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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (July 20th)

Tuesday was a pretty horrific day for the picks and I have to say I was disappointed in the manner some of the picks went down.

I'll put Grigor Dimitrov on my blacklist going forward and won't be looking to back him again until he begins to string together some consistent results, while Eugenie Bouchard gave away her match with Camila Giorgi.

Donald Young missed his cover by failing to take his chances in the second set and overall it was just a frustrating day all round.

Hopefully Wednesday will be better but my hopes of a third week in a row with a winning record looks in big trouble already.


Nikoloz Basilashvili - 2.5 games v Igor Sijsling: Two players Ranked outside the top 100 in the World Rankings have a big chance to improve their positioning by winning this match. A place in the Quarter Final in Kitzbuhel is available to the winner and those Ranking points could be very important when it comes to Nikoloz Basilashvili and Igor Sijsling perhaps automatically Qualifying for upcoming Grand Slam events.

Both players have recorded solid wins over big servers in their opening matches in Kitzbuhel, but Basilashvili has to hold the mental advantage having beaten Sijsling twice already this season. Both of those wins have come on the clay courts, although they were competitive and tightly contested.

The last match only took place a couple of weeks ago and Basilashvili had to come from a set down to beat Sijsling on that occasion. He was the better player in that match and deserved his comeback win and I think Basilashvili can come through and beat Sijsling for the third time this season.

It will be close as neither player is that confident on the clay courts, even at the lower level. However those wins that Basilashvili has already earned over Sijsling can help him win this one 76, 64.


Daniel Gimeno-Traver - 1.5 games v Gerald Melzer: Another Second Round match at Kitzbuhel featuring two players Ranked outside the top 100 is going to be played on Tuesday. Gerald Melzer came from behind to beat one Spaniard on Tuesday and he will be looking to add Daniel Gimeno-Traver to his list of players beaten.

Once again Melzer is the underdog in this one, but only a slight one, and I was hoping that he might be over-rated after beating Albert Montanes. That doesn't seem to be the case, but I still believe Gimeno-Traver can get the better of him on the clay courts on which the Spaniard plays his best tennis.

Gimeno-Traver has had the better clay court results in recent weeks including reaching the Quarter Final in Hamburg last week and another win would get him very close to cracking back into the top 100 in the World Rankings. As well as Melzer did in turning around his match with Montanes, he will be tested again on Wednesday and I do wonder if that physical exertion will eventually be a telling factor.

The Austrian had lost three in a row before beating Montanes, but I will be looking for Gimeno-Traver to get the better of this one even if it does go three sets.


Sara Errani - 1.5 games v Viktorija Golubic: A winning effort in Gstaad has sent Viktorija Golubic into the top 100 in the World Rankings and any sense of fatigue has been wiped out with an impressive First Round win in Bastad. Her title win last week has to be something of a surprise to most followers of the WTA Tour considering Golubic's lack of consistency on the clay courts and she will be tested to the full in this one.

I won't mince my words here- Sara Errani is very close to my blacklist with her performances this season, but the clay courts should still see her best form. This is the kind of match that Errani would have enjoyed in the past as she would look to wear down Golubic, but she is not at the level she has been playing at in recent seasons.

However I do think there is a case for backing Errani as Golubic has to be feeling all of her exertions of the last ten days. This will be her seventh match in that time, while the rain in Gstaad last week means a lot of her matches were played in a much shorter period, including playing twice on the same day.

That is going to play a part at some point and Errani is the kind of player that should be able to take advantage. She hasn't been in the best form in 2016, but physically she should be stronger than Golubic and I think Errani can win this in three sets and cover this number.


Jiri Vesely - 1.5 games v Carlos Berlocq: I am not buying the Wimbledon run as a true turning point for Jiri Vesely until he can show better consistency, while I think he is heading towards his worst time of the season. Despite the big offensive weapons, Vesely struggles on the faster hard courts and so has to make use of the clay court events he does have left until after the US Open.

The clay has been his most productive surface of the season so far but it hasn't been a great season to this point. Vesely's performances have been given a gloss by the run at Wimbledon to the Fourth Round, otherwise he might have been struggling to match the number of wins from 2015, while he is still only Number 50 in the World Rankings even with a solid Grand Slam run behind him.

That might sound like I am really down on Vesely, but I think much of his issues are between the ears rather than what he can produce on the court. He is taking on a clay court specialist in Carlos Berlocq in the Second Round in Umag, but the veteran Argentinian has struggled with his own consistency back up to the main ATP level after injury.

