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Thursday, 30 June 2016

Wimbledon Tennis Day 4 Picks 2016 (June 30th)

The wet and windy conditions expected at Wimbledon did materialise for much of the day on Wednesday and that means there were a number of cancellations of matches that had been scheduled for the day.

The key for the organisers was to make sure they got all the remaining First Round matches through, and to that extent you have to wonder what they were thinking in the Order of Play which was released on Tuesday. Everyone had anticipated a wet Wednesday meaning time was going to be of the essence, but instead of making sure all of the First Round matches were scheduled first up, they made a real of hash of things.

I will never understand why they had First Round matches scheduled back to back on some courts, but they had placed Second Round matches after those First Round matches that had begun but been delayed on Tuesday.

For example why would you not have another First Round match scheduled after Alexander Zverev's match (the German leading by 2-0 in sets and 3-0 in the third set) rather than have a Second Round match after that? Instead you have the likes of Belinda Bencic and Ekaterina Makarova's First Round matches after Mens First Round matches that hadn't begun meaning they really could be in a spot of having to play three times in three days to make it into the Second Week.

That doesn't seem fair to me and the organisers have to be questioned- I get the show courts are the big money courts and so the big names need to be on those, but the outside courts is a different matter yet those seem to have been bodged up too.

Only at the end of the day did the organisers panic and the likes of Bencic and Makarova saw their matches moved so they were 'next on' but why it took those who put the OOP together so long to figure out what was required is beyond me.

All of the rain in the SW19 area means many of the picks didn't even begin on Wednesday, but Thursday looks a clearer day and will be loaded with Second Round matches. There might even be a couple of First Round matches that need to be completed and those players are unfortunate in likely having to play on three straight days. If you want to catch up with my picks from Day 3, you can find them here.

On Thursday it does look a better day for play, although it might be a delayed start to the day despite the organisers pushing forward the outside court start times to 11am. Hopefully from then, or just after, we should get a full day of play to get this tournament back on track although there are bound to be some players who have to play Second Round matches on Friday and their Third Round match on Saturday to ensure 'Magic Monday' is played out as normal.

Anyway, on to the picks from Day 4 at Wimbledon.

Andy Murray - 8.5 games v Yen-Hsun Lu: Wednesday might have been about a British underdog story, but Centre Court will feel much more like home for Andy Murray who continues his quest to win a second Wimbledon title. A dominant First Round win over Liam Broady has got the tournament off to the exact start that Murray would have wanted, but he will be well aware of the threat posed by Yen-Hsun Lu.

This is a player that has beaten someone like Andy Roddick at Wimbledon during his career and you can't expect anything less than a confident player taking to the court. It might be at a lower level, but Lu has won two Challenger events and reached the Final of another in recent weeks on the grass courts.

His game does work well on the grass with a decent first serve that can set up the points, while Lu has strong movement around the court which can make him hard to break down. However Andy Murray has won their two previous grass court matches and has the kind or return that will force Lu to dig deep to win every point and the question is whether Murray can serve well enough in order to cover what is a big number on paper.

Lu has had some good wins on the grass over the last month but this is a big step up for him. He has given Murray some issues in their past meetings, and that might play out here, except the stats have shown Murray has just missed his chances to break down the Lu game. I expect he will have the majority of break points in this one and taking his chances can make this an easier day in the office than some may think and I like Murray to come through with a 64, 63, 62 win on Centre Court.

Dominic Thiem - 6.5 games v Jiri Vesely: It might have flown under the radar, but don't underestimate how solid a win Dominic Thiem had over Florian Mayer in the First Round. The latter won the big grass court event in Halle, but Thiem was a straight sets winner over him here at Wimbledon and managed his emotions through the various rain delays.

It is further signs of his maturity in the last couple of years on the Tour and getting into the top 10 of the World Rankings was a big achievement after Roland Garros. Some players might have struggled to build upon that run, but Thiem won the tournament in Stuttgart on grass and then reached the Semi Final in Halle to show the confidence he has.

