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Monday, 4 June 2012

French Open Day 9 Picks (June 4th)

Yesterday was not a bad day, but it had the makings of being a great day and a lot will now depend on how the two underdogs, Tomas Berdych and Stanislas Wawrinka, can recover from the deficits they both were suffering when the light called off play for the day.

We also saw some very surprising performances as both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer made a lot of hard work against opponents that were not really expected to cause that many problems. At least those two players are still in the draw, whereas Victoria Azarenka was beaten in straight sets by Dominika Cibulkova and has completely opened up the top half of the draw.

Sam Stosur is the most likely finalist, but Angelique Kerber has looked dangerous as she quietly moves through the draw, while Sara Errani is arguably the form player in the section.

Today, we will see the likes of Maria Sharapova, Na Li and Petra Kvitova look to book their Quarter Final places as the bottom half of the Women's draw remains the favourite to actually produce the Champion this year.

Rafael Nadal will look to continue his hot form in the Men's draw, while the best match of the day is likely to be the Andy Murray-Richard Gasquet match which looks incredibly difficult to call and could also be one of the longer efforts of the day.

Day 9 Picks:

Nicolas Almagro - 4.5 games v Janko Tipsarevic: Nicolas Almagro won in Nice the week before the French Open began and he has made his way through the draw with little trouble so far and I think he will be too strong for Janko Tipsarevic despite the Serb being one of my favourite players on the Tour.

Almagro definitely has the stronger clay court pedigree of the two players and that could be the key difference as they have similar games.

Both serve well, both are effective on the ground and both are decent, if not very good, returners so Almagro being more comfortable with his movement on the surface could be what separates them when it is all said and done.

Tipsarevic is having one of his best seasons on the clay courts this year, but he has been comfortably dismissed by Gilles Simon, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka in 2012 and I would place Nicolas Almagro above Gilles Simon.

I can see the Spaniard potentially dropping a set, but he should be too strong in general and come through with the cover.

Rafael Nadal - 9.5 games v Juan Monaco: I like Juan Monaco as a player, but he is going up against a man completely in form and one who does everything better than he does. That was clear when Rafael Nadal beat him in straight sets in the Davis Cup Final last December for the loss of just 4 games.

Nadal has been blowing players away this year at the tournament and he looks like a player that is completely confident in what they have to do. He would also have seen the struggles of his rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer today and that should only focus him even more than usual.

The World Number 2 never gives players an easy out in games either so that only makes life that much tougher for Monaco, as well as weather reports indicating there will be rain- that is another factor that Nadal will be aware of and he will want to get on, and off, as soon as possible.

Monaco is likely to push Nadal at times, but I think a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win could be on the cards for the Spanish player.

MY PICKS: Nicolas Almagro - 4.5 games @ 2.00 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Rafael Nadal - 9.5 games @ 1.85 Pinnacle (2 Units)
Stanislas Wawrinka @ 2.15 Pinnacle (2 Units) Currently down 4-2 in games in the final set
Tomas Berdych @ 2.17 Pinnacle (2 Units) Currently down 2-1 in sets

FRENCH OPEN UPDATE: 15-18, - 1.08 Units (62 Units Staked)

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