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Monday, 22 July 2019

Tennis Picks 2019 (July 22nd)

Last week was a decent one with the Tennis Picks producing a profit from the three days of selections being made.

This week we move onto a new week with another five tournaments being played including a big ATP 500 event in Hamburg on the clay courts there. The US Open hard court series begins this week too with the first of those events being played on the ATP Tour in Atlanta and the run to the US Open really does begin from here.

Over the next month we have some huge events in Washington, Canada, Cincinnati before the final Grand Slam of the 2019 season begins. The top names on the ATP Tour won't be back until the Masters tournaments next month, but the WTA Tour also has a significant stop in San Jose which is going to bring together a strong line up.

The First Round matches begin at the five tournaments on Monday and I have a couple of selections from those scheduled which can be read below.

I have also updated the season totals which are at the bottom of this thread.

Philipp Kohlschreiber - 1.5 games v Marton Fucsovics: It might be a tournament played on home soil, but Philipp Kohlschreiber has rarely been able to make the impact that he would have liked in Hamburg. His 15-14 record here is average at best, although his better results have come since the tournament lost Masters status and moved to July after Wimbledon was played.

Last year he was beaten in the First Round in Hamburg, but Kohlschreiber has a decent chance to put a win on the board when he faces Marton Fucsovics on Monday. I like the latter as a player who is getting the best out of his potential, but at this stage of their careers it still feels like Kohlschreiber is the superior player on the clay courts.

The home player has a winning record on the clay courts in 2019, while Fucsovics is only 5-7 on the surface. Part of the reason for the negative record for Fucsovics has been the struggles on the serve with less than 60% of points won behind that shot on the clay courts in 2019. It means there is plenty of pressure on him to find the breaks of serve to remain competitive and, while he has been successful to some extent doing that, it is a different kind of task against someone like Kohlschreiber.

Philipp Kohlschreiber has won 60% of points played behind serve, but he has been strong enough to hold in 81% of service games played on the surface compared with Marton Fucsovics' number of 72%. The Kohlschreiber return has perhaps been a weakening part of his game, but he has still managed to break serve in 24% of return games compared with Fucsovics being at 22% and I do think the German can use his superior serve to earn the victory in this one.

The layers do think this will be a close match and I tend to think that is down to the decline we have seen from Kohlschreiber over the last few years. He is still capable of winning matches like this one, but the performances are more inconsistent these days and that does make this a slightly risky selection.

However the numbers are pointing to the narrow favourite and he has had a couple of solid runs in Hamburg since the tournament was moved to July. The tournament is not as familiar to Fucsovics as it is to Kohlschreiber and the Hungarian was beaten in the First Round twelve months ago in his only other appearance in Hamburg.

With Kohlschreiber holding a slight edge on both serve and return, I will back him to earn the win in this First Round match and also cover the handicap set for it.

Leonardo Mayer - 3.5 games v Rudolf Molleker: For the majority of his career Leonardo Mayer has been very comfortable on the clay courts and this remains the favourite surface of the Argentinian. His best event may be the ATP tournament in Hamburg having produced significant results in his previous visits to Germany and Mayer has a number of Ranking points to defend again in 2019.

Leonardo Mayer lost his first match here in 2013, but since then he has won the title in 2014 followed by another First Round exit in 2016. The last two years has seen Mayer reach the Final in both appearances in Hamburg and he has won the title once more and Mayer's numbers at this tournament are significantly higher than his overall career on the clay to underline the point about this perhaps being his favoured event.

It has not been a great season for Mayer, but he was a Quarter Finalist in Umag last week which may give him a boost going into this event. The service numbers have remained strong, but the Argentinian has struggled when it comes to the return of serve with breaks of serve in only 16% of return games played on the clay courts.

Despite winning a higher percentage of return points compared with 2018, the break percentage is somewhat down for Mayer and is an area he will want to improve if he is going to have another strong run in Hamburg. He may have an opportunity to do that in this First Round match against Rudolf Molleker who has been given a Wild Card into his home tournament.

The 18 year old is yet to make a real breakthrough on the ATP Tour and Molleker has yet to crack into the top 100 of the World Rankings. It has been difficult for Molleker to really compete in his main Tour matches when you think he has won less than 60% of points on serve and broken in just 12% of return games in the three matches played on the clay courts at this level in 2019.

He has found more joy in the Challenger matches he has played, but Molleker is going to be given a thorough examination from the veteran Leonardo Mayer. The youngster is going to have to reach a level he has yet to show in his career to compete with Mayer and I would back the veteran to win this one with at least a break more in each set played.

It is a big handicap when you think of the overall performances produced by Leonardo Mayer, but the opponent and the tournament look to give him every chance of doing that.

MY PICKS: Philipp Kohlschreiber - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Leonardo Mayer - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Thomas Fabbiano - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Season 2019: + 116.23 Units (1353 Units Staked, + 8.59% Yield)

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