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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Tennis Picks 2013 (April 10th)

The big news out of the Davis Cup was the injury suffered by Novak Djokovic, although it does seem like the World Number 1 has escaped anything too serious. He has been told to rest and that does put his place in the Monte Carlo Masters draw in doubt for next week, although reports that he would be a doubt for the French Open have proved to be unfounded.

The loss of Djokovic from the draw would surely make Rafael Nadal a very strong favourite to win the tournament at Roland Garros, although it would also improve the chances of Andy Murray to go all the way as he would go in as the Number 1 seed in the draw.

However, that all seems unlikely now and I wouldn't be surprised if Djokovic decides he will follow Roger Federer's lead and not take part in his first clay court event until the Madrid Masters at the beginning of May.

This is the first day that I will make picks from the tournaments being played this week, although I do have some outright picks which can be seen here.

Robin Haase v Roberto Bautista-Agut: Now before I go on, I will happily admit that Robin Haase is one of the most frustratingly inconsistent players on the Main Tour, although I don't believe he should be the underdog in this match.

Haase has proved he is capable of playing on the clay courts at this level, having a 23-18 record over the last couple of seasons and also winning in Kitzbuhel last season. He does struggle to put in a lot of quality weeks, but he does have the tennis that is capable of seeing off Roberto Bautista-Agut in this First Round match.

The Spaniard has been suffering with a stomach injury that saw him retire in the First Round in Miami and I think he may be a touch over-rated in this match as his nationality will mean he has played a lot of tennis on the clay courts. However, take out Bautista-Agut's run to the Final in Chennai, and he is just 3-7 on the season and he hasn't ever won a clay court match on the Main Tour.

I just think Haase is capable of playing enough quality tennis to get through the match and he is worth a small interest in this match.

Lleyton Hewitt - 3.5 games v Martin Alund: This is the one match that was most appealing to me from the tournament in Houston and it is perhaps a surprising choice to back the veteran Lleyton Hewitt against a clay court specialist like Martin Alund.

While Alund is definitely the more secure on the clay courts, I do think he has spent most of his time at a lesser level than Hewitt operates, although the lack of clay court tournaments for the Australian over the last couple of seasons would be a concern.

However, Hewitt is a former winner here in Houston and the courts here are definitely different to the European and the South American clay courts and that may be enough for Hewitt to find a way through against his Argentinian opponent.

The chance of this going into a third set is a slight concern as Hewitt does struggle to protect his serve somewhat, but I think he will be too tough mentally and will book his place in the Second Round after a 6-3, 7-6 win.

MY PICKS: Robin Haase @ 2.25 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Lleyton Hewitt - 3.5 Games @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

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