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Thursday, 20 July 2017

Tennis Picks 2017 (July 20th)

It was a decent, if unspectacular, Wednesday with two of the three picks returning a winner.

Thursday is a day reserved for the second half of the Second Round matches to be played at the various tournaments outside of ATP Newport which has reached its Quarter Final Round although they do spread those four matches over two days.

No one can deny there are plenty of matches to get through on Thursday, but I will be honest and say only two of those have intrigued me enough to add to the picks for this week.


Fernando Verdasco - 4.5 games v Facundo Bagnis: Some may have been moved away from this pick after seeing the struggles Fernando Verdasco had initially in his win over Elias Ymer in the First Round. The veteran may not have covered that day, but he played well enough to have a chance to do that and I think he can beat Facundo Bagnis for a second year in a row in Bastad.

Last year Verdasco lost just three games to Bagnis in a comfortable win here and he is still returning well enough to give the Argentinian troubles in those games. Bagnis did beat another veteran in the First Round when coming from a set down to beat Tommy Haas, but the challenge is much different when facing an opponent who is still inside the top 50 compared with one who is calling time on a long career.

There have been improvements in the Bagnis game when coming up to the higher level which may make him more competitive in this match with Verdasco who is also a year older. However Bagnis has not played well against the top 50 when his serve has proven to be one that can be attacked, while his return game is still not as strong as it should be to make an impact at that level.

That is not so much a concern for Verdasco who should be able to serve and return with effective enough ability to put himself in a strong position in the match. Nowadays Verdasco is more likely to throw in a stinker of a set, like he did in the First Round, but the numbers backed up the superior player.

With a slightly better returning day, as he has shown when players lower down the Ranking table, Verdasco should be able to come through with a 6-3, 6-4 win in this one.


Albert Ramos-Vinolas - 4.5 games v Thiago Monteiro: There are a couple of factors that may put some off from this pick and the most notable is the way that Thiago Monteiro has played against fellow left handed players on the clay courts. He has won all previous matches against fellow lefty's on this surface, but I think the defending Champion can break down the South American in this one.

It has been an up and down season for Albert Ramos-Vinolas who perhaps underachieved on the clay as far as he has been concerned. However he has shown he is now comfortable enough to beat those players outside of the top 50 on the clay courts and much of that is down to strong returning.

The serve can be vulnerable, but Ramos-Vinolas looks after that against the lesser players on the Tour and Monteiro's return game is one that has much room for improvement. The win in the First Round came through a retirement so we can't read too much into that one, but Monteiro is someone who has shown he can struggle when playing the better players on the Tour.

Ramos-Vinolas is 27-6 on the clay against players Ranked outside the top 50 over the last two seasons and his return numbers have been impressive in that time. I will be looking for him to find a way to put pressure on Monteiro in this one with that return game working out effectively. 

It feels like Monteiro will find lesser chances to break serve compared with Ramos-Vinolas and I think the Spaniard can get through his opening match in Bastad with a 6-4, 6-3 win.

MY PICKS: Fernando Verdasco - 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Albert Ramos-Vinolas - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 4-3, + 1.52 Units (14 Units Staked, + 10.86% Yield)

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