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Friday, 14 July 2017

Wimbledon Tennis Day 11 Picks 2017 (July 14th)

At one point in this tournament, it looked like the men's Semi Finals were going to be epic, but I think some of the air has been taken out of the excitement since Manic Monday.

Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have all been exited the tournament since then and now it feels like Roger Federer is going to be very difficult to stop.

I know in my mind what the 'best' Final would be, but the Semi Final matches will determine who actually has a chance to play for the title on Sunday and they are at least a little fascinating if not the ideal matches for the fans who may have had big expectations on Monday morning.

I went into the Ladies' Semi Finals in a difficult position as to whether I should lay off the Venus Williams price from the outright picks or not. Ultimately I decided to let things ride and it paid off as the American reached the Final on Saturday.

I will take a lot at the Ladies' Final on Friday and see what do to with what will be a big priced winner if Venus can go on and win the title as I am expecting in the immediate aftermath of the Semi Final matches.

For now I will concentrate on the men's event.

Sam Querrey-Marin Cilic over 41.5 games: There have been factors around both wins, but Sam Querrey has beaten the defending Wimbledon Champion in 2016 and 2017. Last year there was no immediate emotional come down from the American after beating Novak Djokovic, but there are more factors at play in this Semi Final match against Marin Cilic.

The win over Novak Djokovic came in four sets and it was in the Third Round, but this time Querrey is into a maiden Semi Final at the Grand Slam level which is clearly going to play some part in the mindset. This year Querrey has also had to win three matches in a row in five sets which means there could be a touch of fatigue for a player who also has played some Doubles.

Now he faces an opponent he has never beaten before which includes three losses on the grass and two of those coming at Wimbledon. Marin Cilic also had to go through five sets to get by Gilles Muller, who had surprised Rafael Nadal, and I think the Croatian will have been disappointed with his returning for large parts of his Quarter Final.

Overall Cilic has been very good on the return of serve in this tournament, although facing the big Sam Querrey delivery is going to be as frustrating as it was facing Muller's. There will be times when Querrey has four big serves and the game will be over, but Cilic will feel he can get the better of the American over the distance as some tiredness perhaps sets in.

The Querrey return game is still not one that should worry Cilic a lot, but the latter has thrown in a couple of really sloppy games throughout the tournament matches which may give his opponent a chance. I still don't think it will be enough to win the match but Querrey will be feeling some confidence which may help him take a set in this one at the least.

The two previous matches between these two at Wimbledon have both gone deep into a fifth set and I am not anticipating a lot of breaks of serve in this one either. I do think Cilic will have the edge in the contest with the way he can return, but his generally poor tie-breaker record in 2017 means Querrey should have his chances if he is not fatiguing and able to keep serving as well as he can.

It does feel the layers are perhaps underestimating the chance of Querrey taking a set in this one with the line they have released for the total games. If this was to go into a fourth set as I am expecting, I do think it will be very tough for the match to finish under the total with the way both Querrey and Cilic are able to serve and I will back the games to be surpassed in this one.

Roger Federer-Tomas Berdych over 3.5 sets: I will be the first to admit that when Novak Djokovic first pulled out of his Quarter Final with Tomas Berdych my initial reaction was that Roger Federer was going to be far too good for the Czech player. It will take a brave person to oppose Federer when it comes to winning the tournament, but Berdych is playing well enough to have something to say in this one.

It will take a big effort from Berdych whose returning numbers have declined this season to the point that you have to feel that his days as a mainstay in the top 10 of the World Rankings may be behind him. The run at Wimbledon may have given Berdych a boost having matched his run to the Semi Final in 2016, but he was beaten easily enough in 2016 by Andy Murray and has to show better on the return to challenge Roger Federer.

The one bonus for Berdych is how well he has been serving, but he is facing Federer who just saw off Milos Raonic in straight sets and managed to get the Canadian into tough spots behind serve. With Roger Federer serving as well as he has been this past ten days, it is going to be very difficult for Berdych to get his teeth into this match and I do worry for him.

It is also Roger Federer who has won the last seven matches between these players and he has just dropped two sets in that time while also beating Berdych in straight sets at the Australian Open in January. Those wins will give Federer confidence, but Berdych may take something away from his narrow loss to Federer in Miami when Berdych actually won more points in the match despite the defeat.

The last time they met at Wimbledon it was Berdych who got the better of Federer in four sets, but it doesn't feel like he is returning well enough to do that this time. However I do think Berdych is serving well enough to take a set in this one and backing the match to need at least four sets looks the call.

I was tempted to pick Federer to win this one in four sets, but I think simply looking for this match to be a little more competitive than most think is the way the second Semi Final could go. While Berdych may struggle to get his teeth into the Federer service games with any consistency, I do think he is playing well enough to serve his way to a set and that is the main reason I am backing this to go into a fourth set.

It would be a huge surprise to me if Berdych was able to win this in straight sets, but I do think he can give Federer something to think about in the match and at least push the former World Number 1 into a competitive contest.

MY PICKS: Sam Querrey-Marin Cilic Over 41.5 Games @ 1.83 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Roger Federer-Tomas Berdych Over 3.5 Sets @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Wimbledon Update: 43-47, - 6.24 Units (175 Units Staked, - 3.57% Yield)

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