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Monday, 9 July 2018

Wimbledon Tennis Day 7 Picks 2018 (July 9th)

It has been a crazy week for Tennis fans watching the women's draw fall apart in stunning fashion through the first week of the tournament at Wimbledon.

Once again it means we have Roger Federer and Serena Williams leading the way as the two players to beat, although I still think both will have serious obstacles to overcome if they are going to take yet another Wimbledon title home.

Nine of the top ten women's Seeds being knocked out is a stunning return from the event though and one that I feel won't be replicated again while we have the Seeds going down to 32 players. However from next season it has been suggested that only the top 16 players will be Seeded and more carnage could await the Grand Slam events in those cases with the increased potential of seeing some huge early matches at these events.


It has been a pretty poor tournament as far as I am concerned too with the last few days seeing too many matches go the opposite way to what I have expected.

The outright portfolio has been hurt too, but things can turn around in the days ahead beginning with 'Manic Monday' which has to be the best day of tennis played in any tournament around the world.

Like many of the recent Grand Slams, I am going to provide analysis for some matches and then adding the remaining Picks on what is a traditionally very, very busy day for fans of the sport.

But at least they won't have any World Cup Football to battle with for the ratings on Monday.


Roger Federer - 8.5 games v Adrian Mannarino: The top half of the draw is beginning to look very favourable to Roger Federer who has made very comfortable progress through the first week of the tournament. I am sure Federer will be the first to tell you that things will definitely be getting much more difficult for him from this point, but I am not sure it is going to begin with Frenchman Adrian Mannarino regardless of how happy he is on this surface.

Over the last few years Mannarino has been very good on the grass courts, but he has just shown signs of decline in 2017 and 2018 and I think it is going to be a big achievement for him to even give Federer a run for his money.

Mannarino may have a better hold percentage in 2018 than he did in 2017, but he has actually won fewer points behind serve. However the biggest issue has been converting breaks of serve and I think Mannarino is going to be put under immense pressure by Federer who has one of the best serves on the grass courts.

With the middle Sunday of Wimbledon set as a rest day, Mannarino does have a couple of days to recover from his five set win over Daniil Medvedev in the Third Round. That will have still taken something out of the tank though and playing an opponent as strong as Federer who has dominated his first three opponents is a huge test for Mannarino.

Federer has won all five matches played between these two players and the majority of those have been very comfortable. Their two previous matches at Grand Slam level has see Mannarino win seven and five games and one of those came at Wimbledon back in 2011.

This is a big number for a Fourth Round match, but I think Federer has been in fine form over the last seven days and I think he will feel very comfortable in this match. If Mannarino serves very well then it will be tough for Federer to cover, but I think Federer will have enough break points to do that and I will back him here.


John Isner-Stefanos Tsitsipas over 44.5 games: There is much to admire about Stefanos Tsitsipas who looks like a player that is developing in the exact way his fans would have hoped for to fulfil the obvious potential he has. 2018 has been a strong year for Tsitsipas and the former Wimbledon Junior Doubles winner has shown some real competence on the grass courts.

I am not completely convinced the Greek player is absolutely at ease on this surface, but he has put three solid wins together at Wimbledon to reach the second week in a Grand Slam for the first time.

Tsitsipas has been serving very well on the grass in 2018 and that is going to be key for him against John Isner who is going to serve big and be tough to break.

Isner is a dangerous opponent for anyone because he can take the racquet out of the hands of any player he plays on a tennis court. He is pretty effective on all the surfaces and Isner is someone who will build scoreboard pressure if he is going to be serving at his very best.

What has always been the downfall for Isner is his return game being very much an average one, even if he has been in decent enough form in the tournament here at Wimbledon this past week. This time he is facing a confident server who will believe he can win this match and I think the layers are right in making this a fairly tough match to call.

At the moment the American has been given the edge and his past successes on the grass makes that the right call. However Tsitsipas will know Isner hasn't had the best record at Wimbledon despite what should be a dominant serve and I think this is a match that will go at least four sets with both players having their moments.

I can't imagine there will be a lot of breaks of serve and the two can combine to cover a big total games line as long as they bring the quality serving both Isner and Tsitsipas have to the court on Monday.


Novak Djokovic - 6.5 games v Karen Khachanov: I am a big fan of Karen Khachanov who has reached the Fourth Round at Wimbledon for the first time having achieved that at the French Open in each of the past two events. He is clearly very comfortable on the grass courts with some strong numbers in 2017 and 2018, but Khachanov is in for a big test on Monday.

While Sunday was a day off for the young Russian, it is still asking a lot for Khachanov to not have left something on the court having been pushed to a five set match in back to back matches. He had to come from 0-2 down in sets against Frances Tiafoe on Saturday before Khachanov turned that match around and I think he is facing Novak Djokovic at a very tough time.

At Queens Club Djokovic showed he is very much on the up after a strong French Open which ended a little prematurely. However Djokovic has not allowed the disappointment to linger and he should have perhaps won the title at Queens, but the performances have shown a player that is very much getting back to the kind of form that helped him become the best player in the world.

