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Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Wimbledon Tennis Day 2 Picks 2017 (July 4th)

The First Round matches at Wimbledon will be completed on Tuesday, which is also my birthday.

It means I will hopefully have a chance to enjoy the sun, and have a few cold ones to enjoy alongside the tennis, although the First Round of any Grand Slam is only exciting if you are actually attending the event.

I love going around the courts where the drama can develop over the course of the day as the stories filter around the grounds and bring the fans flocking to a court they may not usually pay any attention to. When Wimbledon has come around, I do like going early in the event and my favourite day of the tournament, the second Monday, is another I enjoy visiting.

There are obviously some big names in action on Tuesday, but they look to be involved in matches they should win without too much concern which has to be expected in the early stages of a Slam.

It was a mixed day for the picks on Monday with some really unfortunate losers meaning I did not begin with a winning record. At least the outright picks moved on to the Second Round and looked decent in doing so, but hopefully Tuesday and the remaining First Round matches can get things moving in the right direction going forward.

You can find the outright picks from Wimbledon here.

Milos Raonic-Jan-Lennard Struff over 35.5 games: Last year's Wimbledon Finalist may feel he is a little undercooked going into Wimbledon after falling early at Queens last month, but the serve looked to be in good shape. Even the return of Milos Raonic was solid enough on the day in what was an unfortunate loss and I don't think the Canadian will be too worried when he takes to the court on Tuesday.

His opening First Round match makes Raonic a strong favourite to win the match, but I think Jan-Lennard Struff has shown enough over the last month to think he can give Raonic some problems. The German has served well enough to think he can keep this one competitive and perhaps even steal a set, especially when you think his return stats have been decent enough to perhaps have some joy against the big Raonic first serve.

To be honest Struff hasn't enjoyed much success at Wimbledon, but he has rarely been seen off easily and I think he can have some moments in this one. The key will be to take advantage when he does have hit hot moments, although Struff's biggest issue has always been making sure he protects his serve by avoiding the unforced errors that can blight his game.

While Raonic has had more success in the return game over the last couple of years, he is still a player that can struggle in that facet of his tennis and that should give Struff a chance to help push this match over the total games which feels three or four light.

There has been an improvement in the break point conversion numbers for Raonic, but Struff has been holding serve as well as ever in his career in 2017. I will be looking for the German to force a couple of tie-breakers, potentially take one of those, and this match to have at least three tight sets which should be enough to surpass the number of games.

Robin Haase - 1.5 sets v Frances Tiafoe: Everyone who watches tennis on a regular basis will get a feeling about certain players and most will have those on a list that they can't trust fully. Others might be less trustworthy but perhaps still worth backing in the right moments and that is where Robin Haase feels like he is in this opening match at Wimbledon.

He faces the young American Frances Tiafoe who did impress in a narrow loss to Richard Gasquet last week in Eastbourne. However the numbers for Tiafoe shows he is still finding his feet on the grass courts, while Haase has shown he is capable of producing some solid tennis on the surface.

While Haase has not had a deep run in the main draw at Wimbledon, much of that has been down to receiving some difficult draws. Over the last month Haase has shown he is capable of playing on the grass although the Dutchman needs to show a little more when it comes to the break points being converted.

He has made his chances with a decent percentage of return points won and I think he can get into a position to break the Tiafoe serve. The American has really struggled with the return aspect on the grass over the last month as he gets used to the surface and his hold stats are slightly lower than Haase all around which suggests it will be the latter who moves through to the next Round.

Asking Haase to win matches with some relative comfort is not always the most appealing of positions to be in, but I think he will be able to earn the edge in the sets these two play. Tiafoe could have some chances to break serve himself, but I think Haase will be too good over three or four sets in this one and I will look for him cover the set handicap.

Grigor Dimitrov win 3-1 v Diego Sebastian Schwartzman: The initial feeling from this First Round match is that it should be a relatively easy day in the office for Grigor Dimitrov who will have his supporters to go deep in this Grand Slam. He is a former Semi Finalist at Wimbledon and played well enough at Queens to show he is in good nick on the grass.

The serve is key for Dimitrov and he has been producing solid numbers behind that to think he should be able to see off clay court specialist Diego Sebastian Schwartzman. However this is a player who can be surprisingly effective on all surfaces and that has a lot to do with the returning stats that Schwartzman is able to produce.