The match up with Jiri Vesely is a tough one when you think of the big serve that the Czech player has and how that should help him earn some cheap points on the grass. However he has yet to really bring some consistency onto the main Tour since turning professional and he has not had a deep run at Wimbledon.

I do hope Thiem brings his top serving game to the court on Thursday, but doing that should see him have his chances to break serve and win this match with some room to spare. Vesely can serve well enough to take a set to a tie-breaker, but I think Thiem is in such confident form that I am looking for him to come through 76, 64, 62.

Belinda Bencic - 5.5 games v Julia Boserup: Injuries have hurt the Belinda Bencic momentum, but this is a player that has returned to the court after the clay court season and looks to be making some big noise on the grass. For a long time it has been suggested that Bencic would be the kind of player to have a big impact at Wimbledon and her impressive First Round win over Tsvetana Pironkova is a stand out result on a rain filled Wednesday.

Most would have expected Pironkova to test Bencic, but the 19 year old played very well and came through easily enough. My one concern for her on Thursday is playing back to back matches having had a few injury issues over the last three months, but the match up with Julia Boserup should be one that Bencic is winning by a considerable margin.

The American might not be that well known to most fans, but Boserup has to be respected having won four matches to get into this Second Round with the first three coming in the Qualifiers. None of those have come against a player as good as Bencic and Boserup suffered some one sided losses to the likes of Andrea Hlavackova and Kateryna Kozlova in Qualifiers for other grass events over the last month.

Boserup has a solid game, but nothing overly spectacular while I think it will be possible for Bencic to attack her serve. As long as Bencic hasn't suffered any reaction to a late First Round win on Wednesday, I think she will be too good and beat Boserup 64, 62.

Dominika Cibulkova - 4.5 games v Daria Gavrilova: The Eastbourne Champion last week had a tough opening match at Wimbledon but Dominika Cibulkova kept the momentum behind herself with that victory. She will be in a difficult match in the Second Round but I do think Cibulkova might match up well against Daria Gavrilova.

Gavrilova was really taken into the hearts of the Australian people when reaching the Fourth Round in the Australian Open just weeks after being approved as a citizen of that nation. Since then her form has been a little inconsistent but she can string together some very impressive periods of play which makes her a dangerous match for anyone.

She took a set off of Angelique Kerber in Birmingham before losing to the German, but Gavrilova won her first match in the main draw at Wimbledon on Tuesday after coming from a set down. There is no doubting there is a similar style of play to Cibulkova with both players not always possessing the biggest serves, but plenty of power off the ground to rattle their opponents.

I just think Cibulkova is the more comfortable on the grass courts of the two at this moment and I believe she might be the slightly more powerful mover around the court. I do think there will be some breaks of serve for both players in this one, but Cibulkova has momentum behind her and I think she breaks down the Australian in a 64, 63 win.

Andrea Petkovic v Elena Vesnina: I am a little surprised that Andrea Petkovic is the underdog in this match up with Elena Vesnina in the Second Round and I am going to back the German to come through.

After a disappointing couple of seasons, Vesnina has looked a little closer to her best in 2016 and that has seen her move back up to Number 50 in the World Rankings. However Vesnina has struggled at Wimbledon in recent years despite winning the tournament in Eastbourne in 2013 and so I am not sure I need to read too much into her Quarter Final run at Eastbourne last week.

Since 2010, Vesnina has not made it past the Second Round here and she is facing an opponent who has won their last two matches including at the US Open last year. While it hasn't been a great season for Petkovic, this is a player that has all the tools to perform well on any surface with an under-rated serve and decent all around play.

Petkovic has reached the Third Round at Wimbledon in three of her last four appearances here and my only concern is that she has been a little inconsistent with plenty of final set matches in recent weeks. That might give her a little more mental strength though and I think Petkovic can be backed to move into the Third Round at odds against.

Caroline Garcia - 4.5 games v Katerina Siniakova: Many have openly tipped Caroline Garcia as being able to go to the very top of the Women's game, but she has yet to begin to fulfil that potential. There is so much to like about the Garcia game, but I think she should be a lot higher than Number 32 in the World Rankings which highlights some of the inconsistencies that still blight her game.

