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Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Tennis Picks 2019 (July 31st)

With some of the tournaments being played in North America and Mexico this week, it does mean that the layers are perhaps taking some time to formulate their markets. This week in particular is an issue because the tournaments are trying to be completed before the Canadian Masters begins this weekend and that means players are being asked to play on consecutive days from very early in the week.

Matches are being played through the night and the winners are going to be playing in the next Round on Wednesday. I will add any Tennis Picks from those matches to this thread and I will also update the weekly totals at that time too.


Roberto Carballas Baena - 1.5 games v Lorenzo Sonego: On Monday both Roberto Carballas Baena and Lorenzo Sonego had to come through difficult First Round matches and their progression came after needing three sets to see off opponents. Tough wins can build character though and there is a chance to build some momentum as they play each other for a place in the Quarter Final in Kitzbuhel on Wednesday.

Winning matches is clearly important, but both players will know they could have easily been beaten in the First Round too. It does mean there needs to be an improvement if Carballas Baena or Sonego are going to make it through to the next Round and this match could easily come down to which of the players is able to find that improvement the best.

Out of the two players Carballas Baena has been the more consistent, although the Spaniard has a serve that his opponent's will all feel like they can get into. He is holding 76% of the service games he has played on the clay courts in 2019 and he wins 61% of the points played with both numbers being pretty steady over the last five seasons.

The Spaniard will be expecting to have a little more success when facing Lorenzo Sonego who has struggled with his return on the clay courts having won 36% of return points and breaking in less than 20% of return games played. It does put some pressure on Sonego to make sure he is finding the big first serve with some regularity, but for the most part he has been successful doing that having held 83% of service games played.

It was the serve that got him out of trouble in the First Round against Federico Delbonis with all eight break points saved in the final set decider. However Lorenzo Sonego had a pretty good record against Delbonis which may have helped him from a mental standpoint, but that is not the case against Carballas Baena with three defeats to this opponent.

One of those came earlier this year on the South American Golden Swing, and all have been on the clay courts. Roberto Carballas Baena has found a way to break in 36% of return games played against Lorenzo Sonego and restricted the Italian to 58% of service points won which is someway down on his numbers overall.

I do think Sonego may have more success on his return than he does generally considering Carballas Baena remains at a steady 76% of service games held against the Italian. However Carballas Baena wins a few more service points and I think he will position himself to get the better of Lorenzo Sonego for a fourth time that they have met.

Prior to the win over Delbonis, Lorenzo Sonego had lost six matches in a row on the main ATP Tour on the clay. He will be boosted by snapping that run, but this looks a tough match up for him and I think Roberto Carballas Baena can be backed to win and cover the number.


Pablo Cuevas - 2.5 games v Dennis Novak: As one of the higher Ranked players at the ATP Kitzbuhel tournament, Pablo Cuevas was given a bye into the Second Round of the draw. This could be an important week for Cuevas as it is the last clay court event with significant World Ranking points attached to it in the 2019 season, although it comes at the end of what has been a poor month for the Uruguayan.

He would have been hoping for much better from appearances in Bastad and Hamburg, but Pablo Cuevas did not receive favourable draws in defeats to Federico Delbonis and Dominic Thiem at those tournaments. This Second Round match looks much more winnable, although Cuevas has only played in Kitzbuhel once before and was upset by a home player in 2017.

Now he has to face Dennis Novak who came through his First Round match very comfortably although he has yet to move beyond the Second Round here. The majority of Novak's time is spent away from the main ATP Tour and the 25 year old Austrian has to be wondering whether he can find the consistency to crack into the top 100 of the World Rankings which would open the door to main Tour events in the future.

Dennis Novak has to be feeling good about the way he has performed when playing on the main Tour in 2019 even though he is only 3-3 on the clay in those matches. He has been holding 83% of the service games he has played in those matches and Novak is also breaking in 21% of return games, but I have to note that in his career Novak only holds in 73% of service games played on the clay courts against top 100 Ranked opponents.

He may have a bit more joy against Pablo Cuevas who can be a little erratic when it comes to his return of serve, although the Uruguayan has some strong numbers to fall back upon. He has broken in 30% of return games played on the clay in 2019 and Cuevas has been particularly strong when facing opponents Ranked outside the top 100 as shown by his percentage improving to 38% in that category.