He can put Dimitrov under pressure at points in this match because the Bulgarian is not really someone who is adverse to throwing in a poor game or two behind serve. The Schwartzman serve can be attacked, but he hits the ball incredibly flat which may fizz through the grass courts.

With the success Schwartzman has had against Dimitrov in the past, he is certainly capable of taking a set in this one with his ability to have success in the return games. Overall you would have to think Dimitrov is going to have the better of the match by getting a little more out of the first serve than his opponent, but I would not be surprised if he is a Seed who has to drop a set on his way into the Second Round.

Dimitrov always feels like he is likely to drop a set even when looking in complete control of a match, and I will have a unit on him coming through in four.

Bernard Tomic - 1.5 sets v Mischa Zverev: 2017 has proved to be a really difficult year for Bernard Tomic, but the return to the grass courts have given him the chance to put a few wins together. The Australian has only won nine matches in 2017, but four of those have come on the grass courts over the last month and there will be confidence when taking to the court because one of those came against Mischa Zverev last week in Eastbourne.

The layers are expecting a close match between these two thanks to the strong 2017 Zverev has been enjoying as well as the fact that his serve-volley game should be perfectly suited to the grass. The German has enjoyed some strong runs in tournaments leading up to Wimbledon which highlights how tough he can be, although the limited return can be a factor against him.

While there will be games that Zverev is able to run through on the serve, Tomic will feel his own serve can be protected as long as he doesn't make too many unforced errors against an opponent who does struggle. It was the key to his win over Zverev last week in Eastbourne and I think that is going to be important for him in this one too.

It is Tomic who has been able to hold his serve a little more consistently than Zverev over the last month and it is Tomic who should have the superior returning numbers.

Of course it can be difficult on the grass if an opponent is serving very well and Zverev is capable of doing that on his day. However the stats seem to suggest the layers have under-rated Tomic's chances of repeating his win from last week and I think he can get this one done in three or four sets.

Roger Federer - 8.5 games v Alexandr Dolgopolov: On first glance you have to say this feels like a disrespectful amount of games being given to Alexandr Dolgopolov who is more than capable on playing on the grass. His service motion is awkward and you don't have the time on this surface to get a read on it if Dolgopolov is finding his spots in the service box.

Over his career Dolgopolov has been solid behind his serve and this is asking Roger Federer to break serve a number of times to get over the number. However Federer has been returning effectively enough on the grass and through 2017 in general to think he is capable of doing that, especially as Dolgopolov has been hurting in recent weeks and may not be at 100% health.

That will be an issue against Federer who is so confident in the Wimbledon surroundings and perhaps even more so this year after already winning a Grand Slam title in Australia. The Federer serve has been working very well and I expect it will be difficult for Dolgopolov to earn more than one or two breaks of serve himself, even if that could be important when trying to make a cover of this big number.

However it is asking a lot of Dolgopolov considering how well Federer has been looking after his serve in 2017 and that has allowed the latter to go on the hunt for breaks of serve. Dolgopolov hits the ball hard enough to put pressure on Federer, but if he is feeling any injury issues I think there is every chance he could perhaps fall apart the longer this match goes on.

It feels like Federer may have to settle for two tight sets before taking full control of the match and I think he will be able to come through with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win to make the perfect start in his bid to win another Wimbledon crown.

Horacio Zeballos - 1.5 sets v Paolo Lorenzi: Over the years both Horacio Zeballos and Paolo Lorenzi have perhaps seen the grass court season as a pain that they have to get through before heading back onto the clay courts. That has been the case in terms of the results the two players have picked up, but I think the Seeded Lorenzi is going to really have a difficult time and is the more likely player to go home in the First Round.

The layers tend to agree and I think Zeballos will be good enough to come through in three or four sets in this one. The numbers have not looked very pretty for Lorenzi who hasn't won enough points behind the serve to make up for the poor numbers on the return of serve.

The problems on the return of serve have been the main reason that Zeballos hasn't had a lot of success on the grass himself, but he does have the bigger serve and has made use of that. It does give Zeballos a chance to put a few holds together and I think that will prove to be the difference between these two clay court specialists in this one.

