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Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Wimbledon Tennis Day 3 Picks 2017 (July 5th)

The Second Round begins at Wimbledon on Wednesday and it sounds like the weather will be heating up over the next few days, although there are still the chance of seeing rain to disrupt proceedings everywhere but Centre Court.

For the most part there should be plenty of tennis on offer for the fans both watching around the grounds and at home on their television/laptop/tablet/mobile.

I have to say that Tuesday was a frustrating day mainly because of the really poor luck when it came to tie-breakers. In the matches I picked there were eight breakers on Tuesday and the players I picked went 1-7 in those which cost me at least two more winners.

Milos Raonic won two tie-breakers to prevent the cover of the total games, while Julia Goerges missed a match point in one and eventually was beaten by an injured Lesia Tsurenko.

Horacio Zeballos lost two tie-breakers to Paolo Lorenzi despite being the better server and returner on the day and that has added up the frustration on what was looking like a decent day at one point.

Hopefully the stats will begin to produce the right results as we move into the Second Round on Wednesday after what has been a disappointing start to the Wimbledon tournament. At least all of the outright picks have moved into the Second Round, although a number of those will be out on the court on Wednesday too.

Andy Murray - 7.5 games v Dustin Brown: I was one of those in attendance on Centre Court two years ago when Dustin Brown beat Rafael Nadal and that wasn't the first time he has beaten a former Wimbledon Champion at The Championships. The Brown game is well suited to the grass as most will know, but he wasn't happy with the conditions in the First Round win over Joao Sousa with suggestions that Brown felt the courts are playing slower than they have before.

That won't be good news for him if that is true, but especially not when facing a returner of the ability of Andy Murray. For all the talk of 'walking with a limp' and not being at 100% for this tournament, Murray allayed those fears with a very strong performance in the First Round and said afterwards that he is in 'no pain' on the court.

Of course Murray isn't going to disclose injury information to the rest of the players in the draw, but I do tend to think that he is going to be able to come through the first week of the event and then become a real threat to win for the third time in SW19. Murray's return is going to give Brown a few problems and the sometimes iffy shot selection from the German could lead to his downfall in this one.

Murray was serving very effectively in the First Round and I do think he will be able to limit the amount of success Brown will have on the return. You can't completely close out Brown because he will take swings at the return and is capable of stringing together three or four flashy points to get into a position to break serve, but for the most part Murray should have control.

That should give him time to attack the Brown serve and I expect Murray will make enough returns to see the German offer up a few breaks of serve. This is a big number for Murray to cover, but he could pull away after taking a tight first set and I will look for the World Number 1 to secure a 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 kind of win in this one.

Jiri Vesely v Fabio Fognini: The layers are finding it hard to separate Jiri Vesely and Fabio Fognini in this Second Round match, but I think they have perhaps favoured the wrong player. The grass courts have never been a favourite for Fognini and I am not going to read too much into his First Round win over Dmitry Tursunov who has barely played any tennis this year and is coasting towards his retirement.

The Italian hasn't played a warm up tournament for Wimbledon since 2013 and Fognini's best effort in that time is reaching the Third Round. Even that year he beat two Qualifiers to get through two matches and all of the wins Fognini has had in that time have come against players he would expect to beat.

Fognini's returning numbers are not as strong on the grass and I think someone like Vesely can keep him under enough pressure with his own serve. He has to know that Fognini will offer up some chances on his own serve as long as Vesely isn't chasing the match and the Czech player did reach the Fourth Round here last year.

His lack of grass court tennis over the last month has to be a concern, as does the fact that Vesely had to play five sets in the First Round and also has a poor head to head with Fognini. Those are factors, but not critical ones for me at this stage of a Grand Slam and Vesely's numbers on the grass have been decent enough to think he can win this match.

His First Round opponent had the benefit of a number of grass court wins which made it tighter than Vesely may have liked, but ultimately I like Vesely to show he has more in the tank and beat a player like Fognini who isn't that happy on this surface.

Benoit Paire - 1.5 games v Pierre-Hugues Herbert: I may be a sucker for punishment as I am looking to back Benoit Paire for a second match in a row after being undone by his notorious ability to go walkabout in a match. He began in the First Round so comfortably before losing his way, but Paire did enough to make it through to the Second Round.

