been playing well and would have some confidence having beaten Tomic on the grass courts in June.

However, it has to be pointed out that Johnson has lost five matches in a row since that win over Bernard Tomic if you count out his wins against Lukas Lacko. Johnson beat Lacko in the First Round for the third time in the space of around six weeks, but I expect Tomic to pose more problems than he did in Halle.

There have been times that Johnson has really put together some solid service gams, but Tomic is a decent returner and I do think he makes enough balls to come through in three tough sets.

Andy Murray - 5.5 games v Teymuraz Gabashvili: Andy Murray has admitted that it took him a little bit of time to get used to being back on the hard courts after his strong grass court campaign. However, I would fully expect him to be ready for his Second Round match in Washington as his preparation for the US Open gets underway.

He is playing Teymuraz Gabashvili who won his First Round match, but this is a player who won his first match since returning from Wimbledon so won't be much further along than Murray in hard court preparation.

The win will give Gabashvili confidence and he is actually much more talented than his 53 World Ranking, but his serve can be a weakness and Murray is one of the returners on the Tour that could keep him under pressure.

Murray's own serve can sometimes let him down, especially the second serve, when he is playing someone who will take risks with a 'nothing to lose' attitude. I expect Gabashvili may play the first set very close, but eventually Murray will knuckle down and come through 64, 62.

MY PICKS: Robin Haase + 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Diego Sebastian Schwartzman - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Andreas Seppi - 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Victor Troicki - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Bernard Tomic - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Andy Murray - 5.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 3-3, - 0.16 Units (12 Units Staked, - 1.33% Yield)

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