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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (August 23rd)

The final week before a Grand Slam event can see weaker fields take to the courts as the top players have refocused their effort on heading to New York City.

There will still be some decent angles to have this week as the events in Winston Salem and New Haven are usually stronger than the other events prior to Grand Slam tournaments around the world. Plenty of the players in action will think they can earn decent Ranking points as well as build some momentum to take into the US Open although it would be a surprise to see them reaching the very business end of the tournament.

On Monday I didn't really see any angles that appealed but I have got three picks from the host of matches to be played on Tuesday and will be looking for a strong week after breaking my run of winning weeks last week in Cincinnati.

Timea Bacsinszky - 4.5 games v Johanna Larsson: The First Round match in New Haven is between Timea Bacsinszky and Johanna Larsson and it is the Swiss player who has won all four of their previous matches. She is a big favourite to make it five in a row against Larsson who has entered the draw as a 'Lucky Loser', the second tournament in a row she has been fortunate to do that having lost in the Qualifiers.

The match up with Bacsinszky has been a difficult one for Larsson in the past as she doesn't get the free points off of serve as she can from other opponents. Bacsinszky is good enough defensively to make sure she gets plenty of balls back in play against Larsson and wait for the inevitable mistakes to be made.

The last two matches between the players have been on the clay courts, but the hard courts should be a surface that appeals to Larsson a little more. It might give her an opportunity to hit through the court and penetrate some of the Bacsinszky defences, but the closer Larsson has to hit to the lines will see mistakes come off her racquet.

Larsson has shown she can be a competitive opponent on the hard courts in 2016, but this is a match up that will take a mental toll knowing how much she has struggled against Bacsinszky. I think the Swiss player will eventually pull away as the unforced errors come from the other side of the court a little more frequently and she can move through with a 64, 63 win.

Marcos Baghdatis - 1.5 games v Donald Young: This is the first match that Marcos Baghdatis is going to have played in Winston Salem having come through the First Round with a bye. That will make Donald Young more dangerous with a win under his belt and the layers are expecting a close match between the two players.

Baghdatis lost early in Winston Salem last year and hasn't had a lot of tennis this summer on the hard courts which is an issue. However he played well last week in Cincinnati for three sets before falling apart against an in-form Gael Monfils and I think Baghdatis can get the better of Young in this Second Round contest.

A win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the First Round was a solid result for Young, but the American has been a mixed bag on the hard courts this summer. He did reach the Quarter Final in Atlanta but defeats to the likes of Bernard Tomic and Jack Sock perhaps highlight the difference in level that Young has compared with some of the higher Ranked players on the Tour.

Young is just 8-9 on the hard courts this season and he has a number of relatively early losses in Winston Salem in recent years. I think Baghdatis might need three sets to come through this one, but I am looking for the Cypriot to have a little too much for Young and cover this number.

Sam Querrey - 2.5 games v Guillermo Garcia-Lopez: The run to the Wimbledon Quarter Final has perhaps seen Sam Querrey a little over-rated in the markets over the last few weeks on the hard courts. He has failed to back up that performance in Wimbledon and has now lost four of his last five matches on what should be his favourite surface.

To be honest I have done well to not be sucked in by the Querrey performances and so have not been hurt by his failures to perform. In fact this will be the first time I will back him to cover a spread during the hard court swing this summer and I have to like his chances against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez who has not been in strong form himself.

The Spaniard did win his First Round match against Damir Dzumhur fairly comfortably but that means he has only improved to 2-2 over the last few weeks on this surface. Garcia-Lopez is 7-8 on the hard courts in 2016 and he was beaten early in Winston Salem last year while the previous two defeats in this tournament had come at the hands of Querrey.

It is Querrey who has won all five of their previous hard court matches and I think his serve does put the pressure on Garcia-Lopez. There are times Garcia-Lopez will roll through his service games, but he will also allow opponents to get into his serve and that does lead to a few break points being offered to them. I think Querrey will win a rare match this summer and move through with a 76, 64 win.

MY PICKS: Timea Bacsinszky - 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Marcos Baghdatis - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet365 (2 Units)
Sam Querrey - 2.5 Games @ 1.73 William Hill (2 Units)

Season 2016- 22.58 Units (1469 Units Staked, - 1.54% Yield)
Season 2015- 21.81 Units (1812 Units Staked, - 1% Yield)
Season 2014+ 45.05 Units (1586.5 Units Staked, + 2.84% Yield)
Season 2013+ 21.74 Units (1251.5 Units Staked, + 1.73% Yield)
Season 2012+ 49.21 Units (855 Units Staked, + 5.76% Yield)
Season 2011+ 82.02 Units

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