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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Wimbledon Tennis Day 8 Picks 2017 (July 11th)

They call it 'Manic Monday' at Wimbledon and it certainly was a fascinating day with a number of the matches needing a deciding set to work out the winner and it was all rounded off by the incredible match between Gilles Muller and Rafael Nadal which was won by the man from Luxembourg 15-13 in the fifth set.

That means one of the 'big four' is finally out of the Wimbledon draw and it was the one I opposed with Marin Cilic the pick to win the Second Quarter and now a clear favourite to do that.

Angelique Kerber did go down to a three set loss to Garbine Muguruza though to prevent what was an otherwise successful day all around.

Anyone who has picked Andy Murray to win the First Quarter now has a short priced favourite at odds on to do that. Simona Halep was 8-1 to win the Fourth Quarter of the Ladies' event and is a pick 'em against Johanna Konta so anyone who followed me there has a chance to split the winnings in half to ensure a profit from that match.

With Venus Williams, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic still running, this does feel like a week in which there could be plenty of positive returns at the end of it.

Speaking about Djokovic, he is the only player who is yet to have played his Fourth Round match when Wimbledon inexplicably decided not to move his match with Adrian Mannarino to a vacant Centre Court.

The reasons given are not the best and ultimately Djokovic and Mannarino can feel hard done by knowing they won't have a day of rest between their Fourth Round match and the Quarter Final as the other men have had. They do go out on Centre Court first on Tuesday though and the weather in the area means there could be some additional rest now that at least two of the Ladies' Quarter Finals will likely have to be played on Wednesday.

I would expect all three Centre Court matches to be played under the roof on Tuesday with the rain expected in the area and that will likely mean both Court One scheduled matches are likely to be held over until Wednesday.

Svetlana Kuznetsova + 2.5 games v Garbine Muguruza: An impressive come from behind win over the World Number 1 and a strong head to head against Svetlana Kuznetsova has to have been factored into the price for Garbine Muguruza in this Quarter Final. She has beaten the veteran Russian the last three times they have met and Muguruza is also a former Finalist at Wimbledon facing Kuznetsova who has matched her best result at Wimbledon by reaching the Quarter Final.

However, I think Kuznetsova is playing the kind of tennis that could see her upset Muguruza here and I am going to take the games with the Russian.

The serve has been dominant for the most part, but it is the really effective returning which will have impressed so many. Kuznetsova's movement on the grass is arguably as good as it ever has been and she will come forward and look to play the aggressive tennis that will really put some pressure on Muguruza.

The Kuznetsova numbers on the grass are actually better than what Muguruza has been able to produce in their respective careers and I do think the latter is perhaps a little over-rated having reached the Final here before. The power Muguruza possesses is eye catching, but she can't make the same amount of unforced errors as she did in the Fourth Round as Kuznetsova is playing well enough to take advantage where Kerber just failed to.

Kuznetsova snapped her run of being 0-5 when facing a top 20 Ranked player at Wimbledon with her win over Agnieszka Radwanska in the Fourth Round on Monday. While Muguruza is 3-1 against top ten players at Wimbledon, she has only covered in this number of games in one of those matches and I do think Kuznetsova's numbers have looked much superior than Muguruza's so far.

Taking the games looks like it has every chance of paying off with Kuznetsova capable of earning the upset in this one and I will back the veteran Russian to potentially set a new career best record at Wimbledon.

Venus Williams - 1.5 games v Jelena Ostapenko: All credit has to be given to Jelena Ostapenko for the way she has performed at Wimbledon after the success she had at Roland Garros. While other first time Slam winners have struggled with the new expectations on their shoulders, that has not been the case for Ostapenko who exudes the confidence of believing she should be amongst the elite on the WTA Tour.

It is still only the very best players who have been able to produce the French Open-Wimbledon Double and I still feel this is a long shot for Ostapenko. As well as she has played, she has been in close matches and at some point she is going to be on the wrong end of one of those matches.

Facing a player like Venus Williams who is so confident on the grass and who has been playing some strong tennis in her first four wins might be the player that can get the better of Ostapenko. It should be noted that recent matches at Wimbledon against the top 20 Ranked players have not worked out very well for Venus Williams, but I think her numbers over the last eight days have been more impressive than Ostapenko's.