You would think the grass courts would suit the Frenchwoman with the big first serve Garcia possesses and she is also capable of getting to the net and also dictating from behind the baseline. She did put that all together in winning the title in Mallorca a couple of weeks ago and Garcia had an impressive First Round win which should give her confidence to take into the Second Round.

Katerina Siniakova is outside the top 100 in the World Rankings and she hasn't spent a lot of time in main Tour matches this season. She is a danger to Garcia if she is not on top form as Siniakova has had some solid results on the grass in the last couple of years.

It will need a big serving day from Garcia to make sure she doesn't offer any encouragement to a player she should be beating at this stage of her career. I can see some tough moments for Garcia, but I do think she will see of Siniakova 75, 63 in this one.

Timea Babos + 3.5 games v Coco Vandeweghe: Anyone who has read these picks on a regular basis will know I am a fan of Timea Babos and find that she is a little under-rated on a fairly regularly. The 23 year old is a solid Doubles player, but she has begun to turn things on as a Singles player and is likely one or two really big wins away from making a significant climb up the World Rankings.

A big serve is backed up by some heavy groundstrokes, although I would be looking for an improvement on the return of serve to really give Babos a boost. She will need all her weaponry in this Second Round match against Coco Vandeweghe who reached the Quarter Final at Wimbledon last season.

Vandeweghe is a dangerous player on the grass with a huge serve backed up by a big forehand and that allows her to have a 'free shot' at every return game she sees. The backhand remains a weakness, but Vandeweghe can hide that on the grass courts and this is a match in which the first strike is going to be very important for both players.

I can understand why Vandeweghe is the favourite considering her Quarter Final run last year at SW19 and the dominant way she breezed through the draw to win the title in Hertogenbosch earlier this month. She looked strong again in Birmingham, but I expect Babos to test her after pushing Madison Keys and Petra Kvitova in competitive losses.

Both Keys and Kvitova are amongst the favourites to win at Wimbledon with their styles of play and I think Babos will use those experiences to make these games count against Vandeweghe. This will be a big hitting match that the spectators can enjoy and I will look for the underdog to keep it competitive.

Johanna Konta - 2.5 games v Eugenie Bouchard: It is not too often that a former Wimbledon Finalist would be an underdog against a British female player in a Grand Slam tournament, but that is what we see on Thursday. I can't say I blame the layers as Eugenie Bouchard has been inconsistent since her breakthrough year on the Tour in 2014 when she reached that Wimbledon Final.

Full credit needs to be given to Johanna Konta who has had a memorable twelve months and then produced a strong performance to beat Monica Puig in the First Round at Wimbledon. That has broken her duck in the tournament and Konta has played so well at the US Open and the Australian Open in the last twelve months which suggests she can handle the pressure of playing in front of her home crowd.

The way she dealt with Puig has to inspire confidence and Bouchard has had an inconsistent grass court season which suggests she is still trying to find her 'A' game on the court. Her serve will be attacked by Konta and it is hard to ignore the fact that Bouchard is 5-7 in grass court matches since the Wimbledon Final of 2014.

Konta certainly looks to have the stronger serve and I think she has shown more mental strength than Bouchard over the last few months. Even if she goes down a break, Konta won't feel out of the match, while Bouchard could quickly see sets and then the match disappear from her control. Winning back to back matches hasn't been the Bouchard strength this season and I think Konta will show how much she has improved by beating this former Finalist in three sets, 63, 46, 64.

MY PICKS: Andy Murray - 8.5 Games @ 1.95 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Dominic Thiem - 6.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Belinda Bencic - 5.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Dominika Cibulkova - 4.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Andrea Petkovic @ 2.20 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Caroline Garcia - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)
Timea Babos + 3.5 Games @ 2.10 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Johanna Konta - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

Wimbledon Update: 10-5, + 9.76 Units (30 Units Staked, + 32.53% Yield)

1 comment:

  1. Wimbledon Final 2016 live stream

    at http://www.wimbledononline.net/