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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Tennis Picks 2015 (October 28th)

The last three months of the tennis season have given me my worst run in over four years of doing this and I have to say it has been really frustrating at times. I can't remember a run of form where so many times players look set to come in as a winning pick, but then inexplicably blow a lead.

Either that or they will start off so slowly that they can't really have much of a chance of covering despite then dominating the later two sets in the manner I expected them to start it.

And worst of all is the terrible break point conversion rate that so many players have gone through when I have picked them- that alone would be disappointing, but the fact they have then allowed their opponents to dominate in that category has proven to be a killer.

All of these factors were in play on Tuesday as both David Goffin and Philipp Kohlschreiber won their matches, but failed to cover because they combined for just 33% of break point chances converted. That was compared with their opponents converting 50% of their opportunities and proved to be a big difference even though Goffin and Kohlschreiber had many more chances to break serve.

With that kind of luck, I have to say this season has been a big disappointment for the picks which had been in an incredible position after Wimbledon but I haven't been able to escape the awful weeks in the time since.

I'll make some adjustments in the off-season to get ready for the 2016 season as I look for the final month of the season to at least show some form.

Petra Kvitova - 3.5 games v Lucie Safarova: These two Czech Republic players have both been struggling with injuries and illness and also were both beaten in straight sets to open the WTA Championship.

That means both Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova will be desperate to get back to winning ways in their second Group game, especially if they have a real ambition of getting through to the Semi Final. The losing player is almost certainly going to be out of the tournament and that will bring its own pressure, but Kvitova has dominated Safarova and has to believe she can continue that.

Neither player has done much winning of late which will be a concern for both, but Kvitova has generally found a way to break down the Safarova game. And Kvitova was much more competitive than Safarova in the first game that both played in Singapore and was perhaps a little unfortunate she didn't win the second set tie-breaker against Angelique Kerber which might have turned the whole momentum of that match.

Petra Kvitova has usually been able to wear down Safarova in their matches and I am looking for her to put together a tough 76, 63 win.

Garbine Muguruza-Angelique Kerber Over 21.5 Total Games: Matches between Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza have been tough battles and I think their match in Singapore could easily follow suit. Both Kerber and Muguruza won their opening match to put themselves in a solid position to qualify for the Semi Final, but the losing player will have some significant work to get through to ensure they do just that.

The six previous matches between these two players has seen each player win three times, but I am not surprised Muguruza is given the edge by the layers as she has won three in a row. However, a more noticeable trend is the fact that the last four matches have all been very competitive and would have surpassed this total number of games they are being asked to cover.

As good a player as Muguruza is, she still has the tendency to throw in too many sloppy service games which give opponents a chance. The fluctuations in her game are not as bad as they once were, but there are enough to give Kerber a chance even if the Spaniard has the power to hit through her.

Those fluctuations in the Muguruza game could easily see both players win a set in this one and I think that should see this total number of games passed. Even a tight two setter would do in this match and I will back the over total games.

Marin Cilic - 5.5 games v Marco Chiudinelli: The extra day of recovery was given to Marin Cilic after he won the title in Moscow on Sunday, but the draw looks a kind one for him to open up in Basel. That is no disrespect to the veteran Marco Chiudinelli, but the Wild Card into the tournament has had some bad losses in recent weeks to players far inferior to Cilic.

These two have actually met in Basel before with Cilic coming through in straight sets and losing just six games in the match. Fatigue is the bigger concern for Cilic this week, but he still has an outside ambition of making it through to the World Tour Finals and that might be motivation enough to ignore any tiredness.

I wouldn't want to totally underestimate the veteran Chiudinelli in this contest, but I think he is going to be put under pressure through the match. It will come down to whether he can serve effectively enough to maintain momentum and turn the screw on Cilic, but it looks a big ask for him at this stage of his career.

I believe Cilic is able to earn at least three breaks of serve and that should set him up for a 64, 62 kind of win in this one.

Leonardo Mayer - 1.5 games v Teymuraz Gabashvili: It was a solid week for Teymuraz Gabashvili in Moscow, although the defeat in the Quarter Final in the manner it came would have disappointed. That has been a rare week of success for Gabashvili in recent weeks though and I think he will have a difficult time seeing off Leonardo Mayer in this First Round match in Basel.

There hasn't been a lot of winning done by Mayer in recent weeks, but he has lost to better players than Gabashvili while winning the matches he has been expected to. I have been a little disappointed that Mayer wasn't able to win one of his two matches against Gilles Simon, but the Frenchman is a far different proposition than Gabashvili.

