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Monday, 29 July 2019

Tennis Picks 2019 (July 29th)

Leaving last week with a positive number was a surprise considering how the week had developed and it keeps the Tennis Picks chugging along in 2019. Being able to add to what has been a successful season is a good thing and this week we move on to more events ahead of the really big hard court events that take place in early August.

Those events in Canada and Cincinnati are the big warm up events for the top names on the Tour as we approach the final Grand Slam of the 2019 season at the US Open in New York City. That Slam begins in just under a month from now, but there is quite a bit of tennis to get through even though Novak Djokovic announced he won't be playing too much warm up tennis ahead of the US Open.

This week the Tour moves to Washington, San Jose, Los Cabos and Kitzbuhel with the last of those the only one being played on the clay courts. The rest of the tournaments are hard court events and there are a number of players who have shifted from the clay of Umag, Bastad and Hamburg to the hard courts so that is something to be aware of this week.

With the differing time zones of the various events being played, it does mean that the thread is going to have some selections added to it after it has been posted. Those selections will mainly be from Los Cabos and San Jose which are being played at least seven hours behind the London time zone so markets and order of players will be coming out much later than the ones for Kitzbuhel or Washington.

I am looking for a more consistent week than the last one, although I am always pleased if a winning record is produced. That is the minimum I look for in each week as I look for my own momentum to take into the final Grand Slam of the season which begins at the end of next month.

Monday is usually a quiet day compared with Tuesday in these weeks- there are some First Round matches scheduled for Monday, but the majority of them will be played the following day. I do have some selections from the Monday offerings though which can be read below.

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

Lorenzo Sonego v Federico Delbonis: He might have reached a career high Ranking ahead of Wimbledon, but Lorenzo Sonego has not been able to build on that in the last month. A First Round loss in Gstaad last week means the Italian has actually lost his last six matches on the main Tour on the clay courts and it does make Lorenzo Sonego a hard player to back.

However I do think he can find a way to get back to winning ways when he faces Federico Delbonis in the First Round in Kitzbuhel. He has shown better form than Sonego over the last month with a Challenger title secured as well as a run to the Semi Final in Bastad and a tight loss to Alexander Zverev in Hamburg last week.

On the pure numbers you would have to say that Delbonis deserves his spot as the favourite as well as the fact that Sonego has been on the losing run on the clay courts at the main ATP level. The Argentinian has been holding in 76% of his service games played on the clay courts while he has broken in 29% of return games and it is the success on the return that does give him an edge in this one.

While Lorenzo Sonego is a very good server who can build pressure with that shot, he has struggled to breaking in just 19% of return games played on the clay courts. It is a big difference between the two players, but Sonego has been much more comfortable when he has faced Delbonis.

These two players have met twice on the clay courts since September 2018 with the last of those matches coming earlier this year. In those matches the Lorenzo Sonego serve has been the bigger weapon with 95% of his service games being held compared with Federico Delbonis being down at 75%. The Italian has also kept Delbonis under pressure in those return games with 42% of the points won on the Delbonis serve and I do think Sonego will feel his serve can keep his opponent feeling the pressure in this one too.

I think this is going to be a close match and it looks to be one that Sonego will feel comfortable with. That makes the underdog appealing considering how he has played against Federico Delbonis and a strong serving day will give the Italian every chance of earning the upset.

Hugo Dellien v Roberto Carballas Baena: Coming through the Qualifiers to make the main draws of Hamburg and Kitzbuhel will certainly give Hugo Dellien some confidence, but he has not been able to have a deep run in any of the events played since Wimbledon concluded. The draws have not been that kind to the Bolivian who has been beaten by Juan Ignacio Londero in Bastad (who reached the Final there, and then Nikoloz Basilashvili in Hamburg (who won the title there).

Both defeats have been competitive enough to believe Dellien is feeling pretty good about his game and he is looking to surpass his career best World Number 74 position which was earned earlier this year. It will mean Hugo Dellien needs to have a big week to put some strong Ranking points in the bank, but this looks to be another difficult early match in the main draw.

Hugo Dellien has been very comfortable on the clay courts with some strong results, but the majority of those have come under the main Tour. The same can be said for Roberto Carballas Baena, although back to back Quarter Final runs in Bastad and Gstaad will make the Spaniard feel pretty good about his level going into this event.

On the numbers the slight edge has to be given to Carballas Baena who has held onto his serve in 76% of games played on the clay courts in 2019, while Hugo Dellien is at 73%. There is also a slight edge in terms of the return on this surface with Carballas Baena breaking in 33% of return games compared with Dellien being at 32%, but the percentage of points won by the two players are virtually identical.

It is the Bolivian who may hold the mental edge having beaten Carballas Baena in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year in a match where he created three times as many break points as his opponent. Roberto Carballas Baena really struggled with his serve on that day and I do think Hugo Dellien could frank that win having put a couple of wins on the board in the Qualifiers to become accustomed with the conditions in Kitzbuhel.

With very similar numbers, the value seems to be with Hugo Dellien here and I am going to back the underdog to win.

Ivo Karlovic v Bjorn Fratangelo: No one will be doubting that Ivo Karlovic is on the downward slope of his career, but he still possesses a big serve which will give him chances in matches. That is especially the case in matches like this one in the First Round in Washington, and I am not entirely sure Karlovic should be the underdog.

He might be 40 years old, but Ivo Karlovic has held 95% of his service games played on the hard courts and that is a number that surpasses the 2016, 2017 and 2018 season totals on the surface. The return of serve continues to be an issue for Karlovic, but he will be hoping he can build some scoreboard pressure in this one by trying to run through his service games and make Bjorn Fratangelo feel like he is serving all the time.

This has been a difficult season for Fratangelo who has held 81% of the service games he has played on the hard courts while he has broken in 18% of return games. The American will receive the support from the fans, but he has also struggled in his two previous matches against Karlovic and will need some luck to get through this match.

Ivo Karlovic has held in 90% of his service games played against Bjorn Fratangelo in their two previous matches. At the same time the Croatian has broken in just under 20% of return games played and I think that is a significant edge considering the last match between them was less than twelve months ago.

The feeling is that Karlovic can use his serve to edge out Fratangelo in this one and I am not sure he should be the underdog in the match. At the prices I will back Ivo Karlovic in this opening Round match in Washington.

MY PICKS: Lorenzo Sonego @ 2.20 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Hugo Dellien @ 2.37 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Ivo Karlovic @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Ekaterina Alexandrova + 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Season 2019: + 117.55 Units (1389 Units Staked, + 8.46% Yield)

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