I don't doubt Berlocq will be confident after some solid runs at Challenger level where he has won a title and reached two Semi Finals in recent weeks on the clay. He was impressive in the First Round too which makes him a danger but I think Vesely might have a little extra pop in his game which can give him the edge.

Berlocq will be strong defensively which is an issue for an inconsistent player like Vesely, but I think the former has a serve which can be attacked and I believe Vesely comes through 75, 46, 64.


Damir Dzumhur - 3.5 games v Thomas Fabbiano: The win over Nicolas Almagro might have opened the door to this draw for Damir Dzumhur who should still receive plenty of support from nearby Bosnia and Herzegovina. He played well to knock off the Spaniard and is a healthy favourite to beat Italian Thomas Fabbiano who was cruising to victory against an injured opponent who eventually retired.

You might think the clay would be Fabbiano's favourite surface considering his nationality, but his best results over the last two seasons have been on the hard courts. Prior to the win in the First Round here, Fabbiano had actually been 1-6 on the clay courts and I do wonder if he can match the consistency that Dzumhur will bring to the court.

It hasn't been the case in recent matches between the two players as Dzumhur has won the last three, all on clay, without dropping a set including in the Qualifiers for Monte Carlo in April. Almost half of Dzumhur's wins in 2016 have come on the clay courts, although he had also lost four in a row before the win over Nicolas Almagro.

Dzumhur has been in Davis Cup action last week from which he should have gained some confidence after helping Bosnia and Herzegovina beat Turkey. The win over Almagro would have boosted that confidence, while his successes against Fabbiano in recent matches as well as the latter's struggles on clay should give him an additional edge. I think that will help Dzumhur come through this match with a 64, 64 win.


Kevin Anderson - 3.5 games v Malek Jaziri: He reached a maiden Grand Slam Quarter Final in what was a career best season for Kevin Anderson, but he hasn't had much luck on the injury front in 2016. After winning 46 matches on the Tour last season, Anderson has won just 5 this season which began with a retirement in Australia that cost him the first quarter of the season.

Missing the early hard court season was a blow to Anderson whose game isn't really suited to the clay courts, while he had a difficult draw at Wimbledon that resulted in a First Round defeat. All of these factors have seen Anderson drop to Number 33 in the World Ranking, but a good few weeks will at least see him Seeded for the US Open where he was a Quarter Finalist last season.

Anderson doesn't have a really strong record in Washington, but he has been a Quarter Finalist on a couple of occasions and his head to head with Malek Jaziri should give him confidence. If Anderson is serving well he should have chances against the Jaziri serve as the latter is always liable to throw in a couple of loose games per set.

This is looking to be the best season Jaziri has produced on the Tour and he reached a career high Ranking just last week. He has played well on the hard courts at the Challenger level, but Jaziri has not been able to produce that regularly at the main Tour level and the big servers do tend to give him mental problems which he struggles to overcome.

Jaziri seems to feel the pressure from the scoreboard and his loose service games tend to cost him against those big servers and I think that might be the case here. I do think Anderson is short of confidence, but knowing his own success rate against this opponent should help his cause and he can win this one 75, 64.


Caroline Wozniacki - 2.5 games v Samantha Stosur: This is a very good looking match for a Second Round at an event like we have in Washington, but much of that is down to the drop in the World Ranking Caroline Wozniacki has suffered. The former World Number 1 is now Number 58 in the World Rankings and that has meant she has been given some tough early draws.

Wozniacki is going to have to overcome those if she is going to recover her Ranking but she will take heart from the fact she beat Samantha Stosur comfortably in their last match at Eastbourne last month. Knocking out the Number 1 Seed might open the draw for Wozniacki, but the Dane will be well aware that facing Stosur on a hard court is a totally different proposition than taking her on on a grass court.

That is clear from the fact that Stosur has won a US Open title in the past and she was a Semi Finalist in Washington last season. However it has to be said that Stosur's performances on the hard courts this season have been a little more inconsistent and Wozniacki will feel she can get enough balls back in play to the Stosur backhand to start to control rallies.

The Wozniacki serve is nothing like the one that Stosur can produce which has to be an issue on the faster surfaces, while Stosur has won three of their five hard court clashes. The last of those was won by Wozniacki though and I think she can battle her way through to a 67, 75, 63 win.

MY PICKS: Nikoloz Basilashvili - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Daniel Gimeno-Traver - 1.5 Games @ 1.80 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Sara Errani - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Jiri Vesely - 1.5 Games @ 1.73 William Hill (2 Units)
Damir Dzumhur - 3.5 Games @ 1.73 Bet365 (2 Units)
Kevin Anderson - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Caroline Wozniacki - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-7, - 10.58 Units (18 Units Staked, - 58.78% Yield)

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