There will be times when Ostapenko is able to take a few swings of the racquet and punish the Venus Williams second serve, but I do think the first serve could be a real deciding factor in this one. It is a reason she has won so many points behind serve and that has allowed Venus Williams to attack the serves she has faced.

I think that will be an issue for Ostapenko because her serve is one that is still a little vulnerable to first strike tennis. Venus Williams is capable of playing in an aggressive manner on the grass and I think she will be able to pressure Ostapenko into the errors.

Ostapenko winning close matches is a testimony to the confidence she is playing with, but I think she may just come up short as Venus Williams moves through to another Semi Final at Wimbledon.

Coco Vandeweghe - 2.5 games v Magdalena Rybarikova: You won't find many people who would have picked this as a Quarter Final and it does present a big chance for both Coco Vandeweghe and Magdalena Rybarikova to earn a spot in the final four of a Grand Slam tournament. Vandeweghe did reach the Semi Final at the Australian Open and the grass is her favoured surface which will have a few people wondering if she can keep the big hitting going all the way to the title on Saturday.

The Rybarikova run to the Quarter Final has really come from left field considering she has only recently returned from an injury that has dropped her to well outside the top 300 of the World Rankings. She had never been beyond the Third Round in a Grand Slam prior to this tournament and Rybarikova may take some confidence from the fact she beat Coco Vandeweghe at the French Open in late May.

However having a winning record against the American did not help Caroline Wozniacki who could not handle the pace and power that Vandeweghe produces on the court. While Rybarikova has already taken care of one big serving player when beating Karolina Pliskova in the Second Round, Vandeweghe is arguably more comfortable on the grass than Pliskova and that may show up in this one.

The serve is a huge weapon for Vandeweghe and she has been able to punish opponents with a huge return off the serve too. That has seen Vandeweghe produce some top returning numbers and I think she can put Rybarikova under pressure having seen Petra Martic have success against her on Monday.

Rybarikova has been returning effectively too, but this might be the toughest opponent she has faced when it comes to trying to find consistent breaks of serve. It has to be said that Rybarikova has not been as dominant behind serve and I think ultimately that is shown up on the scoreboard as Vandeweghe makes a second Grand Slam Semi Final in 2017 behind a 7-5, 6-4 win.

Johanna Konta-Simona Halep three sets: Anyone who has backed the outright picks that I put up at the start of the tournament will be sitting on a huge price for Simona Halep. Some will decide to lay off here, while others my think Halep can earn the win against Johanna Konta on her least favoured surface.

Both Johanna Konta and Simona Halep will understand there are some big obstacles in the way if they do want to take home the Wimbledon title, but there are other mental issues in this one. For Konta it is the pressure of the nation who will be expectant of the current favourite to win the title here, while for Halep the chance to reach World Number 1 may be on the mind as a win will secure that spot at the least.

Separating the two isn't easy because Halep seems to have the better return game and you would think she is going to be good enough when the rallies develop. However it is Konta who looks to have the superior serve which can offer up some cheap points and get her out of a jam as it has done over the course of this tournament.

Overall Halep has the better grass numbers even though Konta is perhaps considered the better player on the surface. Konta also has been able to really play well when facing the top ten Ranked players which is actually an area in which Halep has struggled in recent years.

The top results for Konta have not really come in the Grand Slams though and I can see both players have their moment and also their struggles during this match. Halep might be the fresher of the two having made much more serene progress through the draw compared with Konta, while Konta has won their two Tour matches compared to Halep who holds two wins over the Brit in Fed Cup action.

Everything is pointing to another close match between these two and I won't be surprised if a decider is needed to separate them. I am leaning towards Halep perhaps doing enough with her return to break down Konta in that decider, but ultimately I won't be surprised if this is another Konta match that goes into a final set decider.

MY PICKS: Svetlana Kuznetsova + 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Venus Williams - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Coco Vandeweghe - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
Johanna Konta-Simona Halep Three Sets @ 2.38 Sky Bet (2 Units)

Wimbledon Update: 40-41-5, - 0.52 Units (157 Units Staked, - 0% Yield)

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