Now he faces a dangerous compatriot in Pierre-Hugues Herbert who is best known for the strong performances on the Doubles circuit rather than the Singles circuit. Herbert benefited from Nick Kyrgios' injury in the First Round when leading 2-0 in sets, but there was no doubt that the talented Australian was restricted in that match and not up to his usual standards.

The grass should be a good surface for Herbert anyway with his strong first serve backed up by decent volleying which has been crafted on the Doubles circuit. He will be able to put pressure on Paire with the serve, but I do like the way the latter has been returning and I think he can get the ball back into some tough positions for his fellow Frenchman.

My real reason for wanting to back Paire here is that the Herbert return game is certainly not one that thrives on any surface. Over the last few months that has been a real issue for Herbert when playing Singles tennis, although I will be the first to admit that Paire is someone who can gift away breaks of serve at any point.

However I do think Paire can do enough to recover the mental lapses he will certainly go through and cover this number even if the match does go into a fourth or even a fifth set. While I can see him dropping a set with a break given away, Paire can break the Herbert serve with the returning numbers he has been producing and I can see him getting through with a 7-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.

Jerzy Janowicz-Lucas Pouille over 39.5 games: A Quarter Finalist at Wimbledon in 2016 and winning the title in Stuttgart last month suggests Lucas Pouille is very comfortable on the grass. He has played well, although the raw numbers suggest it will be hard to sustain those results barring a significant improvement.

That improvement really needs to be shown on the returning part of his game where the numbers don't support the fact that he has been able to get through as many matches with wins as he has. The Pouille return numbers over the course of 2017 haven't been too bad, but when you look at how he has done on the grass it has been much tougher for him.

He has won around 10% fewer return points on the grass and breaks of serve have been hard to come by for Pouille and there was little change in his First Round win over Malek Jaziri. The latter doesn't have the best serve, but proved a tough enough nut to crack that it took four tough sets for Pouille to get across the line.

What has been important is Pouille has been able to protect his serve very well and that is going to be a key part of this match against the big hitting Jerzy Janowicz. The Pole has struggled with his own return numbers, but has a big serve that can be difficult to break when he is feeling his tennis and Janowicz could drag Pouille into a real scrap in this one.

There are moments when Janowicz will throw in some terrible decisions with his shot selection that may open the door for Pouille, but it would be a real surprise to me if we don't see tight sets in this one. Neither player has returned serve as well as they would like, and both serve very big. It will need three sets to get over this number, but I think we are going to see at least four sets and I will look for the total games to be surpassed.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 6.5 games v Simone Bolelli: Any player who comes through the tough Qualifiers to make the main draw and then win a match to move into the Second Round has to be respected. However Simone Bolelli himself will tell you that this is a significant step up from the level of players he has been beating, while the grass courts have not been his best surface in his career.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga does come in as a pretty big favourite to win this match, but he will have to be wary about what the Italian can produce on his day. Bolelli will be confident having won the four matches I have mentioned, while his last two exits at Wimbledon in 2014 and 2015 both came in five set losses to Kei Nishikori.

That arguably says more about Nishikori's lack of punch on serve than anything else though as Bolelli has routinely struggled with his return on this surface in his career. His break percentage is incredibly low, but that's down to a pretty low amount of return points won and now facing a serve like Tsonga's is going to be a big test for the Qualifier.

I am not anticipating too many breaks of the Tsonga serve, but the Frenchman will feel he can get into the Bolelli service games considering there has been a slight deterioration in the numbers for the Italian. Tsonga has been returning serve better than ever before in 2017 and he will be confident coming in off a one-sided win over Cameron Norrie.

Those returning numbers have been very solid on the grass too and I am expecting Tsonga to wear down Bolelli emotionally with his powerful serves. That should lead to some errors on the Bolelli service games in a 7-5, 6-4, 6-3 win for one of the dark horses here.

