Featured post

Weekend Football Picks and Fantasy Football 2020 (February 8-17)

The English Winter Break is in play for the first time this season and I think it has not gone as well as the Premier League and the top clu...

Friday, 5 August 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (August 5th)

On Thursday the draw for the Olympic Games tennis tournament was made and it was an interesting one with some real stand out matches in the First Round of the 64 Single player tournament.

The one that will garner most of the headlines has to be Novak Djokovic taking on Juan Martin Del Potro in a rematch of the Bronze Medal match from four years ago. That is one tough start for the World Number 1 who would love to join Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray in earning a Singles Gold Medal at the Olympic Games and Novak Djokovic will be confident of going all the way if he can get past a difficult First Round opponent.

Andy Murray should be happy with his draw as he looks to defend the Gold Medal he won four years ago in London and also make history as the first male player to win two Singles Gold Medals.

Serena Williams will also be looking to become the first female player to achieve that record and in the modern game it will be difficult for anyone to match that achievement going forward.

I will analyse the full Olympic draw in the Saturday post which will also include First Round picks from the matches that will open the tournament.

On Friday we will have the four Atlanta Quarter Finals and the Florianopolis Final played and I will have picks from those matches on this thread.

I am out on Thursday evening so I will not be able to add those picks until Friday, but that is still plenty of time before those matches will be scheduled to be played.

Irina-Camelia Begu - 1.5 games v Timea Babos: I did get my prediction wrong yesterday in feeling that Monica Puig would get the better of Irina-Camelia Begu in their Semi Final, but I did always feel the winner of that match would likely win this tournament in Florianopolis.

The Friday Final is a little strange but both players will be making their way to the Olympic Games tournament which starts on Saturday and I don't think tennis players will be that bothered what day they have to play the Final.

Both players are in good form heading into the Final, but I do think the edge has to go to Irina-Camelia Begu simply because Timea Babos is making too many mistakes behind her serve. Being broken five times in a match like she has in her last two matches is not going to cut it against Begu in this Final, while Babos has also been guilty of poor shot selections from the tennis I have seen this week.

I am a fan of what Babos can do on the court, but she will have to be at her very best to win this one and I think Begu has played very well herself this week. I can see a few breaks of serve for both players, but ultimately Begu being a little more solid in that aspect of her game and that can see her edge past Babos in three sets while covering this small number.

Fernando Verdasco + 2.5 games v Nick Kyrgios: These players had a competitive three set match at the Canadian Masters last year in Montreal and now Nick Kyrgios and Fernando Verdasco meet for a place in the Atlanta Semi Finals.

I actually though the layers might have this as a pick 'em contest in which case I would have left it alone, but I am not sure Fernando Verdasco should be as big an underdog as he is. The Spaniard has had a good summer and been playing well, while his game is very suited to a slightly faster hard court.

Of course Nick Kyrgios' game is going to be huge on this type of surface, but I am not convinced he is either fully healthy or fully focused on his tennis right now. I am not ashamed to say I am a fan of Kyrgios, but I also know he is going to be someone who has these hot and cold periods depending on his mood.

It was only last week that Kyrgios admitted that he hadn't been practicing his tennis as much as he should be and his defeat against Denis Shapovalov last week in Toronto showed that. Someone like Verdasco has the big game to frustrate the Australian if he is still not fully at the races and I am going to back the veteran to keep this one competitive even if he is not able to pull the upset as my gut is telling me he will.

Reilly Opelka + 3.5 games v Donald Young: Reilly Opelka had the biggest win of his career to date in the last Round when beating Kevin Anderson and the young American is looking to back that up by getting to his first ATP Semi Final. I do worry about backing players after a major win, especially when it comes in upset fashion and when the winning player is not used to winning matches of that magnitude, but Opelka has had a couple of days to move on from that.

The 'New John Isner' is how Opelka has been described and you can see why as he is of similar stature and bases his game around a big serve. While that will be an improving weapon as he fills out, Opelka still gets plenty of joy from that shot and will be hoping to use that to full effect against Donald Young who is likely to get more balls in play than Kevin Anderson.

The latter had success against the Opelka serve too, but it was the return game which impressed me the most as Opelka broke the big South African serve four times and fashioned eighteen break points. That should be followed up against Young in this one, and I do think Opelka can keep this competitive.

Young got out of jail in the last Round and continues to struggle covering this number of games even in winning matches. His poor record in Atlanta has to be taken into account and Young will give Opelka chances to break serve which is important when you consider how many games he is being asked to cover. With the Opelka serve, I am backing the new young gun of American tennis to beat the former Young gun.

John Isner-Taylor Fritz over 23.5 games: This is a lot of games for John Isner and Taylor Fritz to combine up and cover especially if we see a straight sets win for either player. However I think the younger American, Fritz, has shown he can stay with big servers on the hard courts and I wouldn't be surprised if this match sees a couple of tie-breakers to produce a winning Semi Finalist.

When Fritz played Ivo Karlovic a couple of weeks ago, he struggled to get any kind of real read on the Croatian's big serve and will face a similar battle on Friday in this Quarter Final. That does mean he will be under pressure on the scoreboard knowing one break of serve is likely to be costly, but he restricted what Karlovic was able to do with his own serve.

You can't doubt that John Isner is a better player than Karlovic, but not by a huge distance and his backhand remains weak. Isner is also not at the same confidence level as Karlovic who has a lot wins over the summer compared with Isner who has earlier than expected losses in Washington and Toronto.

It has to be noted that Isner seems to enjoy the conditions in Atlanta having won the last three tournaments here and favoured to go on and make it four in a row. However he is not at his very best at the moment and that will give Taylor Fritz his chance in this one although I am simply looking for both players to serve well enough to force at least two long opening sets which can see them combine to get over this total.

MY PICKS: Irina-Camelia Begu - 1.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Fernando Verdasco + 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Reilly Opelka + 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
John Isner-Taylor Fritz Over 23.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 9-3, + 12.02 Units (24 Units Staked, + 50.08% Yield)

No comments:

Post a comment