Pablo Cuevas also does possess a strong serve and he does hold 81% of service games played on this surface against players Ranked outside the top 100. It can be difficult for players when they go up against an unfamiliar opponent for the first time, especially one that won't have a lot of film on him like Dennis Novak, but I expect to see Cuevas having a bit too much for him.

It may even need three sets to get it done, but I would expect Cuevas to find the big return games to earn the edge in the match and he can use that return to cover this number.


Hubert Hurkacz-John Isner over 10.5 games first set: A strong First Round win produced by Hubert Hurkacz over Donald Young has set him up with this match against John Isner. The American was one of a number of Seeds who received a bye through to the Second Round in Washington, although a big six weeks are coming up for Isner if he wants to avoid another drop down the World Rankings.

Last year John Isner reached the Quarter Final at the US Open so there are plenty of points he is going to have to defend there. He can make up for it having lost early in both Canada and Cincinnati, but Isner needs some momentum in what has been a difficult year for him.

The serve is always going to be a potent weapon for Isner and we have seen 40 year old Ivo Karlovic continue to be an effective player on the Tour thanks to the serve he possesses. The same is likely going to be the case for Isner who is winning 76% of the points played behind his serve and holding 94% of his service games on the hard courts in 2019.

Suffice to say it will be a huge challenge for Hubert Hurkacz to get his teeth into the return games especially as the Polish player is only winning 35% of return points on the hard courts this year. He has struggled to find the breaks of serve in general and now faces one of the top servers on the Tour.

It does mean there is some pressure on Hurkacz knowing one slip on serve would likely prove to be fatal, but he will be confident he can keep the scoreboard ticking along. Hubert Hurkacz has held 85% of the service games he has played on the hard courts in 2019 and John Isner is an even more limited returner with breaks of serve in just 10% of return games while he wins less than 30% of the points played on an opponent's serve.

You would think the serve is going to be strong for both players at the outset of this match and five of the last seven John Isner matches have needed a tie-breaker to determine the first set. It has not been as common in Hubert Hurkacz matches, but he is likely going to need to serve well to stay with the American and backing the first set to at least reach 5-5 is the play in this one.


Kevin Anderson - 3.5 games v Adrian Mannarino: Over the last two years Kevin Anderson has played some of his very best tennis on the US hard court swing which concludes with the final Grand Slam of the season. He will be looking for another strong run over the coming weeks and the opening match in Washington looks like being a good one for the big South African.

Kevin Anderson is the Number 4 Seed in Washington and that does mean he received a bye through to the Second Round. That could give Adrian Mannarino some encouragement having put a straight sets win on the board in the First Round, but the Frenchman has to get over the mental obstacle of a really poor head to head with Anderson.

It is Anderson who has won their last four matches head to head on the hard courts including a First Round win at the Australian Open. The South African has held 90% of the service games he has played against Mannarino in those four matches and that is vastly superior to the latter who has only managed to hold 67% of his own service games in that time.

In 2019 Kevin Anderson has held 87% of his service games played on the hard courts and he will feel he can keep Adrian Mannarino under pressure. The Frenchman has been struggling with his return on the hard courts through the season and that increases the pressure on a player who does not have the most effective serve with 76% of his service games being held.

That has contributed to the Mannarino only securing a 5-10 record and I do make Anderson a strong favourite. There are some concerns that covering such a number like this is difficult for a player who has a limited return like Anderson, but even the breaks in 18% of return games might not be such an issue when you think of the way he has matched up with Mannarino.

During the course of this match I think Kevin Anderson can find a couple of breaks of serve more than Adrian Mannarino and he should have enough to cover this handicap mark.

MY PICKS: Roberto Carballas Baena - 1.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Pablo Cuevas - 2.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Hubert Hurkacz-John Isner Over 10.5 Games First Set @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Kevin Anderson - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Albert Ramos-Vinolas @ 1.95 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Monica Puig - 3.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Miomir Kecmanovic - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 William Hill (2 Units)
Felix Auger Aliassime @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 5-6, - 2.40 Units (22 Units Staked, - 10.91% Yield)

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