Rafael Nadal - 8.5 games v Donald Young: Despite a poor recent record at Wimbledon, I am going to back Rafael Nadal to cover another big spread in the Second Round having helped produce a straight-forward win in the First Round. It does feel Nadal is perhaps coming into this tournament as the healthiest he has felt in years and he looked supremely confident in his First Round over John Millman.

In all honesty that felt like a really good match up for Nadal and it proved to be the case on the day. This time it could be tougher against Donald Young who has been playing some decent tennis on the grass, but I think the American may have overachieved a touch over the last month.

Young is serving pretty well on the grass, but he has had his issues when facing the very best players on the Tour who are able to get after his serve. Breaking serve against the top players has not been easy for him either, while Young's numbers when facing fellow left-handed players does not bode well for him.

They can pick up the angles off the serve a lot better, and Nadal is the very best southpaw out on the Tour. The Spaniard has been playing arguably his best tennis of his career and he has been really strong at breaking opponents in the Slams this season, which was again on display in his win in the First Round. Nadal picks the left-handed serve when he sees it in front of him too and I think Young will be under immense pressure in this one.

Nadal has not just been winning sets in recent times, but he seems to produce double breaks of serve a number of times and I think that is a key reason I want to back him. While it looks a big number, Nadal is capable of producing a 6-1 or 6-2 set at least once which will put him in a strong position and I think Young may just struggle to stay with what many will feel is the best male player in the world at this moment in time.

Gilles Muller win 3-1 v Lukas Rosol: He is most well known for beating Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, but the career never really kicked on from there for Lukas Rosol. These days he doesn't even make automatic entry for the Grand Slam events as injury and a loss of form have affected him.

However you do have to think the grass courts suit his game and winning four matches over the last week can only stand him in good stead for a tough Second Round match with the in-form Gilles Muller. The serve has not been working as well as Rosol would like, but he certainly has enough pop from that shot to put Muller under pressure with what is generally a limited return game.

The serve has been a huge weapon for Muller and been the key to his success over the last month. He isn't giving too much away but Rosol has returned well when playing left-handed players and he certainly has the kind of power that can smack a few winners off the return to find his way into a promising position in this match.

Sustaining the purple patches has been an issue for Rosol throughout his career, but he certainly is someone who can perform for long enough to take a set off of Muller in this one. Winning the match and adding to the 2-0 head to head looks a much longer shot with the way Muller has been playing, especially as Rosol has a tendency to throw in one or two really loose service games.

Muller going out to Rosol would be a big upset for me, but it would be surprising if it all goes his way and a small interest on a four set win for the favourite is the call.

Roberto Bautista Agut - 5.5 games v Peter Gojowczyk: Big handicaps can be incredibly difficult for a player like Roberto Bautista Agut to cover because they are much more reliant on the return than the serve. However, the Bautista Agut serve is actually an under-rated weapon for him, especially when playing some the players outside of the very best on the Tour.

In a match like this one, the Spaniard will feel he has enough pop from the first serve to set himself up to dictate the rallies. Bautista Agut is facing Peter Gojowcyzk who is a threat having come through the Qualifiers, but who has some key numbers going against his chances of springing the upset in this one.

Gojowcyzk simply hasn't returned very effectively on the grass even if he has overachieved in that regards over his last four matches. This could be an issue for him even against someone like Roberto Bautista Agut and I expect that will mean that the German is under pressure to retain his own serve to keep this one competitive.

To give him his credit, Gojowcyzk doesn't have a bad serve, but he is facing one of the stronger returners out there. While Bautista Agut has struggled against some of the top players when it comes to his return, he does tend to feast on players lower down the totem pole and I think that is going to be very important for him to help him cover this number.

At the Grand Slam level, Bautista Agut is breaking at a quite remarkable 50% over his last three tournaments and I think he will work his way through to a 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 win in this Second Round match.

Marin Cilic win 3-1 v Florian Mayer: There was plenty to like about the way Marin Cilic dismissed Philipp Kohlschreiber in the First Round and that has continued what has been a very good month for him. If you're looking for a dark horse for the Wimbledon title outside of the 'big four', Marin Cilic certainly has a lot of tools worth giving a second look.

