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Friday, 26 July 2019

Tennis Picks 2019 (July 26th)

It has been the kind of week where a player serves for the match, and the cover, but fails to do that and misses out by one game.

At the time of writing the final Tennis Pick from Thursday has yet to be played. I will update the weekly totals on Friday morning, but the selections from Friday Quarter Final matches can be seen below.

Any selections from Atlanta will be added once the full Quarter Final markets have been formulated.

Dominic Thiem - 4.5 games v Andrey Rublev: Twelve months ago Dominic Thiem was beaten in the Quarter Final of the Hamburg Open and he is looking to move at least one step further in 2019. The Number 1 Seed is the big favourite to beat Andrey Rublev on Friday, but Dominic Thiem will know he will need to be a lot more effective when it comes to the break points if he is going to make this match go his way.

On the face of things you would make the Austrian a big favourite anyway when you consider Rublev's history on the clay courts, but the young Russian has been in good form so far this week.

Both of his wins have been solid as Rublev has got his eye in when it comes to the return of serve. This has been a relatively strong part of his game anyway, but Rublev has to be pleased with his run at Hamburg having won 43% of return points and breaking serve in 30% of return games played.

The serve is perhaps not as strong as Rublev would like, but he has won 65% of points played behind that shot. That is a few clicks higher than his overall clay court numbers in 2019, but Rublev has still had a few issues getting through all of his service games with holds in 76% of service games played this week despite the improvement as far as points won behind serve are concerned.

Now he has to play someone like Dominic Thiem who is at his most comfortable when it comes to playing tennis on the clay courts. Two wins over Pablo Cuevas and Marton Fucsovics has seen Thiem win all four wins sets played, and his serve has been a potent weapon with 95% of service holds secured in those victories.

Dominic Thiem was not as effective on the break points as much as he would have liked in the Second Round win over Fucsovics, but he has still broken in 26% of return games played. He has been able to put enough pressure on the return of serve to break his opponent's down, but Thiem will have to be a little more productive at the big points to ensure this is not another tough battle.

These two players met in Monte Carlo eighteen months ago and it was a close, competitive match between the players on the clay courts. Dominic Thiem edged that one, but he can make this a little more simple as long as he can take a couple more of the break points in this match than he has in his last couple of matches.

Pablo Carreno Busta v Fabio Fognini: Both Pablo Carreno Busta and Fabio Fognini are very comfortable playing on the clay courts and they meet for a place in the Semi Final of Hamburg on Friday. Both players have won all four sets they have played in the first two Rounds so confidence should not be a big factor, although Carreno Busta may have the mental edge.

The Spaniard has won all six previous matches against Fabio Fognini and that includes three wins on the clay courts, although they have not played on this surface since 2017. Fabio Fognini has had slightly better fortunes playing Carreno Busta on the clay compared to their overall record, but the latter has had the edge with 77% of service games held compared with Fognini's 65%.

Pablo Carreno Busta has had a slight edge on the service points won too, which won't be a surprise considering those hold numbers, and I think mentally he may have the advantage in this one.

It does have to be said that Pablo Carreno Busta's return of serve has been very important for him in his two wins this week and he is playing at a significantly higher level than what he has managed in 2019 on this surface overall. This week he has won 44% of return points and broken in 35% of return games which is a significant improvement on his 2018 and 2019 numbers on the surface.

Maintaining that level will obviously be a challenge for Carreno Busta considering the numbers set in the last eighteen months, but he will be playing with some belief considering the success he has had against Fognini.

The Italian has had some strong runs on the clay in 2019, but he has been inconsistent with his level of play. This week it looks like we have got Fabio Fognini in some of his better form with 85% of service games held and breaks of serve in 33% of return games played. The serve has been a slight weakness for Fabio Fognini in general though and I expect Carreno Busta to challenge him in that regards.

Both players will be full of belief that their level can see off the other, but I am favouring Carreno Busta thanks to the head to head advantage and his general play on the clay courts. This week we have seen both players win their matches with some relative comfort, but I think Carreno Busta deserves the credit for having the best win of the two having seen off Jan-Lennard Struff in the Second Round.

At close to pick 'em prices, I will back Pablo Carreno Busta here.

MY PICKS: Dominic Thiem - 4.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet365 (2 Units)
Pablo Carreno Busta @ 1.83 Bet Victor (2 Units)
Albert Ramos-Vinolas - 1.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Pablo Andujar @ 2.15 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 4-6, - 4.94 Units (20 Units Staked, - 24.70% Yield)

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