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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Tennis Picks 2017 (June 28th)

There was definitely a hope that we would have seen more tennis at Eastbourne on Tuesday than we ended up seeing after a total of twenty minutes clear time was produced over the course of the day.

The early forecasts suggested there would have been around three hours playing time on what was always going to be a wet day on the south coast, but it now means a backed up tournament will be looking for players to play twice on the same day.

That is the case in both the men's and women's events being played in Eastbourne, but the forecast for the rest of the week is not exactly encouraging. The problem on the grass is that even misty rain makes the playing surface dangerous for the players so the tournament organisers both in Eastbourne and those running the Wimbledon Qualifiers will be hoping the expected clear day on Wednesday does come about.

Unfortunately there will be delays at some point with the rain in the area, but hopefully the majority of the matches that need to get this tournament back on track are able to completed during the day.

With the rain at Eastbourne, it meant I only had one pick that was able to be played on Tuesday and Fernando Verdasco was a fairly comfortable winner for me.

That keeps the week in a positive position although the majority of the picks have been held over from Tuesday and scheduled for Wednesday in Eastbourne. You can read those picks here.

Antalya has proved to be a tournament played at the right time with sunny conditions expected all week. At least I know any picks from that event, even if it is not exactly the most inspiring set of players brought together, will be completed without any delays.

Heather Watson + 2.5 games v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova: There is only one WTA Third Round match that has seen two of the participants move through this week and that will be one of the late matches scheduled for Wednesday. While the rest of the players have to potentially play Second Round and Third Round matches on the same day, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Heather Watson should be well rested when they face one another.

After getting past the defending Champion Dominika Cibulkova, Heather Watson may have hoped for a much easier task than facing Pavlyuchenkova in the Third Round. Unfortunately the draw in Eastbourne is a tough one so Watson has to accept she has to play her way past some big names if she wants to restore her World Ranking back inside the top 100.

Watson has been serving well enough over the last two weeks to think she can challenge the Russian in this one. It was the serve in the second set that impressed against Cibulkova and has given Watson the confidence to go on the attack when it comes to the return games.

She will need to be at her best against Pavlyuchenkova who has previous on the grass courts having reached the Wimbledon Quarter Final twelve months ago. However this has been a tough couple of weeks for the Russian whose serve has not been working as well as it can and that should give Watson her chances.

It feels like the match could be another close one with Watson perhaps still lacking the confidence to produce consistently. I am expecting the British player to give Pavlyuchenkova some work to do and I will take her with the games to keep this one close.

Janko Tipsarevic - 1.5 games v Andreas Seppi: Go back six years and Janko Tipsarevic and Andreas Seppi would have already competed in the Final at Eastbourne which ended when Tipsarevic was forced to retire with an injury. Injuries have been all the Serb has known in recent years and he is on the road to another full comeback on the Tour.

Age has also been an issue for both players which means both players come into this one outside the top 70 in the World Rankings. The better recent form has been produced by Tipsarevic, although those wins being put together have mainly come on the clay courts.

His loss to Victor Troicki last week at Queens was a disappointment, but Tipsarevic hasn't been producing bad numbers and I think he can get the better of Seppi. The Italian looks on course for his third losing record on the main Tour over the last four years and he has clearly slipped.

You don't want to dismiss the grass court tennis that Seppi is able to play, but his opponent in this one is also comfortable on the surface. Both have been beaten by players in decent form over the last couple of weeks, but I do think the Tipsarevic service numbers give him a big enough edge to back him to win this Second Round match.

I will ask him to cover the number because a retirement is always a possibility in Tipsarevic matches these days. He should have enough to challenge the Seppi serve and break him down on that front with the help of serving well and I will back the Serb to get past Seppi into the Quarter Final.

Radu Albot - 1.5 games v Paolo Lorenzi: It came as a big surprise to me that Paolo Lorenzi is the Number 2 Seed in Antalya, but that says a lot more about how well he has played on the Tour in general rather than an indication of his grass court successes. The Italian was beaten comfortably in Halle by Alexander Zverev last week, which is no disgrace, but that is a part of a long run of poor results on the surface.

Lorenzi has lost ten matches in a row on the main Tour in grass court events, although he will feel someone like Radu Albot does give him a chance. However some of the losses for Lorenzi have come against the likes of Teymuraz Gabashvili and Lukas Lacko so it isn't just the big names like Zverev and Roger Federer which have produced such a poor record.

In saying that, Lorenzi will belief he has a good chance to take out someone like Radu Albot. The latter is Ranked much lower than Lorenzi and was beaten by the Italian when they met a couple of weeks ago on the clay courts.

The grass may produce a different result for Albot though after beating Joao Sousa in the First Round thanks to an impressive serving day. He didn't have much of a grass court pedigree before reaching the Second Round at Wimbledon in 2016 after Albot had come through three Qualifiers too and it may have given him confidence to perform on the surface.

Albot's height means he has to really push to get something out of the serve, but he is capable. He has the better returning numbers than Lorenzi too and I will look for Albot to win this match and cover this number in a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win.

MY PICKS: Heather Watson + 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Janko Tipsarevic - 1.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)
Radu Albot - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 6-3, + 4.82 Units (18 Units Staked, + 26.78% Yield)

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