The serve is the obvious strength of the Cilic game, but his return is what makes him so dangerous on the grass. While many players can struggle with that aspect on the grass, Cilic is able to be very aggressive no matter who is in front of him and it is a reason I have picked him to reach the Semi Final here at the least.

It is the first couple of Rounds where I think Cilic had some dangers, but perhaps the way he saw off Kohslchreiber is a sign that he isn't going to have too many issues. However I do think Florian Mayer can at least challenge Cilic with the way he has been playing over the last month and the fact he has had solid runs at Wimbledon in the past.

The Mayer serve has performed well enough to give the veteran his chances, although the real question for him is going to be whether Mayer can make enough effective returns over the course of the match. It seems unlikely with how big Cilic serves as well as the incredible hold numbers on the grass over the last month.

That strong serving was again a highlight of the Cilic win in the First Round and it will be tough to slow him down. Mayer can throw in enough variation to at least baffle Cilic at times and I think his serving could be good enough to take a set against an opponent he has played with success before. Overall I expect the majority of the play to be had by Cilic and I think he will be too good, although a small interest in him heading through in four sets is my pick.

Madison Keys - 3.5 games v Camila Giorgi: If you like your tennis filled with big hitting winners from all angles around the court, the match between Madison Keys and Camila Giorgi is going to be right up your street.

Both players have enjoyed plenty of success on the grass courts through their career and they have the capabilities of running through service games with big serves being backed up by powerful groundstrokes. Camila Giorgi is someone who can raise her game for the big matches, but she will have to be a little better serving than she was in her First Round win over Alize Cornet.

For the most part she can do that, but Giorgi has a habit of giving away too many Double Faults and an opponent like Keys can certainly attack the second serve to force the former to go for a little more and make those mistakes. Keys has a very strong return game on the grass courts, and she can certainly earn her opportunities to break the Giorgi serve.

There is a concern about the wrist procedure Keys had between the French Open and Wimbledon, but she showed how dangerous she can be with a strong serving day against Nao Hibino in the First Round. The Keys serve can be a huge weapon on the grass courts and I think she can just about get the better of Giorgi in this one.

I would not be surprised to see this one going into a final set decider, but Giorgi is likely to drop one set with a double break of serve and that should mean Keys has a chance to cover even if the match goes the distance. I can see the American coming through with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 kind of win to continue going under the radar as she moves into the Third Round here.

Donna Vekic + 4.5 games v Johanna Konta: When this Second Round match was put together, I thought Johanna Konta would be the obvious favourite, but the game handicap would be at least two games fewer than what we have seen. The Nottingham Champion looks a little under-rated in this one and I think Donna Vekic is capable of making the games count.

There has been an improvement in the Vekic performances in 2017 and it can be hard to forget she is only 21 years old having been on the Tour for as long as she has. That makes me think this is an improving player whose numbers are backing that up and it also makes her a dangerous opponent for the home hope.

The improvement has come in the service stats in particularly for Vekic and helped her win the title in Nottingham a few weeks ago. Vekic will feel she can return better than she has shown so far on the grass, but she has been good enough to win plenty of matches and I think Konta has to be aware of the dangers in front of her.

Konta has been playing well on the grass, but you can't ignore the fall she had a few days ago in Eastbourne. She wasn't tested much in the First Round, but the big hitting Vekic is certainly going to exert some more pressure on the British player and this feels like it could be a match that goes into a third set.

That will make it difficult for Konta to cover if that is the case, and Vekic's win in the First Round was very impressive which shows she is still in some good form. The return was working in that win for Vekic, while the serve continues to be strong and I will take the games in this one.

Petra Kvitova - 5.5 games v Madison Brengle: If you are not quite playing at your best then someone like Madison Brengle could be a really troubling opponent to face. However that isn't the case for Petra Kvitova and the favourite for the Wimbledon title should have too much for Brengle when they meet in the Second Round.

After a strong win in the First Round, Kvitova refuses to call herself the favourite and all despite winning a strong tournament in Birmingham last month. However the return from the hand injury suffered in an attack by an intruder at her home continues to be a factor as Kvitova feels she is too undercooked to really win the title in Wimbledon.

