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Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Tennis Picks 2020 (February 11th)

There are a lot of First Round matches scheduled for Tuesday at the five tournaments being played this week as those events really begin to get going.

In this thread I am going to place the selections from the Tuesday matches, but I will have to update the totals from the Monday matches as soon as the late ones from New York have been completed.

It is likely to be the case for the majority of the week with the tournaments in North and South America scheduling some late starts, but at least I can place the full Tuesday selections in this thread having had the order of play from all five events already being released.

Andrey Rublev - 3.5 games v Nikoloz Basilashvili: Winning back to back tournaments in January followed by a run through to the Fourth Round at the Australian Open has helped Andrey Rublev reach a career best Number 15 in the World Rankings. At 22 years old the Russian is not expecting this to be the peak of his career though as he continues to show improvement on the Tour and that is especially the case on the hard courts.

This is a big tournament in Rotterdam this week so there are no easy matches from the off and that is proven by Rublev being paired with Nikoloz Basilashvili in the First Round. The Georgian is still inside the top thirty in the World Rankings and was as high as Number 16 just last year, although it has been a more difficult start to the 2020 season for him than it has for Andrey Rublev.

Nikoloz Basilashvili was beaten in the Second Round at the Australian Open and he is just 2-3 on the hard courts to open 2020. He has finished with a winning record in each of the last three seasons on this surface, but Basilashvili has always produced average numbers which suggests there isn't much margin for error to prevent him from hitting a really poor run.

Draws will make a difference, but this looks to be a very difficult one for Basilashvili who was beaten by Andrey Rublev when these players last met back in August. Nikoloz Basilashvili was 2-0 in the head to head before losing to the Russian in Cincinnati, and that result also means they are now 1-1 on the hard courts against each other, although Rublev looks to have a real advantage when it comes to the return of serve.

Both might have ended up with similar percentages when it comes to the break of serve on the hard courts, but Rublev has won more return points and I think he is the superior returner. In their matches against each other on the hard courts, Rublev has broken in 20% of return games played compared with Basilashvili's 17% mark.

It might not look a lot, but it can make all the difference and the early season form certainly suggests Andrey Rublev's move up the World Rankings has yet to come to an end. The Russian has been winning a vastly higher percentage of service points compared with Basilashvili to open the 2020 season and he has also been stronger on the return which will have me backing him to cover the number in this one.

Hubert Hurkacz-Stefanos Tsitipas over 22.5 games: This is another First Round match in Rotterdam which underlines the status of the tournament as an ATP 500 event. Both Hubert Hurkacz and Stefanos Tsitsipas are inside the top thirty in the World Rankings, although both are also returning to competitive tennis for the first time since disappointing Australian Open showings.

Both Hurkacz at 22 years old and Tsitsipas at 21 years old are hoping to be part of the 'Next Gen' group of players that are hoping to challenge the Big Three that have long dominated the ATP Tour. However the Polish player was beaten in the Second Round and Stefanos Tsitsipas was unable to defend the Semi Final points he earned from the tournament twelve months earlier as he was defeated in the Third Round.

That makes this a very important tournament for the two players who will open the evening session in Rotterdam and it is Stefanos Tsitsipas who has the edge having won four of their previous five matches since turning professional. All of those have been on the hard courts, but the last two have been split and Hubert Hurkacz will feel he should have won both of those.

In actual fact the last three have all gone the distance between these players and I don't think it can be ruled out that this match will go the same way. Stefanos Tsitipas has held 90% of his service games played in the last three matches between these players while Hubert Hurkacz has held 87% of his own service games and both players have won over 70% of the points played behind serve which underlines how tough it can be to earn the breaks of serve against each other.

The serve is a huge weapon for both of these players, and, while Stefanos Tsitsipas has a slight advantage on that front, it is Hubert Hurkacz that has the slightly better return numbers. It is no surprise that matches have been as competitive as they have been between these players because neither is a really strong returner and they can serve their way through games to keep themselves in with a chance of winning.

On an indoor hard court I would think Hurkacz and Tsitsipas are able to get through service games efficiently, although the courts here in Rotterdam might not be playing as fast as some others on the Tour. There have been a lot of breaks in the early matches played in Rotterdam, but this is a match up that looks like it could produce a relatively long match.

The last three have all gone that way and I think there is every chance this one will too and so backing the players to combine for more than the total games line set looks to be the play.

MY PICKS: Andrey Rublev - 3.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Hubert Hurkacz-Stefanos Tsitsipas Over 22.5 Games @ 1.80 Bet365 (2 Units)
Dominik Koepfer - 2.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Laslo Djere - 3.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet365 (2 Units)
Juan Ignacio Londero - 4.5 Games @ 1.91 Bet Fred (2 Units)
Petra Martic - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 5-1, + 7.06 Units (12 Units Staked, + 58.33% Yield)

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