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Thursday, 14 June 2018

Tennis Picks 2018 (June 14th)

Yesterday was a really mixed bag for the Tennis Picks which saw all four Picks from Hertogenbosch come out on the wrong side, but the other four selections returning as winners which means it is a small loss for the day.

The week is still in a good position, but Thursday is another day to try and get on top with a number of matches looking like they fit into what I am looking for.

It isn't always the case on a week to week basis on the Tennis Tour, but the first three days have provided a number of options to back and Thursday is proving to be no different.

I've analysed the two men's selections and added the women's selections below.

Richard Gasquet - 3.5 games v Evgeny Donskoy: The return to the grass courts in a much healthier state than twelve months ago could be huge for Richard Gasquet who has always produced some solid results on the surface. Last season there were doubts about how he was feeling at this time of the season but Gasquet still managed to reach two Tour Semi Finals on the grass courts.

The first match on the surface can be a tough transition especially coming in off the clay courts, but Gasquet is very experienced on the grass and I don't expect it to take him too long to get his feet under him.

He can't really afford to take too much time against Evgeny Donskoy who had a very comfortable win in the First Round here. In recent years Donskoy has struggled for the consistency which could have him playing much higher up the Tour level, but he can be dangerous on the clay courts with some good looking numbers in his wins on the surface.

Donskoy has to still prove that he can bring his form from matches against players lower down the Ranking into those when he faces some of the better players around. His performance on the grass courts against opponents inside the top 100 of the World Ranking are significantly weaker than his overall numbers, while Donskoy does not get enough of the return to put his opponents under concerted pressure.

He may have some chances against the Gasquet serve which can be a little up and down especially if Donskoy sees a lot of second serves which he can attack from the off. However I would expect Gasquet to start picking the serve of Donskoy and forcing the Russian to beat him from the back of the court and I would give the Frenchman a significant edge in those rallies as they develop.

The spread is a funny number as a slow start from Gasquet could make it very difficult to cover. Donskoy also had two relatively competitive losses on the grass last year, but Gasquet could be the best player he has played on this surface and I think Gasquet will find a break more in each set of a straight sets win in this match.

Feliciano Lopez - 2.5 games v Gilles Simon: This is a Second Round match in Stuttgart and one in which I would have thought Feliciano Lopez would have been an even stronger favourite to win. His game is still perfectly suited to the grass courts and I would expect Lopez to have too much for Gilles Simon.

It is Lopez who leads the head to head between these players 4-2, but it more interesting to note that three of those wins have come on the grass courts including last year here in Stuttgart.

There is no doubting that Lopez is the superior player on the grass courts and his numbers have backed that up as well as the head to head between these two players. Both have had comfortable wins to get through the First Round here in Stuttgart, and it is Lopez' strong serving which has proven to be a key for him on the surface.

I do have to have some reservations about the poor returning Lopez generally displays, although 2017 was a stand out year for him on the grass courts. The Spaniard is facing an opponent who has struggled with his own return on the grass courts and I think Simon won't be able to bunt too many balls back into play with Lopez willing to get up to the net and cut off the loopy defensive shots.

The Simon serving numbers have slipped in each of the last four seasons in terms of hold percentage as well as points percentage won behind that shot. That has to be a concern for Simon who has been convincingly outplayed by Lopez in all three defeats to him on the grass courts throughout their careers.

It feels that Lopez will be able to get in front on the scoreboard and that can put enough pressure on Simon to see him crack behind his own serve a couple of times in this match. That should be good enough for Lopez to work his way to a win and a cover in this Second Round encounter as Lopez gets ready for another strong run during the grass court season.

MY PICKS: Richard Gasquet - 3.5 Games @ 1.72 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Feliciano Lopez - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Alison Riske - 4.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Kirsten Flipkens + 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Sam Stosur - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 William Hill (2 Units)
Ashleigh Barty - 5.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 9-6, + 4.36 Units (30 Units Staked, + 14.53% Yield)

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