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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Wimbledon Tennis Day 9 Picks 2018 (July 11th)

On Tuesday the four women's Semi Finalists were decided and on Wednesday it is the turn of the men who will contest their four Quarter Finals across Centre Court and Court One.

The four Ladies Semi Finalists look like they could produce some fun tennis, but the Men's tournament could be absolutely fantastic in the days ahead.

With a couple more winners on Tuesday, the week has been turned back into a positive position and I am hoping to build on that on Wednesday with the following picks.

Novak Djokovic - 5.5 games v Kei Nishikori: The women's event at Wimbledon may have seen many of the top names exit the tournament far earlier than anyone would have imagined, but the big names have all made it through to the Quarter Finals in the men's event.

That means there are some big matches to come on Wednesday and I am expecting plenty of entertainment when Novak Djokovic takes on Kei Nishikori. These two players have matched up well in the past and produced some very impressive tennis when they have come up against one another, although Djokovic has a serious edge having won twelve matches in a row against Nishikori since the latter upset the Serb in the US Open Semi Final in 2014.

Two of those wins came on the clay courts in preparing for the French Open a couple of months ago and both of those were competitive affairs. That could be the case here in this Quarter Final with the chance of seeing both players having their moments before Djokovic is able to just put enough solid tennis together to see off Nishikori.

It is the former World Number 1 who has looked in better form than Nishikori during the tournament and I think there have been serious signs that Djokovic is getting someway close to his very best tennis. You have to be concerned that there are still one or two moments in matches where Djokovic loses the intensity, but for the most part he has been playing some very strong tennis for a couple of months and his performances on the grass have been very encouraging.

The same can't be said of Nishikori who has had to battle past a couple of awkward players to take his place in the Quarter Final at Wimbledon for the first time. I am a little surprised he has not made it this far before with some solid grass court numbers in his career, but Nishikori is going to have to step up his game to get the better of Novak Djokovic in this one.

Nishikori has had to spend significantly longer on the court than Djokovic and ultimately this is a match up that the latter has found good enough to his liking to edge past the Japanese player a number of times in a row. With the numbers Djokovic has been producing on the grass courts over the last month, I favour him to get past Nishikori in three or four sets and I think that will be good enough for Djokovic to cover this number.

Roger Federer - 6.5 games v Kevin Anderson: At the start of the tournament Roger Federer was a strong favourite to win the title at Wimbledon and not a lot has happened to think he is not the player to beat in SW19. He has comfortably made his way through the draw without dropping a set and Federer has a strong head to head against Kevin Anderson which should give him the mental edge in this match.

It is Federer who has won all four previous matches against Anderson and half of those wins have come in very strong fashion. You can't ignore the fact that the last of those matches came in August 2015 and Anderson is a much improved player since then, but it will need a big effort from the South African to get the better of Federer here.

Over the last twelve months Anderson has become a regular name at the business end of Grand Slam tournaments and making a maiden Quarter Final at Wimbledon will underline the improvements he has made since he last played Federer.

However this is a huge mental challenge for Anderson despite entering the top ten of the World Rankings and much will depend on how much joy he can get out of the big serve. If Anderson can serve at his best and force Federer to struggle with the return he will have half a chance, but Federer is a star at making a run against a big server at the right time and he has enjoyed plenty of success against these types of players over the last fifteen years in this tournament.

The Federer return has not been as effective as he would have liked in the build up to Wimbledon, but he has been returning well in the tournament. He will look to bunt a number of returns back in play and force Anderson to beat him in the longer rallies and that is not something I am sure the South African can do for long enough to stay with Federer.

Roger Federer's serve has been a huge weapon for him in this tournament and he has yet to be broken. It is unlikely that Anderson will have a lot of joy against the Federer serve in this Quarter Final and only the unfamiliar surroundings of playing on Court One could put Federer off.

That's a long shot as far as I am concerned and I think he can cover what is a very big number at odds against.

Rafael Nadal - 4.5 games v Juan Martin Del Potro: The task in front of Juan Martin Del Potro to win this match could have been all the tougher if he had not fought back and beaten Gilles Simon in four sets on Tuesday. There isn't a lot of time for Del Potro to recover in time for this Quarter Final but he does have the power to trouble Rafael Nadal.

For the first time since 2011 Rafael Nadal is back in the Quarter Final at Wimbledon and he has won all four matches so far this week without dropping a set. This is arguably as good as Nadal has played at any time on the grass since 2011 and I don't think he will be too concerned about the tennis that Del Potro will produce.

Of course Nadal will respect that tennis and will accept that the Argentinian is capable of producing some huge strokes off the ground and through his serve which can take the racquet out of the hands of Nadal. However it has to be a concern to Del Potro fans that their man might be short of some energy having been asked to spend well over four hours on the court to see off Simon who will play in a similar manner to Nadal.

There is also a big difference in the way Nadal is able to hit through the court compared with Simon and I think the Spaniard will beat Del Potro for the third time at a Grand Slam in the last ten months. Nadal crushed Del Potro at the US Open and the French Open in the Semi Final of both of those tournaments and he has won seven of the last nine matches between them.

The two previous matches between these players on the grass have also been won by Nadal and I think his performances this week have been very encouraging. I do worry that Del Potro will be able to produce the kind of big hitting tennis which has taken Nadal out of the Wimbledon tournaments in recent years, but I think the lack of energy could end up being the difference maker in this match.

Nadal is not someone who will go away in matches and I think he will start to break down Del Potro the longer they spend on the court. The first set could be very competitive as it has been in their last two matches in New York and Paris, but after that it was Nadal's superior conditioning which saw him pull away for comfortable wins and something similar may happen here.

I'm a big fan of Del Potro, but Nadal is a top player and he can work through this match and cover the number as he makes his way to the Semi Final.

Milos Raonic-John Isner over 46.5 games: I was very close to backing John Isner to win this match as the underdog as I feel he has been in better form than Milos Raonic at Wimbledon, but ultimately I have settled with the total games market.

A straight sets win for either player will end any hope of the total games line being surpassed as it has been set at a very high mark, but these two players are so reliant on the serve that it wouldn't be a big surprise to see at least four tight sets to be played.

The serve is a big weapon for both Raonic and Isner and both have been very dominant behind that shot. Facing each other means they are not expected to see the return of serve suddenly coming to the fore in this one and Raonic's stronger grass court pedigree may aid him in the match.

I expect to see at least three tie-breakers to be played if this goes four sets and breaks of serve will be at a premium barring one of the two players suddenly falling off the cliff when it comes to their fitness levels. With that in mind it does look like a big line can be surpassed and I will expect the big serving to be the dominant shot in the match.

We will need at least four sets to be played to get the chance to see the line covered, but seven of their nine previous matches have needed tie-breakers and as long as they split at least two of those we should see the total line covered.

MY PICKS: Novak Djokovic - 5.5 Games @ 1.80 Boyle Sports (2 Units)
Roger Federer - 6.5 Games @ 2.37 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Milos Raonic-John Isner Over 46.5 Games @ 1.83 Paddy Power (2 Units)

Wimbledon Update: 40-37, + 2.12 Units (154 Units Staked, + 1.38% Yield)

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