The win over Kyle Edmund in the Third Round is a huge one for Djokovic and you could see how much it meant to him to come from a set down to win that match. Dropping the first set was a blow to Djokovic, but the other nine sets he has won in this tournament have come in fairly routine fashion and I think Djokovic is going to be able to pick up from where he left off.

Khachanov is dangerous with a big serve and heavy groundstrokes that can put Djokovic under pressure. However I do wonder if Khachanov has perhaps left a little out there on the court having had back to back tough matches in tremendously hot conditions in South West London.

I am a Khachanov fan and I have to say it can be a little daunting in opposing him when you think of how competitive he has been in losses in recent Grand Slam events. Those came at the hands of Juan Martin Del Potro and Alexander Zverev in 2018 and he would have covered this number easily in both of those losses.

The fatigue is perhaps a bigger issue for Khachanov in this match and I think Djokovic is rounding into some very nice form which makes him a threat to win the title in Wimbledon. Djokovic has certainly been good enough to put Khachanov under enough pressure to force a couple of breaks of serve in a single set and I think that will help him on his way to a win and cover in this Fourth Round match.


Rafael Nadal - 7.5 games v Jiri Vesely: The biggest problems Rafael Nadal has encountered on the grass courts ever since he reached the Final of Wimbledon in 2011 is when he has faced a big hitting opponent. That is perhaps the biggest danger Jiri Vesely will pose to Nadal, but I think it would take a special effort for the Czech player to earn the upset in this match.

There are things to like about Vesely which makes this a tough number for Nadal to cover.

The main one is how well Vesely tends to serve on the grass courts and he has continued to do that in this tournament and on the surface in general in 2018. However it has to be said that he has not played an opponent who is able to return the ball as effectively as Nadal is able to do and I think that is where the difference will be made in this match.

Nadal is someone who is going to work hard for every point and I am of the belief that the Spaniard is going to have his break point chances to earn four or five breaks of serve which could be enough for the cover. Add in the fact that Vesely has been a relatively poor returner on the grass courts throughout his career and you would think Nadal is going to be in a position to cover this number as long as he looks after his service games.

The return numbers from Nadal in this tournament have been very impressive and I think he is ready for his best result at Wimbledon since reaching the Final in 2011 by making it through to the Quarter Final. I do think he will have the chances to cover a huge number in this Fourth Round match and I will back the Spaniard to do that.


Dominika Cibulkova - 2.5 games v Su-Wei Hsieh: The big talking point at the start of Wimbledon was the decision to Seed Serena Williams which meant Dominika Cibulkova was forced into an Unseeded position. It may have been a blessing in disguise for the Slovakian when you think of the way the top names in the women's draw have been dropping out of the event in the past week.

A part of the reason for some of the Seeds dropping out is Cibulkova who has reached the Fourth Round having beaten Number 22 Johanna Konta and Number 15 Elise Mertens.

Those are some encouraging wins for a player who has not been in the most consistent form but who has shown a strong like for the grass courts in the past. The serve is going to be very important for Cibulkova in this Fourth Round match as she takes on an opponent who can be incredibly frustrating for other players.

Su-Wei Hsieh is never going to be confused for one of the best players on the Tour but she is a player who uses so many different types of shots which can break the rhythm of an opponent. Slicing and dicing her way around the court has worked very well for Hsieh and she has also beaten two Seeds on her way to the Fourth Round including a stunning win over Number 1 Seed Simona Halep a couple of days ago.

That win should give Hsieh confidence in what has been a stunning 2018 for the thirty-two year old. She has already matched her best Grand Slam result by reaching the Fourth Round at Wimbledon having done the same in the Australian Open back in January and Hsieh is going to be a difficult test for Cibulkova if she is able to get into her head.

Cibulkova has to remember she has beaten Hsieh in their two previous matches and she has the superior serving and returning numbers which give her the edge in this match. I also think Hsieh is coming off the big win on Saturday when upsetting Simona Halep and backing that up won't be easy against a solid grass court player like the 'Pocket Rocket'.

There does seem to be a real edge to the way Cibulkova is playing at Wimbledon and I think she can continue that here with a strong win put on the board as she reaches the Quarter Final.

MY PICKS: Roger Federer - 8.5 Games @ 1.95 Sporting Bet (2 Units)
John Isner-Stefanos Tsitsipas Over 44.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Novak Djokovic - 6.5 Games @ 2.20 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 7.5 Games @ 2.20 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Dominika Cibulkova - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Jelena Ostapenko - 3.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet365 (2 Units)
Karolina Pliskova - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Donna Vekic @ 2.10 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Daria Kasatkina - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)

McKenzie McDonald-Milos Raonic Over 34.5 Games @ 1.72 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Kei Nishikori - 5.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Gilles Simon + 6.5 Games @ 2.00 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Gael Monfils @ 2.20 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Wimbledon Update: 30-31, - 4.74 Units (122 Units Staked, - 3.89% Yield)

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