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Sunday, 24 July 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (July 24th)

The tennis Tour will be moving on to Canada this week, but first we have to complete the tournaments that have been played over the last seven days. Kitzbuhel came to a close on Saturday, but the other six tournaments will have their Finals played on Sunday and so it will still be a busy day, perhaps busier than a usual Sunday.

After a really poor start to this week, things have turned around over the last few days and I am hoping another strong day will help put a third successful week in a row in the books. It is a slow grind turning around the season, but I am happy to take off the negative piece by piece in what has been a tough 2016 so far to follow a poor ending to 2015 which knocked that season down.


Robin Haase + 2.5 games v Feliciano Lopez: This has been an important week for Robin Haase as he looks to prevent a slip outside of the top 100 in the World Rankings, but for now he can concentrate on simply winning another title on the clay. He is a significant underdog against Feliciano Lopez, which has surprised me, and I am happy taking the games with the Dutchman in this one.

It has been a good week for Lopez too who can potentially move back into the top 20 of the World Rankings, although wins over Jan Mertl, Elias Ymer and Dustin Brown is not the most taxing way through to a Final. The clay courts have not really suited Lopez through his career with the way he approaches the game, but Lopez has recorded the most wins in a season on the surface since 2011.

I do think Haase will present the toughest test for Lopez through this week and it can't be ignored that the former has won all three of their previous matches on the clay. Each time Haase has been able to come back from a set down to win the match and he has been serving well enough this week to give Lopez enough issues through this Final.

I have a gut feeling that Haase might actually win the title here, but this could also be an important amount of games for him to be getting in a losing effort. If both players can take a set in this one, Haase can use his big serve to at least keep this very competitive and I will take the games.


Fabio Fognini - 4.5 games v Andrej Martin: This is the first career meeting between Fabio Fognini and Andrej Martin and it might be considered a surprise Final in Umag considering some of the other players in the draw. Fognini is capable of producing really strong form on the clay so his appearance is less of an upset, but Martin has been mainly playing on the Challenger circuit and has some impressive wins under the belt this week.

Perhaps it should not be as much of a surprise as I think it is as Martin did reach the Third Round at the French Open, but some of his losses on the Challenger circuit since then would not have had many rushing him to reach an ATP level Final.

This is going to be a real test for Martin as Fognini looks to be in really good form in Umag. He has looked focused and has been returning well and I think the Italian is going to be a little too good on the day as long as he can maintain his focus.

We can't underestimate how easy it is for Fognini to drop his focus, but I will back the Italian to win his fourth career title and first since 2014 with an impressive 63, 64 victory.


Lauren Davis + 2.5 games v Yanina Wickmayer: Looking at a head to head between players doesn't really give you the full tale of the tape when researching matches. Sometimes a player is performing on a better surface for themselves, while other times the physical effort used in matches also has to be a factor as well as recent form.

Match ups are still important though and it would be foolish to ignore the fact that Lauren Davis has won all three previous matches against Yanina Wickmayer including their two matches in 2016. It has not been a good season for the American overall, but a run to the Final in Washington will have given Davis a chance of getting back into the top 100 of the World Rankings as she moves into what is likely her best time of the season.

Davis doesn't have a lot of points to defend over the next few weeks and she has the game that can extract mistakes from the Wickmayer game. The Belgian does have the power to hammer the Davis serve, although my one issue would be whether she can mentally keep going for the lines as she has been this week.

I can see both players having their opportunities in this one with Wickmayer having the power and Davis the defensive strength which should make it a fascinating match. The mental edge has to be given to Davis considering she has beaten Wickmayer twice already in 2016 and she can make use of the games she is being given after building up some momentum through the week in Washington.

If Wickmayer is firmly on her game, she might be tough to stop, but I will look for the lower Ranked player to keep it tight through to the end even if she doesn't quite have enough to win the title.

MY PICKS: Robin Haase + 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Fabio Fognini - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Lauren Davis + 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Ladbrokes (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 22-15, + 8.08 Units (74 Units Staked, + 10.92% Yield)

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