Lorenzi could gain some confidence from his 2-0 head to head record over Zeballos, but those both came on the clay and he has shown little appetite for performing on the grass courts. Being put under pressure from the Zeballos serve will mean Lorenzi is perhaps over-committing to shots when trying to protect his own serve and that may show up.

There will be some issues for Zeballos who has had his problems on the grass, but I think his superior serving may just help him in this one.

Janko Tipsarevic - 4.5 games v Jared Donaldson: Injuries have really affected the latter career of Janko Tipsarevic, but he could be worth backing in the First Round to see of Jared Donaldson and this number of games on the handicap. While he hasn't had a lot of wins on the grass, Tipsarevic has played well enough to have the confidence to earn the victory in this First Round encounter.

He may have seen better times in his career, but Tipsarevic looks to be playing some solid tennis of late with strong serving backed up by decent enough returning. Being decent enough returning should be enough to trouble Jared Donaldson who has not been able to dictate behind the serve as he would have liked.

Donaldson's numbers of the grass are far below you would expect and I do think the American may just have a hard time finding the right plays on a surface where the ball can bounce lower than expected. He isn't bad at getting involved in the points when his opponent have been serving, but Tipsarevic may have an under-rated serve going into this one with the chance of getting cheaper points from it.

This is a match against an opponent that Tipsarevic would have been used to seeing on the Challenger circuit where his best results have come in 2017. His injury issues does mean it is harder to believe in the Serb and think he can produce the best tennis he needs in three straight sets, but even winning this in four should give him a chance to cover this number.

I also think the numbers Tipsarevic has produced behind his serve has seen him hold onto serve much better than his last couple of years. I will be looking for him to come through with a 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 win.

Magdalena Rybarikova - 4.5 games v Monica Niculescu: The last month has been a very strong one for Magdalena Rybarikova and she has a chance to signficantly improve her World Ranking which has fallen due to injury and a loss of form. Winning titles on the grass courts, albeit at a lower level, will have given Rybarikova confidence.

The ITF events she has won have been in decent fields and Rybarikova looks like she could have the edge over Monica Niculescu who has had a terrible 2017 so far and who has not been able to look after her serve.

I would fully expect Rybarikova to attack the Niculescu serve and pull up plenty of break points in this one. The key for Rybarikova in covering this number is she has been getting plenty of joy out of the first serve which should be able to put the pressure on Niculescu.

Since reaching the Final in Hobart, Niculescu is 2-10 in her matches on the Tour this season and the weak serve has proven to be one that opponents have been able to attack and pull up the break points. The Romanian has to be given the respect of someone who has been able to win plenty of points against the serve, but Rybarikova's confidence and performances of late should be too much for Niculescu.

Niculescu does have a 4-2 head to head advantage over Rybarikova and has won both grass court matches between them, but at this moment the edge has to be given to the latter who can win this match 6-4, 6-3.

Julia Goerges - 1.5 games v Lesia Tsurenko: There have been times when both Julia Goerges and Lesia Tsurenko have had their struggles on the grass courts, which is a surprise considering the big games both try and play with. However solid results over the last month will have given them ideal preparation for this one and I can understand why the layers are expecting a close match.

Both players will be looking to get the first serve in play as they will believe they can control the direction of the match if they are serving well. The return games are not as strong as the serve can be, but both Goerges and Tsurenko will be looking to attack the second serve to put themselves in a position to break the serve.

Over the course of her career, Goerges has tended to struggle with the return on the grass a little more than Tsurenko, but that has not been the case in 2017. Granted the stats are coming from one tournament, but Goerges reached the Final in Mallorca and was winning 50% of the return points in that event which are the kind of numbers that will give the German plenty of belief in her game.

The first serve also has set up Goerges much better than Tsurenko's has done for her and I do think the former is going to have a little too much in what could be a three set match.

It just feels Goerges can get a little bit more out of the first serve at the important moments which can help her get past Tsurenko and cover this number. That won't be easy, but Goerges is my pick to move through to the Second Round.

Alison Riske - 4.5 games v Sloane Stephens: If this match had taken place twelve months ago, Sloane Stephens would have been a healthy favourite to see off Alison Riske. However a foot injury has meant Stephens has not played a competitive match since the Olympic Games in 2016 and that means she is going to be rusty even on a surface where her game is well suited for.