This should be a much bigger hitting kind of match that should suit Mayer and Gabashvili, but I think the former has a little more to like about his game. There is no doubting that Gabashvili has plenty of talent, but his serve can be a weakness and Mayer's is definitely the better shot which can be a difference maker.

I won't be surprised to see this one go three sets, but I like Mayer to find his way through to the Second Round behind a 64, 67, 64 win.

Kevin Anderson - 3.5 games v Borna Coric: It has been a career season for Kevin Anderson but it doesn't look like he will have enough in the locker to reach the World Tour Finals. That remains a goal for the South African, but he has suffered some disappointing losses over the last month to the likes of Gilles Muller and Steve Johnson that might have ended Anderson's hopes of playing in London.

He could be one of the top Seeds that is quite vulnerable over the last few weeks of the season, but I think Anderson will be a little too strong for the talented youngster Borna Coric.

This is the first full year on the Tour that Coric has competed in and I think the last month has shown that it has taken its toll and fatigue is an issue. Coric has lost three of his last four matches and his thoughts could easily have drifted to the off-season and then focusing on 2016 and I think there are a couple of reasons that Anderson should find himself a winner and a cover of this margin.

The first of those is the Anderson serve should give him a decent chance to keep his nose in front on the scoreboard while Coric is still trying to get the best out of his own serve. That will come once he finishes growing into his body, but it also means he can have trouble holding onto serve at times and I think giving Anderson the lead will be tough for him to peg back at this stage of his career.

After a battling first set, Anderson may be able to move clear for a 64, 63 win.

Stan Wawrinka - 1.5 games v Ivo Karlovic: Ivo Karlovic has been serving like a monster in recent weeks and that is shown by the fact that he has not dropped a set outside of a tie-breaker in any of his nine matches since the US Open.

You can't say he hasn't played some tough matches in that time with a three set loss to Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters the most memorable. However, Karlovic has dropped matches in straight sets to Ernests Gulbis, Pablo Cuevas and Nick Kyrgios although all of those have been in two tie-breakers.

Now he faces Stan Wawrinka in conditions that should suit his serve and that makes him very dangerous if the Swiss Number 2 is not at his best. It can be tough to look after your own side of the court when it feels like you are constantly serving, while Wawrinka can be accused of being a little slack when it comes to his service games.

However, you can't ignore the fact that Wawrinka is playing at home and has had the better of Karlovic in their recent matches. Only some poor play at break point up prevented Wawrinka beating Karlovic more comfortably when they played at the Cincinnati Masters in August, but I think he will be a little stronger this time.

Breaking the Karlovic serve is far from easy with the way the Croatian is playing, but Wawrinka is capable of doing it with the bounce going his way at break points. Even if those don't come his way, Karlovic has lost a few matches now in straight sets with both sets being decided on the tie-breaker so I will back Wawrinka to cover this number of games on Wednesday.

Rafael Nadal - 2.5 games v Grigor Dimitrov: Rafael Nadal could so easily be out of the tournament in Basel, but he dug deep to come back from Lukas Rosol serving for the match and turn the match around completely.

It backs up his successful weeks in Beijing and Shanghai and Nadal won't want to slip up against Grigor Dimitrov, a player he has beaten every time they have met on the court.

If people thought Nadal has had a bad season, Dimitrov fans will point out how difficult it has been for their own man this year. He might have had a convincing win over Sergiy Stakhovsky to move into the Second Round, but Dimitrov has had plenty of disappointing losses all year with little sign of that changing.

I am struggling to see how Dimitrov has changed things significantly to keep Nadal at bay in this one and I think the Spaniard is going to be too strong. They have had some close matches in the past, but this could be a little more in favour of Nadal and I think he is playing the superior tennis and is definitely the more confident player.

That can make the difference and ensure Nadal is able to move through 76, 64.

MY PICKS: Petra Kvitova - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Garbine Muguruza-Angelique Kerber Over 21.5 Total Games @ 1.83 William Hill (2 Units)
Marin Cilic - 5.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Leonardo Mayer - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Kevin Anderson - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Betway (2 Units)
Stan Wawrinka - 1.5 Games @ 1.73 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-6, - 8.20 Units (16 Units Staked, - 51.25% Yield)

1 comment:

  1. Dimitrov will beat nadal, I don't think it is a good idea you recommend to your readers this pick - no queries with the rest of your picks but nadal won't come through tonight.