Being a two time winner though means there are only a handful of challenges that Kvitova really has to face here. One of those doesn't feel like Brengle though as she has struggled behind her serve and even her return statistics have not been very good this past month.

That means Brengle is likely to be put under real pressure by Kvitova who has been producing some special numbers on the grass since making the move from the French Open. The serve is going to be tough to break for Brengle and Kvitova will feel she is going to have opportunities to break the Brengle serve in almost every one of the American's service games.

Brengle does have a winning record against Kvitova but she was perhaps fortunate to split two matches in 2016. On the grass and on the form Kvitova has been producing, I can only see a fairly routine win for the Czech player as she covers what may look like a big number of games.

Anastasija Sevastova - 2.5 games v Heather Watson: There are times that a player can build some real momentum which can carry through for a few weeks on the court. That is what Heather Watson has to be hoping having produced a really strong run in Eastbourne after a poor twelve months has meant she needed a Wild Card to get into the main Wimbledon draw.

The British player has been producing some quality serves when put under pressure and Watson has been returning as effectively as ever on the grass courts. Her strong performance in an ITF event before the Semi Final run in Eastbourne will encourage Watson who made a blistering start to Wimbledon with a routine win.

However this is a big test for Watson as she faces the much improved Anastasija Sevastova who won the title in Mallorca last month. The grass courts have not usually been where Sevastova has been able to produce her best tennis, but she was serving well enough to think she can have success.

It is the return game of both Watson and Sevastova which is going to be key to this match and both have been effective on the grass. You have to think that Watson is currently playing at a pretty unsustainable level considering her overall form and I think Sevastova has played with a lot more consistency over the course of 2017.

Sevastova has been a little better at protecting her second serve and also improved her returning numbers which looks to be good enough to earn the win. It might go three sets, but Sevastova is capable of winning a set by a wide margin and she can cover this number.

Radu Albot to win a set v Steve Johnson: This is a pick that I am writing last because Radu Albot's First Round match had to be completed on Tuesday. The good news for Albot is he did not have to play for too long on Tuesday so he should have enough rest in time for this Second Round match, and I have a feeling that his opponent is being over-rated by the layers.

All credit has to be given to Steve Johnson for continuing to play through the pain of losing his father, although I do think that has had an affect on his performances. That is no surprise when you delve into how close Johnson was with his father, but I can't allow my sympathy to cover what looks a decent angle.

The grass courts should be a surface that suits Johnson, but he has seen his limited return game exposed on the surface. The numbers are generally down on both serve and return for Johnson and he has lost matches to players he was hugely favoured to beat, while sets have been dropped thanks to a slip in his service games.

Johnson will still get plenty of games through without any issues, but he is facing an opponent in Albot who has played better on the grass than ever before. There were signs in 2016 that Albot was understanding the way to approach grass matches and he has taken that on in 2017 with his numbers showing strong improvement.

That continued in the First Round and Albot has previously upset Johnson on an indoor hard court which will give him plenty of confidence. The layers think the American is going to win this with ease, but I think the numbers are suggesting an upset is possible and I am going to back Albot to win one set at the least at odds against.

MY PICKS: Andy Murray - 7.5 Games @ 2.10 Sky Bet (2 Units)
Jiri Vesely @ 2.10 Bet365 (2 Units)
Benoit Paire - 1.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Jerzy Janowicz-Lucas Pouille Over 39.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 6.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 8.5 Games @ 2.00 William Hill (2 Units)
Gilles Muller Win 3-1 @ 3.75 Bet365 (1 Unit)
Roberto Bautista Agut - 5.5 Games @ 1.83 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Marin Cilic Win 3-1 @ 3.75 Bet365 (1 Unit)
Madison Keys - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Donna Vekic + 4.5 Games @ 2.10 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Petra Kvitova - 5.5 Games @ 1.73 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Anastasija Sevastova - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Radu Albot to Win a Set @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Wimbledon Update: 10-11-3, - 1.80 Units (40 Units Staked, - 4.50% Yield)


  1. Good luck dav. What other sports do you do?

  2. Usually Football (soccer), Boxing, NFL, NCAAF and NBA along with the Tennis. Thanks Greg