It would have been much better for Stephens to face someone who perhaps isn't comfortable on the grass, but that isn't the case with Alison Riske. While she hasn't had the strongest set of results, Riske is someone who returns well on the surface and that could give her every chance to beat her compatriot for the first time and also cover what looks a big number of games.

I will give Stephens for having some solid numbers on the grass, but she is going to be trying to find her timing on a tough surface when you haven't played a lot of tennis. Riske has been serving well enough but it's no surprise she has been out-hit by the likes of Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza, and that has been how Stephens has perhaps gotten the better of Riske in the past meetings, but without the timing and rhythm that will be much tougher for Stephens to do.

Despite playing those big hitting servers, Riske has strong return numbers on the grass courts over the last month. Throughout her career the return game has been strong enough on this surface to think she can get Stephens moving and test out the foot and see whether she can expose the rustiness the latter is sure to display.

It is a big number if Stephens is anything close to the level she can perform at, but Riske is playing well enough to get enough out of the return of serve to help her come through 7-5, 6-3.

Daria Kasatkina - 2.5 games v Saisai Zheng: Both Daria Kasatkina and Saisai Zheng are playing their first match on the grass courts in 2017 with their last appearances both coming at the French Open. Neither has a huge amount of experience on the grass, although Zheng has the edge there, but I am looking for Kasatkina to move through to the Second Round.

The way the two players serve means there should be plenty of chances for breaks of serve in this one. However it is Kasatkina who is able to get a touch more out of her first serve which is going to be important to perhaps save a few more break points that ultimately lead to her success in this match.

You do have to respect the returning ability of Zheng which is the main reason she is inside the top 100 of the World Rankings. However she has been outperformed quite considerably in her most recent matches on the grass and it can be tough to try and continue to break serve when her own is being attacked relentlessly whether the first or second serve comes into play.

There may not be a lot of data around Kasatkina's game on the grass, but she has shown enough in her four matches in 2016 to think she can be a decent player on the surface. Her serve is based on the placement around the service box which makes it tough to really attack her and I think Zheng is going to have to do a lot of running to stay with the young Russian in this one.

Eventually that will be too much as she is worn down over a couple of sets and I will look for Kasatkina to come through with a 6-4, 6-3 kind of win.

Tsvetana Pironkova - 5.5 games v Sara Errani: I don't think it is unfair for me to suggest that Tsvetana Pironkova is a fairly average player, in terms of the professional ranks, but is someone who can come alive at this time of the season. We have clay court specialists and I don't think it is unreasonable to describe Pironkova as something of a grass court specialist.

This is a surface that troubles many, but Pironkova tends to produce her best tennis on the green stuff and has plenty of solid results at Wimbledon through her career. Strong showings over the last month will have given the Bulgarian confidence and a big chance to improve the World Ranking, but asking her to cover these big numbers can be a chore.

However Pironkova's numbers on the grass over the last month have been much better than her overall season numbers to highlight how much she enjoys playing on this surface. She is also facing an opponent in Sara Errani who is slipping down the World Rankings at an alarming rate.

At one time Errani was a dangerous player, but her best days are behind her now and she hasn't had the best of time on the grass at any point either. The serving numbers have never been great on any surface, but her stats on the grass have gone backwards over the last month and she should be finding herself under immense pressure in every service game with the Pironkova return showing strong numbers.

Errani is still someone who can return effectively and she will win a lot of return points, but Pironkova should be able to hold enough times to lead to a 6-4, 6-2 win in this one.

MY PICKS: Milos Raonic-Jan-Lennard Struff Over 35.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Robin Haase - 1.5 Sets @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Grigor Dimitrov Win 3-1 @ 4.00 Bet365 (1 Unit)
Bernard Tomic - 1.5 Sets @ 2.63 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 8.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Horacio Zeballos - 1.5 Sets @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Janko Tipsarevic - 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Magdalena Rybarikova - 4.5 Games @ 1.85 William Hill (2 Units)
Julia Goerges - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Alison Riske - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Daria Kasatkina - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Tsvetana Pironkova - 5.5 Games @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Wimbledon Update: 6-6-1, - 0.36 Units (23 Units Staked, - 1.57% Yield)


  1. Happy birthday Dav . Great write ups as usual. Cheers

  2. Thanks mate, appreciate it!