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Sunday, 6 September 2015

US Open Day 7 Picks 2015 (September 6th)

This tournament has been a frustrating one for the fans in attendance as well as for my picks when it comes to retirements as the fifth pick went down before the match could be completed.

I might be less bothered if I was going to be on the losing side of those picks, but they were in a position to go 4-1 and that is the difference between a really good tournament and the one I am currently having.

You can't predict players that are going to pull out, else I wouldn't have picked from those matches, but it is just as disappointing as seeing players getting into winning positions and continue to have a serious mental let down at that point.

Tomas Berdych should have covered yesterday as he had worn down Guillermo Garcia-Lopez but somehow played a game where he was broken from 30-0 up and his three breaks in the final set meant he missed the cover by a single game.

That is becoming a real feature of what has become a miserable season for my picks after some very solid years. Sometimes you forget that these players are human and so are going to have some ups and downs, but my overriding feeling is that players 'should do their job' and it would have been a season to match the last few years.

Instead I have had to look on frustrated with players missing their chances or seeing their serve broken under no pressure and it is just the way it has gone, particularly in the last couple of months since Wimbledon was completed.

Marin Cilic - 2.5 games v Jeremy Chardy: This looks like it could develop into a brilliant Fourth Round match as Marin Cilic and Jeremy Chardy open proceedings on Arthur Ashe on Sunday. Marin Cilic is making a decent defence of his US Open trophy that he won last season, but he is not at the same level and now faces an opponent in Jeremy Chardy who has been in very good form in preparing for this tournament.

The Frenchman had a strong win over David Ferrer in the Third Round, the first time Chardy has beaten Ferrer in his career, although the latter is coming off a long lay off from the Tour. Facing Cilic is a different test for Chardy who has a strong first serve and uses that to dictate rallies, while also being effective off the ground.

If Chardy is going to win this match, he has to serve well and take advantage of the second serves he sees and his run to the Semi Final in Montreal last month has given him confidence. It took Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to beat Chardy in the two Masters events this summer, while it has to be said that Cilic wasn't winning too many matches prior to this week.

Cilic has been serving effectively, but his return game was the key to winning the title here last season and he hasn't reached that level after injury prevented him opening 2015 in January. This match will come down to a couple of points here and there and their previous two matches have been tough, drawn out affairs.

While I think it could be a very close match, I do give the edge to Cilic who had a strong win in the Third Round that will give him some confidence. Out of the two players, Cilic looks like he will have the slightly more consistent serve and I expect he has the greater number of break points and should come through while covering this small number if he is fairly clinical at taking those chances.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 4.5 games v Benoit Paire: Quietly going under the radar, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga finds himself in the Fourth Round of another Grand Slam in 2015 and he is a strong favourite to beat his compatriot Benoit Paire in this match on Sunday.

I do think Tsonga has been playing well enough to win the match and he was my surprise choice to reach the Quarter Finals, while he has also been clinical when it comes to taking his chances this week. Tsonga has won all nine sets he has played and his return game has been on points as he has not needed one tie-breaker yet.

That return game will be tested by Paire who has a big first serve and used that shot to break down Tommy Robredo in a one-sided Third Round match. Paire beat Kei Nishikori to open up his section of the draw and he has taken full advantage of that and won't be intimidated by facing Tsonga with that win behind him despite losing all four sets he has previously played against Tsonga.

It has been three years since Tsonga and Paire played a competitive match, but I don't think there will be too many secrets between them. I think Tsonga has the bigger game and is clearly showing some form this week, while Paire is never too far away from a sloppy service game which would be costly in this match.

Tsonga might have to come through at least one tie-breaker for the first time this week, but I think he will eventually put too much pressure on Paire and come through 76, 63, 64.

Feliciano Lopez v Fabio Fognini: It has to be the most impressive win of Fabio Fognini's career when he became the first player to come from 2-0 down in sets against Rafael Nadal and beat him in a Grand Slam event. Some of the tennis Fognini produced in the fourth and fifth set was out of this world, but backing that up won't be easy.

It isn't just the emotional factor of coming off a big win like the one Fognini achieved, but he also had a very late finish and will have needed every minute to recover. Fognini was also in pretty poor form prior to the US Open and I think he might have emptied the tank in his win over Nadal which will be tough to replenish in time for a match with Feliciano Lopez.

Fognini would have taken the headlines on Friday, but Lopez had a very impressive win over Milos Raonic and getting through in straight sets is huge for him. He has never played Fognini before so might be surprised with the antics of the Italian, but Lopez has a pretty consistent game which is based on a big serve and looking to extract mistakes with his sliced backhand.

After such a big performance, I don't think it would surprise anyone to see Fognini struggle to hit those highs again and I will back Lopez to just use his consistency to find a way into the Quarter Final.

Ekaterina Makarova - 2.5 games v Kristina Mladenovic: There were some doubts about Ekaterina Makarova prior to the US Open in terms of injury and she made the decision to not take part in the Doubles this time. You can't doubt the heart that Makarova has though as she battled cramp as well as Elina Svitolina in the last Round and came through to the Fourth Round.

Makarova will be pleased she has been given an evening slot for the Fourth Round match against Kristina Mladenovic who may just have announced herself on the Singles Tour. Mladenovic is up to 40 in the World Rankings but is in line for another significant improvement and this has comfortably been the best year on the Tour for the young Frenchwoman.

However, she is going to be dealing with plenty of power from the other side of the court in this one and Mladenovic has been worn down by that in her two previous losses to Makarova. Both times it is Mladenovic who has taken the first set before Makarova has taken control and I think the the Russian deals with the pace better than Mladenovic will.

It is going to be a tough match with both players in form, but I like Makarova to reach the Quarter Final by using all of her experience and come through 46, 63, 64.

MY PICKS: Marin Cilic - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Feliciano Lopez @ 1.73 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Ekaterina Makarova - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

US Open Update: 26-25, - 1.89 Units (102 Units Staked, - 1.85% Yield)

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